Tag Archives: My Sister’s Keeper

Deals of the Moment- March 2016


Every month amazon has a set of kindle monthly deals. Usually I tweet about the interesting deals and leave it at that, but a couple of months ago I decided to try sharing them more widely. There was nothing of interest last month but this month they have holiday offers too and there are a few interesting offers there

So I’m going to briefly talk about the books I’ve read which are on offer, and those that I have bought myself. Why I liked them/bought them, and what they are about. End links are to the amazon page, any other links are to my reviews.

Please note prices are correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.


The End of Your Life Book Club- Will Schwalbe

Thoughtful and a little sad memoir about the last month of Schwalbe’s mother’s life.

You can buy it…here (only £0.99)


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close- Jonathon Safran Foer

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has been on my wishlist since I read, and loved, Everything is Illuminated. Just goes to show how long things stay on my wishlist. Will almost definitely be buying this one. It’s about a kid who finds a key in his Father’s closet (his father was killed in the 9/11 attacks) and tries to find out what it is.

You can buy it…here (only £1.99)


Chocolat- Joanne Harris

Chocolat was the first Joanne Harris book I read, and still the best. About a woman who opens a chocolate shop in a French village during lent. It’s a little bit magical, and draws a great picture of the town, and also the chocolate!

You can buy it…here (only £1.99)

 


Thirteen Reasons Why- Jay Asher

This is another one which has been on my wishlist for a long time, I think after reading a review on another blog. It’s about 13 reasons why a teenager committed suicide. Not sure I’m up for it at the moment, but may buy it for the future.

You can buy it…here (only £1.99)


Nineteen Minutes- Jodi Picoult
I love Jodi Picoult and I’ve read all her solo novels. Nineteen Minutes is about a school shooting. The shooter and an important witness, who doesn’t seem to be able to remember some key information.

You can buy it…here (only £0.99)



Love Anthony- Lisa Genova

This is another one I’m seriously considering. After really liking Still Alice and enjoying Left Neglected. I like Genova’s blend of informative medical information and human emotion. This one is about a mother who looses her autistic son.

You can buy it…here (only £0.99)


Plain Truth- Jodi Picoult

Another Picoult. This one about an Amish woman accused of the murder of her new born, and illegitimate baby.

You can buy it…here (only £1.99)


The Mother Tongue- Bill Bryson

Another I’m very tempted by. I’ve been meaning to read more Bryson, and I like books about language so this one about the English language seems ideal.

You can buy it…here (only £1.99)


My Sister’s Keeper- Jodi Picoult

Yeah, another one. This is one of my favourites. About a girl, who, after a lifetime donating for her sister with cancer, decides to say no.

Buy it …here (only £1.49)

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Great Literary Women


I thought it would be good to make a post for International Woman’s Day (which, if it has managed to pass you by, is today) So I thought I would make a post about great women in literature. I would love to hear your own thoughts on this, who else would you include? Who wouldn’t you include?

In no particular order

1) Lyra Belacqua/Lyra Silvertongue (His Dark Materials- Phillip Pullman): Lyra’s quest in the first of the Northern Lights starts as a quest to save her friend, but as Lyra grows it becomes a fight for her beliefs and what is right.

2) Ana Fitzgerald (My Sister’s Keeper– Jodi Picoult): Ana is great because he stands up to her parents, a very difficult thing to do for a young girl, because she believes she is right. (Highlight for spoiler)Ultimately she does this not for selfish reasons but because her sister asked her to, which makes me respect her all the more

3) Ma (Room– Emma Donoghue): Ma is strong because she goes through so much but still manages to bring Jack up well despite being away from civilisation, and because she fights to get Jack out of Room

4) Thursday Next (The Thursday Next Series- Jasper Fforde): I find Thursday Next especially strong in Something Rotten, not only is she fighting the criminals, but she’s also fighting the establishment, the corporation, fighting to have her husband re-actualised and being a single parent!

5) Minny (The Help- Kathryn Stockett) Minny doesn’t take rubbish from anyone, even though she may be better off fearing. She holds together her family and is a great friend. When she is loyal she stays loyal but you certainly don’t want to get on the wrong side of her!

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Banned Book Week


Book burning

Image via Wikipedia

I thought that seeing as it’s banned books week a musing about banned books would be appropriate (and, well, I haven’t updated in the last week, so it’s about time).  Now I’m sure everyone would be talking about the top 10 most banned books…and I will too but when looking around I also came across a list of less obvious banned books, the ones you wouldn’t guess I suppose.

