This was a wonderful coming-of-age story. The wonderful thing about it is that it doesn't feel like a coming-of-age story. Great characters whom I bot...moreThis was a wonderful coming-of-age story. The wonderful thing about it is that it doesn't feel like a coming-of-age story. Great characters whom I both love and loathe at many points in the story. It's definitely something I would recommend to anyone.(less)
This one has been on my TBR list for a while. I'll go ahead and admit that I watched the movie prior to reading...moreReviews posted 1/10/2011 at EARphoria.
This one has been on my TBR list for a while. I'll go ahead and admit that I watched the movie prior to reading the book. I watched the movie about a year ago, I suppose. I really like it, but I'm glad I decided to listen to this book. I understood a lot more about the characters in the book than I than I did in the movie. This is such a beautifully rendered story about an American-born Bengali's quest to find who he is and where he belongs in the world.
Gogol is a real and tragic character. His insecurity about his name and his heritage constantly rule his decisions. Though, I'm sure it's hard to be raised by parents who don't really understand the world they're in, I was always hoping that Gogol might give them a break. At the same time, I wanted him to find the happiness he searched so earnestly for. I call him a tragic character because I'm not sure he ever found it. I think he finally found contentment in his life, and even began to accept his his namesake, but that is not the same thing as happiness. I found myself a bit overwhelmed by his character by the end of the book, but in a good way. He's very complex and that makes him that much more realistic. The other supporting characters were written in the same fashion. Ashoke and Ashima's struggle to live so far from home, in a world they don't understand was very interesting. It's something I will never be able to fully understand, since I've never experienced it. However, I feel I can understand a lot more about it now.
The plot, though not terribly exciting, kept me interested. I found myself listening to the book constantly. I was very invested in the characters and their lives. I will warn you if you like stories with a thrilling plot and a lot of conflict, you may want to skip this one. It's much more character driven. I found the writing very captivating. I'll definitely be checking out more of a Lahiri's work. I just love the way her prose flows.
One thing that I really enjoyed about the book versus the movie was the look into Moushumi's thoughts. That was something that never came across in the movie, and I hated her when I watched it. It was much easier to relate to her in the book, though I still didn't particularly like her.
Sarita Choudhury is an actress of half Bengali Indian and half English decent. You may have seen her in M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water. She is also one of the narrators for Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth. I thought she did a terrific job with this. She definitely had more of a role as a narrator than as a character in the book. She has an interesting accent, but I like it. (less)
This was published as a companion to the "No Direction Home" documentary (which I own) and it was perfect for that. I've never read a Dylan biography....moreThis was published as a companion to the "No Direction Home" documentary (which I own) and it was perfect for that. I've never read a Dylan biography. I've only seen documentaries, but I learned a lot from this book. And it kept it all creative with plenty of photos and scraps of lyrics. Recommended for any Bob Dylan fan.(less)
I should have been reading Gaiman before now. He has a wonderful sense of humor. I had been laughing aloud a good bit before I even got through the fi...moreI should have been reading Gaiman before now. He has a wonderful sense of humor. I had been laughing aloud a good bit before I even got through the first few chapters.
Richard is the kind of underdog character that I love. It was so much fun to stumble with him through London Below. Honestly, all of the characters are lovable (well, except for Jessica). the Marquis de Carabas is the perfect eccentric addition to the story. Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar are the perfect villains. They're the kind of bad guys I always hope for: conniving little serpents who are so evil it's ridiculous. I can't just imagine Mr. Croup twirling his mustache.
London Below is the kind of setting I love in a fantasy too. It's just quirky enough. The rat people, Mr. Bailey and his birds, the Velvets, the Earl in his magic compartment; they're all perfect.
The only complain I have is the ending (**Spoiler Alert**). I just don't get the point of Richard going back. It would have made a better story for me if he'd realized sooner that he belonged in London Below. The last 30 minutes or so of his life back in London Above was just boring to me. I knew he would realize it sooner or later. He couldn't actually live happily in London Above. So what was the point in dragging it out?
Overall, a pretty good book. I'll be reading more Gaiman.(less)
I was thinking about this book the other day and I realized that I've never reviewed it. I decided immediately I needed to fix that. First of all, let...moreI was thinking about this book the other day and I realized that I've never reviewed it. I decided immediately I needed to fix that. First of all, let me say that I think the synopsis makes this book sound a little more risqué than it really is. I thought this book might be graphic, but the friend that sent it to me promised it was a great book and I needed to read it, so I did. I'm glad too because I don' t think I would have chosen to become a librarian if I hadn't. This book led to my research into a career with books and that's how I came across the MLIS degree and realized that was exactly the kind of thing I wanted to do.
