Great book!! What is missing are notes, references, index, something where all this great information can be looked up and delve deeper. Since Lake Ta...moreGreat book!! What is missing are notes, references, index, something where all this great information can be looked up and delve deeper. Since Lake Tahoe is in my backyard I really enjoyed the stories from this area.
I believe the author presented different sides of some of the story, although the tales of Cal/Neva with Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe do not have a set of hard facts. He apparently waded through volumes of information and gleaned a tale that may be true, but without all the references it makes it more difficult to verify. I will give him that he does list book titles often throughout the text, and there is a very short section in the acknowledgements where he lists some very useful titles of books he read.
Okay, so I'm going on about that, but this is a great book to read about the area. Lots of fascinating folks have lived here - from Sarah Winnemucca to Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain (his time here was when he changed his name), to John Steinbeck and Bertrand Russell. Great writing style as well. I borrowed the book from the library and now think I should buy a copy. It's a book I'd read again. (less)
**spoiler alert** Browsing at the library this title caught my eye and the cover made the book interesting. Yet while first reading it I found it wasn...more**spoiler alert** Browsing at the library this title caught my eye and the cover made the book interesting. Yet while first reading it I found it wasn’t nearly as interesting as the cover. It was another book that I wanted to stop reading early on, but kept with it and enjoyed it more as the book developed.
There are many interesting parts to the book, mainly the language and a play on being a novel, without delving too deeply into post-modernism or meta-fiction while commentating on it (perhaps containing part of that aspect). The author was clearly attempting to be funny, while the story itself was really quite sad. The teenage angst compounded by parents who are more selfish than most, (because they have money??) and the typical diving into reckless behavior with drinking too much, drugs and sex. I didn’t like to read about rich kids and parents being so dang selfish, and the fundraiser at didn’t really make anyone redeemable. The one parent (Francis) who appears the least repulsive of course isn’t irreproachable with his long standing affair. One could see an almost decent parent/child relationship here with his daughter but we aren’t given any real scenes with the two of them.
There were parts of the book that I found obvious, (spoiler alert) yes the girl would grow to love reading and become a writer, and yes someone was heading towards suicide, yet I had hoped it would be different. Many of the characters were stereotypes we’ve seen many times before. The book could easily have been shorter, it didn’t need to be quite so long for this tale, it felt like it dragged on at times. The book could have been better. The writer was working towards it, and there are aspects within that show a well crafted book was near, but not quite there. (less)
I had some interest in the motorcycle riders, as I used to ride a scooter, and was in two clubs. But I was young and we were innocents, comparatively....moreI had some interest in the motorcycle riders, as I used to ride a scooter, and was in two clubs. But I was young and we were innocents, comparatively. While they have strict rules such as the order of riders on a bike ride, or run, we were mostly unencumbered by such rules. They want to be free but are restrictive in their actions, everything must be approved by the higher ups in the organization. Their business was mainly illegal, while most of us still lived at home with our parents, although I didn’t; I had a job, went to school, lived a fairly “normal” life.
To quote: “Their individuality is confined by a rigid conformity, ride the same brand of bike, wear the same clothes, abide the same rules. The irony is the lifestyle and appearance is clearly set up in opposition to us who live straight lives, but they are hardly distinguishable from one another.”
I found some resonance with this, with my past, the scooter days. We rode Vespas or Lambrettas only, wore similar clothing, listened to certain music, but we liked to think how individual we were. Perhaps in a group of kids our age one of us would stand out, yes, I know I did look different, but collectively we looked quite similar. When we grouped together for rides en masse it might have been hard to distinguish one kid from another. That’s about where the comparisons end. Now I know how much more freedom we really had when put side by side to these life-long bikers.
Gang activity was not what I nor my friends were into, but the ATF undercover (the primary author) was searching for that, and during his investigation got carried away where all he wanted was to become a bonafide Hells Angel himself. Of course it would have been not quite true, as he was undercover and his cover was being an illegal gun dealer, and debt collector which was false, and the killing that would get him his “cut” or patch was faked as well. The more I got into the story the more I saw how very different my experience with scooters were compared to these motorcycle guys. We had a few occasions to be harassed by cops and mostly laughed about it, although it could be annoying at times, particularly when interrupting an organized ride. Learning about this story I have a new appreciation of what a biker gang looked like on the other side. The book was interesting, not told in the best manner, still decent enough. The undercover ATF Dobyns acknowledges his story would have not been as it was without the co-author, but it still could have been told better. Despite that it was fascinating and I learned more about hard-core riders. (less)
Quote: “He looked cowled and robed as a pilgrim from days of yore, a dark monk out awander for the good of hi...moreMy notes on the book right after reading:
Quote: “He looked cowled and robed as a pilgrim from days of yore, a dark monk out awander for the good of his soul, seeking remedy in walking from being fouled by contact with the world.”
