Interesting, but since it lacked any sort of narrative, it could get a bit plodding. Good for a quick 10 minutes here or there, but not a page turner.Interesting, but since it lacked any sort of narrative, it could get a bit plodding. Good for a quick 10 minutes here or there, but not a page turner. I'd be interested in a similar topic with a short chapter devoted to each event, instead of just a paragraph or three. That said, there was no false advertising on this one - it's right there in the title. ...more
I spent an enjoyable Saturday morning with this one. Not a bad read, but nothing special. I seem to be back in a Pride and PrejudicePride and PrejudicI spent an enjoyable Saturday morning with this one. Not a bad read, but nothing special. I seem to be back in a Pride and PrejudicePride and Prejudice loop, so I was perfectly content to spend a couple hours in this world, but this didn't add much to the original, nor was it a fresh enough take on either the plot or the characters for me to recommend it to anyone who isn't in the process of reading their way through basically every P and P variation available on kindle unlimited. ...more
Cute, clever - I loved the bright orange of the robosauce, and the way it seemed to splash across the pages and make the story seem a bit more real.
ICute, clever - I loved the bright orange of the robosauce, and the way it seemed to splash across the pages and make the story seem a bit more real.
I bought it as a gift, and haven't heard what the young recipient thought of it. But I think this might be a book as much for the parents as for the kiddo - at least for the first few readings. ...more
Larson is always worth a read - this time he provides a very human look at an event that frequently gets glossed over.
Personally, this cemented for meLarson is always worth a read - this time he provides a very human look at an event that frequently gets glossed over.
Personally, this cemented for me that shipwrecks just aren't my bag. The hosts of The Stuff You Missed in History podcast (which I love!) frequently talk about how popular their shipwreck episodes are, and how often they get requests for more. And I consistently find myself zoning out during those episodes - they just don't hold my attention. So as well written and well researched as this one was, I can't say I have much need to dig deeper on the subject.
I'd recommend this to anyone who does have an interest in shipwrecks or marital history - or anyone who wants to brush up on their WWI knowledge. ...more
This review is going to sound just like all the other reviews on Goodreads for this book, because they're all exactly right.
It's a slow and confusingThis review is going to sound just like all the other reviews on Goodreads for this book, because they're all exactly right.
It's a slow and confusing start: push through. It's frustrating, because Marchetta makes you work for every piece of information: it's worth it. It's an incredibly satisfying ending, even if you still haven't quite worked out all the details: yep, you're probably going to want to reread this one.
I had put off reading this one because I thought it couldn't possibly live up to the hype - and it didn't, really. The hype was pretty impossible to live up to. But it's an incredibly well written book, full of complicated characters, with a story that will grip you before you ever figure out what's going on.
(I ended up reading this in one sleepy go, trying to stay awake all night at the train station - turns out that when they say the train leaves at 11:20, they mean it. So plot and characters and style were a bit irrelevant, as I was going to read the book no matter how good or bad it was. But it worked out really well for me.)
January 2011: I just reread this in full for the first time since I read it originally (I flipped back through it and read specific parts after finishing it the first time, as I bet lots of readers do, as I put things together), and I think it was even better this time around. Since I technically knew who everyone was this time around, and knew how the pieces came together, I think it was actually a better read this time around, because I caught more of the hints and details that I missed initially. And, seriously. Jonah Griggs. <3...more
(In the interest of fairness: I "read" this book with a young woman I tutor as part of a literacy program. Whatever issues ANY book has will inevitabl(In the interest of fairness: I "read" this book with a young woman I tutor as part of a literacy program. Whatever issues ANY book has will inevitably be exacerbated when said book is slowly read aloud over the course of several months.)
If I ever see the word "smirked" again, I cannot be held responsible for my actions. I'm pretty sure Noah "Flynn" Flynn smirked at least twice a paragraph for all 400+ pages. (The last-name-as-nickname was the most believable thing that happened in the entire book.) But somehow, he still found time to 1. Regularly get in fights 2. Build a motorcycle 3. Get a reputation as a ~bad boy~ and then 4. Get into fucking Harvard.
