This is a wonderful book for the beginner/intermediate SLR photographer. It lays out the most important concepts of photography out in a way that is e...moreThis is a wonderful book for the beginner/intermediate SLR photographer. It lays out the most important concepts of photography out in a way that is easy to understand and keeps the technical mumbo jumbo to a minimum. The explanations along with the beautiful photography is a great touch and makes the whole process more accessible. I'm looking forward to spending more time with this book and trying out the exercises for myself!(less)
I absolutely adored this book, it was delicious in every sense of the word, and I couldn't wait to get home from work each day to spend time with it....moreI absolutely adored this book, it was delicious in every sense of the word, and I couldn't wait to get home from work each day to spend time with it. Though I found it a bit slow at the beginning, the pace picked up quickly, and I finished it in a few days because I *had* to know what was going to happen next.
I liked the fact that the Faerie World wasn't typically Fairy-Fantasy (all pixie dust and light), but had a huge undercurrent the dystopian and political, and drawing on issues that have plagued us for some time. It was an incredibly complete, textured and vivid world, which impressed me because that's more common in long, ongoing series. Speaking of which, though I'm sad there isn't another book, I am very glad that this is a stand alone book because I didn't have to fight through thousands of pages to come to a resolution, which made this book all the more satisfying.
Loved the characters, the twists, and pretty much the entire thing. Who'd have thought Flowers could get so violent?(less)
Before I get into what I liked about this book and didn't, above all, I do think it's important to read it. Whether you agree with all of her specific...moreBefore I get into what I liked about this book and didn't, above all, I do think it's important to read it. Whether you agree with all of her specific arguments or not, the point remains that most of us are rather unaware of the toll it takes our food to get to us. We're fuzzily aware that we should eat local, but the message (for me at least) didn't come packaged in a way that made me sit up and actually pay attention to it...until now. This book is an extremely positive force for local food.
Now let's get onto the details. The context in which I read this book was an atypical one, but it made the experience particularly enriching - I was an urbanite spending a week Wwoofing on an organic farm. I assume that most people reading this book are urbanites, and that many of them are, at best, just passingly familiar with growing their own food in a backyard garden. Certainly, very few of my friends and family members have spent time growing food on a farm. The unfamiliar details of farm life, were actually playing out right there in front of me all week, which quite filled me with awe.
To those coming from a similar place to me (previously unfamiliar with anything farm related), I can say that all of the details, the mechanics of growing your own food are absolutely accurate. Aside from experiencing up close and personal the overabundance of everything squash and tomato related, I was able to reinforce what I learned from the book on the farm. I visited the asparagus patch to see what it looked like months after the asparagus itself had come and gone, had the canning process described to me in depth, and saw for myself the large, orange-yellow blossoms at the top of the zucchinis (if it's fallen off, it's definitely time to grab that one). I would have been surprised to see the bright yellow flying-saucerlike Pattypan squash in the fields, except that I had discovered them in the book the night before. Trying to cover all the bases, I was treated to anecdotes of the first awkward poultry kills, and took a long look at the "fancy plucking machine" alluded to in the book. Perhaps most important, I learned for myself how utterly satisfying it is to grow your own food - Barbara Kingsolver can describe that all she wants, but that's something you can't learn from reading a book.
The process of growing your own food, pieced together from the details and cute anecdotes was by far, the most enjoyable part of the book. I wish there could have been more of that, and maybe also a chart that showed what grew when (although of course this would vary across the world). So that's what I loved, and now we're moving into murkier waters.
Generally, the factual, more theoretical information about the state of the food industry had its place although some of that kind of lost me, it's nice to know that the information and the means to get more information from the websites Steven listed is there when I want it.
Now we're getting into the realm of the bad side of the book. I do believe that the positive in this book overrides the negative, and so I am willing to be forgiving, but I feel that I have to air one very large grievance in particular. While I really love what she said when it came to eating dairy, I was sorely disappointed when it came to her discussion of vegetarianism. Despite Camille's admission that it's "wrong to try and impose my food ethics on others," I felt as though Kingsolver was trying to do just that, in this section alone, I found her annoyingly preachy. As a vegetarian/vegan myself, my attitude is similar to the attitude she puts into practice each day ("if you're going to eat meat, factory farming is definitely not the way to go"). Nevertheless her arguments against vegetarianism were largely hollow and overdone, almost as though they were there to validate her own choice. Just two particularly irksome examples, because this has already been covered in other reviews: 1) Pulling plants out of the ground does not equate to chopping the heads off animals. Sorry :( 2) The fact that farmers in Peru and Africa use goats and cattle to sustain themselves has no merit in an argument for eating meat in urban cities.
I guess I'm just annoyed that the vegetarian argument had to enter this book at all, the overall message is important enough that it should override that issue.
This is probably the longest review I've ever posted on here - are you still with me? I guess the final thing to say is that this book is full of hope. Even though most of us don't have the means to embark on a year of local food through working at home and devoting time to a large scale gardening project, we are now aware, and can still use the ideas in it to make small changes that will get us a little closer. (less)
I didn't love this as much as I thought I would - sorry Deej! I found Calamity really abrasive, and while I don't have a problem with that in and of i...moreI didn't love this as much as I thought I would - sorry Deej! I found Calamity really abrasive, and while I don't have a problem with that in and of itself, I don't think she changed very much over the course of the book. Her story seemed relatively unfinished and the book didn't end with the bang I was expecting. Still, Hopkinson is a good writer that paints quite vividly and I'd like to read more of her work.
