"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Sunday Wife by Cassandra King

Willowdean "Dean" Lynch is the wife of a Methodist minister, who happens to be an ambitious and self-serving rising star in the church. Dean had a difficult childhood and ended up in foster care. She carries a number of scars from her childhood, the number one being low self-esteem. But one thing that enriches her life is her musical heritage and her musical talent.

She falls for a young, handsome preacher, Ben Lynch, and somehow "wins" this lucky prize. But what Dean quickly discovers is that it is not easy being the wife of a minister. Not only does she live in a fishbowl, but everyone (including Dean) is expected to orbit around her husband. She is expected to suppress all personal desires including the desire for a musical career and a family.

The bulk of the story begins as Ben takes a job with a prestigious parish in the Florida panhandle. The adjustment isn't easy for Dean. But she becomes friends with the "rebel" Augusta, who slowly gets Dean to open her eyes to the fact that she is not living life on her own terms, and that she is certainly not meeting her potential. When a crisis occurs, Dean is finally faced with making difficult decisions about her life and her future.

The Sunday Wife appealed to me as the cast of characters found in this fictional parish can be found in almost any church. There were women that were jealous of Dean, women that were overly critical of her, and those who continuously and unashamedly flirted with her husband. There were control freaks, divas, gossips and those who feigned friendship for the wrong reasons. Many of them were superficial, holier-than-thou hypocrites. But there were one or two who truly cared about Dean and opened their hearts to her.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Wow, what an incredibly moving and emotional story! What really struck me as I read this book was just how brave and " full of life" Pausch remained even toward the end of his battle with terminal cancer. He just had a good attitude until the end, and wanted to focus not on himself, but on how his situation could help and inspire others.

Your heart literally breaks as you realize that he will be leaving behind his beloved wife, and his three young children. Now that he has been gone several years, I find myself incredibly curious as to whether his wife remarried and how his kids are doing! I plan on trying to find their website after posting this :).

Even though Pausch died at a relatively young age, he had an amazing opportunity that few of us will ever have...the chance to write a book and leave a legacy that has ended up inspiring thousands, if not millions.

What I liked least: You will go through at least an entire box of Kleenex while you read this!

What I liked most: I love that his "last lecture" didn't focus on dying, but instead he talked about achieving your childhood dreams and remembering the person that you used to be. I love this angle that he took...wouldn't life be a little bit better if we all just focused on being happy and a good person rather than focusing on death and the future so much? Lots of food for thought in this book!

Finally, I also liked reading about the days he spent realizing HIS childhood dream of being a Disney Imagineer...how cool is that?!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Purity in Death by J.D. Robb

What if a computer virus from our-email can infiltrate the computer and infect its operator with a cranial expansion that culminates in destruction? In the 15th installment of the Death series, J.D Robb crafts a chilling techno-dystopia in 2059 where paedophiles and drug-traffickers are mysteriously victimized by a vigilantte operation to uphold justice. Their self-righteous mantra proclaims - absolute purity achieved.

It is up to edgy NYPSD Lieut. Eve Dallas to root out the perpetrators - as the virus exterminates their target but harms innocent by-standers including inflicting a near-fatal paralysis on e-cop McNab and took the life of an innocent sixteen-year old who is slashed by an infected pimp.

Eve relies on Roarke, her bad boy turned good hubby who exudes condidence and power as easily as most people breathe.

Just the right amount of techno mumbo jumbo to be realistic, combined with the perfect touches of humor, sex, romance, politics and fun to make the perfect read!