This book is eye opening. Though it is short and does not take long to read it provides a lot of food for thought. I will be thinking about Nujood’s s...moreThis book is eye opening. Though it is short and does not take long to read it provides a lot of food for thought. I will be thinking about Nujood’s story (and the story of many other girls who face similar horrors) for a long time. It is particularly difficult to know that the problem of child marriage is so hard to combat, particularly in rural areas.
The book is not very graphic, little time is given to describing the horrors Nujood experienced at the hands of the man she was married to. I think this is because Nujood didn’t want to revisit or think too deeply (at least not in a public forum) about the bad events, rather that she wants to look to the future.
***SPOILER ALERT*** It was interesting to read the end, where hope is clearly portrayed however, the epilogue clearly shows that Nujood and her family still have challenges and that Nujood’s divorce dose not provide a fairytale ending. Education remains a challenge, poverty, family arguments and stresses continue to pose challenges.
Given Nujood had the courage to fight for her freedom I hope she also has the courage to fight to achieve her dream of becoming a lawyer or any other dream she has. Although the book clearly shows the ability to reach these dreams will not be an easy victory.
The 19th wife was an interesting, captivating book. The two storylines were quite separate but both were very entertaining. It was hard to decide whic...moreThe 19th wife was an interesting, captivating book. The two storylines were quite separate but both were very entertaining. It was hard to decide which storyline I preferred. I think having both was good because it provided historical context of plural marriage and helped bring the issues to light (since they are not only historical issues).
The format is interesting, as there are letters, affidavits, chapters of a thesis, and all sorts of “documents” that act as part of the narrative. It is an interesting way to weave a novel. It could be difficult for some to accept this method, but I liked it as it felt more like we w ere following someone as they were piecing together a story from various sources - as we have to do in real life.
As a picky point, and in all honesty, I found the thesis paper a bit odd. I don’t think I like t he character who wrote it. She seems a bit informal in a thesis, which should be quite formal. Overall this is an entertaining and enlightening book.(less)
This is a good first introduction to some of the major (by number of followers) world religions. It does not teach you everything (it is a slim volume...moreThis is a good first introduction to some of the major (by number of followers) world religions. It does not teach you everything (it is a slim volume), but it gives a more than basic overview of 5 major religions.
It has provided me with some information I did not know and peaked my interest to explore individual books on several of the world’s religions. I had extremely little knowledge of some of the religions before reading this book.
The author is up front about his views and own religion and I believe presents all the religions well.
I did not think he fairly represented pluralism. Here pluralism is the idea that all religions are taking their own route to a higher understanding, and so the answers and even the questions are different, but are not so far apart. I found the author did not seem to take as much time to understand this approach and seems to dislike any scholars of this position, as he believes they think they know the higher truth that all religions are searching for and thus are pompous. I do not believe this is the case and feel the author did not give this view the research and understanding that he did to each of the religions.
This is a very readable book. The chapters are short and I find they do make me want to act. The first chapter after the introduction does not give th...moreThis is a very readable book. The chapters are short and I find they do make me want to act. The first chapter after the introduction does not give the reader any tasks which I found odd, but the subsequent chapters provide actions you can take to support the concept laid out in the first chapter. I am only a few chapters into the book, but the first piece of advice was to write down specific goals. I have already found that a useful tip to creating success.
I also appreciate that the author tells us to only incorporate a few changes at a time. I appreciate that it is not presented as an all or nothing approach. The author also notes that certain tips may seem unnecessary now, but that these will likely be useful at a different time in our lives/careers and similarly some that are useful now may not be at another time.
I’ll report back as I continue the book however I can already say this is useful and fun to read. Both qualities are necessary for a good ‘self-help’ book.(less)
Crewe has created a lovely novel. It is more chick-lit than I expected based on the description. Partway through the book, certain aspects are predict...moreCrewe has created a lovely novel. It is more chick-lit than I expected based on the description. Partway through the book, certain aspects are predictable but exactly how it happened and the outcomes are intriguing enough to keep you hooked. I planned to read it over several days but ended up reading it in an afternoon.
The last half of the book is quite sad, I cried several times. There are some touching moments that are well written.
Tansy is a great character, Crewe did an excellent job managing a complex evolution (or revelation) of a character.
The end has a few scenes trying to show where everyone is. It almost seems there are a few possible last scenes. Essentially I think the Christmas scene (and list of everyone present) was not necessary. It was also a bit odd that Matt’s dad wasn’t mentioned until almost the end of the book – until that point I assume Matt didn’t have a father.
