The Power of Happiness

While I have been slacking on the posts, I truly have been reading a bit. Work has just been insane lately and it’s all I can muster to get the kids to bed and vege out in front of the TV. I’m sure the advent of new fall episodes isn’t helping matters…I must say I’ve been getting sucked in by quite a few series.

In the meantime, while I’m trying to finish this book, I’ll be posting several posts about happiness, and the lack there of, to fill the gaps. This book is not lacking in quotes!

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it” ~ Groucho Marx




A while back I signed up with eBookFling. With eBookFling, you can swap ebooks with thousands of readers nationwide. Just “fling” a Kindle or Nook eBook to others and borrow the eBook of your choice – choose from the hottest New York Times Bestsellers, timeless classics and even rare, eclectic titles, textbooks and tech manuals!

Recently, I have been getting weekly emails from them when authors decide to give away copies of their books for free. I have found quite a few new reads/authors this way. Pretty cool!

Guido’s comparison of The Hunger Games: Book vs. the Movie

I would love to introduce Guido as our youngest book reviewer on BBB. Guido is just 10 years old! His mother, an English teacher and one of my best friends from college, finally let him read The Hunger Games this summer. Of course, after reading the book he wanted to go see the movie. As a way to persuade his mom, he offered to write a compare/contrast essay for the book vs. the movie. He knew which strings to pull and it obviously worked as his mom let him watch the movie and here is his wonderful review! Way to go Guido!!

We all know that a lot of books turn into movies. Some books that get turned into movies are famous like Harry Potter, Twilight, and the Hunger Games. Books get turned into movies by how good they are. Movies usually change some parts, to give them a kick in action. A kick in action gets good reviews and more fans for the book and the movie. In the book The Hunger Games, the districts of Panem, 1 boy and 1 girl will go into an arena. For a fight to the death with 23 dead and one victor, the government forces the kids to die. The book is better but the movie is also really good.

The book has some differences from the movie. In the book Katniss Everdeen gets a mockingjay pin from a girl named Madge, the daughter of Mayor Undereese. This is very important because when Katniss goes into the hunger games her mockingjay pin becomes her symbol, the symbol of rebellion. Further, the book doesn’t show the game makers (the people who control the Hunger Games) because they didn’t need to. They didn’t need to because the book was Katniss Everdeen’s thoughts and it kept on saying what will the game makers do next. Furthermore, the book goes WAY slower than the movie so you get attached to a little 12 year old girl named Rue who is like Katniss’s little sister Prim. Rue is really important to the story because Katniss and her get bonding time and when Rue dies Katniss covers and decorates her in flowers. It adds a bond between the districts.

The movie changed some things from the book. In the movie Katniss gets her pin in a black market in her district, and gives it to her sister Prim. However in the book she gets it from a girl named Madge. In addition, they showed game makers to show that people ran the hunger games. They did this because in the movie it wasn’t Katniss’s thoughts but yet in the book it was. To show people that people run the hunger games. Further, the movie goes faster so you really don’t get as attached to anyone like Rue, so when she dies we’re not really as sad as we are in the book.

In both the book and the movie. Katniss gets a mocking jay pin. And it is really important because in later books District 13 uses it as a sign of rebellion. In addition, Katniss is called “Katniss Everdeen girl on fire”. It is very important because that’s how people notice her and pay attention so she can get sponsors and she becomes a victor. Furthermore, the Peeta, Katniss, Gale love triangle is in both. It’s important because Katniss can survive with the excuse of she loves Peeta and Gale is important in later books because he kisses her and protects her.

In conclusion, the book is better than the movie. The book has more action and adventure. The book has a better flow to the groove of the hunger games. Books are often better than the movie. It’s always better because you experience more from the book than the movie.


What do you think? Do you agree with Guido? I sure do! 

E-readers vs. Books

Isn’t it odd how much fatter a book gets when you’ve read it several times?” Mo had said…”As if something were left between the pages every time you read it.  Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells…and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower…both strange and familiar.”  – Cornelia Funke, Inkspel

So I read this quote and I wonder if I’ll get that same feeling when I read or reread a book on a Kindle. There is something about reading a book that has been passed down from friend to friend, or that has been borrowed numerous times by someone before you, that makes it feel somewhat special. It’s like they are sharing something with you.

When I first heard about the Kindle (and other e-readers), I was very skeptical. I have always loved to read and didn’t think that I would be able to give up the feeling of the book in my hands. The dog-eared corners where someone nodded off to sleep or the worn binding from many owners; they show years of a story told over and over again.

Well, like many others I fell in love with my Kindle. I love being able to throw my Kindle in my purse; grabbing it during my lunch break or when I’m in the doctor’s office waiting room. It became especially handy when I was sneaking in the Fifty Shades series and I didn’t want anyone to know what I was reading ;-).  I got used to the “click” of a page turn and I have become very dependent on the dictionary feature. I don’t feel that the technology takes away from the story; it adds to it.

I’ve recently upgraded to a Kindle Fire…correction, I have stolen it from my son who received it as a birthday present. He had an E-ink Kindle that he received for a birthday present last year, but I must say it doesn’t seem to have the same appeal for (young) kids. They need color and animation. Hence my suggestion for the Kindle Fire when his grandmother was asking for birthday present ideas. I’ve since found that he thinks Angry Birds is the most appealing feature of the Kindle and still would rather read a book. This works for me as I’m not sure I would give it up at this point anyway ;-). “Mommy, isn’t that my Kindle”?…”Yes, but I’m reading a really good book”. I’m not sure that answer is going to change anytime soon ;-).

