01 October 2010

My favorite book light: LightWedge

I bought my LightWedge (paperback version) a few years ago. I love it. I do not travel without it. I use it daily.

The LightWedge provides ample light for reading but the light is directed across your page and does not distract theo ther people around you such as the driver of the vehicle you are in, or the person you may be sharing your bed with!

As I said, my LightWedge is a few years old. I think I probably bought it around 2005... It has a few minor scratches on it, nothing deep. I have never found a good "screen protector" for it. If I could find one that was the correct size and was not too expensive I would consider buying it for a new LightWedge. As it is, the age and condition of my current LightWedge are such that I would not bother; it's fine and serves its purpose.

That said, one of our sons has been wanting a LightWedge paperback version for a long time. Not long after I bought mine I bought LightWedge Minis for each of our five children, my husband, my dad, and my mother-in-law. I bought a knock-off of the LightWedge last year to give to our son. Within minutes it was obvious that its construction was very bad. I called to ask for my money to be returned and we threw it in the trash! I am just about to place an order for the REAL LightWedge as a Christmas gift for our son. Actually, I will probably give him mine and I will probably take the new one. : )

The wonderful thing is that I am still able to use it with my ereader. I just hold it in front of it or even near it, just as I would with a regular book. I do not think I would like the larger version and have no need for more light than the paperback version provides.

If you do not have a booklight that you really like I urge you to try one!

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen 4*

I read this book because it is being made into a movie and the son of an acquaintance of mine is acting in it, as the character Garrett. Now that I've read the book I can let myself see the film!

Flipped is the story of the relationship between Bryce and Juli. The story is uniquely told from both of their points of view, in alternating chapters. It is really interesting to see an example of the same event being told from two difffering points of view. We all see things uniquely and we all retell them in our own unique style too.

But it isn't only the tale of two young teens. The story actually looks at all kinds of relationships. There is a sub-plot about a marriage relationship, and also about the relationship between Bryce and his grandfather whom he barely knows even though Gramps has been living with them for a year and a half. Of course there are also several teenage frindships that are quietly observed. The story doesn't preach, it just allows the reader to view the interactions and make their own judgment about what happens. I like that.

Bryce is bombarded by Juli's bubbly, in-your-face friendship from the moment his family moves into their home. Juli is a determined and self-confident young woman. Bryce is a somewhat typical young man who thinks that friendship with a girl is not something he is interested in. Of course as he ages and as their characters develop all of that starts to change.

Bryce's grandpa ends up befriending Juli before he befriends Bryce. That finally spurs Bryce and Grandpa into talking...and that brings them to a point of beginning to really know each other. Funny how we can essentially ignore people even when we live with them...

The setting of the book was changed a bit. The book is set in California, the movie is Michigan. The book was done in a current timeframe, the film is set in the fifties I think. I like that they changed the timeframe for the film.

I found an interesting blog post by the author of the book:


Edited to add:

I came back to add some of my favorite quotes from the book.

"In the end, Shelly went home early with a bad case of mussed-up hair, while I told my side of things to the principal. Mrs. Shultz is a sturdy lady who probably secretly appreciates the value of a swift kick well placed, and although she told me that it would be better if I let other people work out their own dilemmas, she definitely understood about Shelly Stalls and her hair and told me she was glad I'd had the self-control to do nothing more than restrain her." pg 16

"I felt sorry for my father. I felt sorry for my mother. But most of all I felt lucky for me that they were mine." pg 78

and my favorite:
"There's nothing like a head-strong woman to make you happy to be alive." pg 82

The Tale of Hill Top Farm by Susan Wittig Albert 4*

This book didn't really end up being exactly what I expected. I decided to read it because I had seen a lot of good reviews and I dreadfully miss England. Right now, rieading is as close as I can get to being there!

The book is a fictionalized telling of Beatrix Potter's life, with a bit of mystery thrown in. In the beginning I found the mystery intriguing but by the end of the book, and given the way the mystery was unfolded, I was not as happy with it. I hate it when a mystery is so involved that I feel lost, but this one was, rather, a bit too simple really.

Still, the story is sweet and the setting idyllic. The Lake District in England is simply beautiful and relaxing. We spent one night there and most of a day, when we visited in the fall of 2008. We did not visit Hill Top Farm or Castle Cottage but we did visit Beatrix Potter World and were all pleasantly surprised by its sweetness.

As I said, the story is simple, filled with simple characters. There are, however, quite a few characters. The list in the front of the book was, indeed, helpful for remembering who everyone was. I referred to it a few times. The writing is such that you can envision the places and people.

The author did begin to lose my interest when she mentions some of the animals as wearing clothing. I could accept the fact that the animals shared dialogue with one another but not with people. Accepting the communication of animals for the sake of the story was fine...accepting rats in waistcoats was a bit too much for me though.

It is a charming book and pretty easy to follow. It would certainly work well as a read-aloud to young children who run out of titles written by Miss Potter, herself.
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