I love the two first parts of this book: more political drama, more character history and well portrayed. I was set on giving it a five star already bI love the two first parts of this book: more political drama, more character history and well portrayed. I was set on giving it a five star already but then when it came to the last part, things just went downhill. I felt as if the author had panicked about the page counts and decided to wrap things up as quickly as possible. The result ended up being sloppy, messy, simple and just way to confusing with such an elaborated plot (which had all the potential to be mind blowing if just executed well.)
However, I still loved the whole book, just as I loved the first one. I'm more invested in the characters (especially Peeta, oh dear) and can't wait to find out more about what will happen to Panema and all the districts. Guess I will find that out very soon now :) ...more
I wish I could give this collection of poetry the review that it deserves but truthfully, I find myself unable to write about it adequately enough. ThI wish I could give this collection of poetry the review that it deserves but truthfully, I find myself unable to write about it adequately enough. The book is so good. It's not often I read poetry and it is even less so that I find myself drawn into it. With this, each poem drew me in. Each line felt like a story of its own and more often than not, I found myself reading a poem further in and reminisicing a poem that I had read earlier in the collection and wondering how connected they were. I love the style of writing; it is powerful, emotional and chilling. His words are filled with details and anyone who knows me well, know that I absolutely love that.
I would write more but I'm just going to leave this review now with my favourite parts (as well as one complete but short poem):
"Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake and dress them in warm clothes again. How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running until they forget that they are horses. It's not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere, it's more like a song on a policeman's radio, how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple to slice into pieces. Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it's noon, that means we're inconsolable. Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us. These, our bodies, possessed by light. Tell me we'll never get used to it.” ---- Scheherazade
"We made a graveyard// out of the bone white afternoon."
"When we were little we made houses out of // cardboard boxes. We can do anything. It's not because // our hearts are large, they're not, it's what we // struggle with. The attempt to say Come over. Bring // your friends. It's a potluck, I'm making pork chops, I'm making // those long noodles you love so much."
"Can you see the plot like dotted lines across the room?"
"I'm battling monsters, I'm pulling you out of the burning buildings // and you say I'll give you anything but you never come through."
"These are the dreams we should be having. I shouldn't have to // clean them up like this."
"A man takes his sadness down to the river and throws it in the river // but then he's still left // with the river. A man takes his sadness and throws it away // but then he's still left with his hands."
"Is that too much to expect? That I would name the stars // for you? That I would take you there? The splash // of my tongue melting you like a sugar cube?"
Setting: Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea Author: Born in New Zealand
Mister Pip is a novel set in the tropical island of Papua New Guinea. It is iSetting: Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea Author: Born in New Zealand
Mister Pip is a novel set in the tropical island of Papua New Guinea. It is in the 1990s and the island is struck by a civil war. All the white people have left, except for one - Mr. Watts. Matilda, the main character, narrates the story of how Mr. Watts takes up the task to teach school children. His classes consist of reading out loud Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and the adventures of Mr. Pip fascinate the children. However, not everyone approves of the novel (including Matilda's mother) and the islands inhabitants is affected by cruelty of a civil war.
The book itself is very poetic and beautiful. The descriptions are sometimes gorgeous and Jones also bring about the cultural differences between the islands inhabitants and Mr. Watts. Matilda's voice seem honest and innocent but at the same time, since there is a war going on, you catch glimpses of the horror that is to come. The novel didn't fail in both touching me, making me smile and shocking me and making me want to cry.
This could have been an amazing read and even a 5 star. It had the language, the plot, the characters and everything that a good book need. The reason why I gave it 3 stars however, is because of the inconsistency. The second half of the book felt rushed and different and whilst I'm sure the author did so on purpose, I felt that it was out of place and perhaps too sudden. I'm also a bit critical about the stereotypical views that are brought forward regarding the characters.
Quotable Quotes "I had found a new friend. The surprising thing is where I’d found him - not up a tree or sulking in the shade, or splashing around in one of the hill streams, but in a book. No one had told us kids to look there for a friend. Or that you could slip inside the skin of another. Or travel to another place with marshes, and where, to our ears, the bad people spoke like pirates."
"At night we listened to gunfire. There were no battles. This was the loose gunfire of rambos drunk on jungle juice trying to scare the redskins. They took aim at the stars and blasted up through the tree-tops."