I recomend this book, and plan to pick up some more books by Crewe. (less)
The history of love is a very confusing book, for the first ¾. But when all the characters start to explain their connections it made sense. Try to no...moreThe history of love is a very confusing book, for the first ¾. But when all the characters start to explain their connections it made sense. Try to not worry about who is who when the chapters starts, soon you will at least be able to tell who is narrating the chapter. This high degree of confusion was not the best approach for the book. However, the conclusion is great.
It might be better to read the book all in one go or in a few sittings rather than many bus rides into work, as I did.
Leo is a very interesting character. He is very real, and it is quite sad in some ways and touching in others. He didn’t live a remarkable life, and maybe even a smaller life than he expected and deserved. But, circumstances meant he couldn’t be with the woman he loves, and strange circumstances mean he gets some vindication as a writer.(less)
Many parts of this book are difficult to read. But I found it interesting and compassionately written. The compassion is shown to all the characters i...moreMany parts of this book are difficult to read. But I found it interesting and compassionately written. The compassion is shown to all the characters in how they are portrayed with very real reactions. The husbands approach to the diagnosis are realistic to his character, and although some of his choices seem cruel we see enough kind moments and can follow his train of thought to understand that he is just as much affected by the disease as Alice is. The author also shows the reader compassion by providing happy, touching and funny moments peppered through the really tough stuff to keep us able to read.
It’s another reminder to appreciate our loved ones every day, because we never know what might be around the corner but also to take whatever is thrown at us in stride and make the best of it all.
Recommended but keep a box of Kleenex nearby.(less)
This is another great Lawrence Hill book. (This one was written before his Book of Negros (in the US it is titled Someone Knows my Name).
It is a ficti...moreThis is another great Lawrence Hill book. (This one was written before his Book of Negros (in the US it is titled Someone Knows my Name).
It is a fictional family history. We see a man struggling to understand how he fits into an accomplished family through history. He seeks to learn more about his ancestors, particularly Langston Cane (the first). All the generations’ stories are interesting. It was a book I raced through reading.
At first it is a little difficult to keep all the generations straight, but soon you figure it out without too much difficulty and sometimes you just let the story wash over you.
The exciting stuff, a bit of a family mystery and the historical action, starts a bit past halfway through the book. But the first half is still interesting. It ends up being quite faced paced for a family history type book.
I found it very interesting and would recommend it to anyone interested in the period just before the American civil war, as well as those interested in a plethora of other topics the book addresses.(less)
I preferred this to "the girl with the dragon tattoo". This was less disturbing (although amazingly still several troubling scenes). This book made me...moreI preferred this to "the girl with the dragon tattoo". This was less disturbing (although amazingly still several troubling scenes). This book made me like dragon tattoo less.
Played with fire is a bit long and takes some time to get into it but the mystery is intriguing and I enjoyed seeing how it all fits together.
I think I would even suggest that people could skip the first book.
There are a few actions by Mikael Blomkvist that are a bit unexplainable (i.e. keeping info from the cops). This took place in the first book as well.(less)
I enjoyed this novel. The historical setting was very well portrayed. And the relationship between Will and Trudy was very interesting, though plausib...moreI enjoyed this novel. The historical setting was very well portrayed. And the relationship between Will and Trudy was very interesting, though plausible. The time during the war was extremely interesting.
The book maintains your interest to find out what took place that led to the Will of the '50s. A bit of a mystery that really captures your attention.
As with other reviewers, I was also a little uncertain about the motivations/outcome.
This is chick-lit for a slightly older crowd. The women and their problems were reasonably interesting. I found Holly's story the most entertaining, h...moreThis is chick-lit for a slightly older crowd. The women and their problems were reasonably interesting. I found Holly's story the most entertaining, however her tale is the most chick-lity of the bunch, so maybe that is why.
There were a few things I didn't like, for example the author kept using the turn of phrase "the idea of". i.e. one of the women is worried that her new boyfriend's kids won't like the idea of her. And this phrase is used ALOT. Also all the women, though family, are really dealing with tthier problems on their own. There was little interaction amoung the stories, which might not be the most realistic.
I am generally not a fan of short story collections, but this one is fantastic.
The stories are simply told but have realistic and beautifully drawn c...moreI am generally not a fan of short story collections, but this one is fantastic.
The stories are simply told but have realistic and beautifully drawn characters.
I like that there is a subtle theme across the stories. I find this not to be the case for most short story collections and I believe a necessary part of a well thought out publication. As the title suggests the theme is loneliness. But it is not the predictable loneliness. Often it is Loneliness while among people, the most heart wrenching kind.
It could be depressing to read too many stories in one sitting, but in general the stories are not depressing - and you will laugh at parts.(less)