I’m starting a thing!

Another thing might be more accurate.

So, I recently sent a friend a package of much needed stuffs of which I had plenty of extras.

She said thank you by giving me two of her favorite books.

This is the BEST kind of friendship, if you didn’t know.

In the ensuing discussion, the idea of Trading Favorite Books Book Club was born. The whole concept is that a bunch of friends or strangers or acquaintances or book buddies share their favorite books. You are, of course, welcome in my book club. I might end up with more than one, even! E-mail me at rjlouiseblogging[at]gmail[dot]com and I’ll get you fitted somewhere. The internet makes this easy.

But I think it’d be awesome for there to be several of these. Get a group of buddies together. Don’t pressure yourself to read one book a month or one book a year. Just choose a book, get it from your various libraries or book vendors, and when everyone has finished, start an e-mail thread or a twitversation (and Storify that sucker). Share. Enjoy. I’m hoping to post some highlights from these discussions here, along with my reviews of the books my friends introduce to me.

And remember: Sharing a favorite book is like sharing a hidden, if not secret, part of yourself. Be nice to those secret (and maybe hidden) parts of everyone in the group.

Ready? Set: READ!

[><] & [::]

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Honest and Straight-Forward

This is a review for LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program. I won two books for the month of May. I’ll post the review of the second book (and it’s series mates) in mid-June. This is a review of Regine’s Bookby Regine Stokke. It’s a collection of blog posts, comments, letters,photos, and journal entries of a girl (and her family/friends) as she fight an aggressive cancer, which eventually takes her life. It is a narrative of true events.

It’s difficult to rate a review a book that chronicles true events. This isn’t a fiction or a invention, this is a deeply personal narrative of the struggle for one girl to come to terms with death while fighting, tooth and nail, for life. This is NOT something I can really review. But it is something I can recommend. This book started as a blog and was published as a book, supplemented by journal entries, letters, comments, and pictures. It did its best to portray a full picture of the author of the blog, a seventeen year old girl who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. In every line, you can see that Regine TRIED, with each last ounce of what was left of her, to push back a disease determined to kill her. And by my view, she managed it. She eventually died, but she died after having definitively lived – and after having taught others how to live. I’m truly impressed by how she shared what she felt openly and with an intimacy that felt personal and yet didn’t intrude on her private life. I was surprised, and gratified, to hear the views from other friends and family, because it indicated how much she held back without betraying those parts she had chosen to keep to herself. This book was tasteful and tender. I would highly recommend reading it.

A (good writing, fantastic editing and translation)

[><] & [::]