Four minus. Sweet and short, in that order. I finished it in one evening.
Hoffman has a wonderful writing style. She wrote "Practical Magic," which wasFour minus. Sweet and short, in that order. I finished it in one evening.
Hoffman has a wonderful writing style. She wrote "Practical Magic," which was made into a movie. If you've seen it, you know that she's strong on female characters and the bonds between them.
Reading this book, I fell in love not so much with the characters themselves, but with their relationships, and the way Hoffman writes about them. Some of the characters are self-destructive or otherwise less than fully loveable, but Hoffman helps us find their loveliness because of the way their families and loved ones feel about them.
Okay: a parargraph without any form of the "L" word in it. Hoffman has a clear, true voice (I almost wrote "lovely", but then stopped myself). I look forward to reading more of her books.
Not too long ago I played a game which involved writing down answers to questions. One of the questions was, "What's the worst name you can call someoNot too long ago I played a game which involved writing down answers to questions. One of the questions was, "What's the worst name you can call someone?" I blanked. Then I remembered that we always tell preschoolers that they can not call anyone a poo poo head. So I wrote that down. Nothing else came to mind.
Everyone else either wrote, "The C word," or "See you next Tuesday." I was shocked.
I'm telling you this to illustrate that I rarely swear. (My mom might disagree, but that just goes to show how little she swears.)
And yet...I LOVED this book! It's fascinating and informative. Most anyone who loves words will enjoy it. Is it filled with some of the most obscene language you'll ever see in print? Yep. Is it presented in a serious, scholarly manner? Nope. She treats the subject in a mostly straightforward scholarly manner, but at times it's just natural and appropriate to interject some humor. It lightens the mood a bit, and makes it more fun to read.
Mohr address the subject in a mostly chronological manner, from Roman times to the Medieval era, on to the Renaissance, the Victorian era, to the modern day. Again, fascinating. It's so interesting to see the changes over time, as well as the similarities. She makes a point of drawing our attention to the divide between the holy and the sh*t, the profane and the obscene, and how they've come to merge in the present day.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in language or to anyone looking for a bit of a fun read about swearing. Even if, like me, you don't have much of an interest in participating....more
I really enjoyed this. The first-person narration reflects the age of the narrator, Evelyn. At the beginning of the book she's 12, and 17 by the end.I really enjoyed this. The first-person narration reflects the age of the narrator, Evelyn. At the beginning of the book she's 12, and 17 by the end. The sentences and thought patterns become longer and more nuanced as she grows older, reflecting Evelyn's growing maturity.
I thought Moriarty did a fine job of getting inside the head of someone at these various points along the way; struggling with beliefs and values and belonging (and longing). It rang true for me even though I didn't always share Evelyn's interpretations of or responses to the events of her life. Evelyn goes from being embarrassed by her mom to irritated with her to (somewhat) sympathetic - all sort of normal phases a girl might go through. Moriarty helps us experience Evelyn's growth in that regard, as well as in so many others.
There's a lot to chew on here. Moriarty gives us some universal themes to reflect on, without being preachy.
Not a genre I'd normally choose, but I'm glad I chose this book. I'm even looking forward to reading more of this series; not converted yet to the genNot a genre I'd normally choose, but I'm glad I chose this book. I'm even looking forward to reading more of this series; not converted yet to the genre, but I've got a bit of a fangirl crush going on with the series protagonist.
I wish I was more familiar with crime fiction so that I could compare Robert K. Lewis with others of his ilk. As it is, I can only compare his spare, almost terse writing to Hemingway.
Our protagonist, Mark Mallen, is a wreck. I rooted for him even though I didn't necessarily like him or the choices he made. And that, I think, I a mark of a good writer....more
#2 - I didn't get weepy. No, reader, I was sitting on my bed surrounded by wadded up tSome things you should know:
#1 - I read this all in one sitting.
#2 - I didn't get weepy. No, reader, I was sitting on my bed surrounded by wadded up tissues, keening with the beauty and grief and heart-wrenching truth of it.
#3 - The teen years of these characters, Omaha in the 80's, were my teen years (Omaha in the 80's). I was at Skateland, and Sprite Nite, and shopped at Drastic Plastic. Does this mean I had more of an affinity for them than anyone else who knows what it's like to wear strawberry-flavored lip gloss and feel one's insides drop out because his hand is so close to yours that it's almost touching? Perhaps. Probably not.
It doesn't do justice to Rowell's writing to say that she captures teen angst or that she does a good job of portraying first love. It would suggest that she's merely a good writer. Those of us who made it through the teen years and are now safely ensconced on the other side will know that she's not just written about those feelings. She's tied us viscerally to our former selves. The fifteen year-old I once was responded to these characters so strongly that I felt a near physical attachment to the story. I had trouble putting the book down even for long enough to go to the bathroom because part of me was so worried about how the story was developing. I found myself at once both completely enrapt in the story, and also noticing that I was responding on the level of that 15 year-old I once was. It made me feel quite tender toward myself as a reader, and also toward the author for being able to draw her (me) out so intact and fully realized.
