Jodi Picoult

All posts tagged Jodi Picoult

Book Tag – Shelfie by Shelfie #7

Published June 13, 2018 by bibliobeth

Image edited from: <a href=”http://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/frame”>Frame image created by Jannoon028 – Freepik.com</a>

Hi everyone and welcome to a brand new tag – Shelfie by Shelfie that I was inspired to create late one night when I couldn’t sleep. If you want to join in, you share a picture (or “shelfie”) of one of your shelves i.e. favourites, TBR, however you like to organise them, and then answer ten questions that are based around that particular shelf. I have quite a large collection and am going to do every single bookshelf which comprises both my huge TBR and the books I’ve read and kept but please, don’t feel obliged to do every shelf yourself if you fancy doing this tag. I’d love to see anything and just a snapshot of your collection would be terrific and I’m sure, really interesting for other people to see!

Here are the other Shelfies I’ve done: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

For other Shelfie by Shelfies round the blogosphere, please see:

Chrissi @ Chrissi Reads FAVOURITES shelfie HERE and her Shelfie by Shelfie 2 HERE.

Sarah @ The Aroma Of Books Shelfie 1A HERE and Shelfie 1B HERE.

Dee @ Dees Rad Reads And Reviews Shelfie HERE

Thank you so much to Chrissi, Sarah and Dee for participating in Shelfie by Shelfie, it really means the world to me. Hugs!

Anyway – on with the tag, here is the fifth shelf of my first bookshelf (I’ve chosen to split it up into two separate shelfies because of the sheer number of books, oops!). Here is the back shelf and we’re looking at the middle part of this image.

And here are the questions!:

1.) Is there any reason for this shelf being organised the way it is or is it purely random?

This is another really random one (do you sense a pattern here, like I am the worst library organiser in the world?!). I have got some authors grouped together like my two Kate Morton’s, all my Ian McEwans and a few Jodi Picoults but apart from that it’s incredibly random.

2.) Tell us a story about one of the books on this shelf that is special to you i.e. how you got it/ a memory associated with it etc.

I think I’m going to mention Amsterdam by Ian McEwan. I always think of my boyfriend when I see it. He read this exact copy from my collection years ago, loved it and still begs me to read it. You’ve guessed it, I still haven’t!

3.) Which book from this shelf would you ditch if you were forced to and why?

This is so very hard. I think I would choose The Apothecary’s Daughter by Patricia Schonstein. I haven’t read it yet so I can’t comment on the story but it’s probably the book on this shelf I’m the least excited about. 😦

4.) Which book from this shelf would you save in an emergency and why?

I think that would be The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. I’ve been meaning to read it for ages and I think my sister, Chrissi Reads is also eager to read it so I had better keep it safe for her at least! Plus I love the cover, really simple and effective.

5.) Which book has been on this shelf for the longest time?

Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen. I can’t even remember how long this book has been on my shelves!

6.) Which book is the newest addition to this shelf?

I think it’s The Glass Books Of The Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist. I saw it in a Waterstones when browsing with my sister and the title and synopsis really appealed to me.

7.) Which book from this shelf are you most excited to read (or re-read if this is a favourites shelf?)

There’s a lot of books on this shelf I’m excited for but if I had to choose it would be The Hungry Ghosts by Anne Berry. Set in Hong Kong during the Japanese occupation, it sounds right up my street!

8.) If there is an object on this shelf apart from books, tell us the story behind it.

There’s no room for any object on this shelf unfortunately, it’s double stacked as a lot of my shelves are!

9.) What does this shelf tell us about you as a reader?

Like other shelfies I’ve done, I think it demonstrates the variety of genres I enjoy – historical fiction, thrillers, fantasy, literary fiction and contemporary fiction amongst others.

10.) Choose other bloggers to tag or choose a free question you make up yourself.

I won’t tag anyone but if anyone wants to do this tag, I’d be delighted and I’d love to see your shelfie.

 

COMING SOON on bibliobeth : Shelfie by Shelfie #8

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Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult

Published April 9, 2017 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

What did I think?:

First of all, a huge thank you to the lovely people at Hodder & Stoughton for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, apologies that it’s taken me so long to write up my thoughts on this thought-provoking and emotionally raw novel! I have to say, I loved the way Small Great Things was marketed in the initial stages. It was sent to me without a title, author, cover image or even blurb on the back. All we were asked to do as reviewers was #readwithoutprejudice. Sorry the image is a little small but you can hopefully see that it’s purely just a black and white cover with very little information about what the story might be about. This was a really new and fascinating way to read a novel and I was excited to see if I could guess the author based on the content.

