A quick and interesting read, and a great, accessible introduction for young adults to one of the great authors and thinkers of the "modern" age - Tho...moreA quick and interesting read, and a great, accessible introduction for young adults to one of the great authors and thinkers of the "modern" age - Thoreau.
Being Henry David is a different kind of coming of age novel - one in which the hero has to learn who his is literally, as well as figuratively. "Henry David" aka Hank, is a teenaged boy who has awoken in Penn Station with amnesia. As he tries to scrape together some of his memories, or at least some semblance of a new life, we the readers learn along with him - about the streets of New York, the writings of Henry David Thoreau, and the quiet town of Concord, Maine.
Though the book is peppered with interesting supporting characters (as usual, the librarian is my favorite, but there's a twist this time), and a couple of minor subplots, the real character development is all centered around Hank as he learns to come to terms with the realities of the present, and the past so shocking he had to forget. (less)
"Our job in life is not so much to find ourselves as it is to create ourselves." ~My Life Map
The same is true of this book. You don't read it, but you...more"Our job in life is not so much to find ourselves as it is to create ourselves." ~My Life Map
The same is true of this book. You don't read it, but you create it, and with it yourself, and your life.
"My Life Map" divides your life into manageable chunks - subjects (family, work, play), ten-year map, whole-life map, and more - and each section contains excellent quotes and prompts to help you consider your life - as you have lived it, as you are living it, and as you may live it in the future. There are even spare copies of each map in the back of the book and online so that you don't have to feel tied down by your map, your plan. Instead, you can dream and explore and create, and then change your mind a million times, if you so desire.
I didn't DO this entire book before reviewing it; I felt it deserved more consideration than the few weeks it was in my possession. I did read through and consider how I might respond to each prompt, each example, each beautiful quote, and each suggestion. And I can tell you - I am excited to map my life.
I'm the sort of person who loves to make plans and to document my life - New Year's Resolutions, 101 things in 101 days, Project 365, my blog, and so forth. But I tend not to follow through. Either my plans falter a few months in, or life gets busy, or my priorities change. But "My Life Map" understands. "You will not be a failure if what you write in this book does not come true," it says. And I breathed a sigh of relief upon reading it. I imagine revisiting old versions of my life maps will be like opening a time capsule to the things that seemed important to me when I created them.
When all is said and done, if you complete the Whole Life Map (which is the entire point, really), you will have a one-page overview of your past, present and future, split into chapters you've named for their main idea, divided into life sections, and progressing with purpose, even if it is retrospective. You'll have found a Mission and Vision for your life, made yourself goals to help you live up to your own standards. You'll have a clear view of the path behind you and a clear idea of what to do to carve out the path ahead. I can't wait.
This is a compensated review for the BlogHer Book Club but all opinions expressed are my own.(less)
Three-and-a-half stars might be more appropriate, but it wasn't an option. ;)
Since Fifty Shades of Grey began the mainstream pseudo-kink craze, I've k...moreThree-and-a-half stars might be more appropriate, but it wasn't an option. ;)
Since Fifty Shades of Grey began the mainstream pseudo-kink craze, I've kind of shied away from it all. I disliked the concept of "mommy porn," the way non-vanilla sex was stigmatized, and what can I say, I'm a little bit of a hipster when it comes to staying off the beaten path.
But when the opportunity to review Diary of a Submissive, an ostensibly true story, and clearly a response to Fifty, landed in my inbox, I couldn't resist. In many ways, I was not disappointed. In other ways, I was let down.
Far and away the most refreshing thing about Diary of a Submissive is the author's ability to, well, write. She's a journalist by trade, and I laughed in delight when I read, "I decided quickly that committing crimes against grammar was a hard limit for me."
The other big positive to Diary, as compared not only to Fifty, but also to the seeming opinion of the mainstream world, is that the pseudonymous Morgan quickly dispels the myth hat only people with some sort of trauma in their pasts could be interested in kinky sex. She describes her simple life that is very much like yours and mine - except that she's a self-described masochist who gets off on physical pain and humiliation, when they're meted out by someone whose judgement she trusts, who has her best interests at heart.
The big letdown of Diary was the quick and dirty finish. In what seems like the midst of the story, suddenly it's over, and you're left unsure what even just happened. I guess real life doesn't have tidy endings.
EDIT: I've read on Sophie's twitter and interviews that there is a sequel coming soon. Hopefully that will relieve my angst at the ending.
