Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday-Blog Hop Time Again!

Jennifer at Crazy For Books has a great thing going on. Her Book Blogger Hop is a great way to network with other book bloggers. Sign up on her McLinky list and don't forget to check out at least a few of the blogs that are listed there. Please let me know if you found me through the Blog Hop!




Don't forget to check out this weeks Tasty Tuesday recipe inspired by Spells written by Aprilynne Pike.

Winner of 50 Followers Giveaway

Congratulations to the winner of the 50 followers giveaway:  Cheyanne Young! 

Cheyanne, please send me your contact info at dearestdreams@gmail.com right away so I can get a copy of Spells by Aprilynne Pike to you before it comes out on Tuesday, May 4th! 

Welcome to my new followers-I hope you will enjoy your stay. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Thorn by Daron Fraley

The Thorn, by author Daron D. Fraley, explores the possibility of life on other planets who share a Creator and Redeemer with Earth. To quote Daron, “What if people living on another planet, one of God's other creations, are waiting for Christ to come visit them?” This premise is a fresh idea in the world of fiction. Because I love fantasy, I have been interested to see how Daron would connect the two worlds--the similarities and differences that would be inherent in each.


You can read a synopsis of The Thorn on Goodreads.

What I liked:

Parents need not fret about letting their teens read this book. The language, romance and content in The Thorn is G-rated.

Setting-Daron’s descriptions of the cities and countryside were pleasant. The cities and other places the characters visited felt real and believable.



What I would change:

Characters- While I definitely appreciate a sensitive male protagonist, the male characters in The Thorn came across as emotionally unstable, sometimes weeping to each other. The women in the story felt selfish and spoiled, though I do not think that was the intent of the author. I am a fan of strong female characters and I found the women in The Thorn to be very flimsy, letting their circumstances control them, instead of acting for themselves. The romances in the story were emotionless and flat. I felt no “angst” for the characters and could have done without this part of the book (and I love a clean romance). Although this may be nitpicking, I found the character’s names confusing (for example: Daniel, Rachel, Benjamin, Mannasseh). Because the names are scriptural, their use on the planet of Gan connects them too closely, for my tastes, to earthly names.

POV-The point of view character changes gave me whiplash. There were a few times that I didn’t even remember who the view point character was and had to go back and search to figure it out. Because of the frequent change in POV and the randomness of the switching, I found it hard to connect with any of the characters, let alone feel empathy or jeopardy for them.

Plot-The plot was predictable and unsurprising. The climactic scenes in The Thorn were disappointing and sometimes felt rushed. Much of the story was hard for me to swallow. I found it hard to believe that after one ruler was killed, thousands of people who had been taught to despise each other became instant friends. The “happily ever after” theme took credibility away from the story, for me.

Pacing-Many times I was dismayed to read a “travel log” of irrelevant details that slowed the pacing of the story without providing character development or plot acceleration. I found myself skimming over large sections of text in an attempt to move on to the action.

Fantasy-Because I am a fantasy fan, I love to read books that introduce clever ideas or places. The Thorn was set on another planet and I was disappointed that Gan was so similar to Earth. The few differences that distinguished Gan from Earth were creative enough(ie the moons and suns and the glow stones), but as a reader, the fantastic elements were not intelligently considered. There were no attempts to show how a planet might be affected by the orbit of multiple orbs, or explanation as to how the glow stones worked.
Having said that, I realize that the level of fantasy is a personal preference-I know of several people who loved the fact that the worlds were so similar.

The verdict:

I gave this book 1/5 stars. The idea of the story intrigued me, but the plot and writing of the story did not live up to my expectations. Even though this book was not for me, notice that I did give it a star. I realize that even though it did not hit the mark for me, there are those for whom this book will resonate.
Please go to Daron Fraley’s blog to read other reviews of this book.