[As an aside - I think there's something I'm missing in the ending. If you completely understood it, can you DM me and unconfuse me?](less)
Maybe it was a timing thing, or maybe I need more space between my Philip Roth books, but this book just didn't grab me. Didn't mind stopping midway t...moreMaybe it was a timing thing, or maybe I need more space between my Philip Roth books, but this book just didn't grab me. Didn't mind stopping midway through when it had to go back to the library. I'll probably try this one again another time.(less)
**spoiler alert** First Instinct Review: Elizabeth: Waaaaa! I can't rule England without you! Robert: Come my Sweet! I shall pet you and stroke you and...more**spoiler alert** First Instinct Review: Elizabeth: Waaaaa! I can't rule England without you! Robert: Come my Sweet! I shall pet you and stroke you and rule you and call you George. Elizabeth: Ooo, Lord Robert! Me: Shut the hell up!
With A Little More Thought: The verdict after reading The Other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance, The Queen's Fool and The Constant Princess is that this one is definitely the worst.
I hated the way Elizabeth was portrayed. Yes, from historical records it does seem as though she was indecisive and dependent, but would have been nice to see at least a hint of the strong, older Elizabeth that is more common in other works about her instead of a simpering wench who's too stupid and lovestruck to do anything but whimper at the misguided object of her affections. Amy, who shows some backbone all of once in the entire novel isn't any better, and when the climax happened, I completely didn't care and was kind of glad that she wouldn't be whining anymore. Coupled with the annoyingly suave and power hungry Robert Dudley, I spent most of the time reading this fantasizing about punching all the main characters in the head.
Speaking of Amy's death, it was kind of a downer for someone like me who didn't know the history that they spoiled what happens at the end of the book on the back cover. Furthermore, the back cover was misleading because it says the book is about her death, and the aftermath of that death, but she doesn't die until 20 pages before the book ends, and then the book ends completely abruptly.
At least upon it's completion, I derive some satisfaction in giving it a crappy review. (less)
Continuing on with my forays through Henry VIII's court. I wish I could give this one a 3.5. I found it a bit circular at times, but I found the multi...moreContinuing on with my forays through Henry VIII's court. I wish I could give this one a 3.5. I found it a bit circular at times, but I found the multiple perspectives neat and that's what kept my interest.(less)
**spoiler alert** After reading The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool, I must say that I was a little disappointed in this one. While I love Cata...more**spoiler alert** After reading The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool, I must say that I was a little disappointed in this one. While I love Catalina as a character, and the descriptions of the Alhambra was meaningful because I've spent time in Granada, I found her rather one-dimensional.
I found the climax of the book and subsequent jumping ahead to be very jarring and odd, since it completely skips over the birth of the child that she is so focused on having throughout. Moreover, when faced with the greater ambition of Anne Boleyn, all the fight in her that's built throughout just leaves her, which I found to be belittling.
I did enjoy it but I just found the writing to be too literal and simplistic for my taste. Although given that fact that he was 15, it's still really...more I did enjoy it but I just found the writing to be too literal and simplistic for my taste. Although given that fact that he was 15, it's still really impressive.(less)
(To clarify, this was a book before it was a movie. I wish it had a different cover. I hate when the books are rereleased with movie covers because it...more(To clarify, this was a book before it was a movie. I wish it had a different cover. I hate when the books are rereleased with movie covers because it completely belittles the book.)
This was different than what I expected, really understated compared to the movie which I saw first. This was quieter, more contained and the focus was a little narrower. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, though did leave me wanting to know more about the general state of how things actually functioned. It's such a juicy premise that I wish that the world was opened up a little bit more. Still, being understated still has a big impact, more impressive because it's not shoved into your face-hole.(less)
I'm grateful to books like these. It really puts the food industry in the bigger context, in terms of the forces at work in keeping things the way the...moreI'm grateful to books like these. It really puts the food industry in the bigger context, in terms of the forces at work in keeping things the way they are, forces that hardly work in our best interests. We tend not to challenge norms that have always (to us) been in place, assuming that they're right because they've always been there. This book is an eye opener and an important one, and I highly recommend it. (less)
Two of my friends raved about this book, and I dove right in after borrowing it from one of them. And I must say that they were both absolutely right,...moreTwo of my friends raved about this book, and I dove right in after borrowing it from one of them. And I must say that they were both absolutely right, this was a superb book.
I found the first few hundred pages to be a little confusing, as there were so many characters introduced who were all embroiled in politics I had trouble keep track of. Once things started to move quickly though, all of that became happily untangled and from there it became a page turner.
Although it's a dense action book, it's as much character driven as it is action driven. Phèdre is an absolutely grand heroine - strong, flawed and so well written that she leaps off the page. The same goes for many of the other characters, so different and interesting and genuine that one is effortlessly drawn into them.
There is so much uniqueness in this book, something that is hard to achieve when there's so much out there in the fantasy vein, and that's a huge testament to the author.
This book pretty much has everything you'd want in a fantasy book, and I enjoyed every second I spent lost in it. Now please excuse me while I head off to read Book 2... (less)
Although I wasn't crazy about Mosse's writing style and found the start very slow, this one actually quite grew on me after a while and became a page...moreAlthough I wasn't crazy about Mosse's writing style and found the start very slow, this one actually quite grew on me after a while and became a page turner toward the middle and end. I'd give it a 3.5 if you could do half stars. I don't think I'd read it again but I think it's a decent read so friends, if any of you would like to read this I'd be happy to pass it on, as it was passed on to me.(less)