This book had been sitting on a shelf in my apartment for months before I picked it up (it belongs to my roommate). There was definitely a bit of sereThis book had been sitting on a shelf in my apartment for months before I picked it up (it belongs to my roommate). There was definitely a bit of serendipity in the timing of when I finally cracked it open, as I've been grappling with questions about meaning and purpose recently. Aside from Osho's distaste for Picasso, I loved the book. Almost every page had something on it that I wanted to pause and think about. It felt like Osho was speaking to me directly, answering my questions from the great beyond.
There has been a lot of fanfare over this novel, and rightly so. The Art of Fielding is so good. It’s colossally good—entertaining, funny, warm, and tThere has been a lot of fanfare over this novel, and rightly so. The Art of Fielding is so good. It’s colossally good—entertaining, funny, warm, and the work of an author who clearly adores American literature.
The setting is Westish College, a small liberal arts school in the Midwest. Their baseball team has a star shortstop, Henry Skirmshander, that is being scouted by the major leagues. One day he makes a huge misstep on the field, changing the course of his baseball career, and the lives of the people around him. Henry and the other characters are so richly rendered that I imagine them going about their days even after I closed the book. This is a must read for anyone that loves novels. A love of baseball is not required....more
It is surprising to think that this fun novel was written by the same author as the tragic The End of the Affair but it is! I listened to the audiobooIt is surprising to think that this fun novel was written by the same author as the tragic The End of the Affair but it is! I listened to the audiobook version, read by Jeremy Northam, and loved hearing him do all the voices, which include an old German doctor, a rakish Scotsman, a sinister Cuban police captain, and a 17 year old girl.
The plot revolves around Mr. Wormold, a British vacuum cleaner salesman living in Cuba, who is recruited as a spy by British Intelligence. The novel continues in an absurd and farcical fashion with everyone not knowing as much as they should, and Wormold getting in deeper than he could have imagined. But this is a comedy, and it does have a happy ending. It made my days at work go by much quicker, and kept me chuckling. Highly recommended....more
I never read A Million Little pieces, but this book seems to have been written in response to it. David Carr even references the book in his opening cI never read A Million Little pieces, but this book seems to have been written in response to it. David Carr even references the book in his opening chapters, and admits he almost succumbs to trick of memory.In the story of 'the night of the gun' Carr finds his own vivid memory disproved by three witnesses. He then decides to research his own life story like any piece he would write in his work as a professional journalist. The Night of the Gun is full of family photos, mug shots, court documents, and interviews with everyone still around to recall what he was like before he got clean. It's a miracle he is still alive after years of drug and alcohol abuse, five trips through rehab, raising twin girls as a single parent, and a bout with cancer. But Carr never allows himself to take a victory lap. He is very clear about the monstrous abuse he heaped on various girlfriends, the many arrests, and the appalling things he did to himself just to get another fix. Recovery, for Carr, is an ongoing process, as is redemption.
The book is excellently written and reported, but it proves David Carr is not only an amazing writer, but a very brave man to face all his demons with a clean head. Highly recommended...more
I read Sharp Objects a few years ago, was freaked out by it, and yet couldn't put it down until I finished. I was really excited when I found out GillI read Sharp Objects a few years ago, was freaked out by it, and yet couldn't put it down until I finished. I was really excited when I found out Gillian Flynn had another creeper coming out...
I finished reading Dark Places last night, and am still thinking about it this morning. For a large part of the book, engrossing as it was, I felt it would have a dead end, leaving off in a place as dark and unsettling as where it began. But Gillian Flynn is a super-talented writer, and she not only takes us to the core of what happened, she makes us feel for the people who fought to escape the nightmare they found themselves in. This is a fantastic thriller and mystery, with a strong dose of melancholy.
Picking up where In the Woods left off, The Likeness is told from the perspective of Det. Cassie Maddox. In this novel, she goes undercover as the vicPicking up where In the Woods left off, The Likeness is told from the perspective of Det. Cassie Maddox. In this novel, she goes undercover as the victim of a fatal stabbing and finds herself slipping too far into the role she's playing.
The writing is beautifully descriptive and dark, and the plot is as tense and twisty as they come. There are also plenty of echoes to Donna Tartt's The Secret History, both in plot and tone, so fans of it will probably enjoy either one of Tana French's mystery novels. French herself has said she is a fan of The Secret History.
