This is my first Canadian small press book. At least, one that I know is from Canada and is also set in a Canadian city. It's a period piece, tak2.5/5
This is my first Canadian small press book. At least, one that I know is from Canada and is also set in a Canadian city. It's a period piece, taking place in the 1940s and focuses on memories and events from citizens of St. John's, Newfoundland who were involved in World War II. The book is part of a mystery series involving Inspector Eric Stride.
I ended up having a very hard time reading through this one and have been trying to come up with reasons why this should be since I can't find any one really pressing to fault the story or the writing with. Instead, I think it may have been a bunch of little things that just didn't work for me as a reader. The one thing I can say first is that it was very difficult for me to connect with the characters in the first 2/3 of the story. Having not read any other Inspector Stride Mystery's before may have been a factor here. There was just not enough in the story for me to grab on to and learn who Eric Stride is, nor his police team mates for that matter. Instead, much of the first 2/3 of the story focuses on Harrison Rose and the mystery behind who he was as a person. As such, we get little bits and pieces of story from some of the men who went to war with him. I got to know some of these men a little bit better, and of course I got to know Harrison Rose the best. These are the people and story-lines that stuck with me the most while reading.
The focus on Harrison Rose's back story wasn't so much of an issue to me though as the fact that the characters and the narrator periodically switch from using people's last names to identify then to suddenly using first names. Since the story involves multiple perspectives this made it very difficult for me to follow along with who was who and what they were up to.
Lastly, I'd say the lack of women throughout the book was a factor as well. This was very much a man's world considering the nature of the story, the fact that it focused on 1940s police officers interviewing men involved in the World Wars. A little more interaction with some women could have made me connect to the characters a little better as a female reader though. In fact, it's when Stride does talk to his girl friend, Harrison Rose's mistress, and when his daughter showed up that my attention was peaked.
Despite the fact that I had a difficult time reading through most of the book, the story itself did interest me as well as the actual mystery. This is why I think that once most of the mystery behind who Harrison Rose's personal history settled a little the book really picked up for me. I liked hearing about the discrepancy in how many shots were fired vs. how many bullet wounds there were and seeing how the police officers brain stormed the reasons behind this. I also loved reading about the post-death break in to Harrison Roses house and the suspicions Eric Stride had about some of the characters the readers were already introduced to.
On top of the mystery and story was the fact that I learned so much about Canadian soldiers that I didn't know before. I had previously never learned about the soldiers of Newfoundland. And many of the stories the men shared with the inspector centered around a battle called "Battle of Ville Ste-Lucille" and is based off of the actual battle Monchy-Le-Preux which took place in April 1917. It is a remarkable tale and worth reading about even if you don't find yourself picking up this book.
In conclusion, I could tell this was a very well researched book and it was very well written in the sense that the stories seemed true to life and the complexity of the situation showed through brilliantly. There wasn't any reason why the things that seemed to have made this book difficult for me to read to have done so and I can tell from the enthusiam of previous reviewers for the book that it certainly didn't for others. I certainly hope that in the future I will be able to pick up the first two Inspector Stride Mystery books and find that I enjoy them much more.
This review was originally posted on my blog, 100 Stars or Less and can be found here.
Starting out 2011 and looking through my “read” list to seeThis review was originally posted on my blog, 100 Stars or Less and can be found here.
Starting out 2011 and looking through my “read” list to see which books I missed reviewing last year I was surprised to find out that this one missed any comments from me. Marilyn Monroe: Unseen Archives was one of my top three favourite books in 2010 so I am here to rectify it’s neglect immediately!
This is a book I settled on after deciding I needed to read more biographies of famous “culturally significant” people. I didn’t know anything about Marilyn Monroe (hadn’t even seen any of her movies) and wanted to see what it was about her that so captivated people when she was alive. I wasn’t sure what books were out there but when I picked this one up I knew it would be perfect. Not knowing anything about her, I knew I would be missing out big time if I didn’t read a biography with photos included.
Marie Clayton has done a stunning job with her biography. Each chapter starts out with a summary of a period in Marilyn’s life. She explains what was going on in her personal life (family, relationships, and career) and then dives into more specifics with the photo captions. And what photos! Marilyn certainly knew how to strike a pose and the photographers certainly knew how to take advantage of her charisma. I was captivated by her immediately just with the opening couple of pages. Then reading the captions and getting to know the context behind these photos certainly kept me captivated.
But even though I credit much of my love for this book in the photography chosen here, what really makes this book shine is the love for Marilyn that comes through so brightly in Clayton’s words. She gives a wonderful portrayal of a person’s life. Marilyn was not just a star but also a real life human that deserved the world’s love. Not just because of that stardom but because of that humanity. From what I have read, Ms. Monroe had a really tough life and I really appreciated the beauty of what Clayton has done for Marilyn here.
In conclusion: stunning photography, fascinating life, beautiful woman, thoughtful biographer. I would not read another biography any other way!