"You cannot pretend to read a book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wall paper is in flames. "
"I suppose it is possible to be all of these things. To sort of fall out of who you are into another, as well as to journey back to some essential sense of self. We only see what we see. He was whatever he needed to be, what we asked him to be. Perhaps there are lives like that—they pour into whatever space we have made ready for them to fill."
"I had discovered that the plainest house can crown a fantasy or daydream. An open window can be tolerated. So can an open door. But I discovered the value of four walls and a roof. Something about containment that at the same time offers escape."
"Dreams are nervy things—all it takes is for one stern word to be spoken in their direction and they shrivel up and die. "
"We were young. Everyone was young in those days. That’s the main complaint you hear from people who are getting old. You stop seeing young people. You begin to wonder if there are any left and whether there were only young people when you were young." ...more
This has got to be the most depressing novel I have ever read.
I spoke to several friends who have seen the film and they told me that the film was soThis has got to be the most depressing novel I have ever read.
I spoke to several friends who have seen the film and they told me that the film was so depressing that they didn't even want to touch the book it was based upon. My feelings are very similar except in reverse. This book is so depressing that I don't even want to see the film that is based upon it. It's a shame because one of the ways that I discovered this book was when Precious received two Oscars awards.
Push is about the 16-year old illiterate Black girl, Precious. Since she can remember, she's been subjected to rape and abuse by her father and mother and has been neglected by everyone around her. Whilst carrying her second child (with her father), she is directed to a new school program, where she is inspired and determined by the teacher and the class to find her way, learn to read and write and actually live the life she is suppose to live. The book deals with many themes such as incest/rape, abuse, HIV, literacy, social attitudes and races and etc.
What intrigued me the most from the start wasn't however the overwhelming plot but actually the language. The book is written in a language as if it is spoken directly in Precious mind. It is colloquial and filled with grammar and spelling mistakes. The words are raw and straight forwards and it all makes it feel so much more real and harsh. There are also journal entries and poems that she writes as a form of communication and as a way to express herself and learn to write.
I really don't know what else to say about this. The book overwhelmed me. Sometimes, particularly in the beginning, it became too much. The scenes were too horrible and sad and I had to put down the novels several times and just stare at it, breathe and take it all in. I couldn't understand how it all could happen. I still don't understand how this can happen. This book isn't based on a real story but the fact remains that some parts of this life is always real to someone in this world and it just makes me want to cry.
"Listen baby, Muver love you. Muver not dumb. Listen baby: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.
Thas the alphabet. Twenty- six letters in all. Them letters make up words. Them words everything."
"I'm gonna break through or somebody gonna break through to me - I'm gonna learn, catch up, be normal, change my seat to the front of the class."
"I big, I talk, I eats, I cooks, I laugh, watch TV, do what my muver say. But I can see when the picture come back I don’t exist. Don’t nobody want me. Don’t nobody need me. I know who I am. I know who they say I am – vampire sucking the system’s blood. Ugly black grease to be wipe away, punish, kilt, changed, finded a job for. I wanna say I am somebody. I wanna say it on subway, TV, movie, LOUD. I see the pink faces in suits look over top of my head. I watch myself disappear in their eyes, their tesses. I talk loud but still I don’t exist."
"Ms. Rain say write our fantasy of ourselves. How we would be if life was perfect. I tell you one thing right now, I would be light skinned, thereby treated right and loved by boyz. Light even more important than being skinny; you see them light-skinned girls that’s big an’ fat, they got boyfriends."
"Love does not traffic in a marketplace, nor use a huckster's scales. Its joy, like the joy of the intellect, is to feel itself alive. The aim of Lov
"Love does not traffic in a marketplace, nor use a huckster's scales. Its joy, like the joy of the intellect, is to feel itself alive. The aim of Love is to love: no more, and no less. You were my enemy: such an enemy as no man ever had. I had given you all my life, and to gratify the lowest and most contemptible of all human passions, hatred and vanity and greed, you had thrown it away. In less than three years you had entirely ruined me in every point of view. For my own sake there was nothing for me to do but to love you."
This is another book that I wish I could have given 3½ star to because I'm not sure whether to give it a 3 or a 4.
De Profundis is the 50 000-word letter (yes, imagine writing that by hand with ink.) that Oscar Wilde wrote to his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, whilst in prison. Some say it is a love letter, other says it is not. It's not the relationship between them that makes the "love letter or not" debatable - because there is no denying that Wilde loved Douglas - it's the fact that most of the time, Wilde portrays Douglas as a - how should I put this - douchebag.
