The premise and the back cover blurb of this book are sort of cheesy. This being yet another book swap book that wasn't worth $12-$15...moreWow. What a book.
The premise and the back cover blurb of this book are sort of cheesy. This being yet another book swap book that wasn't worth $12-$15, but was certainly looked like it was worth fifty cents. Blahblahblah, don't judge a book by its cover, etc.
And just WOW. I absolutely DEVOURED this book. The copy I read had that absolutely addictive silky slick paper that I just love to read, and the love story sucks you in almost immediately.
It turns out that the idea of involuntary time travel isn't so cheesy after all when you use it to look at everyday life. This book isn't about time travel so much as it is about a family and a couple who is very much in love.
I loved the cultural references, and the way the characters flaws were immediately evident. The main character grew to be a better person because of the love of his life, and watching that was just amazing. The depiction of the young librarian is so harsh that he is just starkly realistic. It's nice to see a book face up to its main characters flaws.
This book had a particularly touching way of dealing with September 11th - since I've just noticed a tendency to address that in recent books, I liked the way this one did it.
Nothing I've written thus far has done the book justice. It is just such a SWEET story, and a quick read with its short and choppy sections. It's a novel concept, and it makes all of it sound believeable as the author focuses on the mundane rather than the fantastic.
It is hard to get through the last bit since it is almost excrutiatingly painful to watch these characters age and sort of fall apart. Particularly because of the method of foreshadowing unique to this book, seeing the end and KNOWING what is coming is very rough.
Although most of it is an easy book to read in bits and chunks, I suggest setting aside time for the last 60 to 100 pages. I was so invested in these characters that having to put it down and wait to finish the book was absolutely distracting. It was such a gut-wrenching part of the book that I really wanted it to be over with, just for my own mental health.
Phenomenal book, one of my favorites in awhile.(less)
I had previously read Devil in the White City, so this was my second foray into Chicago history. Now I need one about gangsters. :-)
Pretty interesting...moreI had previously read Devil in the White City, so this was my second foray into Chicago history. Now I need one about gangsters. :-)
Pretty interesting book about an infamous and famous whorehouse in Chicago. As someone who sees possibilities in legalized prostitution, I thought the description of the Everleigh house was pretty intriguing.
The fall of the house and the Levee and the legal battles as the Mann Act came into being were fairly boring, although they certainly had large repercussions. I did find it interesting that minimum wage was, to a certain extent, related to the crackdown on prostitution throughout the country. People realized that many women were turning to a business that paid them a reasonable and liveable wage as opposed to the factory jobs that did not allow them to support themselves or a family.
Not really a topic I knew anything about, and the book was short enough and fast-paced enough to hold my attention.(less)
One of the most fucked-up books I have EVER EVER enjoyed.
I'm not normally a huge fan of Palahniuk, but this book just drew me in. I wasn't even sure I...moreOne of the most fucked-up books I have EVER EVER enjoyed.
I'm not normally a huge fan of Palahniuk, but this book just drew me in. I wasn't even sure I liked it until I was done. But it toys with the ideas of self-image taken to an extreme.
I wouldn't recommend it for everyone, but if you've stomached Chuck's books before, you should be fine.
I hadn't read this for several years, and read it again in October. Apparently I had totally forgotten how the book ends so it was just as much of a twist as the first time I read it. I was glad that this held up to a second reading, and it's still the only Palahniuk book that I've really enjoyed.(less)
One of my favorite kids' books, and certainly my favorite in the Murry family books.
This book focuses on the "normal" twins of the Murry family, and S...moreOne of my favorite kids' books, and certainly my favorite in the Murry family books.
