After seeing the film, Deborah Moggach's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was not quite the light-hearted read I expected. It could just be where I am iAfter seeing the film, Deborah Moggach's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was not quite the light-hearted read I expected. It could just be where I am in my own life (mid-30s, single, worried about the future), or maybe it is actually one of Moggach's themes that became more apparent as I read the book.
Regardless, I enjoyed this read as much as I enjoyed the movie. It's probably not obvious, but I really liked both (hence, the four Goodreads stars). Although, come to think of it, I am annoyed that the original book title changed from These Foolish Things to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. If it was the author's original choice, then great, if it was changed to sell more books after the movie came out, well...
But I digress. And, I forgot to mention - spoiler alert.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is an easy read, and one that I recommend. The central theme focused on relationships - the relationships that older people have with each other, their adult children, and young people. A group of British senior citizens make their way to India to live out their so-called golden years in a hotel-turned-retirement community known as the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
The story moves from person to person, and you read about each of their struggles. The multiple story lines and character perspectives flowed well. The hard part was reading all the things I personally fear about growing old. From being alone (whether it be because my spouse dies or I never marry) to still floundering for happiness to being married to someone fro 48 years, only to realize with glaring clarity that you just don't like the person.
Yet, I enjoyed it. Enjoyed it to the point that I actually want to go to India now. A huge mind shift for my first-world-clinging-self....more
This was a bit of a slog for me. I started reading it two years ago before I went to Paris for the first time, but could not get into it. I decided toThis was a bit of a slog for me. I started reading it two years ago before I went to Paris for the first time, but could not get into it. I decided to pick it up again after I visited Paris in April of this year (2015).
The best thing about Emile Zola's "The Belly of Paris" is that if you've been to the city, you'll recognize the street names and neighborhoods. If you're into detailed descriptions, food (including meat), and markets, you'll enjoy this book....more
Sometimes a non-fiction book gets you right in the heart. James Bradley's Flyboys is one of them. This is the story of the American pilots who flew miSometimes a non-fiction book gets you right in the heart. James Bradley's Flyboys is one of them. This is the story of the American pilots who flew missions over the Pacific during World War II. It was not an easy story to read, and it can't have been an easy one to write.
Flyboys is not a tough read because of the writing style. Bradley does not slog through mounds of data. Rather, he sometimes leaves a reader wishing for more information, while at the same time not wanting to read anymore accounts of what happened to American flyers shot down in the waters near Chi Chi Jima. Flyboys is difficult to get through because Bradley is dealing with information that had been classified in 1946, and later declassified in 1997.
This is not a book to read if you cannot take your heart being wrenched, your stomach turning, and overall sadness for humanity. It is also not entirely sad. There is an immense amount of bravery and courage. It is also amazing to see how far the U.S. and Japan have come. My mind is a little blown just thinking about that last bit....more
This one was guilty pleasure reading for me. Sean Wilsey wrote a great reflection on his life, but it was all a bit horrific for me. The most disturbiThis one was guilty pleasure reading for me. Sean Wilsey wrote a great reflection on his life, but it was all a bit horrific for me. The most disturbing part is that this was about real-life, right here in the Bay Area. ...more
If you already saw the movie Precious, then you have read the book Push. Of course, there is more depth to the book, but the movie really did a greatIf you already saw the movie Precious, then you have read the book Push. Of course, there is more depth to the book, but the movie really did a great job of capturing the essence of this novel. It is an incredibly difficult story to get through because of the subject matter, but it is about more than the horrific things human beings do to their own children. The main character, Precious, is resilient and she is funny. She does not use her awful past as an excuse, and I love that about her. It is her strength that makes this book worth reading.
Yikes it was difficult to like Robyn Davidson in the beginning of her book, "Tracks." More often than not I found her petulant and ungrateful. EitherYikes it was difficult to like Robyn Davidson in the beginning of her book, "Tracks." More often than not I found her petulant and ungrateful. Either she was upset with the concern people had for her and this trek she wanted to make, or she was upset about the fact that National Geographic agreed to pay her for her story. Her mood seeped from the pages, into me, and I found myself feeling grouchy and unsettled. For me though, those were the markings of a good storyteller.
*If you think there could be spoilers in a memoir, then stop reading.*
This is the true story of a woman who travelled 1,700 miles across the Australian outback. She does have company along the way, but I considered her journey a solo one, even if it wasn't exactly the one she wanted. As Davidson crosses the outback, her writing and mood changes, and eventually she becomes more philosophical, and strangely this is where she started to lose me. That being said, this is a remarkable story. At the end, Davidson reflects, "The two most powerful things that I did learn were that you are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be, and that the most difficult part of an endeavor is taking that first step, making the first decision." I totally get that bit, and dig that she got there in her own mind and experience.
By the way, there's a movie out, based on this experience, and I look forward to seeing the differences between the two....more