Monday, February 6, 2017


RebeccaRebecca by Daphne du Maurier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this book! I loved the suspense, the characters, the symbolism, the writing, everything! Besides some of the obvious themes of marriage and the female role, I also enjoyed the emphasis on time and how moments can go too fast, or too slow. How in a moment our lives can change with a proposal or a gunshot, how in a moment you can lose everything or gain it all back. We share moments with the ones we love, where we are the only two people in a crowded room, and there are moments better spent by ourselves drinking in all our surroundings and noticing everything. How all those moments can add up to create sense out of a puzzle, and we can finally see the truth. Will definitely read more du Maurier!

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When the leaves rustle, they sound very much like the stealthy movement of a woman in evening dress, and when they shiver suddenly, and fall, and scatter away along the ground, they might be the patter, patter, of a woman’s hurrying footstep, and the mark in the gravel the imprint of a high-heeled satin shoe.

I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say. They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little cowardices, little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word. Today, wrapped in the complacent armor of approaching middle age, the infinitesimal pricks of day by day brush one lightly and are soon forgotten, but then—how a careless word would linger, becoming a fiery stigma, and how a look, a glance over a shoulder, branded themselves as things eternal. A denial heralded the thrice crowing of a cock, and an insincerity was like the kiss of Judas. The adult mind can lie with untroubled conscience and a gay composure, but in those days even a small deception scoured the tongue, lashing one against the stake itself.

This has been ours, however brief the time. Though two nights only have been spent beneath a roof, yet we leave something of ourselves behind. Nothing material, not a hairpin on a dressing table, not an empty bottle of Aspirin tablets, not a handkerchief beneath a pillow, but something indefinable, a moment of our lives, a thought, a mood.

This has been ours, however brief the time. Though two nights only have been spent beneath a roof, yet we leave something of ourselves behind. Nothing material, not a hairpin on a dressing table, not an empty bottle of Aspirin tablets, not a handkerchief beneath a pillow, but something indefinable, a moment of our lives, a thought, a mood.

wondered how many people there were in the world who suffered, and continued to suffer, because they could not break out from their own web of shyness and reserve, and in their blindness and folly built up a great distorted wall in front of them that hid the truth.

I wondered how it was I could be so happy when our little world about us was so black. It was a strange sort of happiness.

It was ours, inviolate, a fraction of time suspended between two seconds.

but tonight they seemed to take on a special significance, as though the memory of them would last forever and I would say, long after, in some other time, “I remember this moment.”

Never Mind

Never Mind (The Patrick Melrose Novels, #1)Never Mind by Edward St. Aubyn

This series was on a list of great writing. It is really good writing. But the characters were all so despicable, that I didn't care to spend any a more time with them. Except the 5 year old who has a drunk, distant mother and a sadistic bored father. Hevean only knows how screwed up he's going to get. And despite the writing, I didn't care to find out.

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Covenant Hearts

Covenant HeartsCovenant Hearts by Bruce C. Hafen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mostly doctrinal discourse on the importance of marriage and family. Hafen digs deep into the doctrine here, with statistics and some anecdotes. it was good to be reminded about the fundamentals of a good marriage, although he doesn't really go into practicalities, other than to remind us that our spouse should be our first and main priority. The last part of the book talked about how marriage was a critical to the community,which I hadn't thought about in those terms before. It is slightly outdated, and the anecdotes tended to be on the dramatic side....wished some of them could have been a little more relateable.

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Authority in the priesthood is given through ordination, but power in the priesthood is received through righteous living.” 6

these plots all represent variations on Freud’s family romance—the process whereby a young person comes to terms with parental authority, ventures out into the wider world, faces assorted tests and eventually achieves independence. Along the way, confusion is dispelled; alienation gives way to a new sense of wholeness and well-being,”

Yet marriage can mysteriously empower personal growth and fulness, so much so that the adversary helped hide marriage from priests, monks, and nuns during the darkness of the early Christian apostasy.

As the opportunities for women expand, it becomes harder to settle at being home

When the law upholds the individual’s right to end a marriage, regardless of social consequences (as happened with no-fault divorce), that principle can also seem to uphold the individual’s right to start a marriage, regardless of social consequences (as with same-gender marriage). That is how today’s national debate on gay marriage is conceptually linked to no-fault divorce.

The changes in recent decades have portrayed marriage as an individual adult choice, rather than as a crucial knot in the very fabric that holds society together. We have increasingly lost sight of how much every marriage, and every divorce, affects other people—especially children.

