Reading this because of that list that's been going around of what you should read now based on your favorite books as a child, Harriet the Spy being...moreReading this because of that list that's been going around of what you should read now based on your favorite books as a child, Harriet the Spy being mine, and this being the recommendation. We'll see...
I suppose I can see why this is recommended for grown-up Harriet the Spy fans (rich people and kids that don't get enough attention and all), but I did not love Paloma (or Renée, or any of the other characters) quite like I do Harriet. Not even close. But let's just put Harriet aside for the moment.
Part of the time I found myself really enjoying this, and I think a lot of it has to do with Barbara Rosenblat, who narrates Renée's bits--she's just fantastic and I love her! But even then, there were quite a few times when I found myself thinking (or sometimes saying out loud), "Renée! SHUT UP!" Same with Paloma. They would go on these big long rambles about philosophy or art or the beauty of the rose or whatever and I DID NOT CARE. Sorry.
And then the end... Um... Okay?
Well, in the end, I sort of liked this and sort of didn't. That's all.
It was enjoyable to listen to once, but I can't see myself even really remembering this book at all in a year or so. I'm sticking with Harriet, I think.(less)
I didn't know a whole lot about River Phoenix going into this; of the movies he made, I've only ever seen Stand By Me and Indiana Jones and the Last C...moreI didn't know a whole lot about River Phoenix going into this; of the movies he made, I've only ever seen Stand By Me and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I vaguely remember when he died of a drug overdose in 1993, and I knew about his association with PETA. Beyond that though, nothing. I'm not sure that I really know all that much more about him now. I hadn't heard about his family life, spending his early years in a cult. I didn't realize he was such good friends with the Red Hot Chili Peppers (Michael Stipe makes more sense). Somehow I hadn't even really put together that Joaquin Phoenix is his brother (I know, that's kind of dumb, but there it is).
I like that Edwards tries to show that River Phoenix was a complex person, just like anyone, but I feel like he's somewhat unsuccessful in bringing him alive to someone who didn't already know him, if that makes sense. He spends a lot of time talking about other people that were his contemporaries (Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt) who didn't really even know him well, if at all, and I get that he's attempting to show who Phoenix might have grown up to become if he had lived, but it ends up feeling disjointed and distracting somehow. The main sense of Phoenix I have now isn't much different or much deeper than I had before--that he was a mostly really nice guy with some major issues who died too young. I guess I was just hoping for more depth.
I listened to the audio version of this, and I think Luke Daniels does a good job here, although I kept finding myself thinking, "stop using your narrator voice and get back to talking like Johnny Depp!" He does pretty good impressions...
Anyway, I'm not really sure who I'd recommend this to. It's not the best celebrity biography out there, and I've seen big fans of Phoenix's find issue with it as well. But I mostly enjoyed it and don't feel like it was a total waste of time, so...(less)
I mostly really enjoyed this, but there were large sections that I found...really tedious somehow, and just like in the first book, I feel like the en...moreI mostly really enjoyed this, but there were large sections that I found...really tedious somehow, and just like in the first book, I feel like the ending came too quickly and too easily and without enough of a real resolution. Also, THE TYPOS!!! It seemed like there are a lot of them, and a number of bits of dialogue that make no sense. It sort of drove me nuts. Still, I liked Persis and Justen and several of the side characters. I'll keep reading Peterfreund's books. But this series is not my fave.(less)
Naturally when this came in at the library I wanted to read it because it's a comic about polar bears. And it is a fairly cute story. However (and thi...moreNaturally when this came in at the library I wanted to read it because it's a comic about polar bears. And it is a fairly cute story. However (and this is probably pretty nerdy of me), I felt like for a very informational comic, this one contained a good bit of information that is misleading about polar bear behavior. The fantasy and real-life elements of the story just did not mesh well for me, and I kept finding myself distracted by one element or the other feeling out of place. I really wanted to like this one, but ultimately couldn't connect or stay focused on the story. (less)
Enjoyed this one waaaaay more than I did the previous book in the series. I'm pretty sure it's because Lan and William are back with Eff--I'd missed t...moreEnjoyed this one waaaaay more than I did the previous book in the series. I'm pretty sure it's because Lan and William are back with Eff--I'd missed them. Also, something about the story just appealed to me more--Eff's exploration of magic and all the new wildlife discovered, and the big scary thing that they discover will happen and that they have to try to prevent near the end... All that was far more compelling to me than anything that happened in the second book. I like the ending for this one too--there's closure, while still leaving things open for another book to be written about this world and these characters. If Wrede writes another one, I'll read it!(less)
