Friday, July 30, 2010

looking for a good book

Anyone read any really good books lately? I am looking for some books to bring for the choices for our next book club meeting. We read lots of novels, but nonfiction that is easy reading isn't out of the question. I am even just looking for books for me to read...seems like lately I haven't come across anything too interesting.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Renee Riva

This is a trilogy of books by Renee Riva. I am not sure how I came across them, but the three were definitely worth reading and may be books that I will reread some day. This set of books follows the growing up years of AJ. She comes from a Catholic Italian family-one older sister, several brothers and her parents, and an extended family that includes grandmothers that don't get along. The first story is of AJ and her dog Sailor. She and her family live on an island in the summer taking care of things.

Taking Tuscany occurs several years later, where AJ is living in Tuscany, Italy with her family. She doesn't feel like she fits in and longs to be back in the States. AJ becomes friends with several nuns, another classmate, and realizes her extended family isn't all that she expects. This is the one I probably enjoyed the most.

In Heading Home, AJ is 18 years old and returns to the US. Danny, her island friend, is still there. This book has lots of ups and downs and continues the story of AJ growing up.

Riva does a great job at making her characters seem real. There are parts that made me laugh in each book, partly because of the absurdity of the characters behaviors, but also because I can imagine people actually doing some of the things that the characters did. These books are something that I would recommend for anyone that is middle school age or older. If you grew up Catholic or loved having pets as a child, you would enjoy these books.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Plain Jayne

Plain Jayne by Hillary Manton Lodge is the novel I finished reading yesterday. Jayne is a newspaper reporter that is put on a leave of absence by her boss, and ends up going to Amish country. She ends up spending time with an Amish family and it affects her life in ways that she didn't expect. Her believable characters end up in some expected and unexpected situations but not always with the solutions you might expect, so that made the story interesting. Some of the references to Jayne's life as a teenager were a bit vague...just that she had been a rebel and wore hard rock t-shirts and had colored hair. So throughout the book I was expecting perhaps some deep, dark secret to come to light, but it never did. Lodge has a refreshing spin on the Amish novel, and I am looking forward to seeing what happens in her next novel, Simply Sara, which will be coming out in September.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Camp Clair 2010

Camp Clair is over for the house is going to seem quiet without four pairs of feet running around from the living room to the porch back to the living room and then outside. No one asking "Clair, can I ...?" or one child yelling another child's name. It is lots of fun, but I can tell when it is time for them to go home because one or more find something to do alone instead of joining in the chaos or someone tells one of their cousin's to quit being so bossy. When I asked them what they liked about Camp Clair there were lots of answers-making books, going to Grandpa's, going to the museum, making pictures. I think some of them would want to stay forever if they didn't miss their parents.

On another note, I am not much for pictures of me, but my sister Amanda took this picture of us on our birthday earlier this week. We celebrate together most years...don't think it is the same any other way. This year we went out for lunch at Baja Sol. For supper we had grilled hamburgers, but that is almost a given for the fourth of July. We had ice cream a couple times too.