Purchase: The Thorn (Book One - The Chronicles of Gan)

Genre: fantasy, Christian, YA

Publisher: March 16th 2010 by Valor Publishing Group, LLC (first published March 2010)

Paperback, First Edition, 300 pages
Where I got the book: Valor Publishing Group*

*my opinions were in no way affected by the receipt of this book

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tasty Tuesday Fear-faire Lavender Custard

This sweet dessert is punctuated with a mild lavender bitterness.  Spells by Aprilynne Pike is much the same:  a delight to read about the faerie world and it's loveliness, with the bittersweet taste of impossible love. 
Both of my parents are chefs and a few months ago my dad told me about a recipe for rosemary ice cream that he is recreating for his restaurant.  In Aprilynne's book, Laurel has the ability to affect the taste of food by sensing the natural elements of a dish and adding plants to bring out those natural flavors.  Adding herbs to ice cream reminds me of the scene when Laurel attempts to enhance her father's leftovers. 
This recipe can be made with any herb-lavender, rosemary, basil, mint.  I chose lavender because that is one of the many herbs Laurel uses in the book. 
Herbed ice cream goes great with fruit pies(apple, yum!).  I drizzled a bit of maple syrup on the top to sweeten mine. 
"Fear" in Gaelic translates to grass, or nature and "faire" to watching.  Put together, the word means sentinel, just like the constant watchmen who keep Laurel safe.  I don't think this ice cream has life-saving qualities, but the addition of nature to your dessert just might brighten your day. 

Fear-Faire Lavender Custard


2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup mild honey
1 tsp real vanilla
2 tablespoons dried edible lavender flowers(I used two stalks fresh leaves.  I bet it turns a pretty purple if you use the flowers)
4 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt

Bring cream, half-and-half, honey, and lavender just to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, then remove pan from heat.  Add vanilla.  Let steep, covered, 30 minutes.
Pour cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard lavender. Return mixture to cleaned saucepan and heat over moderate heat until hot.

Whisk together eggs and salt in a large bowl, then add 1 cup hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking. Pour into remaining hot cream mixture in saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat back of spoon and registers 170 to 175°F on thermometer, about 5 minutes (do not let boil).

Cool completely, stirring occasionally. Chill, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours.

Freeze custard in an ice cream maker. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.

Custard will last in the freezer for 1 week. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

50 Followers Giveaway!

I can't beleive that 50 of you out there are willing to listen to what I have to say.  In honor of your goodwill, I am hosting my very first giveaway!  One lucky follower will get a copy of Aprilynne Pikes' new book Spells(read my review) before it comes out on May 4th!  (I hate it when people use too many exclamation marks!!) 

Giveaway Rules:

Required:
1 point-Follow me using the nifty google follow button in the right hand column.

Extra Points:
1 point-Follow me on twitter @dearestdreams
1 point per day-Tweet about the giveaway(only one tweet per day will count)
2 points-blog about the contest
2 points-post the contest on facebook
5 points-find a recipe that complements Wings, the first book in this series(see my Tasty Tuesday links for inspiration).  Be creative and let me know why your recipe belongs with the book. 

Comment below, telling me how many points you earned and giving me links to any postings/tweeting. 
This contest will only go until 10 pm Thursday, April 29th so that I can mail the winner a copy of the book before its release date.  Winners will be selected using random.org

Thanks again and good luck!

Spells by Aprilynne Pike

When I close a book, I can tell if it delivered or not by the level of satisfaction I feel as a reader. Let’s just say that a contented sigh escaped my lips this morning as I shut Aprilynne Pikes’ new book Spells. I attended a conference last weekend where Aprilynne presented (great advice and content, read about it here) and counted myself lucky to pick up a copy of Spells before it comes out next Tuesday.


Food to eat while reading: Fear-faire Lavender Custard

What I liked:

I love paranormal fiction and Spells is my kind of book. Wings, the first in the series was entertaining and creative. I fell in love with the characters and the story. I only had two problems with Wings: one, I just couldn’t bring myself to love Tamani, the fae love interest; and two, there just wasn’t enough of Laurel’s fantastic world to satisfy me. I am happy to say that Aprilynne delivered both in the sequel Spells.

In Spells, we are immersed in Tamani and his world right away. I loved getting to know his family and background. The love triangle between Laurel, David (her human love), and Tamani(her fae love) suddenly took on the angsty yearning that I love in a romance. Who should Laurel chose? Should she stay with David in the human world and follow what she wants out of life? Or should she go with Tamani to Avalon and fulfill her destiny as a faerie? What a delicious choice.

I absolutely loved going with Laurel to Avalon as she learns about the faerie world and starts her training. This section does get a bit Harry Potterish, but it did not bother me a bit. The descriptions are breathtaking and Avalon soars instantly to my top literary places I would love to visit. Laurel’s training in plants and their uses, the faerie societal customs and the creative ways they live quenched the thirst I had for Laurel’s new world. I loved how she can use her skills to enhance food. Just wait until you hear the “real” story behind Shakespeare.