Did I guess it? Funnily enough, I did! I have been a fan of Jodi Picoult for a while, in fact one of my favourite books of all time is My Sister’s Keeper which my sister Chrissi Reads and I re-read fairly recently for our Banned Books series. Saying that, I haven’t read one of Jodi’s books for a little while but it was comforting to realise once I had finished that she hasn’t lost her touch with approaching controversial topics and family dramas in an open, honest and often nail-biting way. In Small Great Things, we are thrust into the world of Ruth Jefferson, a black labour and delivery nurse who is shocked to her core when some white supremacist parents explicitly request that she should not be permitted to touch their newborn child. When the child in question becomes gravely ill and requires resuscitation, Ruth hesitates briefly and this leads to her being blamed for the child’s death which goes to court in a dramatic showdown between Ruth, her white lawyer Kennedy McQuarrie and the child’s mother and father who strangely enough have appointed a black lawyer for themselves to prosecute Ruth.

The story is told from multiple perspectives (one of my favourite devices used by an author) and we hear not only from Ruth herself but from her lawyer Kennedy and interestingly, from the white supremacist father, Turk where we get a fascinating insight into his past, revealing how he came to hold the extreme views that he does at the time of his son’s death. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Jodi Picoult book without a courtroom drama and she is one of the few authors excepting John Grisham who writes this part of the narrative  in such a compelling way, making it impossible to put the book down.

As I mentioned before, the author courts controversial topics with ease, grace and dogged determination and I always enjoy finding out the topic she will be getting her teeth into next. Without a doubt, Jodi Picoult is like a dog with a bone when she talks about racism through the eyes of her black character, Ruth and I was slightly concerned that writing as a white woman, Ruth’s voice might not feel particularly authentic but I had absolutely no further concerns once I started to read from her perspective. All the characters, even those minor ones that we rarely see were drawn perfectly and were incredibly believable, especially the villain of the piece, Turk whose back story was particularly intriguing. At times, I have to admit it may have come across a bit “Racism For Beginners,” but despite that I still think it’s a book that needs to be read and such a prominent issue both now and in our past.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

 

Banned Books 2016 – DECEMBER READ – My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Published December 26, 2016 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate — a life and a role that she has never challenged… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues, My Sister’s Keeper is the story of one family’s struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time.

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Logo designed by Luna’s Little Library

Welcome to the last banned book of 2016! As always, we’ll be looking at why the book was challenged, how/if things have changed since the book was originally published and our own opinions on the book.

But back to this month….

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

First published: 2004

In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2009 (source)

Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: First of all, I can’t believe this book is now over ten years old. This book is a huge favourite of mine, actually one of my all time favourite books and again, it’s one of the more recent releases on our list so I don’t believe opinions have changed much in the past decade or so. No I don’t understand OR agree with ANY of the reasons for this book being challenged/banned when it was first published. Just look at the reasons, for goodness sake! I’ll go into a couple of them here and a couple of them in the next question because I feel like I’ve got a lot to rant about.

Let’s start with homosexuality. My memory must be failing me in this but I can’t actually remember any homosexual activity in this book – are we talking about the same story? Please, if anyone can correct me on this, I’d be happy to be corrected but I don’t recall anything homosexual at all! And, ever if there was, (I think you know what I’m going to say), is that a good reason for challenging a book? We should all be aware of all the different types of people in this world and saying that a person’s sexuality is a reason for challenging a book is just all kinds of wrong.

Religious viewpoint. Again, struggling to remember when religion was forced down my throat in this novel which I finished a few hours ago. Because it wasn’t. I’ve read a couple of “preachy” books in my time and this book definitely does not fall into that category. If anything, it makes you think about your own morality and make your own decisions.

CHRISSI: I’m laughing a little bit at Beth’s passionate response to that question. Not because it’s funny, but because she feels so strongly about it and rightly so. I actually was so confused when we found this book on the banned or challenged list. I guess it does call into question what is morally right, so that might have some impact on religion, but I definitely don’t think religion was shoved down my throat. I am NOT a fan of books like that, so I don’t think I would pick up the book if it was like that at all.

In my eyes, this book isn’t an easy read but should it be challenged? No. It should be praised because it’s making people think. It’s pushing boundaries, it’s raw and should be read in my opinion.

How about now?

