Found this one a little whiney, but probably it's because there's a great deal of adolescent angst in it. Had my hunches, which turned out to be about...moreFound this one a little whiney, but probably it's because there's a great deal of adolescent angst in it. Had my hunches, which turned out to be about 90% accurate, true, from the minute I realized the full set-up of the book. But, it was a decent enough ear-read to keep the CD player running while I had things to do around the apartment.(less)
Given to me by a friend. I started it, since I've never read this author and so many love her. I just wasn't able to get into the story. May try anoth...moreGiven to me by a friend. I started it, since I've never read this author and so many love her. I just wasn't able to get into the story. May try another of hers later.(less)
Ultimately, not as satisfying to me as I'd hoped. It's the author's own fault. She wrote so beautifully, that I wanted to stay with each individual st...moreUltimately, not as satisfying to me as I'd hoped. It's the author's own fault. She wrote so beautifully, that I wanted to stay with each individual story line and follow that for a complete book. As it was, the novel was more like interrelated stories about individuals whose orbits collide and intersect across a scattered timeline. I'm not a big short story gal, because I like to get involved with characters and live with them for a bit. Though I revisited characters in the periphery of other stories, I still didn't get the satisfaction of a follow-through. I know that in life, we don't always have pat endings, but I do like them in my books. Will look for more by this author, though. Loved her writing, even if I wanted a longer story arc.(less)
I read this with great glee...ever since I first learned about New Zealand, I've wanted to visit. The more I learn, the more I want to go. Someday. Si...moreI read this with great glee...ever since I first learned about New Zealand, I've wanted to visit. The more I learn, the more I want to go. Someday. Sigh.
To read about a place that fascinates me through the eyes of one of my best BookCrossing buddies was a treat. I think some of Pete's asides and footnotes were priceless- and when I laughed out loud while sitting with boyczuk at the doctor's office, I did get some strange looks.
My only complaint is that the pictures were a bit grainy, so I couldn't get my visual need quenched. But Pete paints a picture with his words, so that worked instead. (less)
I normally like Trigiani's books as little escapes into another slice of life. I've enjoyed this series about Valentine a great deal, watching her gro...moreI normally like Trigiani's books as little escapes into another slice of life. I've enjoyed this series about Valentine a great deal, watching her grow, and make life decisions. I've also enjoyed the depiction of "the big Italian-American family" and how much it resembles other "big fill-in-the-blank-ethnicity families I know. Also, the design process for shoes that has threaded through the books has been fascinating. This book carried a lot of Trigiani's skill as a script writer, often enabling me to more clearly "see" the scene in my mind as I read. Unfortunately, I didn't always like what I was seeing, in regards to some of Valentine's decisions and approaches to sharing your life with your lover and your work. I'm not saying that I don't believe a woman should have a career, because that's definitely not true. I just found myself wanting to smack Valentine, and point to the words "Compromise" and "Share" in the dictionary. If I'd wanted that much marital discord in my light reading, I'd pick up Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe or War of the Roses .
I do read the author's notes and afterwards in books, and was interested to see how much of this one/series was based on a cousin of Trigiani.Based on that paragraph, I also have a hunch where the story is going from here. If the next book falls into my hands (as this one did), I'll pick it up. If not, I'm fine with where Valentine and I are in our relationship.
Rounding up to 3 stars, because even though I didn't like the story as much as some of the others, the writing carried the images very clearly to mind.(less)
It's no surprise that I like this book. We've been walking a path to more healthful eating for quite a while now, careful what we consume, and from wh...moreIt's no surprise that I like this book. We've been walking a path to more healthful eating for quite a while now, careful what we consume, and from where it is sourced. Many of the local farmers greet me by name at the local farmer's market. We have a high quality blender, which we use for smoothies (particularly green smoothies, which often are what we sip in the evening as we sit outside and watch life parade by. There's also a juicer in our appliance arsenal, having moved from a centrifugal juicer to a twin gear over the years. I love fresh juice, especially, juices "with ingredients", as my mother used to say, taking frequent opportunities to partake of cold pressed and fresh squeezed juices offered for sale, even though I often shudder at the prices asked for them. Yet, I balk at juicing itself: the cleanup is just such a chore. I never want to do it after having that yummy juice, and if I do it before, I resent that it's keeping me from my fresh juiced goodness.
But this book, with beautiful pictures, easy to follow tips, and absolutely scrumptious recipes for juices, smoothies, and even some non-juice stuff to supplement a cleansing program, has me eyeing the juicer that sits high up on a shelf. I even am contemplating climbing up on a stool and bringing it down, finding a place somewhere in our compact kitchen to give it a more accessible home. I've got the fruits and veggies already in the fridge -- all I need is the motivation to tackle the juicing and the inevitable clean-up. I tried convincing myself that the washing helped with an upper body workout, but my mind didn't believe me. Maybe I'll try telling myself that washing all those parts provides a zen moment to meditate.