This book focuses on the "normal" twins of the Murry family, and Sandy and Denny prove to be just as fantastic as their siblings. The twins are transported to a different time and place, living with Noah and other biblical figures. One of my favorite portrayals of angels and fallen angels; they are just stunning.(less)
Definitely a neat book, very fast read since it's a graphic novel. The story was interesting, but seemed to get side-tracked and leave a lot of loose...moreDefinitely a neat book, very fast read since it's a graphic novel. The story was interesting, but seemed to get side-tracked and leave a lot of loose ends. (less)
Nearly all of Picoult's books present a moral dillema without a clear way to work your way out of. This book deals with a young boy who is sexually mo...moreNearly all of Picoult's books present a moral dillema without a clear way to work your way out of. This book deals with a young boy who is sexually molested, and his mother's vigilante response to the situation.
I first expected the court drama to revolve around the molestation trial, but it very quickly becomes a moot point and shifts instead to the mother. Picoult, as usual, brings in a scientific twist - this time with DNA testing - that is usually something fairly educational.
This book introduces a character who later appears in book: Nineteen Minutes, Detective Patrick Ducharme. It also suffers from the Picoult patented 'irrelevant love story in pursuit of humanizing an otherwise obnoxious character.' I really did not care about the prosecutor or his estranged son, nor were they developed enough to even be particularly relevant.
I'm not a mother, so this book did not speak to me in quite the way it could to someone else, but you can see that Picoult is really writing from her heart. I have seen her speak and she is very upfront about stealing conversations from the dinner table for her books. I believe this was written while her sons were roughly the age of Nathaniel, making it read that much more true.
At any rate, this book is still in the top five of the Picoult books I've read. The "mystery" was interesting, the moral dillema was intriguing, and the characters were fairly likeable.
I had like 10 pages left when I got to work this morning, and those are of course the most stressful pages in Jodi Picoult books. I had to sneak a peek at the last pages so that I didn't go crazy! (less)
Another favorite fairy tale. The book is hilarious, and Goldman's premise is brilliant. "The Good Parts" are fantastic, and you couldn't have asked fo...moreAnother favorite fairy tale. The book is hilarious, and Goldman's premise is brilliant. "The Good Parts" are fantastic, and you couldn't have asked for a better editor.(less)
You have to be able to stomach the dialect to appreciate this book, and it took me several tries before I could. I almost recommend seeing the Kubrik...moreYou have to be able to stomach the dialect to appreciate this book, and it took me several tries before I could. I almost recommend seeing the Kubrik film first to get accustommed to the ways of speaking and slang.
Once you understand what is going on the book is even more disturbing. But it's worth reading for the cultural references alone.(less)
Good sweet Jesus this book is... strange. I have read this at least once before and really enjoyed it. Since then I have read more by Wurtzel - specif...moreGood sweet Jesus this book is... strange. I have read this at least once before and really enjoyed it. Since then I have read more by Wurtzel - specifically More, Now, Again, which basically outlines her breakdown while writing this book.
Reading this for the second (possibly third) time was suddenly eye-opening. The writing is frequently rambling, the references are repetitive, and the arguments are totally incoherent. I'm not entirely sure what ties the book together other than Wurtzel's own exuberance. It's an 400 page womens studies paper, and not even a particularly good one.
That being said, the book is engrossing, and some bits are better than others. However, after reading other similar contemporary femenist manifestos, this one isn't particularly strong. I'm actually a little disappointed that this didn't strike me as so exciting this time through, since I had really thought it was enlightening before.
I think the point at which I lost all confidence in the book was when I found a bit that talks about women in power and cites 2 queens of the British Isles - Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots. She points out that they were both well-respected monarchs (and still are), and that neither were beheaded. Except, well, Mary was pretty notoriously beheaded at the orders of Elizabeth herself. *SIGH* I'm actually embarassed that I didn't catch this glaring mistake the first time through!
There is an interesting chapter about Hilary Clinton, which is particularly amusing and timely, and many of the references that I didn't grasp were due to my ignorance of the Bible and old classic movies. Perhaps some chapters would have been more enjoyable with that background.
Despite all the flaws of the book, there are aspects of it that are entertaining, but it just doesn't have much to say.(less)
This was a re-read since I recently FINALLY saw the movie...