The funny thing about me reading the "Eclipse Novella" is that out of all four Twilight books, Eclipse is my least favourite. Bella was overly whiny,The funny thing about me reading the "Eclipse Novella" is that out of all four Twilight books, Eclipse is my least favourite. Bella was overly whiny, Jacob was annoyingly whiny, and Edward was abnoxiously whiny. But as I sat down to read the story from Bree's perspective I was pleasantly surprised. The writing is much more mature than I was used to seeing in the Twilight books and that's mostly due to the maturity of Bree's character. I guess you could say (and I would) that Bree is the antidote to Bella. Mature, smart, and careful, despite her age. My only wish is that Stephenie Meyer had put chapters in her novella. No breaks got a bit tiring at some points. That plus, not describing Edward as "the redhead". Just when did I miss that description of him in the first four books? And well, that must be my own fault, but it was distracting because I was confused....more
Satrapi chose the perfect format (graphic novel) to tell her story. Every word counts for something, every idea and event is set to a visual backgrounSatrapi chose the perfect format (graphic novel) to tell her story. Every word counts for something, every idea and event is set to a visual background. This is a great book for anyone who wants to learn what it is like to be a girl growing up in fundamentalist Iran and overseas (Austria) as a middle eastern foreigner....more
It's worth reading if for nothing else, at least what it teaches the reader about how rich and interesting the history of historical documents and artIt's worth reading if for nothing else, at least what it teaches the reader about how rich and interesting the history of historical documents and artifacts can be. I did find it frustrating to read the mini stories though because just as I would figure out who all the characters were and get attached enough to want to know more about them, the story would end. It was sort of like reading the beginning of a book over and over but never getting to find out what happens once you finally reach the interesting bits....more
Loved the story and the way it was written. It was hard to put down at times. I wanted to find out what happened to Hanna and how their relationship eLoved the story and the way it was written. It was hard to put down at times. I wanted to find out what happened to Hanna and how their relationship ended but the trial and Michael's realizations about her were very interesting too. ...more
There are over 2000 reviews of this book on GoodReads right now. So let me do this a little less conventionally. Here’s a little look into my mind asThere are over 2000 reviews of this book on GoodReads right now. So let me do this a little less conventionally. Here’s a little look into my mind as I read this tale.
* Beginning - Blomkvist is boring…why do I care about all this background info? What does it have to do with the prologue at all?!? *Beginning - Salander is interesting…the book is titled after her character….why so much Blomvist and so little Salander?!? * I want to literally reach into the book, grab Bjurman by the throat and squeeze as tight as possible. * So the tale finally begins…and then…oh crap…MORE background info? I thought we were done with this. I don’t mind so much the background info. But does it have to go on for pages and pages at a time without any movement or action to split it up? * Thank goodness Salander figured that crap out. I’m not so sure I could handle any more of that creep. * OHHHHHH!!!!! The interactions with the Vanger family are so interesting. This mystery I must see solved now. * OH CRAP OH CRAP OH CRAP….I can’t put it down…I try, but it doesn’t work. Hmmm…good thing my husband is currently also obsessed with his own entertainment. Otherwise I’m not sure how I’d resist reading more… * Wow…this book dealt with some pretty insane issues. * I’m thinking now how profound this storyline actually is. How many women in the world have been sexually abused , raped, or molested? It’s pretty hard to go through life without knowing at least one person. * I want to cry! Salander is right though, about how to deal with things in the end. I have to agree with her 100%. Why should any victims suffer more. Not that people shouldn’t be punished…but why should EVERYONE have to know about it? It’s not fair to the victim. * I’m not so sure I care about the ending and the whole Wennerstrom thing. But at least it was interesting and fun to read.
The benefits of reading a book by a Swedish man when this is your heritage: - Your name gets spelled correctly….It’s with a K people!!! Although…I think I would have hated being called Ricky. - Your family name gets spelled correctly…it’s Nilsson NOT Nelson people! (not that it matters any more…my grandfather gave in anyways and it’s not my last name anymore) - Getting another taste of the geography which you researched as a kid but you had since forgotten. - It’s a modern story and not all nostalgic which is what people do here when you remember your heritage but forget that the country actually has a life of it’s own.
5/5 for giving me much to think about, dealing with important societal issues, and writing which makes it absolutely impossible to put the book down.
This book is hard to describe. It's a book about people who knit, who all met at a knitting club - but it isn't a book about knitting. I guess the besThis book is hard to describe. It's a book about people who knit, who all met at a knitting club - but it isn't a book about knitting. I guess the best way to describe it would be that it shows how everyone's personal lives make an impact on who they are and therefore how they interact with each other. It also shows how friendships can differ and all the different ways friends can support each other.
I liked this book. I couldn't stop reading it. But at the same time, after I finished reading, I had to stop and think about what exactly it was that caught my attention because it was just so hard to figure that out while reading it. The main character was not great. The author kept describing her as an extremely strong person, yet she didn't come across that way. And the other characters could seem very stereotypical and one-dimensional at times. Yet there was obviously something there for me. After thinking about it for a day, I've realized that it's because of those stereotypes I could probably see bits and pieces of myself in each one of them a lot easier. I could identify if not with their particular life situations, then with parts of their personalities and even some of their knitting habits. The thing that probably really kept me reading though was just how much about life this book had to say. Through subtleties and the more obvious points (like the tear-jerker ending!) it really did give me a lot to think about....more