Book Reviews & Poetry

Book Reviews

Go here for all my posts about literature that I love.
Read this post for suggestions on how to read more.

Alice's bookshelf: read

Ford CountyCold MountainA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future: Life Lessons from a High School DropoutThe Maze RunnerHe Did Deliver Me From Bondage: Using the Book of Mormon and the Principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as they Correlate with the Twelve-Step Program to Overcome Compulsive/Addictive Behavior  ...Codependent No More

More of Alice's books »
Alice's  book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

2013 Booklist
1. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
2. The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal
3. Before the Dawn by Dean Hughes
4. 10 Questions to Answer While Preparing for a Mission by Benjamin Hyrum White

2012 Booklist
1. Dearly Departed by Tristi Pinkston
2. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
3.On Little Wings by Regina Sirios
4. Hope's Journey by Stephanie Worlton
5. Matched by Ally Condie
6. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
7. You Have No Idea by Vanessa and Helen Williams with Irene Zutell
8. Bossypants by Tina Fey
9. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
10. Carnival Girl by Sonja Herbert
11. The Care and Handling of Roses by Margaret Dilloway
12. The Finishing School by Muriel Park
13. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
14. One Potato Two Potato by Cynthia C. DeFelice
15. No Holly for Christmas by Julie N Ford
16. The Litigators by John Grisham
17. The Rent Collector by Camron Wright
18. The Woman He Married by Julie N. Ford
19. The Epic Tales of the Misfit Hero by Matt Peterson
20. The Secret Tree by Natalie Standiford
21. Reached by Ally Condie
(Did terrible in my bookreading goals in 2012 but I ran a half-marathon and played a lot on my iphone)
My 2012 Book-Giving Guide

2011 Booklist
1. Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
2. In a heartbeat: sharing the power of cheerful giving - LeighAnne Tuohy
3. Promise Me - Richard Paul Evans
4. Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer - John Grisham
5. The Scarlett Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
6. Gap Creek - Robert Morgan
7. The Short Life of Bree Tanner - Stephenie Meyer
8. Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shafer
9. Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
10. A Girl Named Zippy - Haven Kimmel
11. Thrifty: Living The Frugal Life with Style - Marjarie Harris
12. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe - Fannie Flagg
13. Gregor the Overlander - Suzanne Collins
14. Daughters of God - M. Russell Ballard
15. Gregor and The Prophecy of the Bane - Suzanne Collins
16. Gregor and The Curse of the Warmbloods - Suzanne Collins
17. Gregor and The Marks of the Secret - Suzanne Collins
18. Gregor and The Code of the Claw - Suzanne Collins
19. Don't You Marry The Mormon Boys - Janet Kay Jensen
20. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
21. Flipped - Wendelin Van Draanen
22. Millions- Frank Cottrell Boyce
23. The Imperfectionists - Tom Rachman
24. Playing for Pizza - John Grisham
25. The Appeal - John Grisham
26. All That Was Promised by Vickie Hall
27. The Lincoln Lawyer - Michael Connelly
28. TThe Key of Kilenya by Andrea Pearson
29. Eragon - Christoper Paolini
30. Bloodborne by Gregg Luke
31. Eldest - Christopher Paolini
32. Brisingr - Christopher Paolini
33. Lunch Wars by Amy Kafala
34. The Alias by Mandi Slack
35. Hope Was Here - Joan Bauer
36. Two Roads - Chris Crowe
37. Crazy Beautiful - Lauren Baratz-Logsted
38. Dragon Rider - Cornelia Funke
39. Sounder by William H. Armstrong
40. Truckers by Terry Pratchett
41. Diggers - Terry Pratchett
42. Wings - Terry Pratchett
43. The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
44. The Well - Mildred D. Taylor
45. The Midwife's Apprentice - Karen Cushman
46. Cold River by Liz Adair
47. In The Dark Streets Shineth - David McCoullough
48. Heir to Power - Michele Poague
49. Inheritence - Christopher Paolini
50. The Magic Room by Jeffrey Zaslow

2010 Reading List

1 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson (I read every Christmas)
3 The Book Theif by Markus Zusak
4 The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
5 Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
7 He Did Deliever Me From Bondage by Colleen C. Harrison
8 Ford County by John Gresham
9 Still Alice by Lisa Genova
12 These Is My Words by Nancy Turner
14 A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the Future by Michael J Fox
15 The Maze Runner by James Daschner
16 Afternoons with Emily by Rose MacMurray
17 The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
18 The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
19 The Titans Curse by Rick Riordan
20 The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
21 The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
22 The Last Talk with Lola Faye by Thomas H Cooke
23 Uglies by Scott Westerfield
24 Pretties by Scott Westerfield
25 Specials by Scott Westerfield
26 Extra by Scott Weseterfield
27 Cars from a Marriage by Debra Galant
28 The Walk by Richard Paul Evans
29 The Pact by Jodi Picoult
30 To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
31 Boundaries by John Townsend
32 Driven to Distraction by Edward Hallowell
33 Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey
39 The Peacegiver by James Ferrell
40 The LDS Guide to Addiction Recovery
41 Motherhood: the 2nd Oldest Proffession by Erma Bombeck

