This was my latest audiobook and I enjoyed it. It is not a mystery in the true sense of the genre - where there is one major crime that the book is ge...moreThis was my latest audiobook and I enjoyed it. It is not a mystery in the true sense of the genre - where there is one major crime that the book is geared around - one villain, one 'hero/ine'. It is about the 'little' cases that Mma Ramatswe has to solve, given that she is the first and only lady detective in Botswana. The style of the book is so simple though, that I think you can't help but enjoy it, once you accept that this is what it's about.
Along the way, you meet interesting and varied characters and you learn a lot about life and culture in Botswana with some tidbits about South Africa dropped in here and there.
I loved Mma Ramatswe's character and was rooting for her all the way. I plan to read the rest of this series as I have time.
They certainly do drink a lot of tea in Botswana!! :-)(less)
So I liked this book, but I debated over three or four stars, mostly because for four stars, that means I would read the book again, but I'm not sure...moreSo I liked this book, but I debated over three or four stars, mostly because for four stars, that means I would read the book again, but I'm not sure I would do this one again. The ending was good - maybe a little too dramatic (you'd think Marion would have had more sense, being a medical professional, and knowing what Genet had been up to - but he's like your girlfriends who pine after a guy who is all wrong for them and you keep wanting to shake them and say "get over him!!!"); it was also some what predictable in places, and the ending ending was a bit blah after all the build up, but overall it was a good story, so I decided to be generous and go with the four stars - it really would be a 3.5 stars, if I could do that. :-)
I won't re-cap the synopsis, because it's as stated on the book cover and in other reviews. I will provide the following thoughts:
I listened to this as an audiobook and so had to 'read' every word. Had I read this as a book, I probably would have skipped many words. :-) It's a long book, and the author is very detailed, perhaps sometimes too detailed. In one of my status updates, I think I said the book was rambling a bit - there are some sections in there, especially at the beginning, that are tangential to the overall plot, but you still have to plod through them. The pace really picks up in the second half to last third of the book (again - because I used an audiobook, I'm not sure how to quantify this), so you might have to make yourself keep going. You'll be rewarded though, during the middle of a surgery where Marion is assisting Deepak (please excuse any name mis-spellings, as I'm guessing here). I totally didn't see that coming.
If you are a squeamish person who doesn't like reading about body functions and blood - this book isn't for you. It's a story about surgeons, and there is lots, and I mean lots, of surgery in here - and it's all very detailed, down to the veins and capillaries and arteries. Again - the author does a great job of breaking down a lot of medical terms into language that we lay people can understand, but there's a lot of medicine in here. Fistula surgery - oh my goodness! The descriptions of the surgeries are also what possibly 'slow' the book down a bit, if you're not interested in that kind of stuff - but like I said, Verghese makes it all readable.
The characters are interesting (I love the residents at Our Lady) - my audiobook experience was excellent, as the recording I listed to used an Indian narrator and he did an awesome job! You will learn a lot about Ethiopia and some of its history, and you will appreciate how family does what family has to do.
I loved this book!!!! (note: I listened to it as an audiobook, so I'm guessing at the spellings of the names) I was rooting for Kimberly the whole way...moreI loved this book!!!! (note: I listened to it as an audiobook, so I'm guessing at the spellings of the names) I was rooting for Kimberly the whole way. Aunt Paula and Uncle Bill were great as the bad guys, and all of the secondary characters were just realy well written - Matt, Annette, Kurt, Mr. Al (the guy who owned the store - I busted out laughing when he tried his karate move on them), Puck - they all made the story so much fun for me.
I felt the lack of heat in the apartment. I could imagine every roach and rat running around the place (YUCK, YUCK, YUCK). I teared up when the announcement was made about Kim at the 6th grade graduation ceremony. In my mind I was saying "no, no, no - don't do it!!!" as Kim was bending down to pick up the note that Tammy dropped. I loved the Chinese idioms shared throughout the story.
You could guess the "dilemma" that she'd face at the end of the book as you got to that section, but that didn't detract from the plot for me at all. And, I was totally surprised by how she resolved it - that would definitely make for an intersting discussion if this were read for a book club.