A quick synopsis:
1st quarter of the book: "My name is Elle and Noah Flynn is literally the smartest and sexiest and most thoughtful and most handsome man on the face of the entire planet but omg I don't like him or anything."
2nd quarter of the book: "My name is Elle and even though I've now had apparently mind blowing (teenage!) sex with Noah Flynn, literally the sexiest man on the planet, it's not like I want to date him or anything omg."
3rd quarter of the book: Noah smirks twice in every sentence. "My name is Elle and even though I'm sort of dating Noah Flynn (seriously, girls just faint in his wake as he walks down the hall in high school did I mention he's 17?), it's not like I love him or anything omg no way."
4th quarter of the book: "My name is Elle and apparently the only thing I have in my life to think or talk or worry about is the fact that my badass-delinquent-motorcycle-riding boyfriend Noah Flynn is going to Harvard, on the other side of the country from where I live in California, which is odd, cause we all talk like we live in England."
(A total of eight introspective paragraphs about how being sad about her mother dying won't bring her mother back and then how long distance relationships don't always work when you're teenagers. But SMIRKED, OMG NOAH FLYNN SMIRKED.)
I feel like if I had read this over a day with a couple glasses of wine (and it had been edited, taking out about 100 pages), it would have been palatable and I would have enjoyed the eye rolling. But I can't in good conscience recommend anyone else read this. Just in case....more
What do our scandals du jour say about our society?
I enjoyed this one - salacious gossip once the salaciousness has worn off and in a scholar's tone.What do our scandals du jour say about our society?
I enjoyed this one - salacious gossip once the salaciousness has worn off and in a scholar's tone. While it is gossip, certainly, the book is more about WHY this particular celebrities and those particular scandals grabbed the attention of the world - and why they still interest us today.
Individual chapters stand alone, making this almost a short story collection, easy to read in bits and pieces. No narrative thread to keep track of, just a bit of pop culture history. ...more
I was never assigned The Diary of A Young Girl in school - I either picked it up myself or a teacher suggested it to me, right around fifth grade. AndI was never assigned The Diary of A Young Girl in school - I either picked it up myself or a teacher suggested it to me, right around fifth grade. And my fascination with Anne and her circumstances, with the differences between her tiny world and the world-changing events surrounding her story, and with the lessons we can take away from her words, has stuck with me ever since.
Perhaps it's because I read her diary outside of an academic setting, but I've never thought about it as a literary classic. I've always thought of it as non-fiction, as fact, so it never occurred to me to consider the writing, the tone, the level of story telling. Which I suppose is why Francine Prose is an award winner writer, a literary critic, and an English professor, and I am not.
I've never seen either the play or the movie based on the diary, and I can't say the story of adapting and creating them has made me any more interested. The poor characterization and over dramatization sound uninteresting - and the choice of tone sounds unsettling. The story of Anne Frank, and the larger story of the Holocaust, the story that she has come to represent for so many people, is not a comedy.
I particularly enjoyed Prose's look at the different messages people take away from their encounters with the diary. Is Anne a symbol of hope, as her famous quote about believing in the good in people would have us think? Or is she a reminder of the horrors that human beings can perpetuate, as she herself pointed out? Can she be both? Does minimizing her to one or the other - to any single message at all - diminish her, ignore her humanity, allow us to ignore the terrible times she lived through?
I don't know. But it's worth thinking about. ...more
I thought this was fun if uninspired - rather than throwing more creative or dramatic problems between Darcy and Elizabeth as most retellings or updatI thought this was fun if uninspired - rather than throwing more creative or dramatic problems between Darcy and Elizabeth as most retellings or updates do, this one actually did away with a problem - she never hears him insult her at the dance. And then the author plays with what could have gone differently with that one little change. Interesting.
And then there were some very odd plot decisions, and some wildly out of character moves. I loved the beginning of this book, but mostly just tolerated the ending....more