I loved this book. But then, I love David Sedaris. I listened to this book in it's unabridged audio book format. I think this is the BEST way to reall...moreI loved this book. But then, I love David Sedaris. I listened to this book in it's unabridged audio book format. I think this is the BEST way to really get the full flavor of Sedaris' humor. That's because David Sedaris reads the books himself on the audio book version. It's almsot like he's sitting in the room talking with you when you listen to the audio book.
Warning when listening in the car however -- beware, there were several times I had to pull over (okay, so I SHOULD have pulled over) because I was just laughing too hard. I had tears in my eyes more than once.
My favorite vignette was his description about how simply replying "d'accord" (I agree) to any question posed to him in Paris lead to some very unusual situations. Oh my gosh -- how does a man end up in his underpants in the waiting room of a doctor's office? Simply say "d'accord" to every question asked.
Sedaris is has a great wry/dry wit and an amazing way of spinning observations we all encounter daily into ironic and humorous stories. I'd recommend this book for anyone who needs a good laugh. (less)
This book really is hard for me to rate. It kept me interested throughout. Some parts had lovely prose and word pictures that will stay with me foreve...moreThis book really is hard for me to rate. It kept me interested throughout. Some parts had lovely prose and word pictures that will stay with me forever. I was really pulling for Edgar. My grandparents were deaf and I wanted the mute kid to come out the winner. I loved reading about the dogs. I hated the ending! What was the point of it all? I wanted to throw the large hardback book across the room when I finished it because I was so frustrated, but I was afraid I'd dent the wall, so I calmly put it down instead.
I didn't mind that the point of view and voice of the story cycled through the characters every chapter, or the appearance of ghosts and spirits once in awhile. That made some kind of strange sense to me. What I come back to minding the most was the futility of the whole story. As I was reading this book I thought for sure I'd be giving it a high 4 star rating. Immediately after finishing it last night I wanted to give it 1 star. I settle on 3 stars now because I know it is a story that I will remember for a LONG time. I just can't decide if I'll remember it fondly or with frustration. Only time will tell.(less)
This was an interesting book on many levels. It was a fairly quick read, and the format of letters back and forth between the various characters was a...moreThis was an interesting book on many levels. It was a fairly quick read, and the format of letters back and forth between the various characters was a fresh approach to story telling. Juliet's letters are witty and direct.
I knew that the Channel Islands had been occupied by the Germans during WWII, but I didn't know the extent of the hardships faced by the Guernsey Island inhabitants during the five years of the occupation. By telling the story in small snippets in letters, the history unfolded without being too maudlin or oppressive (although the Occupation itself sounded very oppressive).
This book had me laughing at some of the quirky stories about life of the islanders, and come very close to tears while reading some of the stories of the heroic acts done selflessly during a dark time in history. It made me stop and wonder I would have behaved under similar circumstances.
I just finished reading this book, and Sue Monk Kidd once again held me enthralled to the last page. The story of Lily, Roasaleen, and the Boatwright...moreI just finished reading this book, and Sue Monk Kidd once again held me enthralled to the last page. The story of Lily, Roasaleen, and the Boatwright sisters was extremely compelling. The language Kidd used to tell this story was luminous.
I loved her word pictures. The turn of a phrase caught me so off guard once in awhile that I just had to stop and re-read it. Kidd doesn't resort to cliched sayings. I enjoyed learning more about bee keeping. Kidd weaves stories and legends of bees with apiary facts thoughout the book. I also gained a better understanding about life in a small corner of South Carolina just as the Civil Rights movement was gaining ground in 1964.
Now if Kidd would only follow this book up with a sequel. I want to know how things turned out with Zach and Lily!(less)
This is a powerful story that grabbed me at the first page, and didn't let me go until the last page. I'm surprised it's classified as a Young Adult b...moreThis is a powerful story that grabbed me at the first page, and didn't let me go until the last page. I'm surprised it's classified as a Young Adult book instead of Adult fiction because of the complexity of the story line. But hey, I haven't qulaified as a Young Adult reader for quite awhile, and the wider the audience this book gets, the better!
Death is the narrator of this story, and it's set in a suburb of Munich Germany during WWII. Liesel is the 'book thief' and the story revolves around her harsh experiences during the lead-up to and during the war.
The story is engrossing and harrowing. Each chapter has word images that will stay with me a long time. Foster parents, close neighbors, a Jew hidden in the basement all form a new family for the original one that Liesel loses in the opening pages of the story. The writing is just stunning, and the pace moves quickly.
I highly recommend this book for anyone that wants to understand the toll WWII took everyday folks in Germany. There are villians and heros alike, just as there are in life. It was an amazing book!(less)
At first I thought that for the reader to get the most out of this book, they should be a fanatic knitter. But the more I thought about it, the more I...moreAt first I thought that for the reader to get the most out of this book, they should be a fanatic knitter. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that they really only needed to be fanatic about SOMETHING, or know someone who sometimes carries their 'hobbies' a bit too far. (I hesitate to classify knitting as a hobby because the true knitters among us know that in no way is it a hobby, it's more of a life's calling.)