This is a compensated review commissioned by the BlogHer Book Club. All opinions expressed are my own. (less)
This book was more hearts and flowers than the first one (Fifty Shades of Grey, see my review of that for comments on the writing). Strangely, that me...moreThis book was more hearts and flowers than the first one (Fifty Shades of Grey, see my review of that for comments on the writing). Strangely, that meant I didn't enjoy it quite as much, at least until about halfway through. Then I sped through it pretty quickly. There's a rather contrived one-page cliffhanger, which I could have happily done without, because other than that, I felt like this book wrapped things up rather nicely. I'm honestly not too excited to start book three, except that I have friends pressuring me to do so. Since they were the people who convinced me to start the series in the first place, I guess I'll have to trust them. (less)
If you're following me on Goodreads, you know I have a newfound mantra not to finish crappy books just for the sake of finishing them. Well, I finishe...moreIf you're following me on Goodreads, you know I have a newfound mantra not to finish crappy books just for the sake of finishing them. Well, I finished this book (and the others in the series), and the writing sucks. It is painfully obvious that this began as fanfiction and had little in the way of professional editing.
This is not your mother's romance novel. Unless you're under 18, in which case, buzz off (for this particular post. The rest are great birth control).
When I think of romance novels, I think of quaint victorianism and words like heaving bosom, corset, and manhood. Fifty Shades of Grey has its own special oft-repeated words, of course, but they tend toward the poorly-written rather than the adorable. Think, apex, sex-as-a-noun, flush, and behind. Oh, and words like, dominant, submissive, and flogger. Readers have been known to require Google assistance to define some of the terms found in this book, but it's best to keep safe search on and don't search at work. 'Nuff said?
Now that I have your attention, let me also mention that this book is also not your typical whips-and-chains erotica. No, it walks a fine line between these genres, and while FSOG does have its very own almost-but-not-quite-completely-lacking-a-personality heroine, it also has one character who is quite well, um, fleshed out.
Ana Steele is everything a romance novel's heroine should be: unknowingly gorgeous, barely-legal, virginal, and naive. The series begins with her clumsy and awkward, but somehow a feast of mind-blowing sex three times daily leaves her a smoldering temptress by series' end. That's... about as much character development as we get out of Ana.
Christian Grey, on the other hand, begins the series dark and broken. While he's quite stereotypical, into kinky fuckery due to a horrific childhood, he struggles his way into a strong-but loving personality who is exasperatingly-overbearing-in-a-kind-of-sweet-way and also hellfire in the bedroom.
Though the plot starts out as weak and wibbly as any romance novel, it quickly escalates to kinky erotica before fizzing down into the glowing embers of something resembling a real-life relationship. A bit more kinky sex is thrown in to keep things interesting, and overall it reads like its humble beginnings - poorly-written fan fiction with rebranded characters.
I'm not sure why the media is calling this "mommy porn," since the protagonist is a young and breathless college graduate. Unless maybe the media expects moms to need vicarious kinky sex, while non-moms are presumed to be able to have their own fun.
If you're squeamish or overly moral (in sex or in writing), you probably won't much enjoy 50SG, as it's lovingly called by fans.
I enjoyed it plenty, though I think I'd enjoy perusing it with my red pen almost as much. (less)
Finally finished the version of this book that is downloadable here on Goodreads and quickly searched for new chapters. Turns out there are like 20 mo...moreFinally finished the version of this book that is downloadable here on Goodreads and quickly searched for new chapters. Turns out there are like 20 more, and when I got to the end of THOSE, I found out the next update comes out tomorrow. \m/
I love this book. I originally described it as good-naturedly poking fun at all of the ridiculousness of the original series (and it does) but it's so much more than that. This fic started out sciencey and funny and a little ridiculous. Then it stopped being so funny but was still interesting. Then it got REALLY interesting, and deep, and scientific and thought-provoking.
So far there are over 2000 pages. It took me three months to get through (granted, I broke it up with other books), but it was really worth it.
