The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

>> Tuesday, March 31, 2009


The story is a bit dark - incestuous siblings, madness, feral twins - but the writing quickly drew me in, and I was captured by its mystery.

The main character, Margaret, is the epitome of an avid reader. As she states, "I read old novels. The reason is simple: I prefer proper endings. Marriages and deaths, noble sacrifices and miraculous restorations, tragic separations and unhoped for reunions, great falls and dreams fulfilled; these in my view, constitute an ending worth the wait. They should come after adventures, perils, dangers and dilemmas, and wind everything up nice and neatly. Endings like this are to be found more commonly in old novels than new ones, so I read old novels."

I too, prefer proper endings. Some may call it predictable, but that's what I want. Proper endings.


Bated Breath?

Are you dying to know? Are you not sleeping at night? Are you waiting with bated breath? Do you even know what bated breath means? I think it sounds gross, but that's just me. And if I've totally confused you, I'm talking about The Sage Room mascot. We have FINALLY after much thought, deliberation and input from our readers chosen a name. Not that anyone is actually losing sleep at night. Anyway...

Lewis. We will call him Lewis.

We recognize that our comments were split fairly evenly between Lewis and Thaddeus but in the end we chose Lewis in tribute to one of our favorite authors, C.S. Lewis, who we deem wise and experienced. Sage-like if you will. And you will.

So our cute little owl will now be referred to as Lewis and stay tuned because he is sure to make an appearance in some upcoming pictures...

Thanks for playing everyone!


The Catcher in the Rye - E's Review

>> Monday, March 30, 2009

From the beginning Holden Caulfield drove me absolutely crazy. We meet his character right after he finds out he got kicked out of yet another prep school and we follow him on a 2-3 day journey in New York City before he decides to finally go home and face his parents wrath. Maybe it was because I couldn't relate to him at all, or maybe it was the over the top use of profanity, or maybe, just maybe he was annoying. Plain and simple. Either way, I related much more to his little sister that adored him, got mad at him for getting kicked out and would have followed him to the ends of the earth. She redeemed him. Kind of.

I'd like to think there was some value in reading this book. Did it give me insight into the minds of my teenage nephews? Maybe, but I hope not because I think they are the coolest kids in the world. And this guy, well, he drove me crazy.


The Catcher in the Rye - Anna's Review

>> Friday, March 27, 2009

26 pages in and I was already tired of the book. Tired of the excessive profanity, tired of Holden, tired of the slangauge, and tired of the themes that saturated and dominated every page. Reading it became a monotonous assignment, instead of an enjoyable pastime.


The Catcher in the Rye: Lisa's Review

>> Wednesday, March 25, 2009

If ever a book piqued my interest and sent a million thoughts zinging through my head, this one did. I can't say I loved it, but I'm thoroughly glad I read it.
* I hated the constant barrage of profanity (and therefore would strongly discourage anyone under 18 reading the book), yet I felt it was a somewhat natural part of Holden's Caulfield's disfunctional teenage voice. Still, Salinger could have accomplished the same purpose with a fifth of the language---the excess was in poor taste.
* I wouldn't want my own small children within a hundred miles of Holden, yet I saw in him a desperate longing to do right and be genuine. I like him more than a lot of people I know.
* When we are honest, we can see within ourselves suppressed elements of the forces operating within Holden. Half the time, he didn't even know why he did the crazy, stupid stuff he did. How very human.
* The English teacher in me would love to read this book (is there an edited version?!) with a group of high school boys, then have them journal about what parts of themselves they see in Holden. Then offer them intense counselling. :)
* As a mother of sons, I feel that this book somehow allowed me to peek into the window of a teenage boy's soul. If I learned anything, it is that you can't always judge a person's insides by his outward actions.


April's Pick


I felt the pressure. The pressure that Anna and Lisa have told you about. The pressure to pick something worthwhile and enriching. Something that will provide good discussion in our monthly book club meeting. And with so many books in the world it wasn't easy to narrow it down. But I did. I pick The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

Though recommended by a friend, I'm not exactly sure what prompted me to pick this book other than the more I read about it, the more intrigued I was. Someone's review described the author's writing style as similar to the Bible with no real chapter breaks or use of punctuation. And besides the author winning the Pulitzer Prize for it in 2006, it is being adapted to the big screen starring Viggo Mortensen. So who knows, maybe book club will turn into movie night sometime in November of this year!

Disaster. Desolation. The man. The boy. The Road.



No such thing as too many...

