The Book Thief – To Be Read pile – 50BookPledge

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak

Unfortunately this book came up at a time when I was stretched thin and unable to remain focused. This was a book club read, but I was unable to finish it in time for our monthly meeting, and I didn’t want spoilers as I was really enjoying this read. So I missed out on food, wine and chit chat for June.


It’s such a great read, which I picked up intending to read with my children soon. The appeal for me is in the portrayal of life during the Holocaust from a perspective rarely heard about. Not only do we learn more about what it was like to be someone sympathetic to the cause of Jewish people during this time, but we also learn about how words were used to tear people down.


It was uplifting still, to become engrossed in the family (and extended family) life of the characters. To see how, even what was not necessarily a conscious decision to stand up against the Nazis, was still a dangerous choice… to simply stand for belief in humanity. What a terrible lesson to learn early in life: that showing compassion and caring for those most unfortunate is punishable and will turn many friends against you.


Through Liesel and her friendships we get a grasp of life and its lessons. Liesel is a likable character who has had a lot of tough breaks, beginning with being placed in foster care after losing her brother to illness during the train journey to the foster parents’ home. She grows to love her foster father especially, who shows her that the true compassion he has for her extends throughout life even to the Jews who are targeted by the Nazis. Her best friend Rudy is full of mischief and keeps her grounded in what childhood they have. Her Jewish friend Max teaches Leisel an appreciation for life even in both of their difficult positions. I especially like the relationship formed with the mayor’s wife who in her strange way encouraged Liesel’s love of books.




Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun, email me at trish at ceilidhontherun dot com, or use my contact form!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my page on Facebook, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please do like/share it. You can do so using the easy share button below!




12 in 12 Month 3

I am a little late reporting on this, but this month’s12 in 12 challenge is: to read at least 60 minutes/day. I usually do, but to elaborate, this means specifically to read something offline. A novel, non-fiction book, even an e-book/manifesto, magazine will count.

I have two books in particular I want to read this month: Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness and The Sisters Brothers . And I still have those To Be Read books to get through!

What are you reading lately?

Here on Earth – a review – #tbr2012 #50bookpledge

This year I have taken on a few challenges to help me meet a few of my goals, as I posted previously one of them is the 2012 To Be Read challenge. I am reading 12 books this year that have been on my to be read shelf(ves) for more than a year.

I completed my first one this week! I am so excited. This has also allowed me to complete book number 4 of the 50 book pledge!

Here On Earth by Alice Hoffman was one of Oprah’s picks on her show. I’ve been told of mixed reviews of it, but I truly enjoyed reading this book. There is something a little dark about it that reminded me of Steinbeck’s East of Eden (my all time favourite book). The portrayal of domestic violence/woman abuse was pretty eye-opening for those who may not have thought about it much. Without giving the story away, I felt the ending was appropriate in that this could have gone on and on, if she wanted it to mirror real life scenarios (where women leave (and return) an abusive relationship an average of 7 times before leaving for good).

A fairly quick read of a dark romance.

What would mom say? And a small #12er update

I thought about mom so much today. And yet, I felt I had very little time to think of her at all.

I screwed up my baking and knew mom would have a good laugh with me about it. Reminding me that I usually prove to her that I did not get my baking skills from her. That it was likely just a hiccup in an otherwise wonderful talent.

There is so much happening that I wish I could talk with her about, from challenges with family, to my plans to get back into a good state of health. I’d love to share all the little details of the business I am considering, to hear her thoughts of what I could do to make it my own.

I want her to walk through the door with her exaggerated exclamations at all of the progress we’ve made in settling into our new home. She’d ask after my 12in12 challenge, and how my quest for greater joy in the big picture of life is going. She’d offer me encouragement at my set-backs and bad pain days, and she’d share with me how she feels/felt the same way sometimes. Mom would find the little celebrations, like how I’ve managed to walk everyday (yippee, today is day 25!), and she’d wonder at how fortunate it is that we bought that treadmill.

Mom would remind me, as if I might have forgotten, of what a good man I have found in Ian. How she knows he only wishes for my happiness, and that I only have to ask and he’ll do everything in his power for me. She’d point out all of the things she’s noticed about how he’s taking care of me, of us, of our family. She’d share again her happiness at our marriage and assure me that she was there with me cheering us on.

She just couldn’t hold on any longer.

She’d be saddened at how some things have unfolded since her passing. But she’d assure me that one can only do so much, and that I have to take care of myself, so that I can take care of those precious not-so-little-anymore girlies. She’d remind me that she’s here in all the wonder of life around us. She’s watching over and keeping an eye on dad out there all by himself.

Mom would ask after the books I am reading, and whether I’m still enjoying the book club. She’d ask after my friends. She’d tell me how much she’s enjoyed my photo projects and the annual family photo calendar I created and gave them again. Mom would have so much to say and ask of me, while as always sharing very little about herself.

The one thing she’d tell me of herself is how much she’s aware of my heartache and that she wishes she could take it away for me. She’d tell me that she remembers how hard it was when she too lost her mom far too young. When she’d had to comfort her children who’d lost their Nanny too soon, and look out for her dad on behalf of everyone, including her mom. She’d want me to be comforted in knowing that she eventually grew to accept her loss, and that I too would come to live on in her absence – finding joy in all of the little things and even more in all of the big things.

Mom would remind me that she’ll be here with me/us in every new dawn.

And for that, I thank you, mom.

2012 To Be Read (TBR) Challenge

I have decided to seek another challenge or two to help me meet some of my 12in12 commitments, one being: the 2012 To Be Read (TBR) Challenge (as I heard about via a friend’s book review blog).

Some of these books have been on one of my shelves for more than ten years. The to-be-read pile became a to-be-read shelf, then 2 shelves, and now… well I don’t know yet. I’m not yet organized since our move. I did however receive 3 books for Christmas in addition to the half dozen I have accumulated since moving. But, shhhh, don’t tell you-know-who! 😉

My to-be-read books for 2012 follow:

The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison

Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follet

The Widow of the South – Robert Hicks

Animal Farm – George Orwell

Life of Pi – Yaan Martel

Cry, The Beloved Country (Oprah’s Book Club) – Alan Paton

The Known World: A Novel – Edward D. Jones

Midwives – Chris Bohjalian

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood

Here On Earth – Alice Hoffman

Unless – Carol Shields


Charming Billy – Alice McDermott

Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë

Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun, email me at ceilidho at ceilidhontherun dot com, or use my contact form!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, Facebook fanpage, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please do share it. You can do so using the easy share button below!