These books....I think I read almost all of this series. My mom used to get so frustrated, because she'd take me to the bookstore to buy me a book, an...moreThese books....I think I read almost all of this series. My mom used to get so frustrated, because she'd take me to the bookstore to buy me a book, and then we'd go to the grocery store and I'd ask to stay in the car and read. Then, by the afternoon I was done with it. I would have to hide the fact that I was done, so she wouldn't be mad at me for finishing it so soon.
These books taught me about life...or at least as much as I needed to know at the time. I still have them somewhere...(less)
“We are all smiling in the picture, three brothers having a grand old time just playing around in the living room, no agendas, no buried resentments o...more“We are all smiling in the picture, three brothers having a grand old time just playing around in the living room, no agendas, no buried resentments or permanent scars. Even under the best of circumstances, there’s just something so damn tragic about growing up.”
To begin: When you make a movie, and Hollywood, I know you will...for goodness sake, have Bradley Cooper in there somewhere.
"This is Where I Leave You" seemed to be to be written in a way that might show the reader, if they weren't a thirty-something male, how thirty-something males really think. If said reader was a thirty-something male, it was written in a way that he might be able to identify with the main character to the point of reflecting, "Well, I'll be. This guy is just like me." And in that way it reminded me a bit of a Nick Hornby novel, but it was actually as the back cover said, "more insightful" and much funnier.
If TIWILY were a guy--it would be a guy you love to hate. His sarcastic dead pan one-liners seem to suggest a superficial, mean-spirited jerk--but despite the bitter edge, you know within lies a sensitive male (way deep) who just wants to be loved and have "an ordinary life." His biting sarcasm is the ultimate defense mechanism, and you're ok with that because everything he says is freakin hilarious. You hate this guy, but you LOVE this guy because he's just like you. He's real, and you crave to be around him so that you can finally let your guard down and just "be".
This book deals with some heavy issues...death, adultery, divorce, stillbirth...and the author walks a fine line between offensvie and funny. But I thought he pulled it off, and this is the most real (not to over-use the word insightful), un-cliched family portrait I have read in a long time. I fear this may have killed other books for me for a while. (less)
"I'll be the first to admit that I have no experience with relationships, " I said. "But it just seems logical...a man and woman have to be somewhat e...more"I'll be the first to admit that I have no experience with relationships, " I said. "But it just seems logical...a man and woman have to be somewhat equal...as in, one of them can't always be swooping in and saving the other one. They have to save each other equally."
In nature, in relationships, in life, there are certain balances that must be maintained. Some people may brag about "having it all", but this is an obvious illusion. In most situations, especially relationships, we must give in order to get.
In Twilight, seventeen year old Bella has never had a boyfriend. Up until the story begins, she's been content with being good at school, her books, and taking care of people. She's mature for her age, and is a "giver" by nature.
Edward has actually spent quite a few more years walking the earth alone, unable to find his "soul mate," much to the concern of his adopted family, The Cullens. But then he meets Bella, and, as Chapter 1 tells us, it's love at "First Sight." There is an instant emotional and chemical attraction between the two.
Like most good star-crossed-love stories there is a catch. It's difficult for Edward to be around Bella. To smell her and see her only fuels his appetite to consume her. And for Bella, to be alone with Edward is suicidal.
The story, which is innocent enough to be enjoyed by readers as young as 12, is very good in becoming what it sets out to be. It's a clean, well-written story with interesting descriptions and amazing insight into what drives people in relationships and in life. 34 year old Stephenie Meyer (self-professed lover of Jane Austen and alternative rock) has created a timeless literary couple that defies a genre or an age-limit.
The movie (Dec. '08) directed by Catherine Hardwicke is brimming over with beautiful actors and scenery. The trailer which I'm currently obsessed with, is here...
I seem to be the only woman I know who didn't read and cherish this book as a child. So I decided to see what all the fuss was about...
It took me a wh...moreI seem to be the only woman I know who didn't read and cherish this book as a child. So I decided to see what all the fuss was about...
It took me a while to get in step with the tone of this book. The beginning was Jane Eyre-lite...Mary is orphaned and sent from India to England to live with her uncle, a stranger to her. The story progresses...and then....Mary's talking to a robin, and he's showing her where buried keys are. At that point, the mood shifted, and I sat back to enjoy not a literary masterpiece, but a child's fantasy adventure.
I really lost myself in the beauty of the Secret Garden...it's natural beauty and the idea of its powers to cleanse our physical and spiritual sides. One review claimed that re-visiting this made the reader want to "get back into gardening"...and I felt that. It's a gardener's story--a tale for someone who enjoys the process, from planting the seeds to appreciating the beauty of the end product. I loved the vivid descriptions of all the particular plants, trees, and animals...
But if I'm being honest, this book got a bit intense for me. As Colin begins to feel the healing powers of the garden...as he begins to chant and sing his praises to the "magic"...(and on and on about "the magic"), I really began to feel the author's personal philosphies taking over. The introduction suggests that Burnett infused the comfort she found in Christian Science teachings after her son died into this story about the power of mind over body. Hmmmm.
I think what kept me from totally being sold on this novel is that I did try to read it as an adult. I was unable to enjoy the narrative literally and at face-value. I was digging in....always watchful for the deeper meaning. And Burnett's ideas were already at the surface, perhaps a little heavy-handedly at times.
