Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I Did It For You, Kate!

I finally finished City of Lost Souls and City of Fallen Angels, both by Cassandra Clare.  These are the fourth and fifth books of The Mortal Instruments, a series with which my daughter is completely obsessed.  Now, I really liked them, but if you have a teenage or older girl in the house, THEY WILL LOVE THEM.  Angels, demons, vampires and werewolves populate these stories, and all are unfailingly HOT.  Also, the plots are pretty darn good, and as I mentioned before the movie of the first book, City of Bones, comes out in August.  So, get them for yourself or said younger female.  Either way, you won't be sorry.  TBC

The Language of Flowers

Wow.  I just finished The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.  Again, wow.  This is a a GREAT book.

Victoria has been in the foster system from birth.  She is nine-years-old and has lived in 32 homes, at least that she can remember, and now she was being given one last chance.  (Go ahead and read that again.  The social worker told a nine-year-old girl she had one last chance to belong to someone. If it didn't work out she'd be put in a group home until she was 18.) Victoria has learned to not expect anything good to happen, and when she arrives at Elizabeth's vineyard she does her best to protect her wounded heart. For how can she love others when she has never learned to love herself?  But Elizabeth slowly chips away at Victoria's defenses, and the little girl dares to hope that this placement might be different.  In her time with Elizabeth, Victoria learns many new things, but it is Elizabeth's love of flowers and the messages they send that literally save Victoria's life and teach her that she is worthy of someone's love.

Not only is The Language of Flowers a fantastic book, but it also covers a subject that is close to my heart.  I have had the privilege of working with a wonderful group of women who support San Pasqual Academy here in San Diego County.  It is a boarding school for foster teens, and it is the first of its kind in the country.  Like Victoria, a foster child moves an average of 10 times before the teen years, fostering a feeling of impermanence and instability.  San Pasqual Academy changes all of that.  The school takes children from a broken system and gives them a new start.  Please check out their website at, and watch the video below.  It is truly an amazing place!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy New Year!!!!

I love most everything about Christmas and New Year's, except that all of the hullaballoo keeps me from my book addiction.  But the New Year is here, and I'm back to my favorite pastime!

One of my happy discoveries last year was D. E. Stevenson, who wrote Miss Buncle's Book way back in the 1930's.  Luckily she didn't stop there, but soon came out with Miss Buncle Married, which continues the story of Barbara and her new husband/publisher Arthur as they move from London to a small town in the English countryside.  Almost immediately Barbara is drawn into the small and large dramas of her neighbors, but only because she has such an innocent and sympathetic heart.  People just seem to TELL her things, on purpose and by accident, and it is her unintentionally astute observations that make her such a great friend.  Once again she transforms her personal experiences into a potential best-selling book, but can she risk publishing it?? You'll have to read it to see...

What I love about D. E. Stevenson is how much her books apply to our life today, despite the almost 80 years that have passed.  We may think our problems are unique to 2013, but that's not really true. The more things change, the more they stay the same.  What for SURE doesn't change is the gift of a new book to read, and thank goodness for that!

Happy 2013!!