>> Monday, March 23, 2009

Obviously I love reading. I mean I am a member of a book club after all. But did you know that I love books? I do. I love the actual book. While others often go to the library for the monthly pick, I find myself buying the book. Sometimes it's a matter of convenience, but if I'm honest, I just really enjoy owning the actual book. And what do I do with all the books? Well, I decorate my home. The different shapes, sizes, textures, topics, and colors inspire me and make my soul smile. So yes, I like to read, but I also like to look. At my books.
design style


Silas Reads

>> Wednesday, March 18, 2009




Adaptations from favorite books can be tricky things. I mean sometimes I wonder if anyone involved with the movie even read or understood the book (Twilight and Eragon). Seriously, sometimes I just want to stand up and shout, "Are you kidding? I could do a better job writing this!" Ahh, but then some movies completely capture the book's essence (Harry Potter, Cold Comfort Farm, BBC version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth, not Kiera Knightly). However, no matter how great the adaptation is, I rarely think the movie is better than the book, it can be equal, but rarely better.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is an exception. This past Sunday, I got off work, made myself a yummy snack and popped in the DVD. I was skeptical because I wasn't altogether on board with the path that Ann Brashares took the girls of the pants, but the first movie was good and nostalgic of being 16. So I gave movie #2 my attention, and it was great. A sweet, simple movie about friends - again. The adaptation altered a few of the storylines and for me it worked. It became just the chic flick I was needing.


My dilemma.

>> Friday, March 13, 2009


I am currently reading a book I started at the beginning of February entitled The Shipping News. I'm not really sure why it has taken me so long to get through it. So far I really like it and the writing style is beautiful. It actually has introduced me to a people and culture unlike any other book I have read. It's just that I find myself only being able to steal 10-15 minutes before I fall asleep to actually read.

And now, I have another book looming over me. Catcher in the Rye is due March 24th. It's official: I hate reading on a deadline. It makes me feel trapped. So here I sit in the middle of one book with another hanging over my head. Do I start Catcher in the Rye or get a move on and finish The Shipping News first?

Do any of you read two books at the same time? I just realized that I never do that. I think I fear I won't finish one if I start another. Oh no! What should I do?


I Didn't Mean To

>> Thursday, March 12, 2009


It has recently come to my attention (per a conversation with Erin), that I have unwittingly chosen almost all British authors for book club. (Stella Gibbons, Agatha Christie, P.G. Wodehouse and Anthony Horowitz). Robin McKinley is the exception and she resides in England with her British husband, so really she's not a big exception. What can I say? "I pledge allegience to the flag of the United States of America..."

P.S. I'm 90% positive that I will be choosing Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte for my next choice, and yes, she is British.


The nameless mascot...

>> Wednesday, March 4, 2009


So there we were, in Starbucks, patiently waiting for our vanilla lattes while we perused the latest in classic coffee merchandise. Then it was like a light shone down and the angels of heaven started singing...I looked at him, Anna looked at me. To say it was love at first sight is an understatement. He was mine from the moment I laid eyes on him. The owl of my dreams - clothed in corduroy with shades of brown and orange, the cutest glasses you've ever seen and he was reading a book. PERFECT!

I hesitated. Only because I don't like to impulse buy. But I couldn't help myself. We were meant to be together. And now, we know why - he is our MASCOT! Sitting in the perfect chair, on top of some of our favorite books (Harry Potter mind you), making sure we stay true to ourselves and the books we read.

This might be a LITTLE dramatic, but it's the truth. And I am no woman, if I can't stand behind the truth. Note: his picture is directly to your right at the top of this blog.

So this is where you come in...he still needs a name. The perfect name for the perfect mascot. We want input from our faithful blog readers on what they think would be the perfect name. Please leave us a comment with your choice (chosen from the 4 below) and if you want, tell us WHY you like that name!

Here are your choices:
Boobook (which is a type of owl)

DISCLAIMER: While your input might sway heavily in favor of one name, we are not bound to choose that name. The ultimate decision will rest with The Sage Room. But please, tell us which name best describes our mascot!


Lisa's Review: Stormbreaker

>> Tuesday, March 3, 2009

If you're looking for a book to prove to your 11-year-old boy that reading really can be fun, this may be it. Full of cool gadgets, high-speed chases, narrow escapes and close calls, Stormbreaker is just what it claims to be--a preteen spy adventure. As an adult reader, it's pretty unbelievable, but then again, aren't most James Bond movies? (and we still love them!)

P.S. Anna, Erin, did you know there is a Stormbreaker movie? We probably better make it a rule that we see every book-made-into-movie that applies, don't you think?


E's Review - Stormbreaker

Stormbreaker was described as a young adult book, a modern day Hardy boys.

An hour and a half later, I had hung from a helicopter, swam thru a cave and barely escaped a metal crushing machine that was going to have no mercy on my 14 year old bones. I flew through the pages not completely buying into the plot twists but willing to let the author take me on this adventure all the while remembering I was reading a book geared for boys in their pre and early teens. It was James Bond for young adults. Captivating and engaging, but no Harry Potter. It did not break the barrier into adult fiction, but I, like Anna, overall liked it. And I would definitely recommend it - to my 12 year old nephew.


March's Pick

>> Monday, March 2, 2009

Drumroll, please! In the month of March, Sage Room participants will be reading The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. After much deliberation and the perusal of many must-read lists, I finally gave in to the literary pressure. Apparently, this is a book that every well-read person should read and know all about. So we're going to read it and know all about it. Get excited, girls.

P.S. It has been noted that we are caught in a bit of a cycle. Lisa picks a long, difficult, assignment-type book, so Erin and Anna pick a light, fun books to give us relief, then Lisa decides we better get back to the tough stuff, and so on... When will it all end?


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