Just didn't get it. This was a short story that reminded me of short stories I would have to read in high school or college. Think too hard about a st...moreJust didn't get it. This was a short story that reminded me of short stories I would have to read in high school or college. Think too hard about a story that I didn't care about and leech symbolism for the purposes of writing an essay.(less)
I can't believe I'd never read this before, it's a pretty classic childrens book. Thanks to a daily Kindle deal I picked it up recently and read it al...moreI can't believe I'd never read this before, it's a pretty classic childrens book. Thanks to a daily Kindle deal I picked it up recently and read it almost entirely during a bath. Which was a pretty perfect way to read this.
Without any attachment from childhood, I can't say I LOVED this book. But it was enjoyable and fun in a way that I know I would have enjoyed as a kid. Sleeping in a museum! Mystery! And I really love the personal revelations that Claude has, it's sort of a cheesy message, but one I really appreciated.(less)
I'm not really a mystery person, so maybe I just don't appreciate 'classic' mysteries, despite my great love of Murder, She Wrote and its obvious take...moreI'm not really a mystery person, so maybe I just don't appreciate 'classic' mysteries, despite my great love of Murder, She Wrote and its obvious take on Miss Marple. This is also the first in the series, so maybe others are better? Not really sure, but I felt like this was just wasted on me. I assume that as the series goes forward we get to know Miss Marple more, but this book didn't really make me want to know more about her - probably because the narrator was so boring and dry.
I can't say I wouldn't read another one on someone's recommendation, but it's not a series I intend to follow.(less)
I've always been fascinated by Ben Franklin and did lots of projects on him in school. He was born on the same day as me which I always thought was ne...moreI've always been fascinated by Ben Franklin and did lots of projects on him in school. He was born on the same day as me which I always thought was neat. So I was surprised that I didn't remember reading his autobiography.
Well, thank god I didn't try to read this when I was 8. Although the early years of Franklin's life were pretty interesting, beyond the first third of the book, it was SLOOOOW going. I should have stopped when Franklin stopped writing the first section. The book is broken into 3 chunks, each written at different points, and each more boring and pompous than the next.
The first bit covers his childhood, the beginnings of his printing trade, talks about Poor Richard's Almanac and his book of virtues. All really neat subjects and written in an easy to follow and less wordy style. Then a few letters from an acquaintance interject and explain that more papers were found and go on to tell Franklin that he should continue his autobiography. After that, the book becomes more about political hobnobbing and patting himself on the back than anything else. I'm sure if I were more familiar with the history I might get more out of a contemporary account of some of these things, but as a casual reader, it got old. Fast.
The more interesting science-y and invention stuff isn't addressed because he says that's already covered in other papers, and the book ends before any of the Revolutionary War goes anywhere exciting. One of the more entertaining periods of Franklin's life was his time spent in France, and that isn't covered either.
I was largely disappointed by a book that started with a lot of potential. Had the style stayed the same throughout, I might have enjoyed it more, but ultimately I think I still would have been frustrated by the lack of writing about the events I wanted to hear more about.
I got the book for free, and the Kindle edition I read was not the best. The footnotes were inserted directly into the text and were hard to follow until I figured out what was going on. The edition I read was clearly just scanned and OCRed, there was no editing done. (less)
One of my favorite books as a kid, but much of it was mixed up with my memories of the Shirley Temple movie. I love both versions of the story, but it...moreOne of my favorite books as a kid, but much of it was mixed up with my memories of the Shirley Temple movie. I love both versions of the story, but it had been so long since reading the book that I had forgotten how it ended!
The author's descriptions of London from Sara's eyes are just lovely. This is just such a classic children's story, I love it to bits. I think some of the language might be difficult for a younger reader to get through, so it might be better as a read-aloud.(less)
**spoiler alert** I hadn't read this in years, and I think I enjoyed the book more as a kid. I had forgotten how brief Buck's time with John Thornton...more**spoiler alert** I hadn't read this in years, and I think I enjoyed the book more as a kid. I had forgotten how brief Buck's time with John Thornton was, and had apparently blocked out the ending or mixed it up with White Fang.(less)
I adore the Anne books, and have read this one countless times. None of the other books can compare to the simple joy of Anne of Green Gables, but the...moreI adore the Anne books, and have read this one countless times. None of the other books can compare to the simple joy of Anne of Green Gables, but the delight of the series is watching Anne grow up.
