Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to Be Lovely: The Audrey Hepburn Way of Life

by Melissa Hellstern

I came across this book while window shopping at Anthropologie. I looked it up as soon as I got home and reserved it from the library. I didn't think this would be a book I'd read straight through but I did. It took me a couple of evenings to read it.

It is just a cute little book broken up into chapters such as Happiness, Success, Love, Family, Style, ect...... Each chapter is filled with quotes from Audrey Hepburn herself, and those who knew her. There are even a couple of quotes taken from lines from some of her movies.

Recommend - Yes, I really enjoyed reading this book and it was full of quotes and little tid-bits.
Who - Possibly teenage girls, moms, and basically anyone who liked Audrey Hepburn.

Favorite Quote - I found a bunch of quotes I liked but I narrowed it down to two.

Audrey Hepburn on home-
"It's the flowers you choose, the music you play, the smile you have waiting. I want it to be gay and cheerful, a haven in this troubled world"

on age-
"Getting older doesn't frighten me, but I wish I didn't have to, because I like life a lot."

ok, one more

on love-
"When flirting, be subtle"
"Sex appeal is something that you feel deep down inside. It's suggested rather than shown. I'll admit that I'm not as well-stacked as Sophie Loren or Gina Lollobrigida, but there is more to sex appeal than just measurements."

Stella Star of the Sea

by Marie-Louise Gay

This is a great little book for the family with the kid who asks all the questions and the older sister who has all the answers.

The story takes place at the sea, and has beautiful watercolor illustrations.

Recommend - Yes, great to read to young ones just before a trip to the ocean.
Who - Preschoolers up to grade school age. Both boys and girls would enjoy this one.

Favorite Quote -
"Where do starfish come from?" asked Sam. "From the sky," answered Stella. "Starfish are shooting stars that fell in love with the sea."

Angelina Ballerina

story by Katharine Holabird
illustrated by Helen Craig

Every once in a while there is a children's book that is full of beautiful detailed pictures and a simple, yet enchanting story that pulls you into an imaginative world. The quaint details of Angelina's house and the beautiful world created in these books let children, girls especially, just sit and enjoy them.

The original books are the best. The later books seem to be based on the television series, and are not a good as the orginals.

Recommend - Yes, especially if you have a little dancer. Or a little one that loves animals, because the mice really are adorable.
Who - A little more for girls, but boys will listen to the stories. Ages preschool and up.

Favorite Quote -
"The next morning at breakfast Angelina found a large box with her name on it."

There is nothing quite as exciting as an unexpected box with your name on it.

The Frog and Toad Treasury

by Arnold Lobel

We are huge Arnold Lobel fans in our house. We discover these books around the time our oldest was in preschool. The kids love the humor. Frog and Toad stories have everything the kids like, funny situations, a little mystery, friendship and the simplicity that kids crave.The kids relate to both optimistic Frog and cranky Toad.

The two favorites in this collection are "A Swim" and "Icecream". Both of these stories are wonderful, I even laughed out loud the first time I read "A Swim".

Recommend - Yes, these books are delightful to read and a must for a family library.
Who - Both boys and girls, from preschool on up to early grade school.

Favorite Quote - Toad's list of things to do blows away.

"Hurry!" said Frog. "We will run and catch it." "No!" shouted Toad. "I cannot do that." "Why not?" asked Frog. "Because," wailed Toad, "running after my list is not one of the things that I wrote on my list of things to do!"

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Peter and the Starcatchers

by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

We have such a difficult time getting my son really interested in books. My sister in-law's mother in-law Davine recommended and let us borrow this book. And it was a huge hit. We read it to our 9 year old son every night for about 2 weeks. Sometimes it can be really tiring to read out loud every single night. But, this book was a lot of fun for my husband and I as well.

This book is more of a prequel to Peter Pan, and really sets up everything that you know about Neverland. It is full of humor and imagination. My son loved the pirates and the star stuff with all of it's magic. We also listened to the book on cd read by Jim Dale(the same reader as the Harry Potter books) and that is really fun to listen to as well. I know I used fun a lot for this entree but that really is the best adjective I can think of for this book: fun.

Recommend - Yes
Who - Grade school age boys, my daughter listened but my son really enjoyed this one.

Favorite Quote - Captain Black Stache sensing his men are close to mutiny, after having tried to kill a couple of them, finally convinces them he's really trying to look out for them.

"Pirates .... it's a good thing they're idjits. "

Jane Austen Ruined My Life

by Beth Pattillo

My sisters in-law, Monica and Aimee recommended this book. Well to be honest Monica really liked it but Aimee didn't care for the ending. And to quote them on the ending without giving anything away. Aimee said "it's not a Jane Austen ending" and Monica said "I thought it was a open ending and it did have a Jane Austen ending". Hmmmm, doesn't that just peek your curiosity?

I did really enjoy this book. It was a lot of fun having a modern day character try to figure out who Jane Austen really was. The reader is able to visit and learn about the sites where Jane Austen lived and walked. It was a lot of fun reading who all the great Austen character could have been based on. And it's all tied up in an interesting story so it doesn't feel as if you're reading a biography.

Recommend - Yes, but it's good to remember the author wrote it to have the main character's life parallel with Austen's real life.
Who - Grown ups. I wouldn't have my teenager read this one, there's nothing inappropriate at all. However, the main character is just getting over a failed marriage, so I thought it was a little too emotionally heavy for a teenager.

Favorite Quote - Emma, the main character goes into the books store Hatchards, the same book store Jane Austen would go to while in London.

"My life was a disaster, but there were still books. Lots and lots of books. A refuge. A solace. "

Friday, August 21, 2009


by Jane Austen

Emma is always a fun read. I just finished reading it again. I thought it was interesting how different my perspective was from reading it while in my twenties and now again in my thirties. I think in my twenties I was a lot like Emma, certain my opinions were always correct. I've discovered in my thirties, there is much more humility and the world is not as cut and dry as I once suspected it to be. So I guess I relate more to the Emma at the end of the book now.

Emma is a delightful book to read. Emma is practically perfect. She's smart and funny, she loves her family, and usually remembers to treat others with grace. And Mr. Knightly is close to perfect himself. He is full of common sense and sincerely cares about others. All in all it's a fun book to read.

Recommend - Yes, yes.
Who - Teenage girls on up.

Favorite Quote - After Mr. Knightly declares his love to Emma.

"What did she say? - Just what she ought, of course. A lady always does. - "