In Wings, Laurel’s parents seemed to be written in as an afterthought, uncaring and irresponsible. Spells slowly draws her parents into the story, giving Laurel a safety net to fall back on. The sense of family and loyalty adds a needed dimension to the already solid story.

Can I just say that I love the cover and the symbolism that speaks to me after reading the book?

What I would change:

Because I have a terrible memory, and I read Wings a few months ago, I had a hard time remembering the story and getting into Laurel’s world again. Although I was not totally lost(and other people will probably remember), it would have been helpful to have more early reminders of what had happened in Wings.

Although I enjoyed Laurel’s time training in Avalon, the pacing slowed way down for me. Though it was not a huge problem, others who have a hard time staying with a book might not persevere through the slower part. I do have to say that the time with Tamani and Avalon was necessary for me to build that reader relationship with him as a love interest. So I am probably just nitpicking.

I had a hard time with the further explanation of the sexual vs. reproduction practices of the faerie. Without spoiling anything for readers, I’ll just say that I think the explanation promotes promiscuity. I realize that in setting up the faerie world that way, the author is ratcheting up the yearning a bit. But the fact that Tamani and Laurel don’t react to the practices--positively or negatively--leaves impressionable readers open to loose morals. Hopefully this issue will be resolved in Enchantments, the third book in the series.

The verdict:

Spells is a must read for young adults, especially those who love romance with fantasy tossed in. The second book in this series is satisfying and will make you clamor for more.

I gave this book 4/5 stars.


Purchase: Spells

Genre: fantasy, YA

Publisher: May 4th 2010 by Harper Teen (first published 2010)

Hardcover, 368 pages

Where I got the book: LDSStorymakers Conference bookstore

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Writing is Work, Even When it's Paranormal Romance.

My husband and I just got back from the LDSStorymakers Conference.  The cool thing about writing conferences, is that when I come home, I am all jazzed up to write hard and get published.  Writing can be a lonely thing, and with no one but myself to monitor deadlines and keep me on task, it can get pushed down to the bottom of my priority list. 

I bought way too many books at the conference bookstore.  I stacked them all up and told my husband that there is nothing better in the world than a delicious stack of books, waiting for me to read them!  So you will be seeing a few of these titles showing up for reviews in the coming months:

Of all the classes I attended, my two favorites were the ones taught by Aprilynne Pike, author of Wings and Spells, and Bree Despain, author of The Dark Divine.  Both women write in the same genre that I do, and I found them inspiring and down to earth at the same time. 

Bree talked about what's hot in YA right now, and what is over used.  She had not been a fantasy fan when she began her book, but eventually found that she could use the paranormal as a metaphor for themes in her book that were hard to express.  Bree said that successful paranormal is all about the yearning of the characters.  She blended paranormal fantasy and religous themes in her book, something that I aspire to in my own writing.  And, if I didn't learn anything else at the conference, I learned that my own story falls into the paranormal fantasy genre.  It seems obvious now, but I honestly didn't know where my character fit in. 

Aprilynne asked us frankly who we are writing for: ourselves, a niche market, or a national market? She said that all the markets are different, with different approaches.  She said, "Keeping an audience in mind while you write is just as valuable as keeping grammar in mind when you write."  When Aprilynne began seriously writing, she decided that she wanted to become a NYTimes bestselling author.  And what do you know?  She is one!  Way to go Aprilynne.  She told us that writing is work, even when it's fun.  When it stops being fun, that's when you know your work is getting good.   In regards to what a writer should do next, Aprilynne said that will depend on where you want to end up. 

I learned so much at the conference, and met so many new people!  I am so excited to get to know all of you! 

So what did you learn at the conference?  Did you love it as much as I did?  Have any nuggets of wisdom to share?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shareable Grilled Cheese with Red Ripe Strawberry Jam

This is grilled cheese at its finest!  You may be one of those who recoil at the thought of fruit on your cheese sandwich.  All I can say is don't knock it 'till you try it!  Shelly, one of my best friends from high school taught me to spread strawberry jam on my grilled cheese sandwiches and it's become a lunchtime treat. 