Many thanks to the authors for some wonderful tips, recipes, and insights, and to Blogging for Books and the publishers for sending this book along. It's a keeper.(less)
A "found" book from somewhere, which I am registering it for BookCrossing. This is an author I tend to like, so was delighted to add this to my TBR pi...moreA "found" book from somewhere, which I am registering it for BookCrossing. This is an author I tend to like, so was delighted to add this to my TBR pile. However, I gave up on it. The footnoting drove me crazy, and the story just didn't appeal all that much, maybe having been immersed in the world of house hunting and home improvement far too recently. Plus, I didn't particularly like the main character. Another time, perhaps. (less)
Perfect diversion for the time following an eye doctor visit, where I got my eyes dilated and couldn't spend the rest of the day doing the things I li...morePerfect diversion for the time following an eye doctor visit, where I got my eyes dilated and couldn't spend the rest of the day doing the things I like to do, including reading. An ear-read was a good substitute for page turning, though.
Story was a bit formulaic, and a bit dated, but decent enough. The Clark women (Mary Higgins, Carol Higgins, Mary Jane) all tend to run together in my mind these days. I usually pick the least likely/most benign/trusted early on and pin the butler label on them. More often than not, I'm right.(less)
I've lived the north and south of the Civil War aftermath: born and raised in the DC area, moved to a border state (home of the Dred-Scott decision fo...moreI've lived the north and south of the Civil War aftermath: born and raised in the DC area, moved to a border state (home of the Dred-Scott decision for most of my adolescence, and then settled here in the South for the past 40 or so years. There are many aspects, besides the politics of the war, that I find fascinating. The fierce loyalty some folks have for their homeland, for instance, or the burning desire to fight for their personal beliefs. To me, fighting means taking an intellectual stand, not the physical personal risks the four women in Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy did. The women, each fully dedicated to their cause, are skillfully depicted by Karen Abbott. I heard her talk about the book on NPR, and the interview fascinated me so much, I immediately sought out the book.
The four women are very different in personality and approach to how they helped. Belle Boyd was flamboyant, rambunctious, daring in an overt way, very much an extroverted young woman. I found myself wondering what labels a psychiatrist would slap on her were she to end up on a couch today. I suppose as a kid I sometimes fantasized about passing as a boy so that I could have a more rough and tumble life (I grew up in the late 50's), but I am not sure I would have tried to pass as a male and join the Union army, as Emma Edmonds did. It's interesting, also to note, that there are several books out of late about women disguised as men and fighting in the Civil War. Edmonds experience was spurred not by the desire to be next to her sweetheart, unlike most of these women on other books, but to escape a bad home life and put distance between her present and past. Rose O’Neale Greenhow was the only one of the four women I really knew anything about beforehand, some of which I "knew" being incorrect. A clever and cunning spy, she was able to pass messages and information even when under house arrest by the Yankees. Elizabeth Van Lew, who lived in Richmond, was shunned as an abolitionist, while getting valuable information to the North, and aiding the escape of many Union prisoners and Southern slaves.
Oddly, though, the two people I want to read more about are not these four women, but "Little Rose", the youngest daughter of Greenhow, and Mary Elizabeth Bowser, a freed slave that Van Lew helped place in the southern white house as part of her spy ring. Bowser was both educated and possessed of a photographic memory, thus was able to gain access and recall intimate details of the strategy and plans discussed by Jefferson Davis and his officers.
What happens when the princess in the story is unbelievably homely, an old god is bent on destruction and the world is about to fall apart?
I picked th...moreWhat happens when the princess in the story is unbelievably homely, an old god is bent on destruction and the world is about to fall apart?
I picked this up to read before Kelly Barnhill's new book comes out. There's much hype and anticipation based on her earlier works (this one included) so I thought I'd take a test drive.
I liked it. Really. The main narrators were quite good, and the story well plotted and thought out. I liked the interweaving of some stuff from our mythology and folk tales, and a whole new world to explore.
