Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book Review: Women of the Book of Mormon

In Sense and Sensibility (episode 3, part 2, 2008 version) Meg makes the comment, "I wish I was a man. Girls can never do anything. Men can ride about the country and do things. And girls just sit and wait for things to happen."

I have to confess there are times I have seen the same type of limitation in women's lives today that Meg saw in her own day. I have also wondered why there seems to be so little about women in scripture. Not that the scriptures are not completely wonderful, but there are times when I have wished for some more feminine advice from our most spiritual maternal progenitors.

Recently I have had the lucky opportunity to review Heather B. Moore's new book Women of the Book of Mormon: Insights and Inspirations. This new volume will be released this month and will make a perfect gift for Mother's day next month. But what most struck me about Women of the Book of Mormon is the added depth Moore was able to provide regarding the five women specifically named in the BOM (Sariah, Mary, Eve, Isabel, and Abish). I learned more than I ever thought possible about these five women.

Heather B. Moore is the author of the 'Out of Jerusalem' series, as well as additional books based on the Book of Mormon. In fact, much of Moore's Women of the Book of Mormon grew out of research she did for some of her (fabulous) earlier books based on that book of scripture. She was very thorough in her historical, cultural, and religious research to ensure that her plot lines were as accurate as possible. And the interest generated in the female characters of these books indicted there are many women in the Church who feel the same way I do--they would love to know more about the women in the scriptures. The end result is a beautifully well written, inspiring, and tender book that brought me closer to some of the great matriarchs I have long yearned to know.

Moore makes it easy to say, to Meg and everyone else, "I am proud to be a woman."

Scripture of the Day: Amos 3:7

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Brush with Fame

Four or five years ago my sister-in-law gave me a book for Christmas. A lady in her ward had her first book published, and in an effort to support her friend my SIL had bought some copies of the book, had them autographed, and gave them out as gifts. That book was Twilight.

Stephenie Meyer lived in my sister-in-law's ward until the success of her book afforded them to buy a nicer home. Despite the move, they stayed in contact. Remember the nephew I mentioned returned home from his mission? He used to babysit the Meyer's sons. So, on Sunday, when we went to his homecoming, I was not surprised to see the Meyers at the church. And then they even came to the luncheon afterward.

I admit to being too conflicted to talk with Stephenie. I mean, I wanted to, but I felt it was not very appropriate to be all fan-like when she was supposed to be at a friendly/family type get-together. I did notice someone else got her autograph, though. And Kitty kind of wanted a picture with her (I told her to ask, but she was too shy).

As a result, this is the best I can do for you--her she is in the background of this picture of Patch. My BIL is standing between her and her husband. Enjoy!

PS, I saw an article today indicating Stephenie Meyer has a novella coming out June 5--another vampire story.

PPS, That first-edition, signed copy of Twilight? Ruined... :-(

Scripture of the Day: Psalms 100:1-5

Monday, March 29, 2010

Today's Post

I am posting over on the ANWA blog today. Be sure to come and check me out! I wrote a bit about author royalties.


Scripture of the Day: Alma 48:11

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons #21

One of my favorite cartoons of all time :-)

Have a great weekend!

If you are a published author, please take a minute to complete this brief survey on author roylaties. Click here to take survey

Scripture of the Day: 1 Peter 4:14

Friday, March 26, 2010

What I have been up to...

- At work over the past few days I wrote a report about new foods now available through WIC. Apparently, now you can only get 1%, 2%, or skim milk. And they are providing more fruits and veggies. They are trying to offer healthier food options.

- Yesterday we drove over to see my nephew who recently returned from his mission in Madagascar. He had been home less than 36 hours and was still in that everything-seems-weird mode. But he also had that wonderful return missionary glow!

- Tonight I made an Italian sausage pasta dinner.Iit turned out yummy, although the bread sticks needed more garlic salt.

- Today we received our federal tax refund! Our bank account looks much happier now. Thanks to my mom who did our taxes for us. Tomorrow I will be taking her to get a pedicure to say "thank you" in a more tangible manner.

- And last but not least, I need three more friends on Facebook to hit 300. Anyone want to be my friend??

- If you are a published author, please take a minute to take this quick survey about author roylaties. Click here to take survey

Scripture of the Day: Romans 5:11

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Book Review: Band of Sisters

Annette Lyon sent me a pass-along copy of her newly released book Band of Sisters. I was excited to read it and gobbled it up in a day. I have to admit she made me cry more than once. But I am getting ahead of myself. Here is what the book is about:

(From the back of the book)
When the war on terror calls their husbands to duty, five LDS women are left behind to fight battles of their own: Kim, newlywed and pregnant, frightened of what the future might bring. Brenda, struggling to manage three unruly boys and a crippling bout of depression. Jessie, secretly grappling with mixed feelings about her emotionally abusive husband. Marianne, wrestling with a rebellious teen daughter. And Nora, the seasoned Army wife with perfect hair, an immaculate home--and an ill-tempered mother dying of cancer.

"Knowing that the separation of deployment is extremely difficult, Nora gathers the wives together every week to share lunch and burdens. In good company, they worry over safety in the field and stability at home and offer one another counsel and comfort. But as their personal crises build, each woman faces the risks of forming deep bonds of trust. And when tragedy strikes, they must confront the painful realities of war that pull families apart and bring friends together as sisters."

Band of Sisters reminded me of The Joy Luck Club in that it rotated the storyline between each of the five main characters. Lyon does this successfully--each "sister" gets enough time and each has a unique and interesting situation she works through. I particularly liked the wide age range of the "sisters" and felt I was able to connect with each of them on different levels. They were easy to relate to. I particularly liked Kim's character and challenge of being pregnant while her husband was gone. The only character I felt did not have enough resolve to her problem was Jesse; there was no direct communication between her and her husband at the end to at least partially overcome their marital issues. But maybe that's because the deployment is only halfway done and Lyon is planning a sequel??