Grill up one of these sandwiches, grab your favorite little person and snuggle on the couch to read The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, by Audrey and Don Wood.  Make sure you eat your sandwich before the bear gets it-"Ohhh how that Bear loves red, ripe strawberries"!

Shareable Grilled Cheese with Red Ripe Strawberry Jam

Spread two slices of wheat bread with a generous amount of soft butter.  Layer cheese in between the slices of bread (I used shredded cheddar cheese and sliced gouda-yummy!).  Grill the sandwich(butter sides out) over medium heat until toasty brown.  Make sure you accidentally spill some of the cheese over and let it form a salty crust on the outside of the sandwich.  Immediately spread 2 tablespoons of strawberry jam on top of the sandwich.  Cut the sandwich in two.  Share half with me.  And we'll both eat it all up.  YUM!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, by Audrey and Don Wood

"Ohhh, how that Bear loves red, ripe strawberries!"

The little mouse will do anything to save his strawberry from the big, hungry bear.  The bear holds all the cards, but who is playing the fox's role? 

This is one of my top ten favorite picture books of all time.  There are those who say that picture book authors have it easy.  After all, they say, anyone can write a few lines for kids.  Not so.  This picture book is carefully thought out, its rhythm, tone and devices laboriously tweeked.    Audrey and Don Wood are master word-crafters and their brilliance shines in this simply profound picture book. 

Each two-page spread shows off colorful illustrations and simple text.  The words and pictures complement each other--the text suggests actions that the illustrations show. 

This picture book is a pleasure to read, especially out loud.  The words are carefully orchestrated and the story flows off of my tongue.  Even though my children have heard the story countless times, they still open their eyes wide when the bear "boom, boom, boom"s and we salivate when we "eat it all up.  Yum."

Audrey and Don Wood continue to write books that combine the relatable every day objects in a child's world, with the imagination of what could happen.  If you haven't added this picture book to your collection, get ahold of it right away!

I gave this book 5/5 stars.

Purchase: The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear (Child's Play Library)
Genre: childrens, picture book
Publisher: January 28th 1997 by Masters Press (first published 1984)
Hardcover, 32 pages
Where I got the book: My copy is well-loved. I own it but I don't remember where I purchased it.
Food to eat while reading: Shareable Grilled Cheese with Red Ripe Strawberry Jam

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jennifer at Crazy For Books has a great thing going on. Check out Her Book Blogger Hop is a great way to network with other book bloggers. Sign up on her McLinky list and don't forget to check out at least a few of the blogs that are listed there. Please let me know if you found me through the Blog Hop!




Don't forget to sign yourself up for this weeks Tasty Tuesday, another fun way to network and get cool recipes at the same time.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tasty Tuesday-Fairy Touched Calico Brownies

Leave all of the ingredients on your counter tonight and perhaps a Brownie from Fablehaven (by Brandon Mull) will whip up this decadent treat for you by morning. 

Thanks to my oldest son, who after finishing the book, gave me the idea for brownies as a companion to Fablehaven.

BROWNIES
1/2 cup butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

MINT FROSTING
1/4 cup softened butter
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Green food coloring

CHOCOLATE TOPPING
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 T butter

Instructions

Heat the oven to 350ยบ and grease a 9-inch square baking pan. For the brownies, place the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir, and microwave for 1 minute more. Stir until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs. Stir in the chocolate and the vanilla extract. Finally, stir in the flour and salt until thoroughly combined. Pour into the prepared pan, then bake for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for at least 1 hour.

To make the mint frosting, cream the butter and confectioners' sugar. Add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until it is smooth and spreadable. Beat in the peppermint extract and tint to the desired shade with green food coloring. Frost the cooled brownies, cover, and chill for 1 hour.

To make the chocolate topping, pour the chips into a microwave-safe bowl, add the butter, and microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes or until the chocolate melts. Stir until smooth. Pour the chocolate over the brownies and smooth it with a knife. Refrigerate for 45 minutes or until the coating hardens.

 Makes 16 to 32 brownies.

Recipe from Family Fun Magazine

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tasty Tuesday-Week of April 13th-19th

Welcome to Tasty Tuesday. You, the book reviewer, get to "cook" up some creativity to go along with your recent book review. This is a great way to meet fellow bloggers, network and get great recipes too. I'm always surprised how creative people can be. Thanks to Enbrethiliel over at ShreddedCheddar for giving me a push to start this and for creating the badge! Here's how it works:

•Grab your latest book review (or current read) and come up with a great recipe that has something to do with the characters, setting, items, etc in that book. For examples, see any of my Tasty Tuesday posts.