The letter begins with a very detailed account of how Wilde was put into prison in the first place. He describes detailed and with his own words the moments between him and Douglas and everything that lead to to the trial. I thought this part was the most interesting. I'm not that fond of autobiographies and memoirs but I've always been interested in Oscar Wilde (or anything else LGTB-related for that matter) and hearing Wilde put everything into his own words and describing, to Douglas, how he was to blame for the misery and downfall of Wilde, and still loving the man, was very fascinating. Like always, his language is beautiful and there are lots of wit and aphorism. He writes about how much he loved Douglas and the things he had done for him yet at the same time, condemns him for behaving so selfish and rude.
What makes me hesitate about giving it a four star instead of a three is the middle part of the letter when Wilde all of the sudden goes into deep contemplation and comparison between religion, Christ and artists. I find religion interesting too but those pages were simply put, boring. The third half of the book becomes better however when he goes back to talk about Douglas actions and the philosophy of life. It's filled with emotions and you can tell that there is a lot of misery, sorrow and grief. One of my favourite passages that describe the sorrow very well and at the same time shows the beauty is this:
"Of course to one so modern as I am, `Enfant de mon siècle,’ merely to look at the world will be always lovely. I tremble with pleasure when I think that on the very day of my leaving prison both the laburnum and the lilac will be blooming in the gardens, and that I shall see the wind stir into restless beauty the swaying gold of the one, and make the other toss the pale purple of its plumes, so that all the air shall be Arabia for me. Linnaeus fell on his knees and wept for joy when he saw for the first time the long heath of some English upland made yellow with the tawny aromatic brooms of the common furze; and I know that for me, to whom flowers are part of desire, there are tears waiting in the petals of some rose. It has always been so with me from my boyhood. There is not a single colour hidden away in the chalice of a flower, or the curve of a shell, to which, by some subtle sympathy with the very soul of things, my nature does not answer. Like Gautier, I have always been one of those ‘pour qui le monde visible existe.’"
I was planning on continuing this review but now I am left speechless again and I think I will, after all, give this a four star. Here are several memorable quotes however to read and admire.
"I made art a philosophy, and philosophy an art: I altered the minds of men, and the colour of things: I awoke the imagination of my century so that it created myth and legend around me: I summed up all things in a phrase, all existence in an epigram: whatever I touched I made beautiful."
"To regret one's own experiences is to arrest one's own development. To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul."
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are some one else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. "
"We are the zanies of sorrow. We are clowns whose hearts are broken."
"There is no room for Love and Hate in the same soul. They cannot live together in that fair cavern house. Love is fed by imagination, by which we become wiser than we know, better than we feel, nobler than we are: by which we can see Life as a whole: by which, and by which alone, we can understand others in their real as in their ideal relations. Only what is fine, and finely conceived, can feel Love. But anything will feed Hate."
"After my terrible sentence, when the prison dress was on me, and the prison house closed, I sat amidst the ruins of my wonderful life, crushed by anguish, bewildered with terror, dazed through pain. But I would not hate you. Every day I said to myself: 'I must keep love in my heart today, else how shall I live through the day?'"
"The most terrible thing about it is not that it breaks one's heart — hearts are made to be broken — but that it turns one's heart to stone."
"Suffering is one very long moment. We cannot divide it by seasons. We can only record its moods, and chronicle their return. With us time itself does not progress. It revolves. It seems to circle round one centre of pain."
"Morality did not help me. I am one of those who are made for exceptions, not for laws. But while I see that there is nothing wrong in what one does, I see that there is something wrong in what one becomes."
Memorable Quotes "I'm a good person. In most ways. But I'm beginning to think that being a good person in most ways doesn't count for anything very mucMemorable Quotes "I'm a good person. In most ways. But I'm beginning to think that being a good person in most ways doesn't count for anything very much, if you're a bad person in one way."
"It seems to me now that the plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone; you don't need to be a heroin addict or a performance poet to experience extremity. You just have to love someone." ...more
"It is so short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. EverybodMemorable Quotes (there's several)
"It is so short and jumbled and jangled, Sam, because there is nothing intelligent to say about a massacre. Everybody is supposed to be dead, to never say anything or want anything ever again. Everything is supposed to be very quiet after a massacre, and it always is, except for the birds. And what do the birds say? All there is to say about a massacre, things like “Poo-tee-weet?”"