I wanted to start, though with my general opinion on banning books, before I go into more specifics. I am totally against banning books. I can admit that a parent may not think a book is suitable for heir child, and sure if that’s the case don’t let your kid read it.Just don’t prevent others from reading it. Every child is different and what some kids can’t cope with might be standard reading material for another kid. Yes, some issues are difficult to read about, but isn’t it better to be exposed to them through a safe medium of reading rather than in real life. I have heard of Junk by Malven Bragg being banned before. I can understand why, there are some uncomfortable scenes of drug taking, prostitution and it’s consequences, but, and this is important, it doesn’t glamourise drug use. It shows the real effects. I doubt very much anyone has decided to try drugs as a consequence of reading Junk, if anything the opposite is probably true. Possibly this can’t go for all books but it all goes towards knowledge, and I would rather my teenager (if I had one!) was reading about certain things than doing them, just like I was as a teenager. Really it has a lot to do with how the reader can review what they read. How they can criticise it and not believe all they read. If they can make the decision for themselves it’s much better, and truer than being told.

Anyway onto the ‘traditional’ list. This one is taken from The American Library Association and show the top 10 banned books of 2009.

1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: drugs, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
2. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: homosexuality
3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: anti-family, drugs, homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited to age group
4. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Reasons: offensive language, racism, unsuited to age group
5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
6. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
7. My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
9. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
10. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Reasons: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

I can only really talk about what I’ve read. So lets start from the bottom (just to mix things up a bit!). I read The Chocolate War a few years ago, and can barely remember it. This is the sort of banned book I love to laugh at because it teaches good stuff. I mean yeah, it may have offensive language and some sexual content (neither of which particularly stick with me, in fact I can’t even remember any sexual scenes) but it anti-bullying and pro free-choice. Maybe what people don’t like is the free-choice element…I mean if their kids can’t choose what books to read surely they aren’t able to competently choose how to lead their lives!

The Color Purple. I do actually remember sexually explicit bits in this one. However again it’s all about the message, this time an anti-racism one.

My Sister’s Keeper well where do I start. I love this book. Ok fist things first can someone point out the homosexual content in this book? I can’t remember any homosexual content. Even if it is there that’s the most homophobic pile of crap I have heard of. I can understand not wanting your kids to read about sex, or violence or drugs, but why is reading about a character who is homosexual any worse than reading about a person who is straight. Do people think it’s going to turn their children gay?! Or is it just that they don’t want their children to have a balanced view of people? They want them to grow up with the same stereotypes they have? It totally doesn’t fit with books being banned for being racist either- obviously being discriminatory of homosexuals is nothing like the same thing. Oh it makes me mad! I also see no sexism- and oh it’s just the same thing again of complaining of racism with one hand and being homophobic with the other. There is sexual content and violence but both are very mild as I remember.

Twilight I hate this book it should be banned so nobody has to suffer. Lol only joking. I wouldn’t call it sexually explicit…maybe the later ones (I haven’t read Breaking Dawn) are a bit suggestive but really isn’t it meant to be all virginity and purity and waiting till you’re married?

To Kill a Mockingbird. To call this book racist is stupid. It’s anti-racism. it shows racism but it also shows that it shouldn’t be that way. People are stupid.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Yeah I get this, the drugs, the sex, I can understand parents not wanting their kids to read it. Still it’s a fantastic book.

I have read Catcher in the Rye too, but it was quite a long time ago and hasn’t stuck with me.

My unusual banned books list comes from yahoo news:

“Captain Underpants”

Some folks had their underwear in a bunch over this children’s book series by Dav Pilkey. The “Captain Underpants” series — about two fourth-graders and their superhero of a principal — was one of the top 10 most frequently banned and challenged books for 20022004 and 2005. The books were said to contain offensive language, to be sexually explicit and to be anti-family.

“The Lord of the Rings”

J.R.R Tolkien’s book was burned, not in the fires of Mount Doom, but outside of a church in Alamogordo, N.M., in 2001 because it was viewed as “Satanic.”

Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary

When it comes to banning books, even the dictionary gets no respect. The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary was pulled from the shelf of a school in Menifee, Calif. The offending term in the dictionary? “Oral sex.” The entry references of the dictionary also included cunnilingus and fellatio, which were not cited as the reasons for pulling the dictionary off the shelf. Merriam-Webster has been publishing language reference books for more than 150 years. They were bound to offend someone along the way.

“Fahrenheit 451”

Could a book about censorship really be banned? Absolutely. Enter “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury. The book has been banned by the Mississippi School District (1999). It’s also No. 69 on the American Library Association’s list of top banned/challenged books from 2000 to 2009.

Harry Potter series

One of the most surprising banned books sits at the No. 1 spot on the ALA list. It’s not even a book. It’s the entire Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter series is to teens what “Star Wars” was to an entire generation of now-40-somethings. The series has been challenged for occultism, Satanism, violence, being anti-family and having religious viewpoint. The series is No. 1 on the ALA’s most challenged book list for 2000 to 2009.