Great descriptions. The chapters alternate between Inman and Ada's viewpoint, and are quite long, with one exception near the end of the book. The time period is the Civil War, nearing the end.
An extraordinary amount of detail about the weather and food, almost too much detail for my vegetarian ways. The surroundings seem secondary. The descriptions of people are excellent.
There is a lot of death, (war times), but not too gory. The animal killings were difficult to read. Most of the people seem quite strange. The book was written very realistically, sounds like a true story. Very good and engrossing book.
An interesting book. A great book. Too bad all books aren’t so well written; then again if they were I’d get even less stuff done. This Steinbeck book...moreAn interesting book. A great book. Too bad all books aren’t so well written; then again if they were I’d get even less stuff done. This Steinbeck book is fairly focused on one main character, although there were a few moments when Ethan Allen Hawley was not the point-of-view. The book is during Ethan’s transformation, perhaps brought on by Mrs. Margie Young-Hunt and her tarot cards and influence. Or brought on by other means? Ethan always plays it straight, or really not, as he jokes around quite frequently, especially with his dear wife Mary. The word silly is used generously throughout.
Some surprising moments contained philosophizing and commentary on society….. as East of Eden was a tale about good and evil, this one is a tale of morality, about cheating. Is it okay if everyone does it? (less)
While the book is based upon some underlying historical facts, undoubtedly most of this book is fiction. What I enjoyed in the book was Mozart’s point...moreWhile the book is based upon some underlying historical facts, undoubtedly most of this book is fiction. What I enjoyed in the book was Mozart’s point of view sections, which unfortunately was not enough of the book. The book is about the Weber family, four young girls quickly growing up and their prospects for marriage. Their mother is a bit off her nut and sadly the stabilizing father who teaches them music dies in the middle of the story. Mozart is young and still finding his way in the music world and has his own family issues, but does fall for one of the Weber girls who ends up breaking his heart. It is clear from the beginning that Mozart does marry one of them, so there is an attempt of suspense, with trying to figure out, who will it be? On occasion there are some odd sentences which really pull you out of the story, writing that sounds like a man or for a male reader when neither is likely the case, well the author is a female. In the end the book is okay, but nothing wonderful.(less)
The second book continues where the first left off, and the story did feel left unfinished. I was compelled to buy this one, which is certainly part o...moreThe second book continues where the first left off, and the story did feel left unfinished. I was compelled to buy this one, which is certainly part of why the free books to begin with...get you hooked into an author or series. If this was not a young adult book I would have felt ripped off. The two books combined really make one, but I can understand the shorter length for the younger audience. Then again J.K. Rowling has proved that young people do read very long books.
In any case the author claims the second book was only written after the fans urged her to, and really the story wasn’t quite done. Unfortunately I didn’t like this one as much and it has mainly to do with the premise. The letters Ginny was following were stolen, at the end of the first book, and she never got a chance to read the last letter. Well now they appear by someone who is basically blackmailing her. This darker tone of the story seemed unnecessary, and that she didn’t fully confide in her new Uncle seemed unlikely. I think the author really didn’t know how to finish the story and went with the wrong premise. There were a few other flaws as well, but when the main story line is wrong the rest is almost irrelevant. (less)
The idea behind this book, telling the story of the devestating 1988 Yellowstone fires, is interesting, but the execution wasn't. The book seemed more...moreThe idea behind this book, telling the story of the devestating 1988 Yellowstone fires, is interesting, but the execution wasn't. The book seemed more focused on the main character's, Clare Chance, love life than developing a truly intriguing fire story. The writer doesn't seem to trust the reader's memory either, since events, moods and just about everything is repeated or restated. It happened so frequently it was distracting. It reminds me of those television shows the sum up what happened before the commercial break, ok I got it, now let's move on!
This is a first book in a series. It was a free Friday eBook for the nook, which was probably intended to get you hooked into the series. I was so disappointed with this one I certainly won't seek out the next. I suppose I was disappointed because I wanted to like it, but the writing just made me scream. If half stars were an option this would be rated at one and a half.(less)
An amazing story, also saw the movie in a French class, and also well done. It's one of those tales that helps you appreciate what you have in life, e...moreAn amazing story, also saw the movie in a French class, and also well done. It's one of those tales that helps you appreciate what you have in life, especially growing up, and how important education can be for changing one's life, particularly when in extreme poverty. The images of the children, and of the time they all got drunk while the parents were working in the cane fields, will be something I will always remember.(less)
The book has a very personal feel to the narrative as it revolves around the family grocery store that has been in Mountain City for decades. The stor...moreThe book has a very personal feel to the narrative as it revolves around the family grocery store that has been in Mountain City for decades. The store provides a view to all of the residents, but it ultimately sticks with his family, grandparents, cousin, aunt & uncle, who all work in the store. The book has sorrow attached to it, as the town is the diminishing, the aging residents, and it leaves you asking what will happen to this very small town (and others like it throughout rural Nevada) over the next few decades. (less)