This book really annoyed me. You see, the story of the cheese itself is incredibly interesting and, actually, I think, the most unfinished bit of this...moreThis book really annoyed me. You see, the story of the cheese itself is incredibly interesting and, actually, I think, the most unfinished bit of this book. I still don't feel like I really know the story of the cheese. I found this book annoying because Paterniti spent a lot of time on digressions - and, yes, I completely get that he was mirroring the Castilian ways of storytelling but, quite frankly, I don't care. I found the digressions uninteresting and spent the time reading them wondering when we'd get back to the story of the cheese. Additionally, I didn't care about reading Paterniti's story about his own - and there is a lot of that. In fact, there are whole sections where he discusses how difficult he found writing this book to be, how much he struggled editing it and how long it took him to complete. I found myself thinking during these sections, "This is the edited version?" It still doesn't read like a completed book to me. I really wanted to like this book, but I just didn't.
I received this book as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program. Thanks to the publisher for a finished copy.(less)
I'm a fan of comedian Jim Gaffigan - we've even seen him live. When I heard he was putting out a book, I looked forward to it. I finally checked it ou...moreI'm a fan of comedian Jim Gaffigan - we've even seen him live. When I heard he was putting out a book, I looked forward to it. I finally checked it out from the library. I guess I didn't realize that it was going to focus almost exclusively on his kids and being a parent. This is not a bad thing, just not what I expected. The book is a series of short "essays" on various topics concerning parenting and raising kids, including the particularities of his family (Gaffigan has 5 children under the age of 9 in a two-bedroom apartment in New York). Some of the essays are amusing but ultimately, I didn't feel like I was getting anything new out of this book. It wasn't quite as funny as I hoped and maybe not having children makes me outside of the ideal audience for it. Still, it's worth a look if you enjoy his comedy.(less)
I received this book as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.
This book caught my eye because I was a theater kid in high school. The head of...moreI received this book as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.
This book caught my eye because I was a theater kid in high school. The head of our drama department had a very particular idea of what shows were worthwhile and appropriate for high schoolers to perform. Partway through my own high school career, she finally started to open up about which shows to put on. I was fascinated by the idea of a teacher so eager to bring the best of Broadway to his students. I would have loved to be in a program like this in high school. The fact that this one takes place where it does makes it even more interesting. My main complaint about the book is that it all feels a bit incomplete. It's a biography of the teacher, a history and sociological look at the town, and a memoir of the drama department all in one, but I don't feel like we ever get the full picture on any of these things.(less)
Roger Ebert was and always will be the definitive movie critic. I don't care what anyone else says. I have wanted to read his collections of essays an...moreRoger Ebert was and always will be the definitive movie critic. I don't care what anyone else says. I have wanted to read his collections of essays and reviews for a long time now; instead, I found myself downloading the audio version of his memoir. I don't regret that decision. This is extremely well-written, proving that Ebert was a born scribe and had a gift with words. Ebert's life is quite extraordinary, though I felt some sections should have been fleshed out a bit more. Overall, though, this was a very good memoir, one that made me miss the man tremendously.(less)
I'd wanted to read this one since it was published and finally made some time at the end of summer, knowing it would be a fairly quick read (as most g...moreI'd wanted to read this one since it was published and finally made some time at the end of summer, knowing it would be a fairly quick read (as most graphic novels are). This book is depressing and unsettling. It's unsettling to think that there are people like Dahmer out there, people that are genuine sociopaths. It's also unsettling to think that these people might come to the notice of others but then may slip quietly back into the background. It's unsettling that no one really thought much of Dahmer's unusual behavior - yes, it's probably safe to say that we all knew someone who exhibited unusual behavior from time to time. But Dahmer's behavior was so far outside the realm of unusual that it is extremely difficult to believe that no one thought to investigate a little deeper. I've read some criticism of the book and I think it's mostly fair, but I also think this is a really compelling story, so I'd say I enjoyed it.(less)
I've been a fan of Brosh's blog for a long time now, so when I discovered she was publishing a book, you can bet I was excited. I was even more thrill...moreI've been a fan of Brosh's blog for a long time now, so when I discovered she was publishing a book, you can bet I was excited. I was even more thrilled to receive an e-galley of the title and I read it in bits and pieces whenever I could sneak it in. It's funny but also complex and honest. I had no problem re-reading the pieces that had appeared on the blog because Brosh chose some of the best. However, the new bits were a mishmash of good and bad - I didn't love them all. But, do I regret any of it? Nope.
Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy (and yes, shame on me for not writing the review sooner).(less)
This book got a lot of attention when it was first published, so naturally it's been on my radar for some time now. I started reading it a bit when I...moreThis book got a lot of attention when it was first published, so naturally it's been on my radar for some time now. I started reading it a bit when I first moved to Texas but set it down and just never found the time to pick it back up again. In a small attempt to clean up my to-read list a bit, this summer, I picked the book up again and read it straight through.
This is a really quick and interesting read, told in short chapters that highlight different aspects of Chua's parenting style and how that differs from one daughter to the other. Many of the reactions to this book were negative and it's not terribly difficult to see why that is - Chua's parenting style (what she terms "Chinese parenting") will certainly seem harsh to Western readers. I myself am not immune from some of the shock experienced by readers of this book, but I also have a lot of opinions about parenting in general (pretty rich of me, considering I don't have any children of my own) so I may have had a slightly different approach with this book than others. What I think many critics of this book and of Chua herself have overlooked is how obvious it is that she loves her children and wants the best from them (in my opinion). She may even argue against this notion herself in the book, but ultimately, I think that's what it boils down to. She just goes about expressing this love in a different way than we may be used to.
Overall, I found this a quick and thought-provoking read.(less)
Here's another recent listen that probably would have been a better read, because I think it would have been more effective that way. As a listen, all...moreHere's another recent listen that probably would have been a better read, because I think it would have been more effective that way. As a listen, all the stories seemed to run together. Though they were read by a rotating number of narrators, it was easy for the details of each specific story to get lost in the larger picture of the book as a whole.
Otherwise, the book is about what I expected. A variety of individuals tell their stories of coming out, being bullied, and living a life that transcends these things. I can imagine this to be an inspiring read for young LGBTQ teens and I think it's an important resource to have. A good read.(less)
Sometimes I wonder what I'm thinking when I download audiobooks. I quite frequently choose adult books, as my print reading focuses so heavily on chil...moreSometimes I wonder what I'm thinking when I download audiobooks. I quite frequently choose adult books, as my print reading focuses so heavily on children's and young adult literature but there are still so many adult titles that capture my interest. However, adult books often require more focus than a book for a younger audience, so I sometimes lose the train while listening to adult titles. Non-fiction presents even more of a challenge, as it's often formatted with sidebars and images incorporated in the text. I miss these elements when I listen instead of read, and yet, I keep downloading and listening to non-fiction. Maybe I just have to accept that I likely would never get around to it otherwise.
While I don't think this book had the aforementioned sidebars and images (though, honestly, I have no idea), it still suffered a bit as an audio version. Sacks is a well-respected scholar and his titles have long intrigued me. This book deals with the various sorts of hallucinations that can affect an individual. Where this book suffers as an audio for me is with the wealth of information. Everything Sacks presents here is truly interesting stuff - but there is a lot of it. This is a book that I likely would have alternated reading chapters with a fiction book if I had been reading the print edition rather than listening. As a straight through listening experience, I'm sure some of the information was lost, as I simply became overwhelmed with the amount of it.