This is a great, easy read (or listen) that I think you're looking for an enjoyable, believable rags-to-riches story line.(less)
I learned so much from reading this book. Had never heard of the country of Biafra or the war around it's inception and eventual collapse. As always,...moreI learned so much from reading this book. Had never heard of the country of Biafra or the war around it's inception and eventual collapse. As always, war stories are horrific, and this, while not excessively graphic throughout (the material about the massacres is not for the faint of heart though), did let you know that bad things were happening. You also learned a lot about ethnic differences / troubles in Nigeria, as well as some of their customs. It's interesting, while the main characters were Olanna and Odenigbo, I found myself liking Richard and Kainene more. It's a long read, but definitely interesting; will keep you going. I think I do have to agree with Bridget though - Americanah gets more love from me. :-)(less)
oct 22: this is my current audiobook. the last amy tan book dealt with was the joy luck club - i watched the movie way back when i was i college. am e...moreoct 22: this is my current audiobook. the last amy tan book dealt with was the joy luck club - i watched the movie way back when i was i college. am enjoying this one so far.
oct 29: i really want to give this four stars, and i may go back and do that. i enjoyed this. the beginning was a little iffy - ruth was starting to get on my nerves, but the middle section about her mom's life was great! that would what would make me go back and give four stars. i was definitely hooked there. then when it got back to the ending, i thought it wrapped up a little too nicely. everyone turned out too nice and perfect. but i guess that's fine. for some books that's exactly what i want.
amy tan does a great job of capturing the nuances of the relationships between moms and daughters. (less)
Nice book. Twesi Jackson describes how he, his family, and a host of supporters have built a successful school for AIDS orphans in a rural Ugandan vil...moreNice book. Twesi Jackson describes how he, his family, and a host of supporters have built a successful school for AIDS orphans in a rural Ugandan village. The narrative is interesting and keeps moving along. There are lots of personal stories along the way - Twesi includes stories from his youth - as well as those of other characters who appear in the book, including the children of the school.
The facts about AIDS in Uganda are depressing - the work that this school is doing is amazing, but still a drop in the bucket when you consider the big picture. One of the facts that sticks with me from the book is "every day, 1400 babies in Uganda are infected with HIV from their mothers" - that's 1400 children who are going to die.
Definitely a good read if you want to read something positive and about someone making a difference for those less fortuante.(less)
Well. I'm not sure what to say about this book. I listened to it as an audiobook, and it was really long. :-) I learned a lot about Sudan and the lost...moreWell. I'm not sure what to say about this book. I listened to it as an audiobook, and it was really long. :-) I learned a lot about Sudan and the lost boys - things I never knew - shows you my "mis-education", I guess. War is horrid and what happens to children in war is awful. The story is sort of an autobiography and is told from the perspective of the storyteller - he switches back and forth between his "current" situation in Atlanta and his "past" situation in Sudan and the refugee camps. You get a very good description of life from the perspective of a Sudanese - both after and during the war, as well as their experience coming to America. It's a moving story that goes into great detail. I think I liked it. :-) Will give it three stars. It's just really long.(less)
1/18/2011: this is my current audiobook. enjoying it so far.
1/31/2011: I'm almost half-way through this and am definitely enjoying it. I've not read a...more1/18/2011: this is my current audiobook. enjoying it so far.
1/31/2011: I'm almost half-way through this and am definitely enjoying it. I've not read a whole lot about how Japanese Americans were treated by white Americans during WWII, and this is definitely an eye-opener. Imagine packing up all of Washington DC and sending the residents to California, allowing each person to just take two suitcases. The book isn't just about the Japanese internment, but I'm glad I'm learning about it.
2/17/2011: Finished this early in February. I really liked it. The story line was sweet and you gain some insight into two cultures you might not normally be exposed to. The author jumps back and forth between World War II and 1986, but it works well. There's a bit about the Seattle jazz scene thrown in too, and Seventh-day adventists and Walla Walla, WA get an honorable mention! :-). I wondered whether 13-year-olds might actually have had such deep feelings for each other, and Samantha is slightly too perfect, but overall it works. ;-). An enjoyable, quick read. (less)
I wanted to like this book. My husband is from Trinidad and I was so excited to find a book that was based on the island. The dialect was pretty authe...moreI wanted to like this book. My husband is from Trinidad and I was so excited to find a book that was based on the island. The dialect was pretty authentic. The descriptions of Carnival and other island customs was great. But I couldn't deal with Ata. It's tough when you don't know whether to root for the heroine, or if she actually is the heroine. I just couldn't connect with her. Fraser got more emotion from me. The sub stories didn't always weave together that well. And the ending - well, I was so annoyed when I got there. I'm really sad. Had much higher hopes for this. (less)
i took this out at a time when i was just too busy to sit down and read a serious book. christmas break is coming up though, and i'll take it out to r...morei took this out at a time when i was just too busy to sit down and read a serious book. christmas break is coming up though, and i'll take it out to read with me then.(less)