I read this book 10 years or more ago. I should have waited it out. I should have waited until later, until I was older, until I had more time, until...moreI read this book 10 years or more ago. I should have waited it out. I should have waited until later, until I was older, until I had more time, until it could matter to me. Having just re-read this book, and a mighty re-read it was, I believe this was the perfect time for me to devour every word of this massive book. Perhaps I'm politically aware now and I wasn't when I first read The Poisonwood Bible, or maybe my reading has become rounder, more inclusive, I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that I got this book this time around, when I'm quite certain I did not get it last time. The amazing part of my re-read was realizing that I didn't quite grasp it last time through and I still gave it 4 stars. Here's one for the admitting, the first time I read this book was simply so I could say I read it. I was a fan of Barbara Kingsolver and I had read and recommended her other books to several friends. Not Poisonwood though, I never told another person to read this book. Why? Because it was time consuming? Because it was the kind of book you drown in? No, it was because Africa wasn't a thing at that time. We Americans were kind of over it at that point if that makes sense. Or maybe I was still pissed off over El Salvador and didn't care about a country that no longer existed. Now I see, we have a lot to learn and a great deal to study in regards to the Congo considering we are now dealing with Mali. Now I want to scream from the roof tops, "READ THIS BOOK!"
I loved this book. It is a chore and a privilege to read and as much right now I am saying I will never read it again, I believe in 10 years I should pick it up and read it again. I'm sure there is so much more I can learn and different views I can have about the story in the future. I almost need to see what I will think of this book 10 years from now. I was thrilled to read that she is working this into a screen play for a miniseries. How wonderful it will be to see this story on the screen. To see the Congo, to see the girls, to see and not just read Ms. Kingslover's vision of The Poisonwood Bible! I can't wait! Then again I can wait as long as it takes. I can wait as long as it took her to write the damn book =) (less)
I really, really enjoyed this book. It wasn't the best written book, nor was it the best plot ever, it just was a really fun and magical little book....moreI really, really enjoyed this book. It wasn't the best written book, nor was it the best plot ever, it just was a really fun and magical little book. I liked the sisters and the family, but the house and tree were my two favorite characters. Who wouldn't love a story with an apple tree as one of the main characters? The only thing I just didn't get is the storyline about Emma and Hunter John. I believe Garden Spells could have been a great book without Emma's little subplot. Was there really any reason to care about Emma's hang up with her former friend? I have a friend like that I, with a similar background and our past does not influence how we interact now. So why would it bother Emma so much? And why would I care? The story is about the Waverley's, and the people they are actually involved with. And I LOVED their story. I loved the relationship between the two sisters. I loved seeing things through Bay's and Evanelle's eyes. The perspective from the little girl and the old woman gave the story much needed depth. All in all, I enjoyed it. The magical realism wasn't to out there, it was just there which I really love (can I say "love" one more time?). I can't wait to read more of Sarah Addison Allen's work. (less)
Beautiful Creatures was slow going until about 18% in. If I were to judge the book on the first 18% I'm not sure I would have finished it. BUT it gets...moreBeautiful Creatures was slow going until about 18% in. If I were to judge the book on the first 18% I'm not sure I would have finished it. BUT it gets good, not amazingly good, but solidly good, good enough to continue. After 60% in, it's the kind of book you wish you could put your life on hold, ship the kids off grandma, and just get lost in the story until the end.
I can usually call the end of the book, way before I get there. Not so much the case with Beautiful Creatures. I had no idea things were going where they went. I'm not sure you would even think about things going that way. To be honest I went into the book not knowing a thing about it. I saw the preview for the movie while there to watch Mama and thought it looked interesting. I still had no idea what the story was about. I picked up the book a week or so later without reading the blurb or a review. I had no idea before reading page one that the book takes place in the South, just happened that I have been on a Southern fiction book kick lately, go figure. Before the end of the first 18%, I would switch between believing the book was about vampires, to witches, to vampires, to I have no idea what the hell these people are. I liked that. I liked the guessing game. I like what they ended up being. I liked everything about the story.