BETH: See previous answer! So, the other reasons for challenging this book. Sexism. (??) I’m a bit of a feminist myself and nowhere in this book was I offended or thought that the role of women or men was being undermined. Sexually explicit? Where exactly was the explicit sexual scenes? I mean honestly…. are we reading the same book? Finally the last reason I’d like to talk about – violence. There is a very upsetting scene near the end of the novel but it’s not something I would call violence. This book does deal with very controversial topics as a whole (and is the first book I bawled my eyes out to) but I really don’t see this as a reason for challenging/banning it. I think it’s a great idea for teenagers to be exposed to it and who knows, it may encourage interesting debate and start them thinking about their own morals and ethics.

CHRISSI: Definitely not. I think this book does push some boundaries but boundaries that should, in my opinion, be pushed and talked about. It doesn’t hurt to question and think about our own morals and that’s what this book does for me at least!

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: I think it’s quite obvious from my over-long, rambling answers (sorry!) how passionate I feel about this book. It was the first Jodi Picoult book I read and remains one of my all time favourite novels. I was quite scared about re-reading it again as I hadn’t read it in about ten years and I didn’t want any of that old magic I felt back then to be spoiled. However, I needn’t have worried. I loved it just as much and it affected me just as deeply as it did the first time.

CHRISSI: This is my second time reading this book as well and I found it just as addictive the second time around. I wouldn’t say I felt as passionately about it as Beth does, but I’m inspired by her re-reading a favourite and still enjoying it. It makes me think about whether I should reread my favourite….

Would you recommend it?:

BETH: But of course!
CHRISSI: Of course!

BETH’S personal star rating (out of 5):

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Join us again in 2017 when we will have a fresh batch of banned books to talk about – we can’t wait to get started! Look out for our Banned Books 2017 Reveal Post coming soon. Happy New Year everyone!

 

Banned Books – The Titles For 2016 Revealed!

Published January 2, 2016 by bibliobeth

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Happy New Year everyone! Banned Books is another challenge I love to do with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads. We’ve now chosen our titles for 2016 which are quite a mixture and include a couple of graphic novels – quite a new venture for us but one that are looking forward to discovering!

JANUARY – Persepolis- Marjane Satrapi

FEBRUARY – It’s Perfectly Normal-Robie Harris

MARCH – Saga Volume 1- Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

APRIL – A Stolen Life- Jaycee Dugard

MAY – Drama- Raina Telgemeier

JUNE -Captain Underpants- Dav Pilkey

JULY – A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl- Tanya Lee Stone

AUGUST – Bless Me Ultima- Rudolfo Anaya

SEPTEMBER – Bone- Jeff Smith

OCTOBER – The Glass Castle- Jeanette Walls

NOVEMBER- Gossip Girl-  Cecily Von Ziegesar

DECEMBER – My Sister’s Keeper- Jodi Picoult

As always, we’ll be putting out our post on the last Monday of every month so if you fancy reading along with us, please feel free!

WWW Wednesday #32

Published February 26, 2014 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, and thanks as ever to MizB for hosting.

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?:

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I’m ploughing through this beast of a book this week. I’m really enjoying it, but for some reason it’s taking me ages to read!

What did you recently finish reading?:

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I really loved this book which I did as an interview type review with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads. Check out what we both thought on either of our blogs!

What do you think you’ll read next?:

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Next up, I’m reading Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll for the February Kid-Lit read which is a feature where I link up with Chrissi Reads. I’m also looking forward to reading this Icelandic murder mystery. It’s going to be part of a new feature which I’m doing on my blog and quite excited about.

What are you reading this Wednesday? Please leave your link and I’ll come pay you a visit! Happy Reading Everyone!

Talking about The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult with Chrissi

Published February 23, 2014 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

Sage Singer befriends an old man who’s particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone’s favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses…and then he confesses his darkest secret – he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage’s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who’s committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren’t the party who was wronged? And most of all – if Sage even considers his request – is it murder, or justice?