I was less horrified by Wurtzel's narcissism this time, either because I was expecting it...moreThis was a re-read since I recently FINALLY saw the movie...
I was less horrified by Wurtzel's narcissism this time, either because I was expecting it or because the movie's was worse. I do feel that it is a brutally honest memoir of middle-upper-class depression which is an illness all its own. I have seen friends suffer from it and feel guilty about it, and have felt many of the same things myself.
It's also interesting how many of these thoughts seem like perfectly normal adolescent responses to the constraints of parental expectations and teen rebellion. There seems to be such a fine line between thinking these thoughts and being driven crazy by them.
The last chapter is particularly interesting as Wurtzel discusses the creation of the "Prozac Nation" in recent years. She is partly bragging of her own depression and her lack of effective treatment, but also chastising the medical community for its over-prescription of drugs like Prozac and Ritalin. To a certain extent I DO think depression has been trivialized, but I think it has also been accepted as mainstream, allowing some people to get treated sooner. Wurtzel makes a good point however when she says that some of these issues could be worked out more effectively through therapy and other treatments before swallowing pills.
An interesting book for a certain generation, I think, and certainly if you are someone struggling with depression - either personally, or with a loved one. Wurtzel isn't the most uplifting of authors, but she is straightforward and honest about even her craziest and most melodramatic feelings. It is nice to read an unapologetic account of this woman's life and struggles, without much embarrassment or awareness of just how lucky she was.(less)
I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It has been awhile since I read it, but I was definitely left with a positive impression.
Much...moreI was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It has been awhile since I read it, but I was definitely left with a positive impression.
Much of it is based on surmise and hearsay, but even so, it's an interesting idea. Women struggled to hold any kind of power at the time and were rarely educated. And we talk about girls envying the advantages of boyhood now... I can't even imagine what it would have been like a few hundred years ago.
Who knows if it's true, but I can certainly hope so...(less)
Interesting take on Alice and Wonderland. Definitely a young adult book, and I look forward to the sequels. Am curious about the graphic novel version...moreInteresting take on Alice and Wonderland. Definitely a young adult book, and I look forward to the sequels. Am curious about the graphic novel version.(less)
Living in the DC metro area, working in Bethesda (where the school mentioned is located), and having attended an even more intense magnet school in th...moreLiving in the DC metro area, working in Bethesda (where the school mentioned is located), and having attended an even more intense magnet school in the area less than 5 years before the book was written... This book spoke to me. I can't even PRETEND to guess if this is a universal experience, but I could personally relate to many aspects of the students profiled. What I didn't see in myself, I saw in my classmates.
I hope teachers and parents read this book and understand the pressures that kids put on themselves. (less)
I have a love/hate relationship with everything Alexandra Robbins writes. She is a total sensationalist and I feel a bit guilty every time I pick up o...moreI have a love/hate relationship with everything Alexandra Robbins writes. She is a total sensationalist and I feel a bit guilty every time I pick up one of her books. But... they're always very fun. I found this one more amusing than some others because it seemed so unabashedly self-centered. It really seemed like the author just wanted to join a sorority and wanted to make sure we all knew that she could still do it - AND pass for a college girl!
Read anything by Robbins with a GIGANTIC GRAIN OF SALT. There is no doubt in my mind that she often manipulates facts for the sake of continuity and shock value. That being said, I enjoy the portrayals of her characters (and they ARE characters, despite this book being theoretically non-fiction)... and I do recognize some truth in many of these women.
Never having been in a sorority, I can't speak much about how true her experiences are. But simply as a college girl I certainly experienced similar pressures and issues - either myself or with friends or hallmates. Stereotypes and caricatures exist for a reason, and they are covered in abundance in this book. Eating disorders, binge drinking, bad boys, terrible decisions, sisterhood, bitches, discrimination, and every other aspect of college experience are REAL, though hardly limited to pretty white blonde sorority girls.
The book was interesting, and I really enjoyed it. If you aren't willing to suspend some disbelief and just read the book however, I can CERTAINLY see why so many people objected to it.(less)