“The Grapes of Wrath”

John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” is not just another classic on the list. The book was originally banned in California due to obscenity, but the catalyst behind the banning was based more in embarrassment: The people in the region did not like how their area and the workers’ situation was portrayed in the novel.

“Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”

Most parents of kids under 5 have seen Eric Carle’s art accompanying the book by Bill Martin. The Texas Board of Education banned the book, in January 2010, because it thought the book was written by the same Bill Martin who penned the nonchildren’s book “Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation.”

“James and the Giant Peach”

Author Roald Dahl is no stranger to being banned. His book “The Witches” is on the ALA’s 100 most frequently challenged books for 1990 to 1999 for its depictions of women and witches. But what about James and his peach? Was there witchcraft at work? James was disobedient and there was violence in the book.

American Heritage Dictionary (1969)

The American Heritage Dictionary of 1969 was also banned in 1978 from a library in Eldon, Mo., because of 39 objectionable words. The dictionary continued to cause trouble as far away as Alaska, where it was banned by the Anchorage School Board in 1987 for its inclusion of slang words, including “balls.”

Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Fairy tales have always held a precarious place in children’s literature. On one side, readers have fairy-tale purists who lament the morals lost in fairy tales that have been too cleaned up. Others object to any violence in fairy tales. A couple of California school districts found a whole new reason to ban Grimm’s Fairy Tales in1989: misuse of alcohol. Little Red Riding Hood’s basket for her grandmother includes wine. Maybe it wasn’t a California red.

I’ve only read 2 of these but thought the list was interesting anyway. James and the Giant Peach I read so long ago but most of the complaints on that can be ascribed to most Dahl books, books which thousands of kids have enjoyed without any ill effects. In fact in ways Dahl is very moral. He hates spoilt, cheeky, rude, bratty kids. The good kid always wins out. Look at Matilda, Charlie, and James himself. Yes he was disobedient but only towards adults who deserved it (and he didn’t try to poison his aunts like George did to his Grandma!).
And Harry Potter. Well what can I say. As a giant fan of Harry Potter I’ve always been incensed by the anti-Harry ‘parade’. I’ve visited a few anti-Harry websites, finding most have no real foot to stand on seeing as they don’t seem to have actually read the book. Some even quote The Onion as a serious reliable source! Whether they’ve read the book or not though, Harry Potter, yes, is a wizard, but he’s far from evil for it. In fact the book’s key theme is the power of love- a power that is greater than any magic. It’s about friendship, about the battle of good against evil- you could even draw parallels with The Bible. It’s far from a book which inspires hate and dark magic.
I could go on but I think this post is long enough already…and soon it will be turning into a real rant. I suppose we can rest in the hope that events like Banned Book week give, and at least be content that book burnings are rare- because I couldn’t even be happy about the worst of books being burnt.

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My Sister’s Keeper- Film of the book.


(I feel the trailer is a little spoilerish but not too badly, and, well, it’s the official trailer)

I love the book of My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult is an author I enjoy and My Sister’s Keeper is the first one of hers I read, and still one of my favourites (my favourite if you’re wondering is Handle with Care). So I was a bit…cautious… about the film. I tend not to like films of books, I hate it when they change things or leave stuff out, and I find it hard to take them as films in their own right.

This one was actually pretty good as far as films go. I liked the characters (in fact I probably liked Sara and Kate more than I had in the book). It was a little more emotional than the book, but sometimes that seemed forced. I haven’t cried for the book but I got a little teary over the film. I liked the way they portrayed the relationship between Kate and Anna. I thought the different voices which make up the book were done quite well, but was disappointed about how little we got from Campell Alexander and Jesse. There were a few changes I didn’t like. I didn’t like how much they cut of Campell, or that they left certain bits to do with him in which seemed kind of random (highlight for spoiler)him having the epileptic fit just seemed pointless without having the rest of his story, except for saying that was why he took Anna’s case, but it seemed more convenient for that than it had in the book. I didn’t like they way they changed Jesse either, they keep all the good kid bits of him and lost the rest (spoiler) I was kind of anticipating the arson, and that added something to the original story. I was disappointed it was gone, plus I prefered Jesse when he had more of a bad boy image, theere was more too him. I guess this is because the film was more about Kate, whereas the book is more about Anna, and about the whole family really. In a sense the film was kind of one-demensional in that way, but if they’d had all in interweaving storylines it would have been a very long film.

Unfortunately there is no review of the book My Sister’s Keeper on my blog, I read it before I started blogging. My review of Handle with Care was written on BCF but there is a copy in my review of the year 2009 here

You can also read my reviews of Picture Perfect and Songs of the Humpback Whale both by Jodi Picoult

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