"My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult

As this movie just came out and the theatrical trailer looked great, I decided I'd better read the book before I allow myself to watch the movie. Unfortunately, all the copies at the library were checked out. So...

I bought a copy for myself at Borders on Tuesday. And finished reading all 400+ pages this morning.

Beautiful. I was so impressed by the reality of this novel. At times I forgot that it was a novel at all. Jodi Picoult did her research to make sure that all the medical lingo and situations were very true to real life. It was phenomenally written and even though EVERY book I read lately seems to have too much cursing in it, I would still recommend this one. I wonder what it is. Media, in every form, is becoming more and more corrupt. Regardless, this story is fantastic.

I'm looking forward to the movie. I want to see how it is presented on the big screen and I really, really hope they stay true to the book. I loved it, even if it was a little on the slow side. It's a very serious story, so I guess slow is the way to be. Slow, but beautiful. Laughter and tears. Thanks, Jodi Picoult!


"The Secret Life of Bees" on my TV

Good news, everyone. I finally indulged in the film version of "The Secret Life of Bees" and was very pleased with how the interpreted the book and played it out on my screen. They chose really great actors for each of the parts (except Neil, who was described as "the tallest black man I'd ever seen" in the book, but wasn't that tall in the movie) and they stayed true to so many important details. Like any other movie based on a book, there were various changes made to the story, but overall . . . great job, Hollywood!

Read the book first. Then watch the movie. Thanks, thanks, goodnight!


"The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch

This is one of the most moving books I have ever read. Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon and was asked to give a "Last Lecture" to the students there. These lectures are meant to be an opportunity for the speaker to reflect on their life and to say what they might say if they were preparing for their own death. For Randy Pausch, though, this really was a final speech.

He was dying of cancer. And gave his Last Lecture with that in mind, but spoke of optimism and joy and accomplishing hopes and dreams. This book was compiled after his lecture and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. He presents so many little gems of wisdom and his positive attitude was an inspiration to me as I read about his life and the love he had for his family.

It's a quick read, so don't hesitate to pick it up. I've found that ALL I want to read lately is memoirs. I wonder if that means I should write mine someday... but I hope you enjoy this one!


"The Middle Place" by Kelly Corrigan

If I was going to recommend one book this year, Kelly Corrigan's memoir would be IT. It has been a long time since I have so completely fallen in love with not only the people in a story, but the way the story was written.

Kelly Corrigan is a breast cancer survivor and "The Middle Place" is her collection of memories from that battle, as well as from her childhood, adult years, and motherhood. I was completely hooked by the end of the first page and couldn't put it down until I finished - a very short time later.

Corrigan presents her story in such a real way. And it was so easy to become attached to each "character" and to laugh and cry along with them as they went through good times and bad. I was in tears through the story of her husband's proposal, couldn't stop laughing at her father's antics, and truly felt like I knew those people as if they were my own friends and family. I know I read this in March and that there is a lot more 2009 to come, but I really think that this will be my book of the year. If I could be as brilliant a storyteller as Kelly Corrigan... well then my work would be cut out for me, wouldn't it?

Word of warning to the rest of you: There is quite a lot of strong language in this book. I recommended it to my mother and she said, "I wish she didn't use the F word so much!" but I think next time I read it I'll go through with a black marker. And I really wouldn't let that drawback stop me from experiencing this wonderful story.

"The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd

This was my first Sue Monk Kidd novel and I loved it! Now a "major motion picture" starring four amazing actresses, this is one of the most wonderful stories I have ever read and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a moving and thought-provoking read.

I think the reason I loved it the most is because it shows that race should not be a barrier to love or companionship. A young, white girl born and raised in South Carolina (I think that's right... correct me if I mixed up my North and South!) finds herself living with four wonderful black women, each of whom is unique and special in their own way.

Just like any other story that truly takes me away, this one made me laugh and cry and love the characters for who they were and for what they were going through. I still haven't watched the movie (I wanted to read the book first), but I'm excited to see it, especially since Sophie Okonedo is in it. Kelly and I saw her on the London Underground last summer and she's one of my favorite actresses anywhere.

Read it first. Then come watch the movie with me!