One line synopsis: Memoir - English girl grows up in Africa in 1920's/1930's.
I wasn't sure I'd like this book, but I did. I read it fairly quickly, wOne line synopsis: Memoir - English girl grows up in Africa in 1920's/1930's.
I wasn't sure I'd like this book, but I did. I read it fairly quickly, which is always a good sign. I would think that this woman would be mostly well known for being a female pilot in the infancy of the profession and setting a record, but the majority of the book deals with her younger days and life in Africa. The prose if lyrical, but not flowery and simple enough that you forget that this happened decades ago. There's not too much to date this book, even the description of life in Africa, because for her, it modernized before she even ever wrote the book.
Recommend as good writing and a book to learn from. ...more
Quick Synposis: Novel - A Moari recluse finds a "family" with a orphaned boy of unknown origins and his adoptive Maori father. Being part of a familyQuick Synposis: Novel - A Moari recluse finds a "family" with a orphaned boy of unknown origins and his adoptive Maori father. Being part of a family means being privy to its secrets and pain.
Probably my favorite book ever. I always tell people how I cried myself to sleep for a week while reading this book. It's so good it hurts. I think I have lived a pretty painless happy life. So to read about trauma and pain sometimes seems a bit like watching from the outside. I can't always connect to the pain. But this book. This author. Her prose. Made me feel like I was there. Made me love the characters and be just as hurt by their actions, and still be able to love as if it were really happening in my life. It's a beautiful book, as close to poetry as prose can get, and I don't even like poetry. ...more
I skimmed in order to finish the book. I thought I was going to like it in the beginning, but then by the time I got to Part II, I was ready for it toI skimmed in order to finish the book. I thought I was going to like it in the beginning, but then by the time I got to Part II, I was ready for it to be over. Much of it felt unnecessary and almost like when someone says everything that they're thinking. There were plenty of sentences, entire paragraphs and almost pages that could be cut out. ...more
Quick Synpsis: Memoir - Man travels to Middle East and feels compelled to go back to build schools. Starts non-profit to continue.
Some people in my bQuick Synpsis: Memoir - Man travels to Middle East and feels compelled to go back to build schools. Starts non-profit to continue.
Some people in my book club thought the ghost writing wasn't very good, while still enjoying the book and the story of this man's life. I didn't mind the writing at all, and thought is was good cross between a magazine article and novel. There was plenty of explanation and background, but enough drama to keep me interested through several hundred pages. It's a tribute to this man's incredible life and an eye-opener to a different life and culture than the one lived in the US. ...more
Meh. I like a good John Hughes move as much as the next thirty-something female, but this was not satisfying as a modern update of that kind of story.Meh. I like a good John Hughes move as much as the next thirty-something female, but this was not satisfying as a modern update of that kind of story. I definitely wanted to see how the story ended, but more in a "I've just got to finish this and get it over with " kind of way. I could barely remember what I had just read the chapter before. There were some good parts, but mostly I was annoyed at how easily I lost the thread of the dialogue because of northeastern, late 80's/early 90's pop culture references that I just didn't get. And the personal references the characters had in the dialogue. It was like walking in on a conversation between two best friends (the authors maybe?), except, the author's forgot that we don't know the two characters (or them) THAT well. I was confused most of the time and the rest of the time, I wanted to blow up at the characters and tell them to get a grip. I didn't get into the Nanny Diaries, either, so I guess I can definitely forget about putting Citizen Girl on my to read list......more
I laughed out loud several times during this book, but maybe it was more of a nervous chuckle. I don't really consider myself a prude, but this was onI laughed out loud several times during this book, but maybe it was more of a nervous chuckle. I don't really consider myself a prude, but this was one of the more sexually explicit books I've read in awhile dealing with the "eww" factor of an adult and a young, young girl, so while I was reading this on the bus, I have to admit that I got embarrassed and uncomfortable. That was after I was uncomfortable reading the book on the bus because of the title; I had to go out and get a book cover for it. If you don't know what the story is about, and you see me laughing while reading a book titled "Towelhead" you might get the wrong idea.
I don't know how in the world they worked out some of the sexually explicit scenes in a movie without grossing out the audience, but now I really do want to see the movie. They may have ended up toning down the sex in order to make it more palatable, but in my mind, that's part of what makes the book good, because the sex talk was pretty honest and not romanticized, glossed over or turned into porn.
The book was still surprisingly funny and touching, though. I found myself alternately thinking the main character was an idiot (her most likely response to any question, like most teens, is "I don't know")and feeling so bad for the girl because she's such a sexually and emotionally confused adoloscent with no one helping the poor girl figure things out.
I loved the voice of the main character, Jasira, as she matter-of-factly tells her story and adds dry, funny observations about what she thinks of the people around her. Sometimes she seems so young and naive and sometimes she's right on. The end is satisfying without tying everything up too neatly and I found myself wishing that good things happen for Jasira....more
I think we need to add half stars to this rating system. I would put a 3.5 stars on this, but, according to my personal view of how this rating systemI think we need to add half stars to this rating system. I would put a 3.5 stars on this, but, according to my personal view of how this rating system works, not 4. Anyway, the version I read had a foreward written by Barack Obama ten years after the books was first published, and he mentioned that when he re-read the book, he winced at some of his more, I think he said naive (?) statements. Maybe I was a little prejudiced after reading that (I hardly ever read foreward, so I don't know why I did this time), but I thought some parts of the book were definitely from the view point of a mid-twenties person. I guess I'm more jaded than that. Of course, there were plenty of other parts of the book that were surprisingly insightful. Surprising because, although I supported Obama, I was not a devout fan, and reading the book made me relate to him more. I especially appreciated his experiences regarding race and his opennes about his family and history. ...more
Really, 3 1/2 stars. This was a very quick read. One of the cover reviews described it as almost poetry, and I'd agree. The prose was almost lyrical aReally, 3 1/2 stars. This was a very quick read. One of the cover reviews described it as almost poetry, and I'd agree. The prose was almost lyrical and evoked more sensory images than actual visual images. It's the story of a Vietnamese immigrant girl in the late 70's, early 80's. She left Vietnam in a boat with her father and some "uncles", and although the family assimilates into the US, there are of course, memories of Vietnam and the war that the family, and especially the father it seems, can't forget and get through. I liked the author's voice and even though it's not a story with a beginning, middle and end, I felt satisfied at the end of the book. ...more
I really like this author. She does a good job of getting you into her characters and really making you feel as if you know them personally. ThereforeI really like this author. She does a good job of getting you into her characters and really making you feel as if you know them personally. Therefore, even though I was never as troubled as they were as a teenage girl and could identify completely with their struggle, I felt compassion for them and wanted keep reading about them. Short and good. ...more