My only disappointment is that I can't just dive into the next book, and after that ending, I REALLY want to dive into the next book. I have a book club selection to get through first and it's going to be a long one. I wonder how I will get Lena, her family, and Ethan out of my head long enough to enjoy another book? I'm sure I can do it, but I'll be waiting jump back into Lena's life. I can't wait to see what happens next!
Some of my favorite quotes:
...my mom used to call it going dark-religion and superstition all mixed up, like it can only be in the South.
The unexplained was sort of a given in the South.
And if there's one thing a Southerner knows, it's their family tree.
You couldn't take two roads. And once you were on one, there was no going back.
"Mortals. I envy you. You think you can change things. Stop the universe. Undo what was don long before you came along. You are such beautiful creatures."
Okay, so my dad was certifiable, and my mom was dead, sort of, and the woman who raised me knew a thing or two about voodoo. I was okay with all of that. It was just, standing there, surrounded by the actual card-carrying, candle-bearing Casters, it felt like I needed to know about a lot more than living with Amma had prepared me for.
This book is hilarious! I thought it would be sad, but wasn't. I'm loving it and can relate to Rob's style of writing. He speaks in music and lyrics,...moreThis book is hilarious! I thought it would be sad, but wasn't. I'm loving it and can relate to Rob's style of writing. He speaks in music and lyrics, and that I feel connects us on a spiritual level =) I LOVED this book! Even when I was arguing with him on his timeline (yeah, I talk to my books sometimes haha), I couldn't help but love his conviction on how right he thought he was. This book made me laugh, and smile and send quotes to everyone I know. Even when the book turned sad, it wasn't overpowering, it just was. Rob wrote a great mix of dark humor and self pity, and if you have been there, you know that is exactly what it takes to climb out of the dark and live beyond grief. What more can I say other than everyone who lived, really lived, in the 1990's needs to read "Love is a Mix Tape". I'll be keeping an eye on Rob Sheffield so I can argue music through more books with him. Seriously, I laughed my way through this book and loved strolling down musical memory lane with him. Thanks for a great read Rob!
Quotes that have touched me and made me laugh(I added more quotes!):
I could have written this: "I get sentimental over the music of the '90s. Deplorable, really. But I love it all. As far as I'm concerned, the 90's was the best time, even the stuff that gave me stomach cramps. Every note from those years is charged with life for me now."
I honestly believe this to be truth: "Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they add up to the story of a life."
This was the 13 year old Catholic me(something Rob and I seem to have in common) If you knew me in those young teen years, you probably saw something similar written on one of my religion class notebooks along with the lyrics to "Shout at the Devil": "Take this, all of you, and rock. This is the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you, and for all who rock, so that rock may be worshiped and glorified." followed by: "Rock, I am not worthy to receive you. But only say the word, and I shall be healed."
Because Go Ask Alice and all the SE Hinton books are like comic book religious text to those I love most (and because cracked up when I read this): ...paperbacks I'd read at school, like Go Ask Alice ("Dear diary, the squirrels are eating my face again") or That Was Then, This Is Now ("The colors screamed at me! Purple screamed loudest!"). At school, we studied Rush's 2112 and Lord of the Rings. In the cafeteria, I looked anxiously at my chocolate milk and recalled how Alice got dosed at the sleepover party. Was somebody playing "button, button, who's got the button" with our lunches? Would my teacher do such a thing? She was into Lord of the Rings. I was just one chocolate-milk mustache away from slipping into a hellhole of bare feet and crash pads and diary entries like "another day, another blowjob" until my inevitable fatal pot overdose.
The best reason ever to be an alter boy: "But I loved the cassock and surplice, ringing the bells, lighting the candles--it was like being a glam-rock roadie for God.
There is deep truth in this statement: Everybody's favorite Prince album must be the first one they heard while actually making out.
Can I get an Amen: ....it was just another temporary technological mutation designed to do the same thing music always does, which is allow emotionally warped people to communicate by bombarding each other with pitiful cultural artifacts that in a saner world would be forgotten before they even happened.
exactly!: ...while U2 sound like Jesuits trying to act cool for the youth-group retreat.