Highly recommended to Ravenclaws, to fans of HP who are fans of science, rationality, and original thought. (less)
I read this entire book in two sittings separated only by dinner with my family. I have thirteen pages of highlighted passages in my notes section. Su...moreI read this entire book in two sittings separated only by dinner with my family. I have thirteen pages of highlighted passages in my notes section. Suffice to say, it was invigorating and inspiring. I highly recommend you go pick it up right now. (less)
Ok so I gave this book 1 star about halfway through. Now that I've finished it, I have revised to 2 stars. The second half of the book probably deserv...moreOk so I gave this book 1 star about halfway through. Now that I've finished it, I have revised to 2 stars. The second half of the book probably deserves at least 3, so I averaged. I still don't think the second half redeems the first, and as a whole I think the series was very sadly horribly executed. The premise is awesome, and I think in the right hands, it could have been amazing. Unfortunately, Westerfeld's hands seem to have not been the right ones.(less)
No matter my thoughts about his politics, I just can't quit Orson Scott Card. I refuse to pick up his books in paper (or e-paper) form, and insist on...moreNo matter my thoughts about his politics, I just can't quit Orson Scott Card. I refuse to pick up his books in paper (or e-paper) form, and insist on listening to them read aloud, usually by voices I've come to know and love through repeated listenings of the Ender Saga. Since Card claims he writes with this in mind, I figure it increases the authenticity of the tale. Besides, it stops me from noticing typos and bad editing, which always pull me from a story.
I know that the Alvin Maker saga is meant to be loosely based on the life of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion. I can't decide if it's better or worse for me that I don't know the details of LDS history. Better, probably, because I'm not constantly analyzing the plot, trying to spot the preaching (which I do with the latter Ender books, and it always tarnishes them a little for me). Though I wonder what lovely allegories I am missing. Though not a Christian, I'm always interested in the Christian allegories I find in popular literature. So maybe they're worse for it.
Maybe it's better just to take the book as it is, a tale like so many of Card's, of a bright young boy with a fantastic talent and too much responsibility for his age. The setting of 18th century colonial America almost doesn't matter to the plot. Sure, there is a certain amount of naming convention (with kids named Vigor, Measure, Waste-Not and Want-Not, and so on) and religious fervor only rivaled by today's neo-conservatives, but really, again as most of Card's work, this is a story not about place, but about people.
I'm hoping the series will hold me over until the release of the next Mithermages and Pathfinder books. It kept me engaged, made the time slip away while I worked on my own household chores, and left me eager to borrow the next book in the series from my library's digital library. Really, what more can you ask for? (less)
Update: After my third (or was it fourth?) read/listen-through, I'm officially calling it - this is my favorite book.
The audiobook is wonderful. The...moreUpdate: After my third (or was it fourth?) read/listen-through, I'm officially calling it - this is my favorite book.
The audiobook is wonderful. The voices are excellent and powerful.
I just really love this book. I enjoy the entire Ender series, as a whole, but I could read this book, on its own, again and again. I love the theology, philosophy, and human spirit in it. It moves me.
I'm pretty sure I would be a Speaker for the Dead, if I could. :) (less)
Orson Scott Card says his books are meant to be heard more than read, and the cast of narrators for Ender's Game is phenomenal.
This book has been bil...moreOrson Scott Card says his books are meant to be heard more than read, and the cast of narrators for Ender's Game is phenomenal.
This book has been billed as YA and it does ok in that genre, but I find I get something more out of the book (the series, really), every time I listen. And Since I first "read" (listened to) this book in 2006, I get the urge to listen to it pretty much once or twice a year, despite the way my "to-read" list keeps growing.
Ender's Game is full of emotion, politics, children you tend to forget are so young, and the war of several lifetimes. And yet, that somehow doesn't begin to describe its depth and complexity. Just pick it up; you won't regret it. (less)
This is definitely one of my favorite books of this series. I loved going back to learn about Roland's time in Meijis as a very young man, his coming...moreThis is definitely one of my favorite books of this series. I loved going back to learn about Roland's time in Meijis as a very young man, his coming of age, love story, his friendships.(less)
My favorite parts of this book are (view spoiler)[the parts about Stephen King. I always find myself wondering how much of them is reality - his journ...moreMy favorite parts of this book are (view spoiler)[the parts about Stephen King. I always find myself wondering how much of them is reality - his journal entries, newspaper clippings, etc. Obviously, he didn't die, and that last clipping was what actually made me consider that some of it might be fictionalized. I'd bet a lot of it isn't, though. My feelings about those parts, at least, are (hide spoiler)] on par with how I felt about the backstory in Wizard and glass. I love the feeling of pulling aside the curtain and getting a look at the Great and Powerful Oz - or whatever might be behind it. (less)