Regardless, it's clear that Sacks know his stuff and is able to present it in a way that is interesting for the average reader.(less)
I have read two of Roach's previous works - Stiff and Bonk - and found them both to be informative and entertaining. I have been meaning to read her o...moreI have read two of Roach's previous works - Stiff and Bonk - and found them both to be informative and entertaining. I have been meaning to read her other works when I can find the time. When I recently received an advance reader's copy of this, her newest, I immediately added it to my TBR pile and got to it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I didn't make it before the book's publication, but no matter. This, like her other works, is educational and fun. It moves through our digestive system in accessible chapters. Roach's hunger for knowledge seems unceasing. I can see some people hesitant to tackle this one - polite people don't discuss spit and excrement. But the topics are fascinating and Roach presents the information in a way that is engaging without being titillating - something she managed well in Bonk also. I won't lie, though - there are a couple scenes and chapters that made me a bit squeamish, but nothing I couldn't get through. I definitely recommend this one, and I hope Roach continues with her peculiar and thoughtful excursions into unique areas of research.(less)
I am a latecomer to the Bloggess - I'd never heard of her until last year, when a coworker directed me to one of her posts. Her blog immediately becam...moreI am a latecomer to the Bloggess - I'd never heard of her until last year, when a coworker directed me to one of her posts. Her blog immediately became an addition to my must-reads and I was thrilled to learn of her memoir. I figured it would give me an idea of some of the things I had missed by being so late to the party with her blog. I picked it up recently, eager for a quick and entertaining read, and that's exactly what I got. Lawson has a very distinct voice and it works really well for the kind of stories she tells. Though her narrative intrusion (into her own stories, yes) can sometimes get a bit excessive, I really enjoyed reading this. I liked that she wasn't afraid to talk about the tough stuff - her journey to motherhood, her struggles with eating disorders and despression. Lawson does a great job of making this stuff easy to read about without minimizing it. I definitely recommend this for those looking for a laugh. A great memoir.(less)
I was thrilled when I discovered the existence of this book - I'd read Boylan's She's Not There in college (required reading, actually) and really lov...moreI was thrilled when I discovered the existence of this book - I'd read Boylan's She's Not There in college (required reading, actually) and really loved it. Being from Maine and being an ally, I'm a big fan of Boylan and the pride and joy she takes in her life. I was very interested to read this, her memoir of how her role as a parent changed through her transition from male to female, and how her relationship with her partner evolved as well. Lucky me - I won an advance reader's copy of this through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program and read it as soon as I could find the time. What I liked best about this book is the dialogue that it helps create - Boylan not only discusses her own transition and what it meant for her parenting style, but she also includes interviews with a number of people (both well-known and not so much) about how they were raised, their relationship with their parents, and their own parenting styles. Immediately after finishing this, I went on to read Elsewhere by Richard Russo, one of the interviewees (and a presence throughout the memoir). It was really interesting to take these two books back-to-back, as Russo's memoir focuses on his relationship with his mother. But, back to this book - it is well-written and engaging, like everything by Boylan I've read and I really appreciated her inclusion of her partner and her children and their thoughts on their relationships. An excellent memoir - definitely recommended.(less)
Apparently, they are republishing this graphic novel account of Truman Capote's research in Kansas as he created his classic, In Cold Blood. I spotted...moreApparently, they are republishing this graphic novel account of Truman Capote's research in Kansas as he created his classic, In Cold Blood. I spotted an e-galley on Netgalley available as "read now" so I downloaded and read it almost instantly. I'm a big fan of graphic novels and I like non-fiction comics particularly, so I liked seeing this one. In Cold Blood was assigned reading in my high school AP Psychology class and I really enjoyed it. I remember our teacher briefly discussing the creating of the book and Capote's complicated relationship with the men convicted. I don't really know terribly much about it, so I was interested in reading this version and seeing what seemed like it could be true and what not so much. I think the illustration style suits the story well and I liked the sometimes randomness of the unravelling of the story. I'd definitely like to hear more about this history.(less)
I downloaded this audio on a whim - the book had been getting some buzz and I'm always interested in memoirs. When I told my boyfriend I was listening...moreI downloaded this audio on a whim - the book had been getting some buzz and I'm always interested in memoirs. When I told my boyfriend I was listening to this, his reaction was a sarcastic "well, that sounds cheerful." This thing is - this book is not as sad as you might expect. I'm obviously a book lover, so hearing about how Schwalbe and his mother spent her final months reconnecting by discussing books was incredibly heartening. They covered such a wide variety - and no doubt I'm very interested in reading the books myself. Of course, the book has sad bits - Mary Anne is dying of pancreatic cancer. But she has a ferocious spirit and the book avoids being too sad to read. As an audio, there isn't much special about the book in this form. It's a straightforward reading with a decent performer. I definitely recommend this to book lovers.(less)