I don't remember reading this one at all, do either I read a different book with this title, a similar title, or I've lost my mind :)
I've always enjoyI don't remember reading this one at all, do either I read a different book with this title, a similar title, or I've lost my mind :)
I've always enjoyed mistaken or concealed identity stories, and this one was fascinating. Usually in those books, the reader knows who is whom, and I enjoyed being in the dark ... although I'll also admit I thought Eugenides was a girl before we learned his name (and not because Gen sounds like Jen).
That's all I'm going to write as 1. This is due at the library, and 2. I want to start reading The Queen of Attolia....more
As I told my friend Rebekkila in the comments to her review of this book, I actually saw a movie made from this several years ago. I'm embarrassed toAs I told my friend Rebekkila in the comments to her review of this book, I actually saw a movie made from this several years ago. I'm embarrassed to admit it was on Lifetime :) What's funny is I really don't watch Lifetime much, if ever, but I distinctly remember this being on late one night while I worked on expense reports in my office. I'm thinking my husband might have been out of town, too (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). I didn't even see the whole thing, which makes me even more annoyed that it's a Lifetime movie, because so far it appears "unreleased" as a movie that can be rented, checked out, or watched On Demand. I kind of want to see it again! Anyway, I remember at the time really liking it, and the women in it. I was also impressed when I read that they all actually gained/lost weight for the movie.
Anyway, it's charming chick lit with a bit of depth. If you've read The Little Lady Agency, it will seem familiar, but not in a bad way. It was fun to read it since I'd seen the movie, and although the movie was fairly true to the story, as expected, there were several things left out that I was glad to come across in the book.
The Nigel storyline left me a bit confused, and the Chester storyline (and perceived fat discrimination which led to the Cinderella pact) was entertaining. There's a bit of Lucy and Ethel or Three's Company in this in terms of wacky things that would never really happen in real life, but it's still fun and charming to read. And also pretty clean, which was nice for chick lit. I'd keep it to read it again but want to send it to a friend I know will love it....more
Wow. Just finished this one. I marked a ton of spots, but think I'll digest a little and talk about it at book club tomorrow before I write my review.Wow. Just finished this one. I marked a ton of spots, but think I'll digest a little and talk about it at book club tomorrow before I write my review.
The one thing I will add is that sometime last night, at about the midpoint, I updated my GR status on this from my phone, but it evidently didn't "take", as I didn't see it on the computer today. What I wrote was something to the effect of:
I'm torn between two thoughts on the book in this story: 1. it BETTER get published, and 2. it better not be THIS book. I seriously hate when I'm reading a book about a book, and Oh! Look! It's the one you're REEEEEAding. Blergh.
Oh - another status update I could have written, from yesterday morning: had to vacuum for friends coming over tonight. All I could think of was Minny's comment about "I hope she's not too country to own a Hoover"....more
**spoiler alert** I remember after I read this the first time that other friends were really unhappy Katniss ended up with Peeta. So in the re-read, I**spoiler alert** I remember after I read this the first time that other friends were really unhappy Katniss ended up with Peeta. So in the re-read, I was trying to remember how exactly it happened. But in fact, Gale left, so why are people upset with Katniss about that? And I'm struck again that really, Peeta is the only one she could end up with. He's the only one who could actually understand her, truly. Gale and she shared an adolescence. She and Peeta share lifetimes of trauma.
The politics in these books are more noticeable the second time around, and they're still just as well-crafted as I thought they were in the first reading. Now I'm totally excited to see the movie :)
August 31, 2010: I'm very (although maybe not totally) satisfied with this ending. Loved Boggs. And I really liked the Real/Not real game.
It was just as good the second time. And yes, I cried again when the bread came. Oh, this one is so good. And I feel more for ... the people this timeIt was just as good the second time. And yes, I cried again when the bread came. Oh, this one is so good. And I feel more for ... the people this time around. Also? I love Cinna.
August 29, 2010: Part the TV show Survivor and part the movie The Running Man (only way better than both could ever hope to be), I could not put this down. I don't think there's any reason to write a real review on this because 1. everyone has read the book and 2. any review I write would contain spoilers for the handful of people who haven't.
So I'll just say that I cried -- really cried, when Katniss got the bread from District 11.
This was a fascinating re-read. Honestly, I was trying to remember what exactly happened in this one, because "Hunger Games" and "Mockingjay" were faiThis was a fascinating re-read. Honestly, I was trying to remember what exactly happened in this one, because "Hunger Games" and "Mockingjay" were fairly clear in my head. The whole "group" aspect of this one fascinated me this time around. And I still liked it an awful lot. Finnick, too.
August 30, 2010: Love, love, loved this. I seriously couldn't put it down. Now if Dave would just answer my email so I can go over and pick up Jen's copy of Mockingjay, all would be right with the world.
Several one-off comments I wanted to record here: I just recently re-read LitI can't believe I'm already up to 1934 in the Read the Newberys project!
Several one-off comments I wanted to record here: I just recently re-read Little Women (which I highly recommend adults do), and I really enjoyed this one more having done so. I read this in 3rd or 4th or 5th grade, but I'm sure it was only because I'd just read LW. My guess is that this is much more enjoyable if you read it following the novel. Much less plodding, and far more interesting.
The secretary on the cover of my copy (pictured here) is at such an angle that every time I look at it, I think it's a laptop! LOL
I'd totally forgotten about the Weekly Pillow Fights! My sister has 4 boys, so I wrote her this week, "I think you should consider instituting weekly pillow fights." Her response, "So...you want S3 to get more stitches and for his brothers to catch up with his record?" So I replied, "You know that's not how Beth died, right?"
"Determination, however, can take the place of patience, if earnestly applied." Brilliant!
