Tag Archives: book

Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana (Anne Rice)

Rating: [rate 5.0]

Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana (Anne Rice)It’s a winter of no rain, endless dust and talk of trouble in Judea. All who know and love Jesus find themselves waiting for some sign of the path he will eventually take. After his baptism, he is at last ready to confront his destiny. At the wedding at Cana, he takes water and transforms it into rred wine. Thus, he’s recognized as the anointed one and called by God the Father to begin a ministry that will transform an unsuspecting world.

I swear, the blurb at the back of the book does not even come an inch to the actual story inside the pages. It doesn’t even give any hint of the conflict and the trouble and the miracles inside the story that you really have to read this (relatively short) book if you want to know what this is about.

Ever since I read Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, I’ve been excited to read the next installment in the series. I saw this one in hardbound for a year and resisted to buy it because it was too expensive, so the moment I saw the paperback version, I bought it immediately, excited to read how Anne Rice portrayed Jesus’ next few years.

The story doesn’t pick up right after where the first book ends, though. It picks the story up again when Jesus was already thirty, unmarried, surrounded by his brothers and sisters and nephews and nieces. He was a carpenter together with his (half) brother James, and across their place lived Avigail, his kinswoman, who he was sort of in love with.

Now I know that is something kind of like The Da Vinci Code contains, but it’s not. One of the things that readers should remember in reading this is that it’s not necessarily true, and it may just be a plot device to get the story going. The thing about the first two novels in the series is that it gives us a glimpse of Jesus’ humanity, on how he came to terms with his divinity all in his Father’s time. The novel tries to fill in the blanks in between the times not mentioned in the Bible. Like I said, it’s not necessarily true, so don’t consider the novel as your new Bible, but just something to think about.

Regardless, it’s another beautiful work. I love seeing Jesus called as “Yeshua” — it’s an endearing name. I love it when he and Mary get to talk, like they both share a quiet calm about them and a knowledge of who he really is, despite what everyone else around them is asking or telling them. I liked it when Yeshua stole to the olive grove to have time for himself, or when he appreciated the beauty around him. I liked reading about how Yeshua struggled with his emotions as a man, but still pressed on and continued to be connected with his Father. You know how whenever Jesus went to a quiet place or to fast, it seemed like it was a sparkling calm picture and he was just kneeling down, praying with peace etched on his face? Well, in this story Anne Rice painted a different picture — a picture of Jesus struggling with his Father about his humanity, about what he is supposed to do and what he wanted to do, but ultimately still following his Father’s will. It was a more realistic picture, as we have to remember that Jesus is still human as he is also God. In a way the story inside the book made me relate to Jesus more, that even he can struggle with what God wants, but still follow His will, fully trusting in the Father.

This book covers more Bible stories than the previous one — starting from Jesus’ baptism with John the Baptist to his temptation at the desert to Mary of Magdala, to the calling of his first disciples and finally ending at the wedding at Cana. The ending kind of feels rushed, like everything happened too quickly after the other, but then again maybe I just don’t have a sense of time when I read the Bible. :P

Suffice to say, I loved this book, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one. :) I bet I’d be crying bucketfuls on the next. :)

Continue reading Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana (Anne Rice)

The Undomestic Goddess (Sophie Kinsella)

Rating: [rate 4.0]

The Undomestic Goddess (Sophie Kinsella) Workaholic attorney Samantha Sweeting has just done the unthinkable. She’s made a mistake so huge, it’ll wreck any chance of a partnership.

Going into utter meltdown, she walks out of her London office, gets on a train and ends up in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she’s mistaken for an interviewee and finds herself being offered a job as a housekeeper.

Her employers have no idea that they’ve hired a lawyer — and Samantha has no idea how to work the oven. She can’t sew on a button, bake a potato or get the #@%# ironing board to open. How she takes a deep breath and begins to cope — and finds love — is a sory as delicious as the bread she learns to bake.

But will her old life ever catch up with her? And if it does…will she wnat it back?

I’ve been a reader of Sophie Kinsella ever since I got ahold of my first Shopaholic book when I was in college. It was because of her books that I started liking chicklit, and Becky Bloomwood/Brandon will always be the benchmark of typical a typical chicklit protagonist. The thing is, I couldn’t really relate to Becky since I’m not that much of a shopaholic. :P However, Samantha Sweeting is someone I could definitely relate to. :P

It was scary how I can relate to Samantha in the first part of the novel: workaholic, long hours in the office, always on the run. Geez, was I like that for the past months? :| I know I didn’t work on weekends, but I pulled long hours…and was gladly doing so. I knew I wasn’t that close to being like Samantha, but it was surprising and scary how much similar I was with her when it comes to how I work.

Anyway, I like this book because although the story can seem a bit typical — kind of like a reverse Cinderella-like — it was very relatable. Samantha’s lack of knowledge in domestic work may seem a bit exaggerated, but I like how Kinsella made her change very realistic, and the lessons that she made Samantha learn are also very important: how to slow down and live life, that work is not everything. I like how money wasn’t much an object here, seeing as Samantha may be really rich because of her job (seems like she could definitely afford a jet charter for herself), and her employers are definitely rich, so it’s refreshing coming from the Shopaholic books which was all about money. :P Anyway, I loved how the characters interacted with one another, especially the Geigers and Iris and Nathaniel. I’m not too fond of the love story, but it was a necessary plot point in the story else it wouldn’t have the very dramatic movie-like ending. ;)

It’s not a terribly serious book, but it’s a good read if you want something with enough substance but light enough not to bring the reader down. :)

First Among Sequels (Jasper Fforde)

Rating: [rate 4.5]

First Among Sequels (Jasper Fforde) It is fourteen years since Thursday Next pegged out at the 1988 SuperHoop, and the Special Operations Network has been disbanded. Using Swindon’s Acme Carpets as a front, Thursday and her colleagues Bowden, Stig and Spike continue their same professions, but illegally.

