Sunday, March 18, 2012

Books I've Read in March 2012

1) Perfect, by Ellen Hopkins
Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there.

Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never have understood.

Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect?

A riveting and startling companion to the bestselling Impulse, Ellen Hopkins's Perfect exposes the harsh truths about what it takes to grow up and grow into our own skins, our own selves.

2) Inheritance (Inheritance Cycle, Book 4), by Christopher Paolini

Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.

Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.

The Rider and his dragon have come further than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaƫsia? And if so, at what cost?

This is the much-anticipated, astonishing conclusion to the worldwide bestselling Inheritance cycle.

3)Alexandra:The Last Tsarina, by Carolly Erickson
Tsarina Alexandra-hauntingly beautiful, melancholy, obsessed with the occult-was blamed by her contemporaries for the downfall of the Romanovs. But her true nature has eluded previous biographers. Using archival material unavailable before the fall of the Soviet Union, acclaimed historian Carolly Erickson's masterful study brings to life the full dimensions of the Empress's singular psychology: her childhood bereavement, her long struggle to marry Nicholas, the anguish of her pathological shyness, and her increasing dependence on a series of occult mentors, the most notorious of whom was Rasputin. With meticulous care, Erickson has crafted an intimate and richly detailed portrait of an enigmatic historical figure. Unfolding against the turbulent backdrop of Russian history in the last decades before the Revolution of 1917, this engrossing biography draws the reader in to Alexandra's isolated, increasingly troubled interior world. In these pages, the tsarina ceases to be a remote historical figure and becomes a character who lives and breathes.

Intimate, rich in detail, carefully researched and informed by a generous imagination, Erickson's page-turning account of Alexandra and her times is a gem of biographical storytelling, as vivid and hard to put down as an enthralling novel.

4) Angel (A Maximum Ride Novel), by James Patterson
Max Ride and her best friends have always had one another's backs. No. Matter. What. Living on the edge as fugitives, they never had a choice. But now they're up against a deadly force that's racing across the globe, and just when they need him the most--Fang is gone. He's creating his own gang that will replace everyone--including Max.

Max is heartbroken over losing Fang, her soul mate. Her closest friend. But with Dylan ready and willing to fight by her side, and she can no longer deny that his incredible intensity draws her in. Max, Dylan, and the rest of their friends must soon join forces with Fang and his new gang for an explosive showdown in Paris that's unlike anything you've ever imagined . . . or read.

Goal for 2012: 60 Year to date: 12

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Letting It Out And Letting It Go

I've been thinking about forgiveness over the last several days, and decided that, for my own benefit, there are people I need to forgive, including myself. I'm not going to mention any names, I'm just going to forgive each of us for all the things that need to be let go, and leave it at that.

1) I forgive you for years of making me feel like I was never good enough. I forgive you for ignoring all the things I did and concentrating on the things I didn't do. I forgive you for trying to make me into who you thought I should be instead of who I really was.

2) I forgive you for letting other people's opinions matter more than your own. I forgive you for trying to make people love you, instead of expecting them to love you for who you were. I forgive you for trying so hard to get the attention you craved. I forgive you for all the mistakes you made in parenting.

3) I forgive you for taking me for granted. I forgive you for wanting a mother instead of a wife. I forgive you for not caring about my health issues. I forgive you for not being there for our children. I forgive you for putting your new wife and her children above our children in every way. I forgive you for blaming me when our children pulled away from you.

4) I forgive you for providing me with a poor example of what love was supposed to be like. I forgive you for making my self-esteem even lower than it already was, by making me feel like I didn't matter. I forgive you for turning your back on me and seeming to forget that I exist.

5) I forgive you for lying to me, for making me believe in "forever and beyond." I forgive you for building up my self-esteem, making me believe in myself, and then walking away without ever looking back, convincing me once again that I'd never be good enough for real love.

6) I forgive you for being angry at the world. I forgive you for the verbal, physical and emotional abuse you gave to our family. I forgive you for refusing to admit to your problem with alcohol. I forgive you for not being a more present, involved parent. I forgive you for not providing financially for our child. I forgive you for not taking better care of your health, and for leaving her life way too soon.

7) I forgive you for being so self-involved that you don't care how your behavior impacts anyone else in your life. I forgive you for needing so much attention that you have to create a fantasy story about your past, and sometimes your present, to get it. I forgive you for all the times you've broken hearts and trust in your family. I forgive you for being ungrateful and unappreciative of everything that has ever been given to you.
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