How do you feel about e-readers? Have you made the switch? Would you ever switch back?

Book collection

Book collection (Photo credit: Ian Wilson)

English: Photographic composition of Granmata ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Kissing Sailor

Joan is going to read The Kissing Sailor: The Mystery Behind the Photo That Ended World War II by George Galdorisi and Lawrence Verria.

On August 14, 1945, Alfred Eisenstaedt took a picture of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square, minutes after they heard of Japan’s surrender to the United States. Two weeks later LIFE magazine published that image. It became one of the most famous WWII photographs in history (and the most celebrated photograph ever published in the world’s dominant photo-journal), a cherished reminder of what it felt like for the war to finally be over. Everyone who saw the picture wanted to know more about the nurse and sailor, but Eisenstaedt had no information and a search for the mysterious couple’s identity took on a dimension of its own. In 1979 Eisenstaedt thought he had found the long lost nurse. And as far as almost everyone could determine, he had. For the next thirty years Edith Shain was known as the woman in the photo of V-J DAY, 1945, TIMES SQUARE. In 1980 LIFE attempted to determine the sailor’s identity. Many aging warriors stepped forward with claims, and experts weighed in to support one candidate over another. Chaos ensued.

For almost two decades Lawrence Verria and George Galdorisi were intrigued by the controversy surrounding the identity of the two principals in Eisenstaedt’s most famous photograph and collected evidence that began to shed light on this mystery. Unraveling years of misinformation and controversy, their findings propelled one claimant’s case far ahead of the others and, at the same time, dethroned the supposed kissed nurse when another candidate’s claim proved more credible. With this book, the authors solve the 67-year-old mystery by providing irrefutable proof to identify the couple in Eisenstaedt’s photo. It is the first time the whole truth behind the celebrated picture has been revealed.

The authors also bring to light the couple’s and the photographer’s brushes with death that nearly prevented their famous spontaneous Times Square meeting in the first place. The sailor, part of Bull Halsey’s famous task force, survived the deadly typhoon that took the lives of hundreds of other sailors. The nurse, an Austrian Jew who lost her mother and father in the Holocaust, barely managed to escape to the United States. Eisenstaedt, a World War I German soldier, was nearly killed at Flanders.

Sounds good!!! I might have to read this one!

Why I love to read

I read for numerous reasons…I think the main reason is that I LOVE a good story. I also love to see things from other people’s perspective. I like to escape from life sometimes and slip into someone else’s realm. I feel this way about movies as well, but with books you get so much more.

I also find that as I age, I lose touch with my writing skills. Whether this is attributed to killed brain cells over the ages 😉 or the advent of texting, I feel like I forget how to speak and write properly. All those grammar rules have flown out of my brain. It’s embarrassing sometimes as my job has me speaking with many professionals, program directors, legal staff etc. I was even compelled to buy the English Grammar For Dummies book as I was afraid I would pass on incorrect information to my children when it came for them to learn how to read and write. Granted, it’s still sitting up on a shelf in a closet somewhere…maybe I should have purchased the Kindle Fire edition!! Did I mention how grateful I am for my Kindle dictionary? So another reason I continue to read is to keep the brain cells firing.

My main passion is for Historical fiction, which is funny because History was my worst subject in high school and college! Maybe if the information was in the context of a story, I would have done better. I love reading the stories that are based in true settings, pulling from geographical locations, historical events etc. The stories set around Kings and Queens and other historical figures especially pique my interest. I loved reading The Memoirs of Cleopatra and the series  about Anne Boleyn and her family by Philippa Gregory. Currently I am reading The Dark Monk: A Hangman’s Daughter Tale  which reaches into the deep and dark history of the Knights of the Templar…LOVE IT!

When I need a break from historical fiction, I love a good drama or suspense. I have read a few books lately that deal with the world of drug addiction. I work with the foster care system and see how drugs affect children every single day. It’s so easy to place blame on those parents and wonder how they could possibly fail the children that they brought into this world. While it doesn’t completely quell those thoughts, it does help to read the story from their side, or at least how the author portrays their side. I read a book about serial murders, a convict and a child affected by molestation. Yes, it’s been a dark summer of reading but I truly enjoyed each book.

I think I’ll need to get back to books like The Hunger Games Trilogy and The Twilight Saga Collection for a while. Even though they are “young adult” novels, most of my adult friends have read them. They are truly entertaining and great if you like action, adventure and young love.

And then there is the mommy porn…Yes, I read all of the Fifty Shades Trilogy . Now, I must admit it wasn’t for the story line…however, it did have enough of a story to keep me moving onto the next book. I was getting a little tired of reading “my sex” or “my inner goddess” and the scenes were getting a little repetitive and overdone…but it didn’t stop me from reading…nor did it for others it appears ;-).

So, even though I read a wide variety of books, the story is what pulls me in. Once I start a good book, I have a really hard time putting it down. Whereas my husband may not be able to understand that, I try to liken it to having the power go out while he is watching a really good movie or a tennis match…very frustrating and you can’t wait to get back to the story and see what transpires.

Well, enough about me…Why do you like to read? Do you have a favorite genre of books? How often do you read?

How do you like to read?