Anne of Avonlea is the first step in Anne's life as she teaches at the Avonlea school and plans for the future. Her pupils and the new children at Green Gables, Dora and Davy, inject some of the fun of the first Anne books. (less)
None of the Anne books are as good as Anne of Green Gables, but I do enjoy the story of Anne's college days. Patty's Place just seems so homey, and An...moreNone of the Anne books are as good as Anne of Green Gables, but I do enjoy the story of Anne's college days. Patty's Place just seems so homey, and Anne grows up more in this book than in Anne of Avonlea. And who doesn't like to read a happy ending to a romance?(less)
**spoiler alert** Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series is nothing spectacular, but I enjoyed the two books I read a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, Bea...more**spoiler alert** Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series is nothing spectacular, but I enjoyed the two books I read a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, Beauty Queens is just awful. I'm giving it an extra star for at least providing some gender bending in her characters - a lesbian, a transgender girl, and her drag queen boyfriend.
The idea seems fun - Lord of the Flies with hyper-feminine beauty pageant girls. But the book is clearly an attempt at anti-capitalist satire and it falls EXTREMELY flat. The author can't stop beating you over the head with how clever all of her pop culture references are, and the constant intrusion of unfunny commercials was even more frustrating.
The characters aren't very well developed since they mostly fit convenient pigeon holes with a twist, and several of the characters are just filler. Yes, the defining characteristic of Miss New Mexico is the tray lodged in her forehead. That's the kind of humor this book relies on...
Maybe the book would be better received by a teen, and there is some value in the messages that Bray tries to get across. It's nice to read a book that doesn't demean 'girliness' and shows young women as multi-faceted and multi-talented beings. And yes, consumerism and all the other faddish -isms are things that do deserve to be critiqued. But I'd like to see better writing, characters that seem like they could be human, and less dependence on barely hidden puns on current products and celebrities.(less)
Having read The Call of the Wild several times when I was a kid, I'm not sure how I'd never read White Fang until now.
It wasn't bad. I wasn't pulled...moreHaving read The Call of the Wild several times when I was a kid, I'm not sure how I'd never read White Fang until now.
It wasn't bad. I wasn't pulled in by the 'wild' wolfy bit, wasn't thrilled with the Indian part of White Fang's life, and found the ending cheesy. I might feel the same way about Call of the Wild now too, I'm not sure.
But London pulls me back into a time and setting that I don't think I could ever experience any other way, and I enjoy that. His personification of his dogs/wolves is a little trite, but may not have seemed so when the book was written.(less)
Since what I wanted was Flappers, what I enjoyed was Flappers. Fitzgerald's strength is capturing booze-soaked, sparkling women and dandified men. I loved the flapper short stories to pieces, they were short and flashy and full of slang. So after the first section, I just couldn't get into the other stories.
I had read Benjamin Button before, probably when the movie was coming out, and was pleased (and surprised?) to read that it was set in Baltimore. It was a reasonably unique premise, and was fine, but I didn't find it particularly funny. Same with the 'Diamond' story, it wasn't bad, I'm sure there was some social commentary in there, but ultimately, I wanted the Flappers back.
I read the book less than a month ago, and I don't even remember the other stories. Whether that's a sign of my poor reading comprehension, or the stories were "blah", I can't say.(less)
Alright. I didn't finish this book. After slogging through a hundred pages of crap (after thoroughly enjoying the first 200 pages!) and after reading...moreAlright. I didn't finish this book. After slogging through a hundred pages of crap (after thoroughly enjoying the first 200 pages!) and after reading some reviews, I just decided I'd gotten through the good part and needed to quit while I was ahead.
I hate not finishing books, but I just couldn't do it.
This may be a case where a better Kindle edition could have saved me. Without being broken into chapters it just seemed never-ending. I might have skipped ahead if I had an easy way to do so that didn't involve clicking though each page.
It's a shame that the book tanked so hard. I really enjoyed the first chunk about the travel to Nevada. I was irritated by some of the commentary on Indians, blacks, and Mormons, but was willing to chalk it up to being a sign of the times. But mostly I just got tired of the repetitive and long-winded accounts of things I didn't care about.
So I didn't delete this book from my iPhone and it's what I've been reading while at clients' desks. I still hate it. I'm in the section about Hawaii and it's even more boring than the parts about mining. I have such a hard time not finishing books, and I'm so close to done with this one that I won't stop. But I hope no one else bothers to read past Twain's stagecoach trip. IT ISN'T WORTH IT.