Margot is a great character. She's smart and clever. She goes through a lot of changes in this book. She goes through quite a bit of disappointment. I think this makes her a better and stronger person though and it was lovely to witness the transformation. Finding the book really changes her. She really buries herself in it, through both the practice of the sixteen pleasures and binding the book. By the time she's rebound the book, it becomes almost a piece of art she's made. It becomes a part of her.
Her relationship with the nuns is really one of my favorite parts of the book. I've never read a book with a nun in it and it's very interesting to read about them, all the things they feel and think. One of them even explains some of the other nun's stories and how they came to make their decision to become nuns.
I think Hellenga's writing is excellent and the plot is very interesting. I'd never read anything about bookbinding before I read this book. After I finished, I checked out a few books about bookbinding and looked into it a little because I was curious. That's how I found the book arts degree at the University of Alabama, the the MLIS program. I had been a little wary about the future I'd chosen in music history already. After I found a school nearby with a library science program, I immediately became interested and after some research I decided it was what I wanted to do.
I know this ended up being more about my decision to be a librarian than it was the book, but I just wanted to stress that this book is where it really started. I recommend the book. It's a tad slow, but worth the read.
So cute and funny! This is one that I will definitely come back to when I have kids. I think learning is something kids should start doing young. And I don’t think that only applies to reading. Of course, it’s fun to read cute books that make you laugh, but it’s nice to come across one that actually teaches something. This book is educational and fun. It teaches about the founding fathers and the early history of the United States with small bouts of hilarity. I loved the part about Paul Revere yelling about wigs and panties. That had me giggling and I’m twenty-four! Lane Smith has seriously won me over. I need to go on my library’s catalog and make sure I’ve read all of his books.
I think one of the best parts of this book is the section in the back where he fleshes out the facts from the funny fiction. I learned a few things reading that part (I was never much of an American history buff). Even in that section I saw Lane’s sense of humor shine through. Seriously, if you have some kiddies that like to be read to at night, you need to check out Lane Smith’s stuff. It’s so adorable and funny! And who doesn’t love a good Beatles reference? (less)
I have to say, that is the worst synopsis I've ever seen on the back of a manga volume. It tells you exactly what happens. Oh well, I guess!
We get a l...moreI have to say, that is the worst synopsis I've ever seen on the back of a manga volume. It tells you exactly what happens. Oh well, I guess!
We get a look at Yuki's childhood relationship with Akito. We also see his first run-in with Kyo. Young Kyo was obviously bitter about the rat's part in the legend and takes it out on Yuki. I think Kyo was unaware of everything Yuki was going through, or he might not have been so mean to him. We see more of his ice queen mother. When Yuki finally makes friends, there's an incident and all their memories are wiped. We also finally see Yuki meet Tohru as a boy. The point is, Yuki was under a lot of pressure when he was a little boy and it left him really damaged. He has a talk with the VP of the student council about Tohru, and how much being near her has done for him. At the end of the volume, he finds Machi in a bad situation and overhears her talking about him. This peaks his interest in her and I'm hoping for something to happen there.
The play turns into a disaster of no one following their lines, but it's pretty funny. Toward the end it mirrors Kyo's life and Tohru has an outburst that nearly outs her knowledge of his future. I'm glad to see he's not as hard-headed as he seems sometimes. He begins to wonder about her feelings for him. But of course, he's Kyo and he can't give himself too much hope. That would just be too uncharacteristic. The one thing in this volume I find a little confusing is relationship with Yuki. I can't tell if Yuki is trying to be nice or malicious. He's messing with him though, and Kyo is not having it. I guess we'll see where that goes later.
I'm so glad I finally got a glimpse into Rin's life. I'm so glad there's a reason for the way she acts. She's just as fragile as Yuki. Well, I guess s...moreI'm so glad I finally got a glimpse into Rin's life. I'm so glad there's a reason for the way she acts. She's just as fragile as Yuki. Well, I guess she's more fragile. While Yuki keeps all his pain inside, Rin takes it out on everyone. She's got a big heart though. She wants to help Haru, to set him free. It looks like she and Tohru are both looking for a way to break the curse. I like this. There might be more of a chance with both of them trying to figure it out. I've always had a feeling Tohru is the key to breaking the curse. I'll guess we'll see if I'm right.
More student council stuff. At least, I found out a little more about Kuragi. The class is also going to put on a play. I think's it's hilarious that Kyo was chosen to be Prince Charming. I imagine this will show up in one of the following volumes. I can't wait to watch Kyo try to be charming.
It looks like I'll never get enough of John Green. I can just go from one book to the next without tiring. His quirky characters and witty humor reel me in every time. This book was no different. I love it just as much as I loved the others I've read by him.