2009 Reading List
1.The Magic Treehouse - Mary Pope Osborne (same book, different places)
2. The Associate - John Grisham
3. Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Emil Frankil
4. The Host - Stephenie Meyer
5. The Makeover of James Orville Wickenbee - Anya Bateman
6. The Bishop's Bride - Elizabeth W. Watkins
7. The Christmas Sweater - Glenn Beck   
8. The Read-Aloud Handbook: 6th Edition - Jim Trelease
9. Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt
10. Grace - Richard Paul Evans
11. Twilight - Stephenie Meyer
12. New Moon - Stephenie Meyer
13. Eclipse - Stephenie Meyer
14. Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer
15. Journey of the Promise - Joann Arnold
16. The Five Love Languages - Gary Chapman
17. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

More posts about my love for words.

My poetry and other writings 
I am proud of or still editing:

C'mon, you know you want to publish 
my children's book, "You Can". 
Scroll down a ways.

Hope For Someday
If I could just fast forward time. 
To a place that you’re all mine.

Worries washed away.
And the sorrows of today.

You and me alone.
Just enjoyin being home.

Right now life is sad.
Everything seems bad.

Nothing’s going right.
All the time’s a fight.

I’m a mess for sure.
For you there is no cure.

I wish I could make it right.
But it will take more than tonight.

When we promised forever.
I would have thought never.

It was supposed to be bliss.
You and me would kiss.

And every day a dream.
No one would need to scream.

Complications weigh.
No one wants to stay.

Run away from here.
Just to be sure.

I am the one you want.
On that eternal jaunt.

Find your courage man.
Then come and take my hand. 

Choose to Live - After 9/11
I will choose the faith, not the threatening fear. 
Observe the children at play and not their danger. 
I will hear the laughter, not see the tear.
The love of a friend, not the threat of a stranger.

Life is not lived if we choose to retreat.
If all we see is wrong then we have failed our test.
Let us not all give up, stay home, be beat.
Choose to live and give and take from life the best. 

And Until - For My Love

I loved you then 
I love you still
I’ll love you more
And until
Until Forever
Which will never end
Just as the love I have
For my Best Friend 

You Can - For My Kids
You can be a Student, If you learn to try. 
You can be a Pilot, If you learn to fly. 
You can be an Artist, If you learn to look.
You can be a Chef, If you learn to cook.

You can be a Writer, If you learn to read.
You can be a President, If you learn to lead.
You can be an Athlete, If you learn to play.
You can be n Officer, If you learn to obey.

You can be a Fisherman, if you learn to reel.
You can be a Doctor, if you learn to heal.
You can be a T.V. host, if you learn to talk.
You can be a Mail Deliverer, if you learn to walk.

You can be an Attorney, If you learn to think.
You can be an Actor, If you learn to wink.
You can be a Psychologist, If you learn to hear.
You can be a Driver, If you learn to steer.

You can be a Techie, if you learn to type.
You can be a Salesman, if you learn to hype.
You can be a Babysitter, if you learn to care.
You can be a Serviceman, if you learn to dare.

And only when you learn to:
(imagine the children's book with illustrations of parents doing these things with their children simultaneously)
Try and fly, look and cook, read and lead, play and obey, reel and heal,
Talk and walk, think and wink, hear and steer, type and hype, care and dare…

Plus, love with all of your heart,
You Can Be a Mom or Dad.

Abiding Love - For My Parents

The world may see romance 
But I see something more. 
Two people worked relentlessly 
To honor and adore. 

The world may see devotion 
But there is an abiding love, so true. 
Two people with each other stayed 
To see each other through. 

The world may see commitment 
But look beyond their sight. 
Two different people who understood how 
To make each other right. 

The world may see a great pair 
But we know it will reach beyond. 
Two people made a family 

To share an eternal bond. 

I Choose You
I choose you.
Every day.
I choose you.
No matter how poor.

I choose you.
As I always have.
I choose you.
No matter how broken.

I choose you.
As I always will.
I choose you.
No matter how hard.

I choose you.
I have to.
I choose you.
No matter how wrong.

I choose you.
I must.
I choose you.
No matter how long,
I have to wait for your success,
or your happiness, or your comfort, or your perfection.

I choose you.
And because I do,
nothing else matters.
When I choose you,
I am a success.
I am happy.
I am at peace.
And I am perfectly whole. 