What did WE think?:

Chrissi: The Storyteller is emotional from the get go. Did it affect your reading experience?
Beth: I have to say it definitely did. A word that would describe it perfectly is “intense.” I haven’t read much about the Holocaust yet, as just the mere thought of it disgusts me but I was interested to read this book by Jodi Picoult as I haven’t enjoyed her latest books as much as I thought I would. (My Sisters Keeper remains one of my all time favourite books). What I wasn’t expected is the emotional roller-coaster ride of emotions that this novel took me on. At times I had to put the book down and remind myself to breathe because I was so enraptured and emotionally drained by the story.
Beth: How did you feel about the characters in this story? Any favourites?
Chrissi:  I thought the characters were really strong in this book.  They were really well developed and carefully considered.  I particularly liked Sage. I thought she was a strong character.  I actually preferred reading from her point of view. I really felt for her. I did think that we could’ve heard more from Minka and Josef’s point of view.  But, because I really liked Sage, it didn’t matter to much to me.
Chrissi: The Storyteller uses multiple points of view. Do you think this worked?
Beth: To be perfectly honest, I think this book would have worked without the multiple points of view. The story is strong enough and written in such a way that we didn’t need multiple narrators. Not that this is a bad thing, and it didn’t take anything away from the story, but I didn’t get any more out of it because it used different points of view. Does that make any sense?!
Beth: How did the author explore sibling relationships in this story? i.e. Sage and her sisters, Minka and her sister Basia, Franz and his brother Reiner.
Chrissi:  I think it was interesting to see so many sibling relationships within the story. I got the impression that Jodi really wanted to explore the complexities of sibling relationships. There can often be much resentment and jealousy, especially when parents seem to favour one over the other (Franz and Reiner).
Chrissi: “Truth is so much harder than fiction.” Do you agree with this statement in relation to reading a book about such a contentious issue? Is reading about something that actually happened in history a lot harder than reading about something that’s made up?
Beth: That’s a tricky one. I think it probably depends on the author and how well they write. Saying that though, I think one of the reasons I was so emotionally affected by this book is because it actually happened. And that there are still people out there denying it. It’s crazy. Its obvious by the amount of detail in the book though that the author has done her research meticulously, and it was probably harder to write than it was to read.
Beth: Have you read any previous material about the Holocaust (fiction or non-fiction)? Would reading this book make you want to read more about it?
Chrissi: I have read other books about the Holocaust. Mainly fiction, it has to be said. I did think ‘Oh here we go again…’ when I started it, because I really thought it was going to be just another book about the Holocaust. I don’t know why I thought that though as everything that I’ve read about the Holocaust, has been powerful and compelling. The same goes for The Storyteller.
Chrissi: “Forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else. It’s something you do for yourself.” Do you agree with this? Can you ever forgive and forget?
Beth: I definitely agree with that statement. I think that if you haven’t forgiven for yourself, deep down it was always haunt you and return to worry you. But I also think that although we have the capacity to forgive other people, I don’t think it’s half as easy to forget, and the experience may always stay with you because of this.
Beth: I never saw the ending coming. Did you?
Chrissi: Definitely not. I have in the past found some of Jodi Picoult’s novels to be a bit predictable. I was very glad that I couldn’t see what was going to happen coming. I love that shocking moment when all is revealed and you had no idea! That moment really shows that it’s been a really good book!
Chrissi: Would you have forgiven Josef? Why do you think Josef lied?
Beth: Hoping to not come across as cold and unfeeling but no, I don’t think I would have been able to forgive Josef. The atrocities that were committed against Jews were so disgusting and diabolical that I think it would be very difficult for anyone to forgive. As for why Josef lied, I think in the end he was just protecting his brother, and was looking for atonement for his own mistakes.
Beth: How does this book differ from other works you have read by the author?
Chrissi:  Something that massively stands out for me is that there’s no trial. It might sound stupid, but I’ve felt like every recent Jodi Picoult book has followed the same formula. I liked that there was a Jodi Picoult change of direction!

Would WE recommend it?:

Beth: But of course!

Chrissi: Of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

Beth: 

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Chrissi: 

four-stars_0

WWW Wednesday #31

Published February 19, 2014 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, and thanks as ever to MizB for hosting.

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?:

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I got this book from NetGalley as I am a big fan of the Narnia series and it sounded intriguing. Unfortunately, it’s a bit dry at the moment but will see how it goes.

What did you recently finish reading?:

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This is the first book picked for the Richard and Judy Spring Reads 2014 and is one I’m reviewing with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads. This book was so beautiful and emotional and I give it the full five stars. Look out for our review coming soon!

What do you think you’ll read next?:

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I’ve had this book for a little while as I wanted to read The Secret History, Tartt’s first novel before I started out. But now it’s nearly time to read it and I can’t wait!

What are you reading this Wednesday? Please leave your link and I’ll come pay you a visit! Happy Reading Everyone!