Of course, this front is itself a front for Thursday’s continued work at Jurisfiction, the Policing agency within the bookworld, and she is soon grappling with a recalcitrant new apprentice, an inter-genre war or two, and the inexplicable departure of comedy from the once-hilarious Thomas Hardy books.

As the Council of Genres decree that making books interactive will boost flagging readership levels and Goliath attempt to perfect a trans-fictional tourist coach, Thursday finds herself in the onerous position of having to side with the enemy to destroy a greater evil that threatens the very fabric of the reading experience.

With Aornis Hades once again on the prowl, an idle sixteen-year-old son who would rather sleep in than save the world from the end of time, a government with a dangerously high stupidity surplus and the Swindon Stiltonistas trying to muscle in on her cheese-smuggling business, Thursday must once again travel to the very outer limits of acceptable narrative possibilities to triumph against increasing odds.
[from jasperfforde.com]

Finally I got a copy of this book! I’ve waited for a YEAR to get this one on paperback and thank God I found one last weekend. :) How I missed reading about Thursday Next!

Thursday is back, and it’s fourteen years later. It’s 2002, and things are fine, but not quite. Friday is not being the ChronoGuard trainee he is supposed to be, her uncle Mycroft who died six years ago is showing up as a ghost but he has no idea how, less and less people are reading books and more focused on reality shows and MP3 players, and she has to keep her undercover freelance SpecOps work and Jurisfiction duties from her love, Landen. Oh, and she has to train a Jurisfiction cadet, who is no other than Thursday Next-5, the character from a book based on her. Oh, and the world as they know it could end in a few days if Friday doesn’t shape up…yeah, everything’s fine. ;)

I won’t spoil anyone by revealing more of the plot, but if you’re new to Jasper Fforde and Thursday Next, I won’t recommend getting this book since there’s a lot of references from the previous four books. Also, if you haven’t read any of the Next novels in a while, it might take a while before you can really get with the flow of the story.

It’s a great read, and if you’re a Fforde fan you musn’t miss this. :D I did find some parts kind of dragging, but it builds up nicely up to the end, and it has such a cliffhanger ending that I can’t wait for the next one …which won’t be out until 2009.

But read it! This book series is best for people who likes books as well, so if you’re a certified bookworm, this is one book you should add to your must-reads! :D

With This Ring, I'm Confused (Kristin Billerbeck)

With This Ring I'm Confused by Kristin BillerbeckRating: [rate 4]

“Confusion is part of God moving you out of a comfort zone. A comfort zone that should cease to exist. God’s way is never the easy path, but it’s by far the most exciting.”
Ashley Stockingdale

She’s got the rock, so when does happily ever after kick in?

At long last, Ashley Stockingdale–patent attorney, fasionista, and homeowner–can finally add “fiancee” to her spirited resume. That means the next four months will be a dizzying and decadent waltz through aisles of Vera Wang, Kenneth Cole, Sheridan sheets, Kate Spade place settings, and Oneida flatware. Well…maybe not.

For starters, the HR department has hired Ashley’s ex-boyfriend (yep, the one who ran off to India with that other woman) as the new director of software. And now her fiance is starting to sound crazy–something about moving across country, to Philadelphia of all places. Worst of all, right before her eyes, Scarlett-I-need-some-Prozac O’Hara is hijacking her wedding plans!

Life for our heroine is spinning from out of control to downright confusing. But whether she makes it to the end of the aisle or not, she’ll never be at a loss for drama!

This is the third and last installment of the Ashley Stockingdale series, and the book (obviously) focuses on Ashley’s wedding preparations. In this novel, it occured to me that Ashley is pretty normal for a protagonist — albeit a bit neurotic sometimes — but she does attract chaos quite often.

Ashley faces a lot of challenges in preparation for her wedding, mostly concentrating on her in-laws who seem to be driven to make Ashley’s most dreamt-of day to be a disaster. Her future sister-in-law (Emily) is determined to make Ashley a laughingstock in her own wedding by following a “theme” while her future mother-in-law (Elaine) is set to make her look unworthy of her son. Add her commitment-phobe ex Seth’s comeback into her life, her fiance Kevin is always out and he has plans of moving to Philadelphia, and the fact that she is broke, how will she plan the day she has been waiting for all her life?!

The characters of the past two novels make a comeback in this last installment, giving a particular familiarity with the wacky Silicon Valley bunch. Although Ashley’s struggles seem too far-fetched at times, it could happen to anyone still.

The Christian point of view of the novel is a bit hard to grasp at first, but then the author shows it all in the end: marriage requires a lot of hard work, and it doesn’t end at the wedding; in fact, it only starts there.

With This Ring, I’m Confused ends with a happily-ever-after-like ending, which is a great feel-good novel to read on a lazy afternoon. :)