After reading Band of Sisters I passed it on the my friend Julie (who has a rockin', keep it real kind of blog) who loves to read. I am missing having my own copy already--I tend to like to re-read a book several times to make sure I catch all of the details. Guess I will have to pick up a copy of my own now! Those of you who know Julie, be sure tell her you want to be next in line to read this great book.

Click here to read the first three chapters of Band of Sisters online. Or, you can purchase the book or book on CD here.

Scripture of the Day: Galatians 5:22

Morning Rain

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain outside my bedroom window. It was coming down pretty steadily, but there was no thunder or lightning. However, the sound of the rain was magnified by the fact my mini trampoline was just outside. The drops plopping onto it were much louder than the regular pitter patter I generally hear outside my window.

And the thought of the raindrops bouncing on it made me smile. Better than landing on hard concrete, right?

I love rainy mornings!

Scripture of the Day: Psalms 16:11

Monday, March 22, 2010

Peanut M&Ms

I bought some peanut M&Ms for my husband's birthday open house last week. I knew it was a risky move on my part. I am very familiar with this personal weakness. I like peanut M&Ms a lot--they are so tempting to me. "But on the other hand," I rationalized, "I need something to round out the buffet a bit." And with that I pledged to myself I would be good that night.

Well, I was good that night. My honor remained intact. The candy was a hit and I only ate 2 peanut M&Ms that evening despite refilling the bowls several times.

And Thursday I was good, too. I don't think I ate any that day. I had forgotten they were there.

But Friday they caught my eye. And Friday night, for some reason, has the symbolic meaning of relaxing and enjoying one's self. So I ate a handful of M&Ms. And another. And another.

I reigned myself in on Saturday after going to my WW meeting. Guilt feelings are good that way. The bag of M&Ms was stowed away inside the bread machine where they were out of sight. (But not quite out of mind.)

Sunday at church was a bit rough and I came home feeling sorry for myself and frustrated. Again, another reason to get a handful of M&Ms. Or two. Or four. Is there ever much of a reason not to eat peanut M&Ms? I think not.

Finally I told my husband to hide them or take them to work so I could be rid of them. And he was more than willing to help in that regard. Within a few minutes the bag was gone and I was relieved I would not have to worry about cheating with them again.

Until I saw them this morning on the top laundry room shelf. Taunting me.

Please, someone stop by and remove them from the premises. I am too weak...

Scripture of the Day: Alma 38:2

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons #20

Hope y'all have had a great Saturday!

Scripture of the Day: 1 Nephi 8:10

Friday, March 19, 2010

LDS Book Reader Survey - Summary of Findings

Thanks to all who participated in the LDS Book Reader Survey! Here are the results as promised.

(Click here
to read the Introduction, including background and methodology information.)

Approximately half of the LDS Book Reader Survey participants, or 53%, report buying at least 10 books (outside of textbooks) in a year. An additional 22% indicate they purchase 7 to 10 books per year. Only 9% say they buy one to three books per year. Male respondents were notably more likely than female respondents to reveal they only purchase one to three books in a year (21% vs. 7% of women).

As expected, the vast majority of book purchases among LDS church members are for personal use (92%); however, more than half of the respondents also say they most often purchase books for their children (58%). When combined with the proportion of respondents who report buying books for grandchildren a total of 62% buy books for children/grandchildren (NET responses).

In addition to asking for whom the books were purchased, respondents were also asked how many of their book purchases were for immediate family use. Half (50%) specify they buy seven or more books for their immediate family in a year’s time. Only 7% report none of the books they bought were for their family to use.

Immediate Family Book Purchases

None - 7%

1 to 3 - 20%

4 to 6 - 23%

7 to 10 - 19%

11 to 15 - 11%

More than 15 - 20%

Nine in ten of the LDS Book Reader Survey respondents report at least "a few" of the books they bought within the past year were associated with the Mormon faith (89%). Twenty-nine percent (29%) of the respondents agree it was "most" or "all" of the books they bought.

Next, survey participants were asked from which retailers they most frequently buy LDS-related books. The most common source respondents indicate they purchase LDS-related books from is Deseret Book. A total of 85% of the respondents said they buy from Deseret (60% storefront and 31% online). As the largest retailer of LDS books, this result was not unexpected.

In comparison, 43% of the respondents report they buy from Seagull Book and tape (38% storefront and 5% online). The only other retailers receiving a consensus of 7% or higher were Amazon (10%) and independent LDS bookstores (7%).

Preferred Book Sellers

Deseret Book (NET) - 85%
[Storefront - 60%]
[Online - 31%]

Seagull Book and Tape (NET) - 43%
[Storefront - 38%]
[Online - 5%]

Amazon - 10%
Independent LDS Bookstores - 7%
Wal-mart - 3%
From author/publisher - 2%
Non-LDS Bookstores - 2%
Other - 9%

With the growing use of E-readers a question gauging interest in these high-tech devices was included in the LDS Book Reader Survey. Respondents were asked to rate their level of interest in E-readers using a scale of one (“not at all interested”) to five (“extremely interested”). Nearly one in four survey participants report their interest is high (23% rate four or five) while 34% say they are “not at all interested.” The average rating given (among those who gave a one to five rating) was 2.52.

For a written copy of the LDS Book Survey report (which includes additional data comparisons by gender), email me or leave a comment with your e-mail address.