It is interesting to me that this book is in the Newbery lexicon, though. It's not really a "story" and it's not fiction. So other than the first Newbery book, The Story of Mankind, it's the only nonfiction I can think of (or at least so far). I can't help but think that it made it to the list because so many girls of this age love Little Women. Since LW was published long before there was a Newbery award, but it's clearly superior literature (heck, for my money, it's head and shoulders above every Newbery book we've read so far (1922-1934); perhaps this was a way of acknowledging its greatness.
There were several things in this book that most readers should have picked up on in reading Little Women. However, if you didn't get it there by osmosis, Meigs spells it out a little more clearly here. For example, in regards to Louisa teaching Sunday School in Boston, "It was one of the Alcott beliefs that no matter how poor a person is he or she always had something which could be given away."
I loved Louisa's choice about clothing in the discussion of An Old-Fashioned Girl: "'People are remarking on how familiar my best black silk has become' she says in substance. 'I shall either have to get another or go home to Concord. I am going home to Concord.'"
Last, and right on the money, Meigs totally gets it why girls of all ages love Little Women (and because of this, I like this book too): "Part of the magic of Louisa's charm for young people surely lies in the fact that she sees things through their eyes, that she depicts the ups and downs of the early adventures of life, all from the young point of view. The youthful readers all feel, entirely, that Louisa is on their side."...more
I have said for years and years how much I like this book, but I realized when I started reading it on Sunday that I might not have picked it up sinceI have said for years and years how much I like this book, but I realized when I started reading it on Sunday that I might not have picked it up since 4th grade when I wanted to be called Meg! Is that possible? I think so.
After finishing it on Monday afternoon, I was talking to some girls that evening where I realized (yes, I was thinking out loud) that this book is loaded with advice -- marital advice, parenting advice, interpersonal relationships advice ... and it's all good. I mean seriously, I think everyone should read this book as a grownup! It's that good.
Having said that, I can't believe how much I cried whle re-reading this. I mean, I cried all the way through it! That was a little odd, and I wasn't prepared for it. Of course I was prepared for that part, but not so much the whole entire book!
Jo has always seemed to be a kindred spirit, for a variety of reasons, good and bad. Here's just one example of something we have in common: I like good strong words, that mean something she says. Me too!
I also like the way the author even teaches the reader how to be a good friend, in the midst of the joy of getting published: Jo's eyes sparkled, for it is always pleasant to be believed in, and a friend's praise is always sweeter than a dozen newspaper puffs. Thinking about something like this reminds me to be happy for my friends when they have good news to share.
When my dad died, a friend sent a book of quotes called Deeper than Tears. In it, Corrie ten Boom says, "There are moments when the suffering is so deep that one can hardly talk to a person. What a joy it is then to know that the Lord understands." So many times, I felt as if no one understood how I felt, but I could turn to God. Likewise, Alcott says: She could not speak, but she did "hold on," and the warm grasp of the friendly human hand comforted her sore heat, and seemed to lead her nearer to the Divine arm which alone could uphold her in her trouble.
I loved this commentary on wealth:
Wealth is certainly a most desirable thing, but poverty has its sunny side, and one of the sweet uses of adversity is the genuine satisfaction which comes from hearty work of head or hand; and to the inspiration of necessity, we owe half the wise, beautiful, and useful blessings of the world.
This might be my favorite part: Now, if she had been the heroine of a moral story-book, she ought at this period of her life to have become quite saintly, renounced the world, and gone about doing good in a mortified bonnet, with tracts in her pocket. But, you see, Jo wasn't a heroine; she was only a struggling human girl, like hundreds of others, and she just acted out her nature, being sad, cross, listless, or energetic, as the mood suggested.
I love this book. Love it. Everyone should read it....more
**spoiler alert** As soon as I started reading, I thought I had read it before in paperback, but couldn't be positive. It wasn't until near the end, w**spoiler alert** As soon as I started reading, I thought I had read it before in paperback, but couldn't be positive. It wasn't until near the end, when Abel's daughter gets a job in a department store with a fictitous name that I was sure I had. Either way, it was fascinating.
Contains some spoilers:
This is a really well-written story of two men, born in 1906; one in Poland to a dead woman and raised in a trapper's family, and one in Boston to an "old money" banking family. The author goes back and forth, following each boy, through many "life milestones". The beginning is pretty violent, as is a lot of Abel's (the Polish guy) story. He witnesses the rape of his sister, the murder of his brother, the death of his father and escapes a prison camp in Siberia. How could it not be violently told?
As I was reading this, I thought many times of the expression: "Man's inhumanity to man". I don't know the original author to credit that to, but it is certainly woven throughout this book.
There were parts of the immigrant's story that really touched me, as my father came to the US at age 21. Although his experience was not similar, the author certainly gives insights into what that kind of life was like. I also found that I had more sympathy than I would have thought for the wealthy family. They have problems just like the rest of us! Perhaps even more so.
This book could be interpreted as a sad commentary on life, but I'm choosing to look at it as an education, and a challenge to not live the way either of these men chose. Instead, I love the beauty of the son of the banker and the daughter of the immigrant falling in love. Their love for each other, mutual respect, and ultimately their children, are symbolic of what this country stands for (cue the national anthem). If there is hope in this book, it lies in them. I'm thrilled that the two men met on the street and nodded to each other at the very end. Obviously not a full reconciliation, but the intent is there....more
If you like reading fiction and non-fiction at the same time, try reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's No Ordinary Time at the same time as this book. The bIf you like reading fiction and non-fiction at the same time, try reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's No Ordinary Time at the same time as this book. The books cover the same period in time, and each provides interesting insights on the other....more