Finding God

Look up,
Not down.

look around.

He is not out,
He's within.

He's under your pain.
Over your pride.

Not far away,
Next to your side.

He'll help you climb,
All the way to the top.

Because you looked up,
when you were down.


They give birth to babies.
Cradle, not just their own.
A woman’s heart is so large
It’s too big to be alone.

Sometimes are single.
Or have never housed a full womb.
But they still hold hands and hug,
And cry over grave and tomb.

Love and teach.
To everyone they know.
Their children, or mine,
They can’t help but help them grow.

Don’t exclude.
They love one and all.
Because they can’t help it.
They know peace is their call.

I have many.
Lots are far away,
Yet I carry them in my heart,
To get me through each day.

I hear them.
Encouraging my frown.
They laugh with me a lot
And cure me when I’m down.

They are also known as
Sister, daughter, friend.
They are women who I love.
God, to me, did send.

They are busy
Righting the world’s wrongs.
I will, with them, in awe,
Kneel in His eternal throngs.

Work miracles.
In lives old and new.
Because they know how to love.
And succor me and you.

They inspire.
Each person on the earth.
All good things start with them.
Without them, where’s our worth?

We grow - For Abigail - May 2011

With you, I grow.
Side by side.
You're just a sap.
I am too.
Different kinds.

You flourish in the sun and rain.
And I watch.

You dance.
You cry.
You smile.
You laugh.
I watch.

I laugh.
I smile.
I cry.
I dance.
And I flourish.
Without knowing it.
Because I am always watching you.

You are my pride and joy.
Sprouted from my seed.
My best buddy.

You got my best leaves.
And your dad's roots and branches.

Your branches
are what I love best.
Because they fly in the wind.
I blinked.
And you went from a twig
to a full grown tree.
And now I feel small.
Smaller than ever
Because you are
such a greater tree than me.

You are strong.
You are my joy.
And my light.

I grew
while watching you grow.
But your growth is
so much greater
than mine.
And that makes me feel
like a sap.
All over again.
Both kinds.

You are my joy.
I keep watching.
And waiting.
Until someday
you will have a sapling of your own.
And then my growth
will become even greater.

Because it will
not just be mine.
But yours.
And your sap's.
And we will all grow together.
Until we have a forest.

And our joy
will be one.
You and me,
we will be done growing.
But our saplings
we will watch.

And we will feel
so small.
As small as a seed.
But as small
as we feel,
we will know that
we have great power.
Power as huge as a forest.

Because there will be
so many saplings.

And we will watch.
And smile.
And laugh.
And dance.
And cry.

And grow.

I throw quarters in
but there is no splash.
I make my wish
as it clunks at the bottom.

I go elsewhere for water and wishes
because the well is empty.
I start making my wishes
for the well to fill
and keep dropping dimes.

I know someday the well
may be full of money
but then I will buy water
and make my greatest wish true.

Wells were made for wishes and water.

I am best at bed-time,
you at waking dawn.
When my energy is greatest,
yours snores at your dreams.
The sun rises to your heartbeat,
while mine is perfectly at rest.
Meet me at Mid-Day my dear
when our bodies can entwine.

You are such a thinker,
and I just dream away.
You understand the abstracts,
I, only concretes.
Gravity draws you closer,
and magnetizes me to you.
Meet me at Mid-Day my dear
when our minds collaborate.

You are tall and strong.
I just tremble in your arms.
Masculinity is regal,
femininity divine.
You talk of now and later.
I reminisce of past.
Meet me at Mid-Day my dear
where marriage is ours.

You struggle to express
what I communicate in excess.
You make me feel complete
as your hidden feelings fill my thoughts.
I know you love me dear,
and you know I always want you near.
Meet me at Mid-Day my dear
where our hearts are as one.

Defeat afflicts my torment,
I hope you understand.
Instead of advising or fixing,
you hold my hand and cry.
Knowing that you share my anguish,
is all I need to try again.
Meet me at Mid-day my dear,
so we can endure together.

Wednesday is my favorite
but any day will do.
The sun at its highest
or better yet, with rain.
Before or after lunch,
but definitely in bed.
Meet me at mid-day my dear,
where our love unites.

I swung the club
and off it sailed.
So far away,
it was hard to eye.

But it only took you
for me to see
that my shot
was off by a mile.

In the woods,
we went and searched,
and laughed
until we cried.

We suck,
we lamented.
My game was so bad.

Our par didn't matter
we were intoxicated
just you and me
experiencing a first.

We shot ball after ball
and finally got one
over the river
instead of in it.

Years ago,
we were on that course
in St George
and I will never forget.

Your smile
and your laugh
and your patience
and your love.

When reflecting
I know for certain
I got the most important
hole in one.