Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Write-Up Wednesday

I've decided that I need some kind of a theme to get myself motivated to write reviews of the adult books I've read so that they actually get posted! So, to inspire myself, I'm going with the notion of "Write-Up Wednesday." The reviews will focus solely on adult books that I've been reading in between my picture book write-ups. I'd love to get others in the kid-lit world joining in on this, so feel free to steal the idea and link back to me!

So, to get started with Write-Up Wednesdays, I've got 2 adult reviews for this week! And by the way, my brother (who is not at all a reader) does a phenomenal job picking out books for me - for 2 years in a row he has picked out amazing reads for a birthday gift!

Pausch, Randy.
The Last Lecture.

It's a day most college professors live to look forward to. However, for Randy Pausch, his "Last Lecture" took on entirely literal meaning - this was to be his very last lecture. Pausch, in the summer of 2006 was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Having been diagnosed with this most deadly form of cancer, Pausch was given just months to live and decided to make the most of his opportunity to give one last lecture.

The Last Lecture takes readers on the journey of Pausch preparing for and finally delivering his "Last Lecture." While many last lectures tend to focus on academics, Pausch took this opportunity to share his appreciation and joy of life with readers. Fifty-three mini-lectures were recorded by Pausch during fifty-three bike rides as he spoke into the headpiece of his cell phone. Fifty-three lectures passing along strong messages for his children to remember him by, sharing the "honesty, integrity, gratitude and other things" he held dearest to him. Pausch passed away in July of 2008.

I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this book. I had little, if any, prior knowledge about Randy Pausch and this isn't typically the type of book I would pick out for myself. However, being given the book as a gift, I felt obligated in a sense to read it and report back to my brother about it. I will be honest in saying that once I started this book, it was very difficult to put down - I felt as though I connected with Pausch on a personal level, in that the messages he was conveying could be pinpointed to my own life. Much of Pausch's "Last Lecture" will remain ever etched in my mind, as the story was not only inspirational, but full of words of wisdom - words that remind me not to take for granted the opportunities that I have been given and to appreciate my life for what it is. One of the best books I have ever read, this will be a permament fixture on my bookshelves!

Visit to find out more about Randy Pausch, the book, information about Pancreatic Cancer Research and Support and/or to watch "The Last Lecture."

Woodsmall, Cindy.
When the Soul Mends.
Waterbrook Press.

I don't think many of you know this, but second to anything by Karen Kingsbury, Amish-related books are my favorite to read, especially those that are part of a series, where I can follow the characters over time as they mature and develop, allowing me to see extensively (in a sense) the Amish lifestyle.

When the Soul Mends is the third and final book in Cindy Woodsmall's, Sisters of the Quilt series. I have followed Hannah Lapp over the course of several years as she has left her Old Order Amish family after a devastating rape and unwanted pregnancy. Finally adjusted and seemingly well-adapted into the Englischer world, Hannah is suddenly called home after a tragic event in her Old Order lifestyle. As she returns home, Hannah is confronted by her former fiance and it seems as though fate has brought them back together once again.

As could be expected with most Christian fiction, I was not at all surprised by the ending and found myself smiling and happy that Hannah found her true roots and was able to make peace with her life. Although I'm sad that the series has come to a close, I'm looking forward to the first book (The Hope of Refuge) in Woodsmall's newest series, Ada's House, set to be released in September.

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to