I can't wait for Tana French's next novel, which will supposedly feature Det. Frank Mackey as the narrator. This woman is slowly becoming my favorite new mystery author......more
I read this book in the middle of my Varsity soccer years and found it really helpful in explaining the fundamentals of soccer. Mia Hamm also has a reI read this book in the middle of my Varsity soccer years and found it really helpful in explaining the fundamentals of soccer. Mia Hamm also has a really interesting story and writes thoughtfully about self-discipline, competition, and loving the game. A must read for any soccer player....more
Mind boggling. This book, aside from giving hope to those who are born with mental disabilities and those who have suffered injuries to their brains,Mind boggling. This book, aside from giving hope to those who are born with mental disabilities and those who have suffered injuries to their brains, also encourages regular readers to never underestimate their capabilities. There are stories of patients that were able to overcome emotional as well as physical traumas thanks to the belief that the brain is plastic and therefore is capable of reorganizing and growing. The brain is an even more remarkable organ than we could have ever imagined....more
As of a few days ago, I’d been recommending the Twilight series to just about everyone, making people who could care less watch the trailer, and goingAs of a few days ago, I’d been recommending the Twilight series to just about everyone, making people who could care less watch the trailer, and going on and on about how hot vampires are. After finishing the second book, I started to wish I could take it all back. It’s not that I stopped loving it, it’s that I was ashamed to admit how much I love it. It has a lot of things I normally don't like; a story ripped from romance novels of yore and a girl that is emotionally and physically quite fragile. That I love them together and am willing to overlook all of those things make me feel…guilty, like I’m pushing my inner feminist into a toilet. I'm a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan because Buffy was a teenage girl with extraordinary power. She ended up loving not one, but two beautiful vampires but she could match them blow for blow both in smarts and strength. I’m happy to see that in the trailer for the Twilight movie Bella comes across as a lot braver and stronger (for the record, I think Robert Pattinson can play a vampire boyfriend whenever he feels like it). But there's still the book version of Bella; clumsy, shy, and not particularly powerful.
The reason I am so ashamed of this love is that the 15 year old girl inside of me LOVES it even more than the embittered 22 year old that occupies my consciousness. In New Moon Bella is wreck; a husk of her former self now that her lover has left her for what she believes is a life of blissful immortality. She seems to have no purpose, no will to go on without him. That sucks more than a vampire. Where’s Buffy when you need her?
And yet, I remember the things I wrote about in my journals when I was 15. And as crushed as Bella is when Edward leaves her with “a huge hole” inside of her, I can’t say I didn’t feel the same way about two clowns that we’ll call Burt and Ernie. I’ve read and re-read various journal entries about the two of them that made me cringe and wonder how I made it through high school and middle school without doing something really, really crazy. I probably survived thanks to a combination of Buffy, regular exercise, and a penchant for staying in. If I had spent more time socializing…well, I think everyone would have remembered me as “the crazy chick” or “the craziest chick EVER” if they already don’t.
That however, makes me feel less sheepish about my affection for Bella. Teenage girls are crazy, and have low self esteem, and do fall madly in love with guys that are terribly dangerous, and feel like they can’t breath when it doesn’t work out. The first night after I started reading it, I actually dreamt about meeting Bella, and she told me she wanted to die. I think we’ve all been Bella at some point, our hearts shattering over some guy that is really wrong for us.
Edward is another concern. I don’t get him from Bella’s perspective. He loves her unconditionally for…? But then again, trying to throw logic into the mix of a tragic and forbidden teen romance is as silly as the romance itself. When you’re a teenager, you don’t know who you are nearly enough to love someone in that long term special way, and also we don’t really know what a vampire who has been 17 “for awhile” feels. So there isn’t reason or logic to their love (or Romeo and Juliet’s), that doesn’t make it any less real. I would never have believed my love for Burt or Ernie wasn’t going to go the distance, even if you’d given me a bunch of logical reasons for it. So there it is; my love/hate relationship with both the Twilight series and my inner teenage girl. I never liked the inner teenage girl to begin with, and I like her even less resurfacing in my twenties. Who does she think she is, irrational and silly creature?! Well, there are two more books left in the saga for me to read, so she’ll be sticking around for a little longer. There’s no shame in letting her have a hopeless crush on beautiful vamp Edward Cullen, just as long as I don’t.*
*Who am I kidding? Edward Cullen is dreamy, delicious, and really, really hot…even if, as my one friend rages, “he’s like a f*cking ice box.” She loves him too, but is also profanely in denial. ...more
This book has all her staples: a twisty plot, comic characters, and super-witty observations. Having taken a literary theory claI love Kate Atkinson.
This book has all her staples: a twisty plot, comic characters, and super-witty observations. Having taken a literary theory class just last year, I really enjoyed reading Atkinson poke fun at it and even incorporate some of its ideas into her narrative. The only book of hers I haven't read is "Human Crouquet", but of the rest, I'd rank "Emotionally Weird" as one of my favorites....more