"There are no characters in this story and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters. But old Derby was a character now."
"He is in a constant state of stage fright, he says, because he never knows what part of his life he is going to have to act in next."
"We went to the New York World's Fair, saw what the past had been like, according to the Ford Motor Car Company and Walt Disney, saw what the future would be like, according to General Motors. And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep."
"Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops."
"And Lot's wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned into a pillar of salt. So it goes."
""He was a funny-looking child who became a funny-looking youth - tall and weak and shaped like a bottle of Coca-Cola."
"'The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever. '"
"He ate a pear. It was a hard one. It fought back against his grinding teeth. It snapped in juicy protest."
"If what Billy Pilgrim learned from the Tralfamadorians is true, that we will all live forever, no matter how dead we may sometimes seem to be, I am not overjoyed. Still--if I am going to spend eternity visiting this moment and that, I'm grateful that so many of those moments are nice."
I first heard of this book through TNBBC nearly two years ago and was intrigued by the rather positive reviews**spoiler alert** Setting: United States
I first heard of this book through TNBBC nearly two years ago and was intrigued by the rather positive reviews it was receiving. A circus and animal-themed book just didn't seem that interesting to me. I purchased my own copy but like many of the books that I buy, it somehow end up dusting on the bookshelves instead of being read. A year later, I heard that there was a film in the making (and with Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon in the cast!) and decided that it was about time for me to pick it up and read.
I read. I gasped. I flailed. I was on the brink of tears and laughter (but mostly tears) and I was completely taken by the story. I was moved by the characters and the descriptions of the nasty conditions at the Benzini Brothers Circus and absolutely appalled at the gruesome treatment of both animals and workers. You could tell that Gruen is a very avid animal lover. One scene could reflect how sweet and innocent animals could be (I would be lying if I said that I wasn't grinning at the scene where the elephant Rosie was happily chewing food on someone's private vegetable patch or whenever the chimpanzee Bobo's needed a hug and a hand to hold) and the other scene could have you wanting to pull out a character (mostly August) from the pages and simply strangle said character for the awful and terrible animal treatment. On the other page, you would have workers who were working to their very last sweat drop until they were weak or complaining enough to be thrown of the train in the middle of the night. Not to mention, the characters! And love plot (triangle drama, oh my!)!
This book was a fantastic reading experience. I recommend it very much. I'm trying to figure out why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 (it was a while since I read it) and I can't seem to remember but alas, do give this book a try. Especially if you like general fiction or would like to try something new and more original.
"When you are five, you know your age down to the month. Even in your twenties, you know how old you are. I'm twenty-three you say, or maybe twenty-seven. But then in your thirties, something strange starts to happen. It is a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh, I'm--you start confidently, but then you stop. You were going to say thirty-three, but you are not. You're thirty-five. And then you're bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end. It is, of course, but it's decades before you admit it."
"Age is a terrible thief. Just when your getting the hang of life, it knocks your legs out from under you and stoops your back. It makes you ache and muddies your head and silently spreads cancer throughout your spouse."
"I stroke her lightly, memorizing her body. I want her to melt into me, like butter on toast. I want to absorb her and walk around for the rest of my days with her encased in my skin. I lie motionless, savoring the feeling of her body against mine. I'm afraid to breathe in case I break the spell."
"Dear God. Not only am I unemployed and homeless, but I also have a pregnant woman, bereaved dog, elephant, and eleven horses to take care of."
At first, I wasn't exactly looking forward to reading this book. Sure, it sounded interesting and very intriguing. It was after all a book based on aAt first, I wasn't exactly looking forward to reading this book. Sure, it sounded interesting and very intriguing. It was after all a book based on a true story, a memoir, about a young Jewish boy, growing up in a poor society that has been divided by religion and culture. It also features a forbidden love story between a Jewish girl and a Christian boy.
I get easily emotional and affected you see. And as a defence mechanism, I avoid things that would make me sad. Not the kind of sad as in I'll be crying but the kind of sad in which my heart will ache, my thoughts will race and I'll think about others around me.
