I've actually read both editions of the book, the '70's version and the '90's. I loved both. It's probably my favorite book ever, and I've read a lot...moreI've actually read both editions of the book, the '70's version and the '90's. I loved both. It's probably my favorite book ever, and I've read a lot of books. A classic story of good versus evil, with fantastic characters a reader can really care about. King is the only popular writer of ficiton I know of who can tackle issues of Christian faith without being preachy and still managing to appeal to just about anyone, regardless of their religion.(less)
Basic Plot: Harry Dresden is an actual, magic-wielding wizard based in the city of Chicago, where he lends his magickal talents to his private investi...moreBasic Plot: Harry Dresden is an actual, magic-wielding wizard based in the city of Chicago, where he lends his magickal talents to his private investigation business. There are some strange murders happening in Chi-Town that can't be explained by normal means, so the Chicago PD calls him in to consult.
This book was something my husband stumbled onto. He picked up book 6 in the series because he liked the cover, started reading it and realized it wasn't the first book of the series. He went back to the bookstore and bought the first book, then DEVOURED the rest of them. I was skeptical; our tastes aren't the same in books, but he convinced me, and I have never regretted it! These books are hysterically funny, deeply creepy, intriguingly mysterious, and everything else I love about reading. A great read for anyone.
It's been a while since I first read this book, and I'd been wanting to do a re-read for some months when my husband acquired the audio book versions of the first 11 Dresden books. James Marsters (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel fame) reads them. He's a fantastic reader in my opinion. Of course, my experience with audio books is pretty much nil, so I have to rely on my theatre/radio background to evaluate him. He uses a lot of good vocal variety for characters, and really captures Harry's snark. I'm more than willing to attempt to listen to the other books, just to hear him read.
That said, I don't think I'm an audio book person. I get too distracted too easily. I have to find something relatively mindless to do while I listen, which is nigh impossible for an English teacher with a 3-year-old at home to do. I can't grade or surf the web while I listen, I get too distracted and end up missing things. I can't keep an eye on my son while I listen, he'll burn the house down or paint the cats blue while I'm focused on listening. I can't read while I listen, that would be insane. I'm working on finding the right activity, because there is NO WAY IN HADES I can just sit and listen. I'll fall asleep. *sigh*
I still want to re-read the book. Listening to the audio book felt vaguely like eating an appetizer, and I'm still waiting for the main course.(less)
Butcher hits another home run- I love Harry's wit and sarcasm. Some people complain that Dresden is too preachy, but I tend to agree with the points b...moreButcher hits another home run- I love Harry's wit and sarcasm. Some people complain that Dresden is too preachy, but I tend to agree with the points being made, so I have no problem with the tone. The series is taking an interesting turn in several areas, and I'm definitely intrigued to find out what's going to happen in them (sorry, don't want to give spoilers). I must say, though, that it's about damn time Harry got some love, and I'm glad Butcher has not devolved to Hamilton's status when writing a love scene. Very classy, Butcher, you make a woman feel like there's hope for the men of this world.(less)
Basic plot: Monks are dying and a missing, mythical volume of Greek philosophy seems to be at the heart of the mystery.
This book took me over a year t...moreBasic plot: Monks are dying and a missing, mythical volume of Greek philosophy seems to be at the heart of the mystery.
This book took me over a year to finish reading. There were a lot of mitigating factors in there- having a baby, working, life- but it seems an awful long time to be working on a single book. I don't think it's ever taken me that long to work my way through a single piece of fiction.
Keep a dictionary on hand while reading this novel! I've got a great vocabulary, and I still have to look up words I'm unfamiliar with. If you know Latin (I don't) I'm sure you'll thoroughly enjoy this book. Not knowing what the Latin passages meant irked me, but in a more academic sense than in the sense that it affected the understanding of the plot. I just hate not knowing anything. :)
I've always loved the medieval period, and I've harbored a secret love for mysteries for ages. This book combines the two in a very accessible format for me. The language and motivations of the characters are very modern, despite the setting of the story, and the mystery is further intriguing because the characters are forced to reason through the mystery without all of the modern science that is so prevalent in the mysteries of today.