John Green and I must have a real soft spot for the dorky-but-adorable guys. I imagine Green does because he is one. I think I do because those are just the types of guys I love. Colin is a hilarious guy with a rather amazing ability to remember everything he reads. He's a little self-absorbed, but deals with that in the book. I really enjoyed Colin's journey. He struggles to approach life in a way he's never thought to before. Being so intelligent and interested in solving problems, that's how he's always looked at the world. It's as if everything is this huge equation he has to figure out. It's satisfying to watch him figure out how truly unpredictable and crazy life can be. That's always what I love about Green's books. He always points out the crazyness in life in way that makes it seem truly beautiful.
Of course, there's plenty of classic John Green humor. Colin's best friend, Hassan is a perfect example. Characters like Hassan are always the perfect compliment to the uptight protagonists of Green's books. Hassan is the hilarious friend we all had in high school. Well, I know I had friends like him... except none of my friends were Muslim. I'm just always amazed by Green's way of creating true-to-life teen characters and an inspiring story that's not too cheesy. I can relate to his books, and I know I would have been able to relate to them as teen. Man, the more I read young-adult literature the more I'm convinced that's what I should focus on when I start library school.
I really enjoyed this book. John Green is definitely a favorite author. I'm already listening to another of his books. I can't get enough. Jeff Woodman did a terrific job with this audiobook. I'm not sure who chooses the narrators for audiobooks, but they always choose someone good for Green's books. Consider this one highly recommended.
Prude Filter: This book contains profanity and sexual references. It should be fine for teens.(less)
Margaret is desperately trying to escape her past. She finds the distractions of Tokyo help her do that, but it’s a big city and she’s only one girl....moreMargaret is desperately trying to escape her past. She finds the distractions of Tokyo help her do that, but it’s a big city and she’s only one girl. When she becomes infatuated with a dangerous man, she realizes how easy it would be disappear, whether she wants to or not.
I received this book from a friend about a year ago. I forgot what it was even about before I opened it, and it was sp much more tragic than I originally expected. Margaret has had to watch her brother go crazy. but instead of being there for her family, she abandons them. Needless to say, I did not start out liking Margaret very much.
Margaret is broken and self-destructive. Every decision she makes seems to get her into more and more trouble. She never seems to learn from her mistakes and she’s undeniably selfish. I’ll admit that sometimes I can hate a character and still enjoy a book, but this is not one of those times. I just couldn’t find a single redeemable think about Margaret, so it kind of ruined the whole book for me. I just wanted to smack her and tell her to get her shit together.
With that in mind, the plot was pretty thrilling. If there’s anything that kept me reading to the end it was wondering what what going to happen. I wasn’t very connected to Margaret, but I was very connected to what might happen to her. Lost Girls and Love Hotels is basically a story about a broken girl who repeatedly makes tragic and dangerous decisions. If you can handle that, go for it.
Rich in history with a narrative style. I was amazed by how authentic it felt. Mace definitely did hi...moreReview posted 8/11/2011 at Owl Tell You About It.
Rich in history with a narrative style. I was amazed by how authentic it felt. Mace definitely did his research. He turned a historical event into an epic story by adding fictional details and weaving extra devices in the plot: characters to relate to, a quest for vengeance and justice, appropriately descriptive writing.
Artorius is a great character. He has a lot of spirit and fierce loyalty for those he loves (as long as they're loyal to him). After the initial re-telling of the battle of the Teutoburger Forest, the book follows Artorius through training with a detail that only a soldier could understand. I can only imagine that Mace's military background is helpful in recounting the vigorous training one goes though to become a soldier. And even then, I imagine it was much worse for Roman soldiers than it is for the U.S. military today. The book gives great insight into military life. It interesting to think about what might have remained the same in military training and what the Romans might have done.
The book progresses through their journey and into the battle itself, laying out military strategy. Again, things only a soldier could really understand. Mace does a terrific job of using those elements to create a great narrative. It was interesting to watch Artorios grow from a boy into a man, and his brothers in the Legion were really good addition to the story. Mace wrote them well.
There are some little extras at the beginning of the book that are very helpful: a cast list of characters, explanations of ranks in the Roman military, and blood lines and family trees. It's all pretty necessary to keep things straight. Since we don't use Latin names anymore, it can be a little confusing. The cast list is particularly helpful.
It's not exactly something I would choose for myself while out book shopping, but I didn't have any difficulty getting into it. I like historical stuff, and I spent a semester of college reading nothing but combat narratives for an English class, so I like reading about war now and then. If you're into historical fiction or combat narratives, you should try this one out. It's well-written and full of great characters, but remains grounded in Roman history.
Prude Filter: This book contains profanity, brutal violence, sexual content, and references to rape. I think it's more of an adult book, but I could see a mature teen doing well with it, too.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from the author. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obligated to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. (less)