Wednesday, February 23, 2011

March Book Club Selection

Our January Meeting for the help had 4 attendees and we had great conversation! It was so intersting to hear perspectives from women at the meeting who lived in the 60's. Everyone seemed to enjoy The Help and look forward to the movie coming out later this fall.

Our March selection will be Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza. This book is Inspirational non-fiction. It is 215 pages with pictures inside to help you see and understand about her family. Here is a description from the back of the book:

Immaculee Ilibagiza grew up in a country she loved, surrounded by a family she cherished. But in 1994 her idyllic world was ripped apart as Rwanda descended into a bloody genocide. Her family was brutally murdered during a killing spree that lasted three months and claimed the lives of nearly a million Rwandans. Miraculously, Immaculee survived the slaughter. For 91 days, she and seven other women huddled silently together in the cramped bathroom of a local pastor's home while hundreds of machete-wielding killers hunted for them. It was during those endless hours of unspeakable terror that Immaculee discovered the power of prayer, eventually shedding her fear of death and forging a profound and lasting relationship with God. She emerged from her bathroom hideout having truly discovered the meaning of unconditional love-a love so strong that she was able to seek out and forgive her family's killers. The triumphant story of this remarkable woman's journey through the darkness of genocide will inspire anyone whose life has been touched by fear, suffering and loss. (end quote)

If interested you can check out other information about the book and author on her website here. There is also a really good 60 minutes interview on there. I really enjoyed reading about her story. This was one of those books that is really hard to put down and you feel like you have to keep reading constantly. But WARNING, this book contains content that describes tragedies associated with the Rwandan Holocaust which was a bloody and horrific genocide. I think you can compare this book to being similar to The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom to get a grasp on what kind of story we are about to read.

Kathy will let you know about a book order if needed for anyone. This book is available at local libraries. Our March meeting will be Saturday March 26th at 8:30am-10:00am in Swift's new building. Thanks so much for your participation!!! Remember I LOVE book suggestions and am here if you have any questions or need some other book ideas to read when you finish the monthly book. You can also check out the blog and see what other books I read and review as I try to find books for the club and for my own enjoyment.

*********Reminder the February Meeting for Practicing the presence of God is this upcoming Saturday the 26th at 8:30-10:00AM. Please RSVP. ***********

Happy Reading!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Led by Faith by Immaculee Ilibagiza

I finally finished up the 2nd book in the story of Immaculee Ilibagiza. I told you about the first book back here, called Left to Tell. Even though it took me forever to get through this book it wasn't because of the book itself. Really it was me and my inability to sit and read for so long and I had so many other things being thrown at me. Well when I did get to finishing it I really enjoyed it. She is such an amazing and inspiring woman. Her true story of surviving the Rwandan genocide gives God all the glory. Here is a description of the book from Amazon:

For three months in the spring of 1994, the African nation of Rwanda descended into one of the most vicious and bloody genocides the world has ever seen. Immaculée Ilibagiza, a young university student, miraculously survived the savage killing spree that left most of her family, friends, and a million of her fellow citizens dead. Immaculée’s remarkable story of survival was documented in her first book, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust.
In Led By Faith, Immaculée takes us with her as her remarkable journey continues. Through her simple and eloquent voice, we experience her hardships and heartache as she struggles to survive and to find meaning and purpose in the aftermath of the holocaust. It is the story of a naïve and vulnerable young woman, orphaned and alone, navigating through a bleak and dangerously hostile world with only an abiding faith in God to guide and protect her. Immaculée fends off sinister new predators, seeks out and comforts scores of children orphaned by the genocide, and searches for love and companionship in a land where hatred still flourishes. Then, fearing again for her safety as Rwanda’s war-crime trials begin, Immaculée flees to America to begin a new chapter of her life as a refugee and immigrant—a stranger in a strange land. With the same courage and faith in God that led her through the darkness of genocide, Immaculée discovers a new life that was beyond her wildest dreams as a small girl in a tiny village in one of Africa’s poorest countries. It is in the United States, her adopted country, where Immaculée can finally look back at all that has happened to her and truly understand why God spared her life . . . so that she would be left to tell her story to the world. (End quote)

This book is 275 pages long and has pictures of hers inside to show you who, where and what she is talking about in the book. I'm not sure if her first or second book would be better for the book club so I suppose we will go with the first one month and others can decide for themselves to continue reading or not. I would recommend this book with the warning that you are reading about a genocide so this book isn't all rainbows and butterflies. Stay tuned this year for our book club selection from Immaculee. Also check out her site here to see more information and an interview she did for 60 minutes. You will be inspired! Happy reading!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Plain Perfect by Beth Wiseman

This is a christian fiction book that I read after a good friend of mine picked it up as a gift for me. It's called Plain Perfect by Beth Wiseman and seems to be the beginning of a series. Here is what the author's site tells you about the book:

A search for peace in Amish country proves anything but simple for a woman on the run from life…and herself.On the rolling plains of Lancaster County, PA., Lillian Miller is searching for her grandparents’ house…and so much more. After years of neglect and abuse, she’s turning to a lifestyle of simplicity among the Amish to find herself.As she discards the distractions of her former life, she befriends the young boy working on her family’s farm and his attractive widowed father, Samuel Stoltzfus. Despite Lillian’s best efforts to the contrary, her feelings for Samuel–and his for her–deepen. Will Lillian find her faith in Plain living, or will she be forced to return to her former life? Content verified by Amish reader. (end quote)

This book is 320 pages and could be difficult to get into in the beginning. I had difficulty understanding the Amish words so I was frequently having to flip back and forth to find out what the words mean. Midways through the book this got easier as I got used to the words. It is a sad and sweet story about a family reconciled to each other and God. I enjoyed it but it will not be a book club pick. And I do not plan to read any more in this series. If the Amish theme interests you, I would recommend this one since we are told that the author tried to make sure she had her details accurate. Happy reading!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Help Meeting

A week ago we had our book club meeting for The Help. SO far I haven't come across anyone who didn't like it in our little group of readers. Everyone I talked to has enjoyed the book and looks forward to seeing what they do with the movie later this year. We had a great discussion about the times and what things really were like back in the 60's in the South. It was interesting as we had woman at the meeting who remembered that time period and lived in different parts of the country so they had a different perspective of the news. It was encouraging to find out from some that they felt the author stayed very true life for this period. It's always interesting to find out that one of our reader's had really lived life like what the author was describing. I don't know why but I am such a lover for older and wiser people's stories and life experiences.

Our group used the reading group guide found on the books website for some jumping off points of discussion. You can find it on the author's site here. One of the questions that the book definitely leaves you wondering about is the last one on the list, "What did you think about Minny's pie for Miss Hilly? Would you have gone as far as Minny did for revenge?" Our group discussed and wondered whether she actually did the "terrible awful" or did she just say she did which equally did the trick to Miss Hilly. I guess we will just wonder.

This is a book that I would read again and I recommend listening to it on CD as well. The actresses that perform the reading are great and at least one or two of them is in the movie as well. This was the author's first book and I hope she doesn't stop here. I personally would like to see more from Kathryn Stockett. Happy Reading!