It's geared for a younger crowd, but that shouldn't stop the child-at-hearts from reading it. And, it's got dragons. And heroes. And loyalty. And books. And did I say, it has dragons? (less)
Another story-within-a -story type book, interweaving two tales, which I tend to like, particularly if both narratives are interesting, which happily...moreAnother story-within-a -story type book, interweaving two tales, which I tend to like, particularly if both narratives are interesting, which happily was the case here. In one, a woman in occupied France WWI era, finds herself struggling to keep her home and family safe, while her beloved husband is away fighting. She has her memories, and a portrait of her he painted from their days in Paris. All threatens to come apart when a German Kommandant discovers both Sophie and her portrait. In the other thread, Sophie's portrait is in modern day Paris, in the home and in the heart of Liv Halston, whose husband gave her the painting on their honeymoon. Now widowed, Liv finds herself in a court battle over who owns Sophie's portrait and if it is the spoils of warn or a true gift of love. I honestly have to say that as I read, I kept wondering how the author would untangle the mess that both women seemed to have gotten into, while keeping the promise of a happy ending in sight. I saw one possible out, but surprisingly enough, Moyes came up with a different one.
This is the second Jojo Moyes book I have read. I found the details and characters compelling, and the descriptions of life intricate enough that I could easily visualize the events of the book. My copy of the bok also included a prequel novella, called "Honeymoon in Paris", which for me, was really only interesting for the backstory of Sophie and her Edouard, rather thank Liv and her husband. (less)
This is my maiden voyage with a novel based on Dr Who. The show is a big hit in my family, where three generations all consider themselves Whovians. I...moreThis is my maiden voyage with a novel based on Dr Who. The show is a big hit in my family, where three generations all consider themselves Whovians. I was curious to see how the characters translated to book format, knowing that usually, I am one of those "liked the book better than the movie" types. While the story, itself, was fine, it didn't thrill me with the same sort of delight that a well written Dr Who script does. I found the portrayals of the five "regular" characters rather flat, and, at times, had trouble remembering this was supposed to be the Capaldi Doctor, and not some ambiguous time traveller. There were a few moments when Strax seemed like Strax, and Jenny showed spunk, but for the most part, I wasn't wowed. Perhaps the fault is mine, though, as I expected the book to paint a picture in my mind that would match up to what I see on the telly each Saturday night.
I'm giving this book a 3 out of 5 stars, though, because even though I love the television series, sometimes the writers have an off time, and I moan and groan about how poorly the script was written, not giving the actors a chance to really strut their stuff. This plot-line was no worse than some of those scripts that I thought weak, perhaps even better than one or two. It could just be that my imagination is not trained to translate a story visually from a book to match what I know on the screen. After all, this adapting from a series is a new sort of read for me. So, just like me giving the writers of episodes I'm not keen on the benefit of the doubt, so I'll give the book series the benefit, too, and a three-star rating. It also strikes me that this would be a good YA type read.
This is something like the 53rd book in the series, so apparently, others have no problem translating from television to text. As I said, the fault is probably in me. Please don't bash me because our tastes are different. But if writers continue to have Madame Vastra refer to her wife, Jenny, as her maid, make Strax dull, Clara a bit of an imbecile, and the Doctor somehow enigmatic and dull at the same time, I'll cross future books off my wish list.
Many thanks to Blogging for Books and the publisher for sending this copy my way.(less)
"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance meets Life of Pi in this quirky spiritual journey across the wild highways and byways of America," they sai...more"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance meets Life of Pi in this quirky spiritual journey across the wild highways and byways of America," they said. "Okay!" I said. "I'm in!" What I hoped for was a quirky boy-meets-girl (if the boy is a stiff-necked small town lawyer taking a road-trip/vacation to fulfill a promise to his grandfather and the girl is a free-spirited, new age, Native American, beginning her career as a spiritual advisor from the back of a converted bookmobile.) The problem is that the plot really didn't progress much further. Instead, the book segued into a primer on spirituality, various methods, means, types, and approaches. Don't get me wrong-- this is good information, but if I wanted to be exploring a spiritual pathway, I'd like to choose my own reading list, rather than be ambushed from the pages of a novel. As an outline/introduction to different spiritual viewpoints, this one is pretty decent, but again, I wanted a story, not a lesson. Mr Kincaid has created some characters that are just oozing with potential, but abandoned them to help enlighten the reader. I really wish he'd stuck to letting Ted, Angel Two Sparrow, and the dogs develop into fully fleshed out characters.
I'm guessing that there are those who this book will find, and it will be just the right time/tool/introduction to help them move into a new phase of life. I'm not particularly enlightened, but for me, a lot of this was like sitting through a review class on a subject I know pretty well. I plugged on through because it was a book sent to me by Library Thing Early Reviewers and the publisher, for which I am entirely grateful. I will pass it along through BookCrossing, hoping it finds the right reader while it travels the world as a BookCrossing book. Rating it 2.5 stars (out of 5), even though it is a decent introduction to spirituality book. It's just not as decent as a novel.