Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

The Best Intentions
Scotland's Melody
The Secret Society of Salzburg
Secret of the Sonnets
20-40-60-Minute Dinners: Meals to Match the Time You Have
Through the Wilderness: My Journey of Redemption and Healing in the American Wild
Secret Santa Claus Club: A Tool to Help Parents Unwrap the Secret of Santa
Mr. Pudgins
Revenge Never Rests
The Best Mistake
Meriden Park
More Inspirational Stories for Young Women
The Great Tree: A Christmas Fable
To Capture His Heart
The Call of the Sea
Livvy and the Enchanted Woodland
Come, Gentle Night
The Bad Boy Theory
Guide To Smart Wedding Planning: What You want to know and everything you haven't thought of yet.

Sheila's favorite books »

2023 Goodreads Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Sheila has read 3 books toward her goal of 100 books.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Virgin Queen's Daughter and The Last Lecture

Thank goodness for the power of books to take us away. I have had a very hard two weeks with observing my son's birthday who passed away 10 years ago, due to a stillbirth at 35 weeks. Then on Tuesday, we had to make the terrible choice, to put our dog down due to incidents of old age and an accident. Through all of the emotional uproar these events produced, I found solace in my reading.

I am reporting back today, on the second book I read for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. I read a book called, "The Virgin Queen's Daughter A Novel" by Ella March Chase. (Crown Publishers 2008) This is a fabulous read! It is so well written and the story moves along at a wonderful pace. It has a strong plot and intriguing characters. This book centers around Queen Elizabeth I and whether or not she ever had a child. To quote the book cover, "Ella March Chase's vivid storytelling gives due credence to a daughter who might have been and a mother who never was." Queen Elizabeth 's colorful court is brought to life through Nell de Lacey's story and her experience as a Lady -in- Waiting. The intrigue is heart stopping as you wonder the fate of many characters in the story. I could not put this one down. You may think I always have this problem, but I don't. There are many books I have a hard time finishing, but I usually do finish the book. The only problem I had with this book was having to put it down to fix dinner or go to sleep. Another indicator of how much I liked this book, I will be purchasing this book for my own collection. I always enjoy a book that has a good combination of romance, mystery and history. If you like the same thing don't miss reading "The Virgin Queen's Daughter A Novel".

Another book I read that made me truly think about my life was "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. Many of you probably saw Randy last year on Oprah or on 20/20. Randy was dying from pancreatic cancer and was asked to give his final lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, in Sept. 2007, where he was a Professor. I want to quote from the website,

"On September 18, 2007, computer science professor Randy Pausch stepped in front of an audience of 400 people at Carnegie Mellon University to deliver a last lecture called “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” With slides of his CT scans beaming out to the audience, Randy told his audience about the cancer that is devouring his pancreas and that will claim his life in a matter of months. On the stage that day, Randy was youthful, energetic, handsome, often cheerfully, darkly funny. He seemed invincible. But this was a brief moment, as he himself acknowledged.

Randy’s lecture has become a phenomenon, as has the book he wrote based on the same principles, celebrating the dreams we all strive to make realities. Sadly, Randy lost his battle to pancreatic cancer on July 25th, 2008, but his legacy will continue to inspire us all, for generations to come."

As I describe this book to others the word that comes to mind first is...Inspiring. After reading this book you realize, yes I can do anything I want to achieve. You also look at yourself and plan how to make this world a better place for you and your children and their children to come. Whether you are in your 20's, 40's or 60's, you realize that dreams can become a reality. How amazing that this man, knowing he was dying, left this kind of message to the world. Some people have asked me if this book is depressing... not in the least!! I felt so uplifted after reading this book I felt like I could and will conquer the world. He teaches in this book about living well and making every day matter. It's not important how long you live, but how you live your life.

The ultimate test for me again, would I buy this book? Most definitely yes! This is a book that must be a part of my collection and I would suggest you make it part of yours. To end today, you must watch this news report about Randy Pausch, made by Wall Street that I found on It is so worth four minutes of your time, believe me, you will be inspired.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I haven't been blogging...I have been reading, a lot!

It has been a month since I have last blogged. Yes, life has been extremely crazy, but my better excuse is that I have been doing a lot of reading. I have to say it made the dreary month of January pass by quickly.

First: I read my book for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. After much agony over which book I would read, I finally chose a book I have been wanting to read for a very long time. I read the book, The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. I have always loved to read fiction and non-fiction accounts from the Tudor England era. I do have to admit, even though it makes fascinating reading, I would never have wanted to live at that time.

I enjoyed this book from Mary Boleyn's perspective. It was refreshing to read of her side of the story, as I have read other accounts from Anne's perspective before. Gregory is a very good writer that keeps the story interesting and moving. I know, having read other peoples review of this book, that true historians feel that the truth is stretched greatly in this version of Mary and Anne's stories. I say, get over yourself and just enjoy the story. I love history like other history fanatics, I took 40 hours of history classes when I went to college. The measure of a book to me is I had a hard time putting it down. This book went everywhere with me, to school, at home, to bed and to piano lessons. If a book is by my side and I can't put it down, then that is a good book. It is a long book and it does have frank sex talk at times; considering the subject, Mary being the mistress of King Henry the VIII, it would have been hard to avoid such additions. Would I recommend this book to others? Most definitely if you are interested in the Tudors and want a great read.

Now, my big mistake, as soon as I finished the book I wanted to watch the movie that was made from the book. I was so disappointed in the movie because it was more about Anne than Mary. If you were just watching the movie without just having read the book, it would have been very enjoyable. Who doesn't love staring at Eric Bana who played King Henry the VIII? I would not read the book and watch the movies in succession.

I am happy to say that I have already chosen and I am half way through my February challenge book. I found this book at the library with the new arrivals called, The Virgin Queen's Daughter a novel by Ella March Chase. I will give a full review when finished with the book, but to give you an indication of what I think about it? I started it yesterday, I am almost on page 200 and it is sitting right here by me waiting for me to finish writing my blog.

I was planning on telling you about all of the books that I have read this past month, but to do justice to many of them, I will blog in further detail about them at another time. I will list them though so you can see I was really reading and just not being too lazy to blog....

-Princess at the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

-The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

-Pillage by Obert Skye

-Heaven Scent by Rebecca Talley

-Freshman for President by Ally Condie

-Journey of the Heart by David Free

-The Forgotten Warrior by Kathi Oram Peterson

-The Loser's Guide to Life and Love by A.E. Cannon

-Reunion by Allyson Condie

-Alcatraz vs. The Scrivener's Bones by Brandon Sanderson

Just to note, many of these books were short, easy read books, not like the 544 pages found with the Other Boleyn Girl. More reviews will be coming about many of the books I just mentioned. So until next time, take time to read a good book and give yourself a few minutes of "you" time. It is so refreshing and good stress relief.