Nobody really wants to be lonely, but the lifestyles associated with today’s frenzied search for “individual freedom” often lead, unsurprisingly, to loneliness.

optimism and pessimism are definitions of the world, [and often we create the kind of world we live in because] our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.”

As the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore wrote, “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”

life story of Adam and Eve is the story of receiving the Atonement.

agree with Sister Marjorie Hinckley. Someone asked her the secret of her happy marriage, and she said, “I lowered my expectations.”
Because of its “unlimited ethical motivation,” the “sacrifice” of the covenant partner is “regarded not as a ... personal loss ... , but as a privilege freely and gladly bestowed.”
It is possible that Hosea was able to comprehend Jehovah’s capacity to forgive, not just to judge, because Hosea learned to replace harsh judgment with forgiving compassion toward his own wife. The merciful are the only ones who can obtain mercy.
The woman’s innate spiritual instincts are like a moral magnet, pointing toward spiritual north, except when its magnetic particles are unnaturally traumatized. In addition to his own spiritual instincts, the man’s presiding gift is the holy priesthood, except when he is not living the principles of righteousness. And their “counseling” is reciprocal: If he is wise, he will listen to the promptings of her inner spiritual compass, just as she hearkens to his righteous counsel.
Alma describes justice as masculine and mercy as feminine: “Justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved” (Alma 42: 24; italics added). This does not mean that women are not just nor that men are not merciful. But in the masculine sense of justice and the feminine sense of mercy, we see interdependent principles that are reconciled by the higher unifying power of the Atonement. Here is perhaps a type of the way a husband and wife are unified by the combined male and female elements of a higher divine nature.

The Nest

The NestThe Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars The characters in The Nest have all built their lives around expectations. Expectations of finally getting that trust fund money, of becoming that predicted best-seller, of winning the love of a boyfriend, of fulfilling parents dreams, of living up to society's judgements. We can all tell that basing our financial decisions on future money is not wise, but Sweeney asks us to question what other ambiguous and ethereal "windfalls" we are basing our life on. Cutting the cords of expectations may seem wise, but as the characters learn to do this, some end up happier, others seem just more unmoored and alone (though, I think that is my opinion, and maybe not what the author had in mind). It is an interesting idea, and well written, but the novel didn't carry enough weight as a whole to make it 4 stars. ( it didn't meet my expectations?)

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 The things money could buy weren’t the reward; the reward was to feel lifted above everyone else, to get a look at the other side of the fence where the grass was rarely greener but always different and what he loved was the contrast—and the choice. The ability to take it in was what mattered; the ability to choose was what mattered.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Harold Fry, #1)The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars. I liked Harold and his journey to self-acceptance and self-forgiveness. Some parts got a little long, and the media circus part felt a little inorganic, but all in all it was a lovely book about how relationships require action, memories can be warped, and love can both trap us and set us free.

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 as if he wasn’t so much walking to Queenie as away from himself.

 It was the first time anyone had referred to his walk as a shared responsibility.

 Beginnings could happen more than once, or in different ways. You could think you were starting something afresh, when actually what you were doing was carrying on as before

 The waves kept throwing themselves further and further up the shoreline. All that energy, all that power, crossing oceans, carrying ships and liners, and ending just a short distance from her feet, in a last flume of spray.

I'm Judging You

I'm Judging You: The Do-Better ManualI'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, if I'm going to get "the side-eyes" from someone, I'd pick Luuvie. With a sense of humor that is actually funny, and doesn't dip in to crassness often, Luuvie explains how we can "do better" as Americans. She warms us up with humor, than gets to the meatier issues of race and sex. She judges us, but with compassion and openness as well, so I could take her views and not feel defensive if we happened to disagree; it helped me empathize more with her point of view than if she had been acerbic and abrasive. She ends with some sort of irrelevant essays about fame and social media that most of us don't have to deal with, but overall a very good collection of essays.

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All I got was that wilted kale salad that tasted like the tears of my disappointed ancestors

 Coke Zero version of yourself.

 Knowing our privilege does not make us villains, but it should make us more conscious about the parts we play in systems that are greater than us.

 the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”

The Clay Lion

The Clay LionThe Clay Lion by Amalie Jahn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a surprisingly enjoyable read. It explored grieving in a new and fascinating way with Brooke going back in time three times to try and save her brother. The writing was a little immature, but the plot was well-developed and interesting, despite living the same time period three times. An uplifting, thought-provoking book. I would definitely recommend it to YA....has more meat than the usual YA tropes.

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