Final update (4/4/11): I finally finished it. But I shouldn't have bothered. First chunk was enjoyable, but once Twain arrived at his destination in Nevada, it took a VERY sharp downhill plunge. I wouldn't recommend reading past the stagecoach trip.(less)
Not a particular fan of zombies, but always a bit partial to Austen. While I wasn't offended by the existence of the book, I wasn't thrilled either. A...moreNot a particular fan of zombies, but always a bit partial to Austen. While I wasn't offended by the existence of the book, I wasn't thrilled either. After being given multiple copies, I decided I should (eventually) give in.
It wasn't bad, it certainly wasn't good. Wasn't really my thing, but I know plenty of people I would recommend it to.
Austen is funny because she's subtle and doesn't feel the need to make balls jokes. And this is the first book I've ever read where the word 'vomit' alone was supposed to be a joke. Teehee, Mrs Bennet vomited a lot. HILARITY ENSUED! And balls aren't just testicles, that's what they used to call dances! LOLZ!(less)
The cover on this is by far the best part. I love Jane Austen, but not so much that I am offended by the very idea of the current trend towards adapta...moreThe cover on this is by far the best part. I love Jane Austen, but not so much that I am offended by the very idea of the current trend towards adaptation.
From the cover I expected some silly wackiness and comic fun applied to Pride and Prejudice. Instead I was treated to a boring bland re-telling without Austen's subtle humor.
At the very least I'd have hoped for art I could enjoy, but instead I was disappointed by it all. It's not as if the Bennet sisters are supposed to be beautiful, but the people just looked awkward and poorly proportioned.
All around disappointing, it's not as if Austen's books are so terribly hard to make it through that you need to pick up a comic.(less)
I am, admittedly, a Civil War nerd. But I also have little patience for the lists of regiments and commanders with confusing battle maps that I can ne...moreI am, admittedly, a Civil War nerd. But I also have little patience for the lists of regiments and commanders with confusing battle maps that I can never understand. Thank you Bruce Catton for educating me without frustrating me...
Most of the interesting Civil War books that I have read - most of them reasonably accurate historical fiction - have been focussed more on the Southern generals. Much of this is because the Southern Cause was just generally more romantic with more personality from their gentlemen generals, and living in Virginia tends to put a definitively Lee/Jackson focus on history. Considering my previous knowledge, reading a book about the Army of the Potomac was pretty eye-opening.
In school I always had the impression that McClellan was a bit of a bumbling idiot, and I assumed he was more of a political appointment than anything else. I had no idea that he was a beloved figure for the troops, and had no sense of any romance and glory associated with him. I also had never heard just how close to winning the Union came early on in the war - it's a little distressing to read some of the obvious mistakes made by the Federal generals. Hindsight is surely 20/20, but it's upsetting to recognize how a decisive victory could have caused the entire war to crumble.
Generally the book was more about the people than the troop movements, and I appreciate Catton's heavy use of journals and regimental histories. The analysis of Antietam got a little too detail-oriented for me, but I recognize that many people want the history of a battle like that. Catton didn't fail to make the battle a human one however, and the first-hand descriptions of Bloody Lane and the battlefield were chilling.
Many of the bibliographical notes were informative and interesting. I definitely want to learn more about the Federal intelligence department that so grossly misinformed McClellan despite their modern infiltration tactics. I also love hearing about Lincoln, and am always thrilled when Sandburg's books are mentioned.
If you're looking to learn about the Civil War, I'm not sure that you can get more enjoyable than Catton's writing. It's informative without being overly dry, and covers the broader scope - examining not just tactics, but also the political atmosphere and the personal impact of the events.(less)
I have my Dad's copy of this book, which makes it automatically awesome... Also, it's about pirates.
Considering I like pirates and I've had this book...moreI have my Dad's copy of this book, which makes it automatically awesome... Also, it's about pirates.
Considering I like pirates and I've had this book in the house literally since birth, I'm not sure how I hadn't read this until now.
Perhaps because I know all the pirate tropes already - many of which came from this book, the book wasn't anything particularly new or interesting. I was surprised by Long John Silver, because I expected him to be a classic pirate and not such an anomaly. I think I expected more of a caricature and got a more interesting character.
I'm not a huge RLS fan, so I can't rave about this, but I can accept it as awesome for what it is.(less)