The beginning of this book was not very special. It introduced the story, the family and the street. I read it slowly and slowly. It was a good story but nothing special but I continued to read and next thing I know, I am hooked. I cannot put it down for the characters have taken a toll of me and I want to know what will happen. How will this all end? I cannot see a resolution. Can they? So I read until past midnight. I read until I finished it and had that familiar feeling of ecstatic exhaustion of when you've finished a book that truly gave a good reading experience and touched you.
Some things affected me, particularly the behaviour of certain characters - they made me think of my own family and that's what I also found special. Even though the characters portrayed are from completely different worlds, setting, time and religion, I could still feel and see the similarities that still go on in this world and I could sympathize and empathize for characters. For example, the portrayal of the mother and her sad and unfortunate life made me go to my own mother and give her a hug. I don't think some characters have brought such a strong reaction from me in...well, a while.
In overall, the book brought up several big themes. It dealt with the dysfunction of a poor family in which the mother is repressed and forced to try make the best of living for her children whilst their father spend the majority of his small salary at the pub. There was the hint of that American dream, that idea of a trip to a large nation that would change their lives for good. There was war, but not from the viewpoint of a solider fighting for his life, but from the people, separated by an invisible barrier, waiting on the edge to find out the news whether their loved ones is in the grave or not. There is the girl who studies all day in order to gain admission to a school, only to have her dream shattered by her own patronizing and hard father. There is the girl who daydreams and wishes for the couture, elegant and luxury life on the other side of the town and despises anyone to interrupt her daze. There's the constant whispering and gossiping of women in a small shop. There is that young couple who believes their forbidden and dangerous union will change the world.
But the most central thing; the segregation, prejudice and division of two religion living right across each others, strengthen by differences, clashes and contentment but reduced by war, poverty and a common thing.
And above all, the narrator, a lost little growing boy who only wishes to please others and himself and who is aware of consequences but oblivious to the reasons. ...more
I have very conflicting feelings about this book, especially Katniss, but overall it was truly exciting and I definitely enjoyed it very much. LookingI have very conflicting feelings about this book, especially Katniss, but overall it was truly exciting and I definitely enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to reading the next....more
This was the kind of book that I wished would never end and that would go on and on and on. It made me wish that I belonged in its world, that the chaThis was the kind of book that I wished would never end and that would go on and on and on. It made me wish that I belonged in its world, that the characters where my friends to, that I could regularly go and join the Society over a cup of tea. It also made me wish that I was more familiar with some of the works mentioned. Although the literature mentioned is perhaps not as antique or how should we say - only known by very literate people, as in 84 Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff (I loved that book too but I hardly recognized any of the books mentioned) - and I did sympathize and recognize most, there was still lots of books yet to be discovered by me (perhaps that's a good thing...book hunt!).
The letter-exchanged style of form was very cleverly chosen and perfect for the story. Without it, I feel it wouldn't have given the same sense of community and belonging. At first, it was confusing and it took time to learn all the characters, but after a while, the names started to melt in and be recognized.
I loved the characters without doubt (well, maybe not the "bad" ones but what's good without some bad?). They each had their own flair and trait. I was very pleased to see that there was also a positively-portrayed gay character as it's not that easy to come by (most of the time, it's too stereotyped!). It was nice that you got most of the characters personal history as well.
Beside the joy and light-hearted nature of the book with all its humour and love for books and the Channel Islands, it also deals with heavy subjects as well. It is after all also about the German Occupation in WWII. The Totd's slaves was in most particular heart-wrenching to read about. On the other hand, what I really admired was how everyone was not treated as simply one-sided (i.e. either you're this or that). The villains weren't just merely villains - they were friends and they were victims, and the same thing went to the other side. It gave everything an objective but a very complicated perspective on things.
I could go on and on but I'm just going to leave it at this: 1) I need to visit Guernsey someday in my life (and join a similar book club!) 2) I need to write more letters and 3) READ IT!!!
"I can't think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can't talk to, or worse, someone I can't be silent with"
"Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers."
"At the start, we tried to be calm and objective, but that soon fell away, and the purpose of the speakers was to goad the listeners into wanting to read the book themselves. Once two members had read the same book, they could argue, which was our great delight. We read books, talked books, argued over books, and become dearer and dearer to one another. . .we could almost forget, now and then, the darkness outside."
"It seems to me the less he said, the more beauty he made."
"Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books."
"That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive - all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment."...more