Because today's youth has lost this: (Note: the "record store" was a popular retail strategy in the 1990's, a building where people would "go" to "buy" "music")
just because I felt this one: But when I listen to Kurt, he's not ready to die, at least not in his music---the boy on Unplugged doesn't sound the same as the man who gave up on him.
more one Kurt Cobain (and enough to kind of hurt): I hear a teenage Jesus superstar on the radio with a song about a sunbeam, a song about a girl, flushed with the romance of punk rock. I hear the noise in his voice, and I hear a boy trying to scare the darkness away. I wish I could hear what happened next, but nothing did.
On waking up knowing someone is gone forever: That world was all gone, and now I was a supplicant, dependent on the mercy of other people's psychic hearts.
grief: But all the things you want to learn from grief turn out to be the total opposite of what you actually learn. There are no revelations, no wisdoms as a trade-off for the things you have lost.
so true: It's not human to let go of love, even when it's dead.
how a random song can break you when you least expect it: This is a classic example of a tape that tries to ruin a bunch of great songs by reminding you of a time you would rather forget.
the scars death leaves us with: Not changing isn't an option. And even though I've changed in so many ways--I'm a different person with a different life---the past is still with me every minute.
The truth about women then and now (especially in MUSIC!): Something was happening in the nineties music that isn't happening anywhere in pop culture these days, with women making noise in public was that seem distant now.
What the 1990s really meant (to me at least): ...Hendrix-freak baby boomer, when he was complaining about the "bullet-in-the-head rock and roll" the kids were listening to today, and he asked Renee, "What does rock and roll have today that it didn't have in the sixties?" Renee said, "Tits," which in retrospect strikes me as not a bad one-word off-the-dome answer at all. The nineties fad for indie rock overlapped precisely with the nineties fad for feminism. The idea of a pop culture that was pro-girl, or even just not anti-girl--that was a 1990 mainstream dream, rather than a 1980s or 2000s one, and it was real for a while. Music was not just part of it but leading the way--hard to believe, hard even to remember. But some of us do.
more on the death of the 1990s music culture: Since the coup of 2000, those nineties dreams have been stomped down so hard it seems crazy to remember that they were real, or at least part of real lives.
Funeral worthy quote: When we die, we will turn into songs, and we will hear each other and remember each other.
And finally: "Love Is Like Oxygen"--you get too much, you get too high, not enough and you're gonna die. Love hurts. Love stinks. Love bites, love bleeds, love is the drug. The troubadours of our time all agree: They wan to know what love it, and they want you to show them. But the answer is simple. Love is a mix tape.
*****I am never going to forget this book and I'm more than likely going to read it many, many times over my life**** (less)
I'm giving this 3 1/2 stars. There's a really good book in here, but unfortunately it is lost in pages and pages of recapping. I was concerned when 50...moreI'm giving this 3 1/2 stars. There's a really good book in here, but unfortunately it is lost in pages and pages of recapping. I was concerned when 50% of the way through this book we were still constantly recapping the first book, but when at 95% in we started recapping the book we are reading I got a little fed up. Still, I liked the story, it had a lot of potential, there was just something missing that was in the first book. It could be that the readers were not intended to read the books back to back. It could also be that the book and series is actually intended for a young adult audience. After all, there isn't a thing in this book that would keep me from letting my 7th grader read. It was fun, the story was good, and the world as odd as it may be was totally believable. I look forward to reading the novella about Link and continuing with the series. However, I will read a few things away from this series first. I need some distance just in case I have to suffer through the recapping in the next book. I'm hoping to see a deeper focus on the lesser characters in the next book. I think as a reader I need to know more about the lesser Casters. I also must know what happens to Ridley and Link. I'm also hoping I haven't seen the last of Liv. I liked her and I want something to work out for her in the coming books, after all she lost so much in this one. I guess this explains why I rounded up instead of down. I liked the story and I do care about the characters and that to me is worth round 3 12 stars up to 4.(less)