The story left me breathless throughout. From the suffocating, constrained, and scary circumstances of Eleanor's life to the holding-my-breath-will-he-hold-my-hand excitement of heart-pounding first love to the agonizing, painful last bits, I couldn't catch my breath. And it never felt so apt. ...more
Like Lightreads, I'm having trouble reviewing this because my reaction to it so visceral that I almost can't talk about it. I keep looking at the bookLike Lightreads, I'm having trouble reviewing this because my reaction to it so visceral that I almost can't talk about it. I keep looking at the book lying on my nightstand and want to pick it up again so that I can crawl back in and rewind it. I miss being part of the story. It hurts almost as much as reading it hurt.
In my opinion it's ultimately about friendship. It's also about bravery and resistance and WWII and strong women and lots of other things. It's achingly moving.
'Kay, done. Just read it. It's marketed as YA, but like much good YA, it's written so well that it's completely engaging and real and appealing (though that's not really the right word) to adults.
I moved it up in my to-read list because of Lightreads' review, but Nancy is the one who gave me the book. Thank you, Sister....more
One of the things that I appreciate most about this book is that it makes me think a lot. About what a book is versus a blog, about whether or not I aOne of the things that I appreciate most about this book is that it makes me think a lot. About what a book is versus a blog, about whether or not I agree with Glennon, and about whether or not I like her.
Overall, I like her, I like what she has to say, and if we consider this a collection of short pieces of writing, it works as a book. It works especially well if the book reader is not a regular reader of Glennon's blog, Momastery. And of course, as a collection of short pieces of writing, this is best consumed in small chunks over the course of time.
Glennon writes well. She writes about being a mom, a wife, a sister, and most of all, a person who struggles. She shares what is at once a very positive and also very realistic, acknowledging-the-hardness viewpoint. I can definitely appreciate her outlook, even though I'm no longer the mother of a small child, and am neither a wife nor a Christian. A good deal of what she writes is applicable to most of us, whether we struggle with the same issues she does or not. It seems rather wonderful that she can write about her very personal, specific issues, and yet make them so accessible.
So this is a pretty glowing review so far. There are certainly areas in which the book will disappoint some readers. She's Christian, and might alienate some people. But she tends to write more about struggling with faith than about things specific to Christianity, so to me it's sort of a 50-50 chance that you'll hate it. Take it for what it is, or leave it.
She's also primarily a blogger. Again, it's best to take these pieces in small chunks. My final thought on possible drawbacks is that Glennon can be a bit high maintenance, but without the personal insight and humor that someone like Jenny Lawson - The Bloggess brings to her writing about herself. She has lots of good points, but some readers might be a bit turned off.
I'm going to recommend reading this one with an open mind, and taking from it what works for you. ...more
Anne Lamott writes so personably. She brings us in close, shares a cup of tea with us, and invites us into her world. And it's a wonderful world to beAnne Lamott writes so personably. She brings us in close, shares a cup of tea with us, and invites us into her world. And it's a wonderful world to be part of. She writes about her faith journey from start to struggle. She's real, and also filled with faith and joy in her faith.
I'm not Christian, so I appreciated her focus on God rather than Christ.
Yesterday I got an email from the library saying that one of my holds is now available. Last night during the wee hours (thanks, insomnia!) I finishedYesterday I got an email from the library saying that one of my holds is now available. Last night during the wee hours (thanks, insomnia!) I finished The Snowman. This morning when I was getting my things together, including books to return to the library, I thought, "Oh, good, I can check out another Jo Nesbø book!"
I almost had to slap myself. I was teetering on the brink of becoming addicted to this series. This book is like crack in that sense. Beware.
The book is really, really good. Edge-of-your-seat exciting, red-herring filled, and easier to relate to than the last Nesbo book I read. In The Devil's Star, detective Harry Hole was trying to drink himself to death. It was really hard to stomach - one doesn't want one's protagonist to be someone we want to slap. In this book, Harry is sober. I wouldn't say that he's likeable, but he's much easier to ride along with.
There's some gore (it is a murder mystery), and a lot of characters to try to keep track of, but gosh I enjoyed it. If you liked the Stieg Larsson books, you'll likely enjoy the Harry Hole series. I recommend it....more
Rob Bell is enthusiastic, funny, forward-thinking, and generally a right on kinda guy. He has a lot of interesting, hope-filled things to say. I likeRob Bell is enthusiastic, funny, forward-thinking, and generally a right on kinda guy. He has a lot of interesting, hope-filled things to say. I like his message.
A little disappointed with the book because after a while it felt as though he was padding - going over the same bits too much. He had lots of good points, but it was a little hard to find them. I found myself skimming in order to not get bogged down. He struck me as very earnest; the message came across that he really, really, really wants to explain this wonderful thing about God, and is willing to go to great lengths to explain what he means but gets so caught up in the wonderfulness of his ideas that he gets a bit lost but it's all good because everything is just so exciting and tremendous...and rather exhausting.
I have to admit that I was hoping for something like what I hope Fluent in Faith: A Unitarian Universalist Embrace of Religious Language will be. I'm hoping that it's about how to talk across religions about what we believe. Rob Bell remains firmly in the Christian tradition. A lot of what he writes has to do with Jesus and the resurrection. The book might have been more accurately titled, "What Christians Talk About When We Talk about God."
Last thing. Never, ever, ever print a book in a sans-serif font. Never....more