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's book is a series of quirky, funny essays about knitting, in which she highlights the little truisms in life that we all face. It made me laugh out loud several times, and cringe a little when I saw too much of my compulive self in the vingettes. It's about family, and balance and making something of beauty from things few other people value. Did I already mention that it made me laugh? It was a fun read. (less)
While most of Debbie Macomber's books are nice little stories that keep me interested -- this one was just down-right depressing. I didn't like any of...moreWhile most of Debbie Macomber's books are nice little stories that keep me interested -- this one was just down-right depressing. I didn't like any of the characters. They just seemed so whiney and gutless.
There wasn't much to keep me interested, but I still kept plugging away hoping that it would get better. It never really did. I wanted to shake Susannah's daughter "Chrissy" more than once. Sheesh, how could one character be so whiney and spoiled? Moreover, why would I want to read pages and pages about that character flaw? I wanted to tell Susannah to just let Chrissy make her choices and suffer some consequences. Talk about a self-induldged child!
I generally recommend Debbie Macomber's books, but this one I would definetly WALK ON BY. Don't waste your time on this. It doesn't really add any nuance to the other stories set on Blossom Street. You will be saving a hours of your life that could be better spent in say ... even WEEDING YOUR OWN GARDEN ... rather than reading this book. (And I really don't like weeding in my garden!)(less)
I have to say that this was probably my least favorite of the ‘Outlander’ series so far. I’m only giving it 2 stars. I found it to be slow and ramblin...moreI have to say that this was probably my least favorite of the ‘Outlander’ series so far. I’m only giving it 2 stars. I found it to be slow and rambling without a lot to move the plot along. I did learn more about life in North Carolina in the 1700’s. But how many ways can you describe how badly a person could smell then? Gabaldon seemed to be fixated on body odor in this book.
It's been a few years since I read the first four books in the series. I'm hoping that this is simply on of the less stellar books in this series, and not that my perception of the whole series has changed in the ensuing years. I'm still going to read the next two books in the series: A Breath of Snow and Ashes and An Echo in the Bone. Here's hoping that the series gets back on track.(less)
Even though this book was originally published in 1954, it stands the test of time amazingly well. It might help that it is historical fiction set in...moreEven though this book was originally published in 1954, it stands the test of time amazingly well. It might help that it is historical fiction set in England in the mid 1300's, but Anya Seton does a great job of setting the tone and moving the story forward.
I enjoyed learning more about Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster. Even though I know quite a bit about English history, I didn't know that there had been a 'People's Revolt' against King Richard in 1381.
I liked the fact that while the overarching story was a star-crossed love story the supporting details were rich in authentic history.(less)
This was the first book I read from this author. It was a fun romp of a read. Lynn Kurland seamlessly blends a storyline in modern time and the 1200's...moreThis was the first book I read from this author. It was a fun romp of a read. Lynn Kurland seamlessly blends a storyline in modern time and the 1200's. Both centuries and the intertwined plot were entertaining. It's basically a time-travel love story, but it avoids being schmaltzy or over the top.
Now I'm going to have to check out more of Lynn Kurland's books. Darn, I don't need more books to read --- but it's nice to find a great author that weaves paranormal, historic fiction and a romance without going overboard on any of the genres.(less)
First, let me start by saying that if I could have given this 3.5 stars, I would have. But since we don't have that luxury, I had to fall back to 3 st...moreFirst, let me start by saying that if I could have given this 3.5 stars, I would have. But since we don't have that luxury, I had to fall back to 3 stars. I liked this book, it was fun and entertaining -- but did I REALLY like it? Would phrase from the book stand out in my mind for weeks or years to come? No, it was simple escapism with some education thrown in for good measure. I would highly recommend to to anyone interested in some entertaining historical fiction though.
I'm an avid English history fan. I especially like the period from about the 1100 - 1700. I also love a good mystery, so imagine my delight when I stumbled upon Sharon Kay Penman's "The Queen's Man"! Sharon Kay Penman has made quite a name for herself (and rightly so) in the historical fiction realm. Now she's set her sights on a mystery series too.
I really enjoyed the first in this series about Justin de Quincy and the services he provides for Eleanor of Aquitaine as she tries to tread the treachorous waters of foreign poliy in 1193. The book was a nice mix of historical settings, interesting characters and a plot that kept a good pace.
Justin does aid the Queen, and solves the mystery. But more than that he discovers more about himself and the larger world around him. This book wasn't earth-shattering literature, but it was a rollicking fun read that managed to teach me more about the medieval times. Now that's entertainment!
Now I'm on to the second book in the series, "Cruel as the Grave". Can Justin help Eleanor rescue Richard the Lionhearted from the clutches of the King of France?(less)