I was really undecided about this book after I finished reading it. Part of me liked the story about Edgar and his new breed of dogs; yet another part...moreI was really undecided about this book after I finished reading it. Part of me liked the story about Edgar and his new breed of dogs; yet another part of me was unsatisfied with parts of the story and its ending. I think one thing that contributed to my dissatisfaction was all the hype surrounding the book. All that build-up, I guess I expected something different. I felt the story had more possibilities than what the author eventually did with it.
I enjoyed Wroblewski's writing style, although parts of the book moved slow. I never really got the whole isolation, "ghost story" angle the author was trying for. I actually liked the loose ends that some people have complained about because I enjoyed making my own interpretations about the book. I also didn't mind the sad ending; just found it somewhat unbelievable.
The book provoked a lot of discussion in book group. I liked the book a little more after our discussions. It helped to talk out some of the plot issues. It was amazing how many of us had different interpretations or who just didn't get or missed some of the details. Overall, the book had a good premise, but lacked a little in the delivery. Bookmarks Issue: 36-Sept-Oct-2008(less)
Our March 2009 book club pick. I can't wait to read it. For some reason I keep hearing Jimmy Buffett singing, "changes in latitude, changes in attitud...moreOur March 2009 book club pick. I can't wait to read it. For some reason I keep hearing Jimmy Buffett singing, "changes in latitude, changes in attitude."
It's taken me a few weeks to read this, not because it wasn't good, but because I found it a book to best be enjoyed in small sittings, otherwise it becomes encyclopedic. I liked discovering the small details and nuances of life in other cities around the world. Weiner provided an off-beat glimpse at the possible sources of happiness and in some instances unhappiness across the globe. He did this in a tongue-in-cheek, droll sort of manner.
I don't know that I necessarily found the secret to happiness or the happiest place in the world to reside; rather everything is relative. There is no perfect place to live. Our environment may influence our attitude, yet it is our relationships within this environment that have the greatest influence on our happiness.
The book was an amusing journey in the search for happiness. I found myself laughing at some parts and thanking God for where I'm at in others. Weiner took me on a memorable ride to places I'd like to visit and some I'm not likely to venture to.
I was mesmerized by this tale. Told brilliantly by a former drug-addicted, porn star after he was severely burned in a fiery car crash; it layers his...moreI was mesmerized by this tale. Told brilliantly by a former drug-addicted, porn star after he was severely burned in a fiery car crash; it layers his past and his road to recovery with that of Marianne Engel, an angelic appearance in his life. Marianne's stories were hypnotic and with each telling grafted new life (or old life depending on perception) to a man desperately needing to shed his old skin in order to save himself. The Gargoyle is hauntingly beautiful in its narration. One of the best novels I've read in a long time.
Not a book I ordinarily would pick up on my own; this was my April book club selection. The Well and the Mine was a work of Southern literature, based...moreNot a book I ordinarily would pick up on my own; this was my April book club selection. The Well and the Mine was a work of Southern literature, based around a family living in a coal mining town. The book opened with a little girl witnessing someone dropping her baby down their well. This act immediately hooked me and made me want to find out who this mystery woman was and why she did it.
The narrative alternated between the perspectives of each of the five family members. The well incident sparked the story, but I felt it was merely a good way to bring the family into focus, for this was a character driven story. I enjoyed looking into the lives of this family and how they dealt with issues of poverty and racism. It made me realize how our own perceptions influence and color our view of the world. I'm glad I read this book and look forward to anything else that Phillips has to offer.
I thought this was a moving story of friendship, love, loss and racism set against the backdrop of war. I liked the innocence of the relationship betw...moreI thought this was a moving story of friendship, love, loss and racism set against the backdrop of war. I liked the innocence of the relationship between Henry(Chinese) and Keiko(Japanese) as they bonded together as scholarship students in a white school in Seattle. The war forced Keiko and her family into a Japanese interment camp. Despite their attempts to maintain their relationship, Henry and Keiko lost contact. I liked how Ford alternated between past and present. It was a touching story.(less)
McBride captured the geography of the Eastern Shore and the landscape of it's inhabitants. Living on the shore, I could easily close my eyes and imagi...moreMcBride captured the geography of the Eastern Shore and the landscape of it's inhabitants. Living on the shore, I could easily close my eyes and imagine the world he described. The area is rich in antebellum history as home to Harriett Tubman and Patty Cannon. His tale of the slave trade is not one of right and wrong or blame, but one where everyone is accountable and everyone is a victim of the times. I loved the visions of the dreamer and the mysteries surrounding the code for the gospel train. This was an eloquent story, told with the rhythm and flow of the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
On a side note, this novel was chosen as the 2009 One Maryland One Book community read. Our book club will be reading it in October to coincide with the authors visit to Salisbury University on October 28, 2009. It sure is nice to have a book group member who proposed a grant to the Maryland Humanities Council to make this happen:)
This book took my breath away. Verghese spun a beautiful epic tale of love, loss, family, betrayal, forgiveness, medicine and healing. The story spann...moreThis book took my breath away. Verghese spun a beautiful epic tale of love, loss, family, betrayal, forgiveness, medicine and healing. The story spanned the globe, from India to Ethiopia to America. The characters were well developed and came alive to me. It was an amazing saga of compassion that I can't wait to pass along to my friends.(less)
This is one of my best reads of the year. Kathryn Stockett, in her debut, described the relationship between maids and their white employers and famil...moreThis is one of my best reads of the year. Kathryn Stockett, in her debut, described the relationship between maids and their white employers and families in 1960's Jackson, Mississippi.........and she nailed it! She brought the characters to life without making them caricatures. I was drawn into the ambiguities of life in this very southern town during the time of civil rights. The subjects of racism and feminism were considerately examined. The story was rich with emotion and evoked feelings of indignation, humor, love, pride, exasperation and admiration. I look forward to reading more of Stockett's work in the future.(less)
Little Bee was a compelling story, which begs the reader to think about the choices we make in life. It also asks us to step outside of our own little...moreLittle Bee was a compelling story, which begs the reader to think about the choices we make in life. It also asks us to step outside of our own little egocentric worlds, and take a good look at the world and people around us. The story is told in alternating viewpoints of two women and shows us what happens when their two worlds collide. There were a couple of plot points which nagged me, but otherwise......Powerful! Moving! Haunting!
