I can't quite figure out who the audience for this writing is intended for. Women? Men? Middle-Eastern people? Western people? The topic, sexual oppreI can't quite figure out who the audience for this writing is intended for. Women? Men? Middle-Eastern people? Western people? The topic, sexual oppression and gender discrimination in the middle east, was as horrifying and depressing as expected, but seemed to stop short of suggesting any kind of solution or deep analysis. So either it was written for people who have little to no exposure to the problems faced by women, or there are more subtle themes and perspectives that I'm not familiar enough with to take anything away from. The one point that has stuck with me most strongly is Eltahawy's argument that the tendency of liberal thinking to "accept" different viewpoints and write off abuse/oppression as a religious difference/freedom is a weak and complicit position to take. ...more
I really wanted to like this book, but I just can't get through it. The lore and world of sorcery is pretty interesting and unique, but at halfway thrI really wanted to like this book, but I just can't get through it. The lore and world of sorcery is pretty interesting and unique, but at halfway through it feels like almost nothing has happened or developed. So much of the book is filled with dialogue of people talking about doing things but not actually doing them, and so many characters and places and history are introduced that I had to keep the series wiki open on my phone to constantly reference things. I need more reward for this kind of work....more
The artwork of course does not disappoint. The graphic novel is darker and more involved than the movie version of this story, but at times felt a litThe artwork of course does not disappoint. The graphic novel is darker and more involved than the movie version of this story, but at times felt a little bit too drawn out. I think the movie did a good job of distilling down the best parts of the graphic novel, but the graphic novel adds extra characters, history and lore that fans of the world will appreciate....more
Completely predictable, and basically an homage to 80s pop culture but in really uninteresting ways. I couldn't wait to be done with this book, and onCompletely predictable, and basically an homage to 80s pop culture but in really uninteresting ways. I couldn't wait to be done with this book, and only finished it because it was fairly short. This book fails to paint the delightful world and story that made Ready Player One a success. ...more
It turns out Mary Queen of Scots was really not that interesting of a character. Or at least, she was one of the least interesting characters in thisIt turns out Mary Queen of Scots was really not that interesting of a character. Or at least, she was one of the least interesting characters in this book. I don't know much about Mary Queen of Scots outside of this book, but per this telling, she was a poor leader, had no control over her subjects, accomplished next to nothing, and made some poor choices in partnerships. (view spoiler)[I think the last half of the book was spent describing her long exile and house arrest under Elizabeth I, which is about as exciting as it sounds. (hide spoiler)] The other characters in the book make up a bit for Mary's flatness, but I don't consider this to be Margaret George's best work. The Memoirs of Cleopatra is far more interesting historically and as a novel....more
This book provides an important perspective that I think would be a good read for any white person who has ever thought to themselves "racism is a thiThis book provides an important perspective that I think would be a good read for any white person who has ever thought to themselves "racism is a thing of the past, I'm not racist, not many people I know are racist, can't we just move on". While it may be easier to feel that way today (although perhaps not so recently), the history of racism in our country is not something that just disappears, it has long-lasting impact and I think it's really important to understand precisely where we have come from, and what racism looks like from outside of the sanitized history book perspective. This autobiography provides a raw view into the anger and frustration and struggle of a black man living in a time when the country as a whole deeply believed people of color were an inferior race. I think we're all vaguely taught in school about the dark history of racism and how it used to be bad, Rosa Parks refused to sit at the back of the bus, and MLK was a great man who called for everyone to just get along, but I think rarely people are exposed to the real anger, divisiveness, and the completely ignorant and ingrained racist mental state that existed just a half century ago as a part of daily life. Not just the lynch mobs and hate crimes, but the pervasive mindset by both black and white that the "black race" was inferior and incapable. I think that perspective is important for understanding how we got where we are today, and to provide context for the continuing conversations we need to have about our racist legacy.
Minus one star for some pretty strong sexism and also for maintained emphasis on "race" being a real thing (as in, the genetic/biologic concept of race). I can't fault the book itself too much on that however as it's just another mindset of that period in history, and therefore part of Malcom X's perspective....more
I really unexpectedly loved this book. It has fairly mixed reviews, and some compare it to Wolf Hall (which I really disliked), so I wasn't sure whatI really unexpectedly loved this book. It has fairly mixed reviews, and some compare it to Wolf Hall (which I really disliked), so I wasn't sure what to expect. The world that Griffith builds is so rich and lush and beautiful, I couldn't wait to immerse myself in it at the end of every day. The plot isn't particularly intriguing or suspensful, but the characters are lovable and the setting is really interesting. Readers who really enjoy being transported to a different time and place will probably enjoy this book. I also appreciate it from a historical perspective (it's another book that made me pull up wikipedia fequently, from stimulating curiousity), though a lot of it is embellishment since it takes place during a time in which we don't have a lot of documented history....more
Jurassic Park/Lost World may be easy reading, but the whole concept of a dinosaur science experiment is just super cool - it certainly was a novel ideJurassic Park/Lost World may be easy reading, but the whole concept of a dinosaur science experiment is just super cool - it certainly was a novel idea at the time of publishing. It's exciting, imaginative, intellectually stimulating despite not being exactly high-class. Even having seen the movie a million times, the book is worth a read. If a book makes me pull up wikipedia out of sparked curiosity every time I read a chapter, that's a pretty good sign. A lot of the characters fall kind of flat, and Ian Malcom was clearly Crichton's favorite, but overall the scenario alone provides more than enough interest....more
I'm a tiny bit perplexed as to why this book seems to be everyone's favoritest ever. It was pretty ok, I generally enjoyed it, but there were a few maI'm a tiny bit perplexed as to why this book seems to be everyone's favoritest ever. It was pretty ok, I generally enjoyed it, but there were a few major flaws that made it fall a little flat for me. Firstly, I felt like the humor was too easy - hardy-har-har kind of laughs, which I have kind of a weird personal revulsion for. Second, the characters are pretty uninteresting, and you barely get to know the main character before he's thrown into his dilemma, so the stakes didn't seem super high (beyond, you know, he's a human and is the main character and you want him to survive). Thirdly, the plot...
(view spoiler)[ So, the book starts out with one single person trying to survive a disaster on Mars. Obviously, the single main character isn't going to die, because otherwise it would be a terrible and depressing story, everyone would hate it, and it wouldn't be so popular. So for me it wasn't ever a question of "will he survive through this problem" as much as "what kind of science will happen here". The story wasn't very suspenseful, and was more a series of science experiment survival stories where pretty much everything works out ok. Even the setbacks that Mark Watney experienced felt a little too-easily resolved. All the other stuff, the other characters and the people watching him from Earth and the PR challenges and such, just felt like cruft. (hide spoiler)]
Also, at random points Mark Watney seemed like kind of a careless idiot for a trained NASA engineer.
I really enjoyed the science-experiment-stories aspect of the book, but otherwise was a bit disappointed with the storytelling. I did also see the movie, and while containing less of the interesting science from the book, it improved upon the relatability and likability of all the characters....more
These books just keep getting better. There is still an overload of predictable fight scenes, but also interspersed with more character development. IThese books just keep getting better. There is still an overload of predictable fight scenes, but also interspersed with more character development. I'm still not totally sure if there is actually an overarching plot or merely a premise, but I don't entirely mind - the art is beautiful and each chapter a neat story....more