Overall...a nice story, perhaps best enjoyed through the innocent, unaffected eyes of a child.(less)
Smart, sophisticated stories that, together, report the rise and fall of an English-speaking newspaper based out of Rome. This is one of those books t...moreSmart, sophisticated stories that, together, report the rise and fall of an English-speaking newspaper based out of Rome. This is one of those books that when you're finished reading, you say to yourself..."Wow. He really pulled that off." And then you consider re-reading it, just to fill in all the holes that you missed. This young author knows people, and his accounts of each character are insightful, yet not without a bite. (consider yourself warned). Very clever story-telling and well worth the reading.(less)
**spoiler alert** BIG GIANT MOCKINGJAY SPOILERS AHEAD!!
I finally got around to finishing up this highly recommended series. One might ask what separat...more**spoiler alert** BIG GIANT MOCKINGJAY SPOILERS AHEAD!!
I finally got around to finishing up this highly recommended series. One might ask what separates this YA trilogy from any other dystopian love triangle available out there (surely there are more?), and I would list: the grit without the gore; the author's ability to simultaneoulsy offer a spot-on word picture of what's wrong with BIG government AND a reality TV culture; the compelling teenage love story; and my favorite...the unpredictability of the story line or more simply put...the "surprises".
Anyone who's read the first two books was likely, like me, wondering how this book would flow. How can you create a rebellion and overthrow an entire government in a neat and tidy 390 pages and the answer is this...SPOILER AHEAD. The author centers the story more around Katniss's desire to snuff out Snow, and she allows the rebellion to happen in the background in sort of a streamlined series of events. You might feel let down if you were banking on hand to hand combat or a victory won over a series of battles. Or you might be relieved you didn't have to sift through all of that tediousness in order to come to a satisfying resolution.
Alot of readers are complaining about the death of several main characters here, and I have to say in the author's defense: she is writing about war and I think her aim was to realistically portray the brutality behind war rather than the glamour. I think while being relatively violent, these books are meant to convey an anti-violence and an anti-war message. The characters in these books are pawns of the governement, and one of the main themes here is the empowerment of an honest, brave, and selfless group of people that ONLY has the needs and the safety of the people as their driving force. Imagine that!
The genius of Mockingjay is how Collins handles the ending. In a true Orwellian twist, she actually has the Rebels win and the the new "empire" begins to look and feel a lot like the Capitol (remember the farmers and the pigs from Animal Farm?) They're even thinking of having another Hunger Games!! But just when you think she's about to leave us with an ending that would be very true to life, but would actually kind of stink for all the fans...she shoots her way out into a more triumphant closure that allows Katniss to rise above even the most selfish and predictable of human nature. And we've all got chills. Good stuff.(less)
"In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time. Even Grandma often says that, but she and Steppa don't have jobs, so I don...more"In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time. Even Grandma often says that, but she and Steppa don't have jobs, so I don't know how persons with jobs do the jobs and all the living as well. In Room me and Ma had time for everything. I guess the time gets spread very thin like butter over all the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there's only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit.
Also everywhere I'm looking at kids, adults mostly don't seem to like them, not even the parents do. They call the kids gorgeous and so cute, they make the kids do the thing all over again so they can take a photo, but they don't want to actually play with them, they'd rather drink coffee talking to other adults. Sometimes there's a small kid crying and the Ma of it doesn't even hear."
Room is so many more things than you think it is. It's a compelling novel, a bit of an adventure story akin to the classic "The Count of Monte Cristo." It's a lesson is parenting, a commentary on our times (why are we in such a rush? why is our society so over-stimulating? do we spend enough time with our children? why are we grossed out by a five-year-old breastfeeding?) It's a yanked-from-the-headlines horror story, a reflection on how language, and children in general develop, and it forces us to look at the way we do things and ask ourselves: Are we are really doing them because they are the best way, or are we merely swimming upstream, caught up in the current of the way everybody is doing them, and assuming that it is the best way because it is currently the most popular?
How much does society influence us? How is it molding our children? What do our children do for us, and what are we supposed to be doing for them?
If there are a lot of question marks here, it's because Room asks a lot of questions. The way the story was told through a child's eyes and in his own language was effective and difficult to achieve. I have recommended this book to several friends that claim to have read it in one sitting. Also, it's available at Target!
In Dreams from My Father, Obama relates the back-story of his parents--his Kansas-born mother and his Kenyan father--as well as his grandparents, brot...moreIn Dreams from My Father, Obama relates the back-story of his parents--his Kansas-born mother and his Kenyan father--as well as his grandparents, brothers, and sisters. He tells of his birth and upbringing in Hawaii and Indonesia, of his private school experiences, his work as a community organizer in Chicago, and events leading up to his acceptance at Harvard where he was the first Black President of the Harvard Law Review.
I read this book because there were so many rumors circulating about our candidate and his history and I thought how nice to be able to go straight to the source for my information. In this memoir, Obama's experiences are processed through the filter of race and how his own affected him and the people around him.
Inside or outside of the political arena, this is well-written, interesting and inspirational. It's surprisingly frank and candid, and I was reminded that while we like to put our potential Presidents up on pedestals, they are indeed very real, very human, and very flawed--just as we are. I appreciated that the honest tone of this book came across as true and not strategic.
The last few paragraphs of this book brought me to tears and they are especially poignant in light of Obama's recent victory. While I may not agree with 100% of Obama's policies, I can still recognize and admire hard work and ambition and can appreciate the musings of a curious and intelligent mind.(less)
It's been a long time (12 years!) since I read this book. I just remember how funny it was. Like, laugh out loud funny. This is fun, easy reading...br...moreIt's been a long time (12 years!) since I read this book. I just remember how funny it was. Like, laugh out loud funny. This is fun, easy reading...brain candy.(less)