Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm Back! with two reviews :)

I was away at my husband's cousin's wedding this past weekend in Raleigh, NC. It was a lot of fun and very cool! Both the bride and groom went to West Point so there were a few men in uniform and they entered the reception under a traditional sword arch. It was awesome since I had never seen that before (in person at least).

So, to get to and from this wedding, we drove. a whole 13 or so hours each way. I'm a little disappointed in myself because I was only able to finish two books. But I'm glad I brought a couple extra because my mother-in-law ended up reading Sin in the Second City and liking it, even though she said that it was nothing that she would have picked up on her own.

The Master Butchers Singing Club has been on my bookshelf for YEARS. yes, literally years. I've picked it up several times, read the first 30 or so pages, then put it down and moved on to something else. Finally, (since it would earn a whopping 15 points for the Winter Book Challenge) I was determined to finish it. I'm SO glad that I did because I ended up really enjoying it! The first 60-ish pages are a little slow, but it begins picking up a bit after that and I really ended up getting wrapped up in the trials and tribulations of the main character, Delphine.

The novel first introduces the reader to Fidelis. A master butcher who has learned the trade from generations before him in Germany. After the first world war, Fidelis travels to the United States (Argus, North Dakota to be exact) and begins a butcher shop in order to bring his wife, Eva, and son over. Fidelis and his wife end up having 4 boys. When Delphine is introduced, she is in a travelling Vaudeville act with her partner Cyprian (who is gay). She decides to return to her hometown of Argus where she can care for her alcoholic and potential murderer of a father. She ends up getting a job at Fidelis' butcher shop and becomes close friends with Eva. Drama ensues, and Delphine's life turns upside down rather quickly as she struggles to find which path her life should take and what the secrets of her past are.

There were lots of moments during this novel where I definitely didn't expect what happened! The twists and turns were fantastic, and I felt completely involved with Delphine's life. I think that the difficulty I had when getting into this book was just realizing that it was really about Delphine and not Fidelis, so it was a struggle to stop wanting to know more about him and focusing on her.

9 out of 10 stars. If you are into historical fiction at all, I'd definitely recommend this one!

I pink-purple puffy heart the Harry Potter series. I have reread the first four probably 3-4 times each, but I wanted to go through them all again in preparation to read the fifth, sixth, and seventh (which I've only read once each) again before the sixth movie comes out in July. The fourth book is definitely one of my favorites of the series. It's action packed and so heart-wrenching at the end (OH CEDRIC!!! WHY!??!) and sets the tone for the rest of the series, which ends up getting very serious. I guess that I'm just going to leave it at that! If you've read Harry Potter, then you know what happens and if you haven't then you should! NOW! I mean it!

10 out of 10 stars for Harry numero 4. One of the best in the series, in my humble opinion.

And now for one last non-book related thing...We stopped in a little kind of Podunk town on Sunday while in the midst of driving because they had a B-dubs and we HAD to watch our Michigan State Spartans coached by the wonderful Tom Izzo kick Louisville's booty!

Final four, here we come!!!! Hubs is debating whether or not we will get tickets, since the final four is in Detroit. They are going for around $350 or so, so we're not so sure it's going to happen but East Lansing sure will be a fun place to be that night! Hopefully there won't be any rioting. I was in the dorms there during the 2003 disturbance (locked down!) Fun Times!!


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