•You can post your recipe and book on your blog if you want to, or just leave a creative idea in the comments below(you can make the recipe and post a pic too, but not required). Feel free to grab the above badge and put it on your post(just right click and save the badge).

•Add yourself to the McLinky. Please try to visit at least a few other blogs that are listed.

•Use the following format to add yourself to the McLinky: Blog title(Book and author)recipe
◦example- Dearest Dreams(Shiver by Maggie Steivfater)Frozen Hot Chocolate

If you start following someone on Tasty Tuesday, let them know in the comments. Happy cooking!

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

Brandon Mull has created a fantastic world so vivid and plausible that part of me believes that I might stumble across it in the woods. Now if I can just get him to tell me where the magical sanctuary is located…


“It’s a lucky book that can hold this kind of story.” –Obert Skye, author of Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo. Well said and I echo this recommendation. Where else can a reader find barn-sized bovine, golems made of dirt and chickens that turn out to be your grandma?

What I liked:

Traditional creatures of mythology are given fresh life and sometimes a little twist in this fairy tale. For instance, helpful Brownies who repair broken furniture will also whip you up a tasty treat if left the proper ingredients (brownies anyone?).

Reading the story is effortless; the prose is intelligent and flows naturally, creating pictures in my mind. The gazebo dotted park, the playroom in the attic, and the witch’s ivy house come to life with all the clarity of a full-length movie (can’t wait to see Fablehaven on the big screen!).

Kendra is obedient and cautious, and her brother Seth is curious and generally disregards rules. It interests me that both of them get into trouble as a result of their obedience/disobedience.

The interaction between the siblings is realistic and entertaining:

“While Seth was swimming underwater, Kendra picked up the mirror. When Seth surfaced, she made sure the bright splotch of sunlight covered his face.

‘Cut it out,’ Seth called.

‘You don’t like that?’

‘Quit it’…

‘I bet it already did permanent damage to your retinas.’

‘I hope so, then I’ll sue you for a billion dollars.’

‘Good luck. I have about a hundred in the bank. It might be enough for you to buy some eye patches’”(page 22).

There are some intense moments in the book, scary enough to want to snuggle under the covers, but not gruesome or gory. I have to admit I was a bit creeped out by the freaky wooden puppet and the specter who pretended to be a crying baby outside the playroom window.

All of the elements of fantasy are here: fairies and demons, adventure and peril, magic and restrictions, evil and good.

What I would change:

I have no suggestions. To me, Fablehaven is the perfect middle grade fantasy novel.

I love that families can read this book together. Small children will be captivated by the story and adults will enjoy the rich fantasy world.

Fablehaven is on my all-time top ten list. It’s just the type of book I wish I had thought to write!

I gave this book 5/5 stars.


Purchase: Fablehaven (Boxed Set): Fablehaven; Rise of the Evening Star; Grip of the Shadow Plague
Genre: fantasy, middle-grade
Publisher: June 14th 2006 by Shadow Mountain
Hardcover, 356 pages
Where I got the book: Barnes and Noble store
Food to eat while reading: Fairy Touched Calico Brownies

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tasty Tuesday-Week of April 6-12th

Welcome to Tasty Tuesday.  You, the book reviewer, get to "cook" up some creativity to go along with your recent book review. This is a great way to meet fellow bloggers, network and get great recipes too. I'm always surprised how creative people can be. Thanks to Enbrethiliel over at ShreddedCheddar for giving me a push to start this and for creating the badge! Here's how it works:


•Grab your latest book review (or current read) and come up with a great recipe that has something to do with the characters, setting, items, etc in that book. For examples, see any of my Tasty Tuesday posts.

•You can post your recipe and book on your blog if you want to, or just leave a creative idea in the comments below(you can make the recipe and post a pic too, but not required). Feel free to grab the above badge and put it on your post(just right click and save the badge).

•Add yourself to the McLinky. Please try to visit at least a few other blogs that are listed.

