I could have done without the ongoing Apple ad throughout the book. Definitely would advise Mr. Larsson (edit - whoops...if he was still around) not t...moreI could have done without the ongoing Apple ad throughout the book. Definitely would advise Mr. Larsson (edit - whoops...if he was still around) not to list specs of a "badass" computer if he wants his main character to be credible as a hacker. Just say she's a hacker, have her hack, and don't get into the technicalities...at BEST they're quickly dated.
The little bit of script under each chapter talking about abuse of women in Sweden is your clue. This book will be (cue the shock and awe) about bad things happening to girls. Creatively bad things, for sure.
The character Salander is an interesting one, I enjoyed reading about her (despite her Apple fetish).
The story is good. The book moves comfortably along. Not a lot to rave or beef about there. I can see why people liked it.
Update: looking forward to the Swedish version of the film. Not interested in the Hollywood-ified version AT all. Let it be different, and therefore unique and interesting... we don't have to homogenize a foreign film into boiled pulp to enjoy it.
I really enjoyed this. A friend has been recommending Octavia Butler for years; forgetting which book she'd recommended, I managed to pick up one that...moreI really enjoyed this. A friend has been recommending Octavia Butler for years; forgetting which book she'd recommended, I managed to pick up one that doesn't fit her usual style. She's considered a science fiction writer, and this is really not. The character time travels, but without any scientific connection whatsoever. This is more like Gabaldon's Claire Randall walking through the standing stones, than H.G. Well's Time Machine or Connie Willis's time traveling anthropologists.
I liked the writing style - the author is not overly wordy or descriptive, but she's not spare or "stark." Characterization rules over setting and plot and relationships are conflicting and complex.
The rest in spoilers because while there shouldn't be any "technical" spoilers, it's faintly spoilery flavored. Real spoilers will be in the second spoiler link below.
(view spoiler)[ I loved that I didn't get one, but two, steps into history and perspective. First, the story is set in 1976, the main character, Dana, is a black woman married to a white man. This was not quite a decade past Loving v. Virginia (a white man married a black woman, moved back to their home state of Virginia and they ended up jailed. The resulting legal battle resulted in a ruling that it was unconstitutional to make inter-racial marriage illegal.) and while the character's home of L.A. might have been more accepting of such a match, at one point when the characters visit modern day Maryland, they receive double takes and stares. While even today people still take issue with inter-racial marriage, in the time period the book is set, this is especially significant and unusual.
Second, Dana gets yanked back in time to the 1800's, evidently connected in some way to a child who will one day be her ancestor. The child, Rufus, is an only child and the white son of a slaveholder. Every time Rufus's life is threatened, Dana is pulled back in time, and time is - to quote the doctor "wibbly wobbly timey wimey...stuff."
I think what was especially significant about this to me, other than her conflicting feelings towards Rufus, her husband, and others, was the character's wake up call about her perception of slavery as history vs. the reality of living it. The things she thought would give her an edge and advantage ultimately caused her more suffering. Several times, people tell her that despite talking "like a white person," she's being stupid. She's not one of those characters who is impossibly frustrating in her lack of common sense, thank god. The character is sensible and intelligent, but she doesn't have the coping and survival skills that those who have grown up in a life of slavery have developed. (hide spoiler)]
Real spoilers: (view spoiler)[ I liked her husband's reaction and discontent/confusion/anger upon returning to the present. Throughout the book there were no reactions or emotions expressed by characters that didn't feel authentic and real vs. overly dramatic, concocted or thrown in. This is what made me love the book.
Also, a big part of Kindred felt centered on situation and environment and how we are easily shaped by circumstance vs. our morals and ideals. Dana was not less ruthless than Rufus, though her ruthlessness translates as necessity rather than opportunity. She was willing to let horrible things continue on in favor of her own survival. Everything for her rested on Hagar's existence and so she tolerated and waited and advocated and saved him. In the end, every other person in the group of characters: Sarah, Nigel, Carrie, their children - didn't matter. Her survival was more important to her than theirs'. It's human, of course, but then, so was Rufus's behavior - the product of a doting woman and an abusive, distant father. Dana's influence did shape him and make him better than he might have otherwise been, but it was not the majority of his life experience and so it was not enough. After a short time in that setting, Dana, who was less powerless than those around her, was looking out for herself at the expense of others. This is not a judgmental statement, but an observational one. Kevin's experience and life in the past changed and shaped him dramatically as well - while the aging is obvious, it's the hardness/coldness and his reluctance to adapt back to modern life that struck me most. I could dissect this element of the book for a while and ramble too long, so I'll just say "it was thought provoking" and let it rest there.
Oh, it was also interesting that she showed up again after Kevin had a tantrum and stormed off when she wouldn't write for him. What the heck, buddy... that gave away a childish "Rufus"ish side to him from early on (and perhaps an overly tolerant side to her nature, as well). (hide spoiler)]
I always especially enjoy the Watch and Witch storylines in the Disc World series. I love the characters in these two particular story "lines," so for...moreI always especially enjoy the Watch and Witch storylines in the Disc World series. I love the characters in these two particular story "lines," so for me, these are going to be reread periodically. Others may not be as enchanted.
Feet of Clay is in the Watch storyline, with their first female dwarf "coming out," more of the Patrician/Vimes interaction which I love so much, and Carrot being predictably Carroty (never a bad thing).
If you're not familiar with Pratchett's style, he likes to jump around a bit and start in the middle of the action. Just hang in there, it'll all come together. :)
He also likes to leave punchlines unsaid or hidden between the lines. A general rule of thumb: if the conclusions you reach have irony or humor attached, you've probably drawn the right one.
I enjoyed the narrator and story. They made this more worthwhile to me. Otherwise, as an audiobook it was a touch short. I'd like to watch the show no...moreI enjoyed the narrator and story. They made this more worthwhile to me. Otherwise, as an audiobook it was a touch short. I'd like to watch the show now, though, and get an idea of it.(less)
I really wanted to like this. The concept is creative and the story was good, a nice twist on vampire tales. However, the writing often felt a bit woo...more I really wanted to like this. The concept is creative and the story was good, a nice twist on vampire tales. However, the writing often felt a bit wooden. I'm giving it another star since it picked up near the middle. The Leesil side of the Leesil/Magiere dynamic was well done. I wanted more of that elsewhere. I suppose the two vampire's odd relationship was also interesting as well.
I liked Leesil & Chap. Liked the amulets (did it ever clarify about the bone amulet? I think I missed it). Didn't care for the rest of the characters. Felt the whole Damphir/Vampire situation going on there was unfortunate.
Some of the recipes in here are a bit dated for American home cooks (not sure many people are going to be touching the chicken aspic), but the majorit...moreSome of the recipes in here are a bit dated for American home cooks (not sure many people are going to be touching the chicken aspic), but the majority of the book is full of good, practical food and instruction you can rely on.
When in doubt on how to make something, grab the Julia Child book first... she'll walk you through it with good step by step instructions and pictures. This is the book I toss at people who are learning to cook - particularily meats, breads, vegetables, pastries, and stews.
Definitely worth a try: French Bread Beef Zinfandel (stew) (less)
The writing is not great. The information makes this a fun read, though, if you enjoy sushi and Japanese culture. I gave it an extra star for that, wh...moreThe writing is not great. The information makes this a fun read, though, if you enjoy sushi and Japanese culture. I gave it an extra star for that, while the writing itself I'd give "2."
If you're on the fence about sushi and Japanese food, you may want to wait till you're hooked to read this. Believe me when I say you don't want to know all there is to know about nori, miso, and dashi. Yet.