There's also a great message of temperance and thoughtfulness that's very appropriate to this time of religious zealotry and intolerance. Today's religious evangelism and holy wars aren't altogether that different from the Crusades and issues of the medieval period, making Eco's message very, very timely.(less)
I bought the illustrated edition of this book and it made a HUGE difference in the reading of it. The story is fantastic to begin with, I love the Gra...moreI bought the illustrated edition of this book and it made a HUGE difference in the reading of it. The story is fantastic to begin with, I love the Grail theory, but having the paintings and symbology right there makes the story so much easier to visualize. I had seen most of the artistic works before (in pictures), but didn't feel like looking them up as I read, so the illustrated edition was a great boon.(less)
I bought the illustrated edition for this book and it made a huge difference for me in understanding the story and visualizing the art mentioned. Brow...moreI bought the illustrated edition for this book and it made a huge difference for me in understanding the story and visualizing the art mentioned. Brown describes everything beautifully, but when you're talking about the work of renaissance masters, it's so much better to experience the art, not just a description. A fantastic book, considering my love of all things conspiracy-theory.(less)
Any book that has powerful enough writing that it actually brings tears to my eyes in an emotionally intense moment deserves the five-star rating. Pat...moreAny book that has powerful enough writing that it actually brings tears to my eyes in an emotionally intense moment deserves the five-star rating. Patricia Briggs gets better and better with each novel, and Mercy Thompson continues to be a favorite heroine of mine.(less)
Basic Plot: Aerin is the mostly-left-to-her-own-devices, unconventional daughter of the king. After discovering a secret formula that can make her fir...moreBasic Plot: Aerin is the mostly-left-to-her-own-devices, unconventional daughter of the king. After discovering a secret formula that can make her fireproof, she begins hunting dragons, which takes her on a journey to save the kingdom.
I bought a paperback of this book when I was in elementary school through one of those school book order programs (I was ADDICTED to them), and it was the first Robin McKinley book I ever read. It is now so battered and worn that I have actually been thinking about buying a new hardcover of it. I seriously think I've read it at least 50 times. The world of Damar is developed very well, and I positively loved the main character. I can't say I identify with her completely, as I'm a very different person, but there are aspects of her personality (read: stubbornness and attitude) that are very like me, and so I loved the character. I have to say that Aerin probably inspired most of my tom-boyish activities as a child, and certainly helped to spawn my life-long love of fantasy, magic, and swords. Every time I go to the bookstore I search for new McKinley books first, and it's all because of this novel.
It's theoretically a pre-quel (to The Blue Sword), and it reads like a dreamy fable. There's a haunting, dream-like quality to a lot of the events of the book. The writing is excellent (probably why the book is an award-winner). Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone, young or old as an epic high fantasy novel.(less)
I read this book for the first time a LONG time ago (probably shortly after it came out), but it was one of those books I read and re-read umpteen tim...moreI read this book for the first time a LONG time ago (probably shortly after it came out), but it was one of those books I read and re-read umpteen times as a young person. It's fantastic for coming-of-age type novels, and i lov ethe fantasy element. The taxi has long been one of my favorite characters in a fantasy story.(less)
I see why this book is a classic. After seeing several movie versions of the novel, I finally acknowledged to myself that I really needed to read the...moreI see why this book is a classic. After seeing several movie versions of the novel, I finally acknowledged to myself that I really needed to read the book. I enjoyed it thoroughly. As I'd seen movie versions, there were really no surprises, but I did really notice all of the internalizations given by Austen of the characters. I liked being able to read the characters' thought processes as well as their dialogue and behaviour. People from Austen's time aren't all that different from today-- but more well-mannered.(less)
Basic Plot: Offred the Handmaiden tries to survive and thrive in a dystopian future where the ability to procreate is vital, even if it doesn't give a...moreBasic Plot: Offred the Handmaiden tries to survive and thrive in a dystopian future where the ability to procreate is vital, even if it doesn't give a woman any rights.
I read this book in a college course and it had a profound impact on me. I really need to re-read it some time soon. Dystopias have a way of pointing out the problems of current society by using exaggerated, futuristic versions of the results of those problems. The debate over reproductive rights, gender equality, overpopulation, disease, and a host of other, more minor, issues are addressed in this book.
It's hard, as a feminist (a female who believes in equality between genders, not that men suck) to see women sometimes as our own worst enemy. We don't trust each other. We hold each other to double standards. We get jealous and petty. We dither instead of making decisions. These are not absolutes, but they tend to be our worst problems. It's easy to see how beaten down and frightened women would be terrified into submission by more domineering personalities. I can absolutely see how the stratification of women into various subservient classes (as in this book) could actually happen.
Much like 1984 changed my views on individualism and government control when I was only a freshman in high school (talk about timing for reading that one...), this book helped solidify my views on feminism and equality when I was in college. It provokes a great deal of thought, whether the reader is a male or female, and I highly recommend it to anyone who feels they have a stake in the gender or reproduction debates.(less)
I really need to buy a copy of this. For my son, so I can read it to him. Really. It's for him. Not for me...morePoems! For kids! But still fun for adults!!!
I really need to buy a copy of this. For my son, so I can read it to him. Really. It's for him. Not for me at all. It's not so I can remember that I actually love poetry and that it doesn't all have to have some deep, Freudian meaning leading to Romantic symbolism or some other academic crap like that. Really. It's for the kid.
I loved this book as a child and read it countless times. I even had a cassette tape of Silverstein reading/singing some of the poems and it was one of my favorite things to listen to on my spanking new boom box (Yay, the 80s!). I can still hear him in my head singing about being eaten by a boa constrictor. Classic.
Silverstein's short poems inspire, tickle, terrify, and teach, sometimes all at once. They are suitable for children and adults, and now I really need to go buy this book.(less)