•Use the following format to add yourself to the McLinky: Blog title(Book and author)recipe

◦example- Dearest Dreams(Shiver by Maggie Steivfater)Frozen Hot Chocolate

If you start following someone on Tasty Tuesday, let them know in the comments. Happy cooking!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tasty Tuesday-Staff of Life Bread

I wish you could scratch and sniff these photographs!  The smell of this wheat bread baking in my house was simply heaven.  Many times I have attempted to make my grandmother's wheat bread and instead ended up with heavy bricks.  This time I substituted half of the wheat flour with white flour and added more gluten.  The result was a light and fluffy loaf of bread that still boasted great nutrition and taste!  See for yourself. 














Viktor Frankl's book,  Man's Search for Meaning affects me profoundly.  Because of the subject matter and the simple truths the book contains, I wanted to relate it to something serious and down to earth.  No fluffy cakes with decadent icing for this book, please.  Earthy wheat, the staff of life feels perfectly suited to the book. 













My grandmother always says that when you bake bread, you should give a loaf away to someone in need.  That fits the spirit of the book nicely.  Thanks, Granny Goose!

Staff of Life Bread

2 cups of wheat flour(I used a blend of wheat, and beans labeled Ezekial mix.  I am sure that you could use all white flour and make a white bread with this recipe)
2 cups of white flour
2 cups of hot water

Mix 10 seconds

3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 T yeast
2 T honey(my hubby says I should use more, like 1/2 cup)

Mix 10 seconds

3/4 cup gluten flour
2 T salt
1 c. flour (half white, half wheat) until dough doesn't stick to bowl

Mix for 10 minutes.  Put into 5 loaf pans.  Rise 1 hour.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances…it is this spiritual freedom—which cannot be taken away—that makes life meaningful and purposeful. “


Man's Search for Meaning is one of my all-time top ten reads. Few books have influenced me as deeply and caused me to reflect as much as this book.

Viktor Frankl was a survivor of four different concentration camps, including Auschwitz. While he labored to preserve his own life, his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished in the camps.

While Viktor struggled in the camps, he observed the nature of the prisoners and how the prisoners reacted to extreme depravity and loss of identity. Because of his unique background in psychoanalysis, Viktor was able to deduce conclusions about the nature of mankind.

What I liked:

Here are some thoughts and quotes that I highlighted in the book:

• He found that the worst part of being physically beaten was the “mental agony caused by the injustice”.

• When the majority of the prisoners were allowed to work near to each other and were not closely watched, they would discuss food in detail.

• The sexual urge was generally absent, probably because of a lack of nourishment.

• “Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. “

• “Love goes very beyond the physical person of the beloved.”

• “As the inner life of the prisoner tended to become more intense, he also experienced the beauty of art and nature as never before. “

• “They were able to retreat from their terrible surroundings to a life of inner riches and spiritual freedom. “

• “The ‘size’ of human suffering is absolutely relative…it completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little.”

• “The camp inmate was frightened of making decisions and of taking any sort of initiative whatsoever.”

• “The consciousness of one’s inner value is anchored in higher, more spiritual things and cannot be shaken by camp life. But how many free men, let alone prisoners, possess it?”

• “A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being…or to an unfinished work will never be able to throw away his life.”

What I would have changed:

This book is autobiographical and as such, the content isn’t really open for debate. The book can be eye opening to those who are sensitive to information about the holocaust.

Although I read both sections I and II of the book, I found it hard to get through the second half. The first section is Viktor’s story and the second section tells of the science of “logotherapy”, from the Greek word logos ("meaning") which he created. Both sections are worth reading, but the second section is less like a story and more like a textbook.

I gave this book 5/5 stars.

Purchase: Man's Search for Meaning
Barnes and Noble

Genre: nonfiction, autobiography, history, philosophy, psychology

Publisher: June 14th 2006 by Beacon Press (first published 1946)

Mass Market Paperback, 165 pages

Where I got the book: Barnes and Noble store

Food to eat while reading: Staff of Life Bread

Friday, April 2, 2010

It's time for Friday Blog Hop!

Jennifer at Crazy For Books has a great thing going on. Check out Her Book Blogger Hop is a great way to network with other book bloggers. Sign up on her McLinky list and don't forget to check out at least a few of the blogs that are listed there. Please let me know if you found me through the Blog Hop!

Don't forget to sign yourself up for this weeks Tasty Tuesday, another fun way to network and get cool recipes at the same time.