"Major Pettigrew's Last Stand" was a delightful romantic comedy that gave me several hours of reading pleasure. Major Pettigrew, a carefully polite an...more"Major Pettigrew's Last Stand" was a delightful romantic comedy that gave me several hours of reading pleasure. Major Pettigrew, a carefully polite and correct middle-aged widower strikes up a friendship with Mrs. Ali, a widowed Pakistani shopkeeper. As their relationship develops, the story quietly confronts many social issues of class, race, and money. It is done with such subtlety and wit. The characters are endearing! I was absolutely charmed by this tale.(less)
Lippman has written a provoking psychological mystery. Eliza Benedict is contacted by a voice from the past, which she has tried to leave behind. Walt...moreLippman has written a provoking psychological mystery. Eliza Benedict is contacted by a voice from the past, which she has tried to leave behind. Walter Bowman is on death row for murdering two girls and is suspected in the disappearance of more; Eliza is the one who got away. The novel alternates between past and present as Eliza confronts the reentrance of Walter in her life and looks back on her kidnapping when she was a teen.
The story really makes you think about the effects a crime has on a persons life, their relationships, and family. Eliza thinks she has adjusted well, but as the story unfolds the reader can see what Eliza can't. There was a creepy, yet interesting bond between Eliza and Walter, which kept me wondering until the end where Lippman was going to go with it. I thought the topic was relevant considering the Elizabeth Smart trial is now in the news. Lippman has scored again. (less)
This is being hailed as the modern day "The Scarlet Letter," and the comparison is apt. The story stretches the readers mind to consider what would ha...moreThis is being hailed as the modern day "The Scarlet Letter," and the comparison is apt. The story stretches the readers mind to consider what would happen to society if we identified criminals by dying them a color to match their crime. Since overcrowded prisons are a problem, then this would certainly alleviate some of those conditions and make offenders identifiable to the public. It seems like a legitimate solution.
This is probably best described as a cautionary tale. I felt that the society described in the story was in our not so distant future. It is certainly easy to identify some criminals and mark them as such, but the story made you think hard about the persons among us who are not convicted of any crime, but are certainly guilty of something. The story also cautions us against blind faith. In a world where we have so many resources available, we should question things and find answers for ourselves rather than completely trusting someone else to think for us.
I thought this was a very thought provoking book and highly recommend it. (less)
There were many things I liked about this book. I liked the zen-like focus Henry had towards baseball and his...moreMy Rating: 3.5 stars bumped up to 4 stars
There were many things I liked about this book. I liked the zen-like focus Henry had towards baseball and his dream to be a player the caliber of his hero Aparacio. I liked the relationship between Henry and Schwartz, and how Schwartz mentored and encouraged Henry's pursuit of a dream. I liked the idyllic campus setting and the college's historical link to Melville's "Moby Dick." I enjoyed the transformation of Henry and the team over the span of a few years. I came to view Henry as Captain Ahab, whose singular purpose became an obsession, which affected everyone around him. Harbach did a fine job of weaving this story part of the story together. It was a fine coming of age tale.
My main complaint is Harbach went a little overboard with the details. He could have cut at least 100 pages out of the story without doing it a disservice, unless of course he was trying for another comparison to "Moby Dick." I know some of the repetitiveness was designed to make the reader feel what Henry went through everyday to achieve his goals, but it made the story cumbersome. I also felt that the affair between Owen and the college president was something just added in to give the story more flavor, but it was distracting. In fact, I thought it cheapened the main story. I didn't buy into the affair. There is also a scene towards the end of the book, which I won't spoil for anyonedigging up the president's body and dropping him at sea, but I found wholly unbelievable. Despite my few complaints with the book, I enjoyed it overall.(less)