Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Book Review: Anne Hathaway presents The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

13606660Title: Anne Hathaway presents The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (#1)
Author: L. Frank Baum
Published March 8, 2012 by Audible, Inc. (First published 1900)
Audiobook length: 3 hrs. 49 mins.

from Goodreads:
One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year's most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.

Follow the adventures of young Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto as they get swept away into the magical land of Oz , where they encounter characters and places you may remember from the movie - and several more that never made it to the big screen - on an unforgettable journey to the Emerald City.

"It's such a wonderful book and I was so happy to be a part of bringing it to life", Ms. Hathaway said. "There are a lot of great voices in it. The more fun you have with it, the sillier and the more free you get with it, the better it is because it's a story that can handle it. It's amazing to be able to discover something new about something you feel you know so well."

Alleluialu's Review:
Anne Hathaway is one of my favorite actresses and listening to her narrate "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" was delightful. I had never read the book before, so I was surprised at the differences in the story. It took a lot longer for Dorothy to travel around Oz and find the Wizard, then the Witch of the West. I don't remember the part about the mark on her forehead, but it seems so biblical - the mark of Cain and all. Anyway, I truly enjoyed listening to it and experiencing Oz in a different way. I recommend it.
 I can't seem to get blogger to upload my picture, but I give this 4 stars!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Book Review: Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm

15849465Title: Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown
Author: Eric Blehm
Paperback: 288 pages
Published May 21, 2013
Publisher: WaterBrook Press

from Goodreads:
Fearless takes you deep into SEAL Team SIX, straight to the heart of one of its most legendary operators.

When Navy SEAL Adam Brown woke up on March 17, 2010, he didn’t know he would die that night in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan—but he was ready: In a letter to his children, not meant to be seen unless the worst happened, he wrote, “I’m not afraid of anything that might happen to me on this earth, because I know no matter what, nothing can take my spirit from me.”

Long before Adam Brown became a member of the elite SEAL Team SIX—the counterterrorism unit that took down Osama bin Laden—he was a fun-loving country boy from Hot Springs, Arkansas, whose greatest goal had been to wear his high school’s football jersey. An undersized daredevil, prone to jumping off roofs into trees and off bridges into lakes, Adam was a kid who broke his own bones but would never break a
promise to his parents.

But after high school, Adam fell in with the wrong crowd, and his family watched as his appetite for risk dragged him into a downward spiral that eventually landed him in jail. Battling his inner demons on a last-chance road to redemption, Adam had one goal: to become the best of the best—a U.S. Navy SEAL.

An absorbing chronicle of heroism and humanity, Fearless presents an indelible portrait of a highly trained warrior who would enter a village with weapons in hand to hunt terrorists, only to come back the next day with an armload of shoes and meals for local children. It is a deeply personal, revealing glimpse inside the SEAL Team SIX brotherhood that also shows how these elite operators live out the rest of their lives, away from danger, as husbands, fathers, and friends.
Fearless is the story of a man of extremes, whose courage and determination was fueled by faith, family, and the love of a woman. It’s about a man who waged a war against his own worst impulses and persevered to reach the top tier of the U.S. military. Always the first to volunteer for the most dangerous assignments, Adam’s final act of bravery led to the ultimate sacrifice.

Adam Brown was a devoted man who was an unlikely hero but a true warrior, described by all who knew him as fearless
Alleluialu's Review
I didn't think I would like this book - it was about soldiers and war, etc. - but I really did. Adam Brown was an amazing young man. He was crazy, but amazing! He seemed to have no fear and, when he put his mind and heart on a goal, nothing could stop him. I think this book would be inspirational for our young men struggling to find their role in life. Adam struggled, too. He finally broke down and put his faith in God and from then on, his faith sustained him. He had a strong love of family, friends and country. The things he went through were just mind-boggling and he just kept going! I really, really liked this book.
I gave this book 5 stars. It was very inspirational both from a life standpoint and a spiritual standpoint. I highly recommend it.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Book Review: To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

Title: To The Lighthouse
Author: Virginia Woolf
Setting: Isle of Skye, Scotland
Published: December 27, 1989 (first published in 1927)
Publisher: Harvest Books
Paperback: 209 pages
Literary Awards: Prix Femina Vie Heureuse Anglais (1928)

from Goodreads:
The novel that established Virginia Woolf as a leading writer of the twentieth century, To the Lighthouse is made up of three powerfully charged visions into the life of one family living in a summer house off the rocky coast of Scotland. As time winds its way through their lives, the Ramsays face, alone and simultaneously, the greatest of human challenges and it greatest triumph--the human capacity for change. A moving portrait in miniature of family life, it also has profoundly universal implications, giving language to the silent space that separates people and the space that they transgress to reach each other.

There are very few exceptional and miraculous novels that have the power to change their readers forever. To the Lighthouse is one of them.
Alleluialu's Review
Virginia Woolf is one of my favorite writers. I love the way she uses words and the turn of the phrases she writes. "To The Lighthouse" takes place in the minds of the characters which was common in the era that Woolf wrote. The pace is pretty slow, but you are treated to all kinds of ideas going through the heads of the participants. The family seemed what I perceive as typical in that era. The father rules the roost and the mother puts ideas out there but lets the father think she can't do anything without him. Obviously not true. Mrs. Ramsey was well in control of things. Their guests and the children were interesting as well. So, if you like lots of beautiful language and you don't mind a slow pace, this is the book for you.
I've given this selection 4 stars. There was nothing objectionable in it and it is a classic. You can get your copy at your local library or here.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goodreads Nothing But Reading Challenges Group

So, I found this group on Goodreads...Nothing But Reading Challenges...oh my...
I can list all my challenges in one place and track them - not that I don't do that already on an Excel worksheet, but I don't know, it looks cooler to do it on Goodreads. Anyway, I found some of the challenges that I have been doing on my own there, so naturally I signed up for them. Then I found some other challenges that are new to me...uh oh...yep, I signed up for them, too.
Here's a list of all the challenges I plan to work on this year:
Christmas Reading Challenge - that will be over January 6th.
*new* Push Your Boundaries Challenge
*new* Back to the Classics Challenge
*new* Book to Broadway Challenge
(I already do the next two, they just have different names on Goodreads.)
Titles: Read the Alphabet Challenge  
Author Alphabet Reading Challenge
Operation Read the Bible
(This one I already do as well.) New 2 ME Author Challenge
YA Reading Challenge
Romance Reading Challenge
Pages Read Challenge - 15,000 pages this year
Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
Mount TBR Reading Challenge
Monthly Mixup Mania (continuation)
Time Travel Reading Challenge
Read Your Name Challenge (using my last name this year)
50 Classics in 5 Years (continuation)
*new* All About You Challenge (this is a different challenge each month, but you can do them anytime and it's open ended)
Seems like a lot, doesn't it? Only 4 new ones. Hmmm. No more...I'll have lots of reading to do. Should be fun! Oh, and I challenged myself to read 50 books this year - that shouldn't be a problem.