I'm really not a big poetry reader, but I liked this collection a lot--the way Trethewey explores the history of black Civil War soldiers, and being f...moreI'm really not a big poetry reader, but I liked this collection a lot--the way Trethewey explores the history of black Civil War soldiers, and being from the South, and loss... Native Guard and Myth are my favorites--the repetitions in those two poems really work for me, the way the same words said again mean something slightly different the second time, and build on each other. Really powerful. I'm probably not going to go run out and start reading poetry all over the place because of this book, but I'm certainly glad that I gave this one a chance, and I do feel like it's opened me up to more poetry, if that makes sense. And since I often do not care for Pulitzer Prize winners either, I suppose this has opened me up to more of them as well!(less)
So, I started listening to this book, and almost immediately found myself thinking, "oh, boy, this is dumb." I mean, the premise is pretty stupid, rig...moreSo, I started listening to this book, and almost immediately found myself thinking, "oh, boy, this is dumb." I mean, the premise is pretty stupid, right? And yet...somewhere along the line it totally sucked me in. The characters really grew on me, and I really wanted to find out what would happen to them all. And Wil Wheaton does an excellent job of narrating--he's great. Anyway, yeah, it sounds like a pretty ridiculous book, and it is, but it's also pretty fun. I'll read more of Scalzi's stuff before too long.(less)
Man, I found myself really disappointed with this one, especially since I loved the first book so much. Shadow and Bone has such a dark fairy tale qua...moreMan, I found myself really disappointed with this one, especially since I loved the first book so much. Shadow and Bone has such a dark fairy tale quality about it; it's very atmospheric. This one...not so much. Mal acts like a whiny baby for most of the book, until I began to kind of hate him, and the love triangle (of sorts) becomes a love square. Or possibly a love pentagon. WHYYYYY?!? The Darkling is not in this book all that much, but he's still the most compelling character by far so I found myself mostly just pushing through so I could get to his next 5-second appearance. I think this second book in the series reminded me of Rae Carson's The Crown of Embers somehow, and the whole time I kept comparing the two and this one kept coming up short. The characters, I think, just don't feel deep enough or consistent enough for me to care about them as much as I would like. Except for the Darkling, that is, and he's the bad guy! I'm still planning on reading the third book when it comes out later this year, but I'm not really expecting much from it now. >:((less)
A few times while reading this book I found myself feeling frustrated with the lack of detail, (view spoiler)[like when June is having her dinner conv...moreA few times while reading this book I found myself feeling frustrated with the lack of detail, (view spoiler)[like when June is having her dinner conversation with the new Elector and he asks her how she escaped from the Patriots and she totally evades the question and he doesn't seem bothered by it at all, just completely lets it go. I wanted to know what her cover story for how she escaped from the Patriots was too, but the fact that she doesn't answer the question made me think that Lu just hadn't bothered to come up with anything that sounded convincing and so decided to just skip over it. It made that whole part feel unbelievable and poorly done. (hide spoiler)] but for the most part, once again, I really enjoyed it. I like that Lu manages to take the story in some unexpected directions, and I like that June and Day are a couple I can actually root for. They both have their moments of insecurity and jealousy, but never to the extent that I start to dislike them, and they always seem to work through it without making asses of themselves. I like that they fight--that seems pretty darn realistic given their backgrounds and circumstances. I definitely want to know what happens with them in the next book, rather than just hoping that one of them falls off a cliff or something (a somewhat frequent longing of mine when reading books where the main characters get too whiny or insecure or sickeningly gooey)! So, yeah. Fun series.(less)
So, I'm really on the fence about this one--I keep going back and forth in my head about how much or how little I liked it. So three stars it is.
I li...moreSo, I'm really on the fence about this one--I keep going back and forth in my head about how much or how little I liked it. So three stars it is.
I listened to an audio version narrated by Claire Danes, who does an absolutely fantastic job of it. So fantastic that I'm wondering if the main reason I liked the book was because she was reading it. There were several times during the story that I found myself thinking, "I would totally be skimming this part if I were reading this to myself," or, "OMG, Atwood, get on with it!" or, "enough with the quasi-poetic language, I'm not buying it." But then Claire Danes would suck me back in.
I think that partly this book is really interesting, and frightening, and...realistic enough, I suppose, to be at least somewhat believable; we've seen this sort of thing happen in other countries, after all. I love the openness of the end of Of-Fred's narrative, and the ending of the actual book totally caught me by surprise. Still, I never really felt emotionally invested. It all felt so academic somehow (which makes sense, given the final chapter), and I guess I just wanted to feel and believe in the story more than I ever managed to.
So yeah, I still don't totally know what I think about this book. But I'm glad that I finally read it after being told I should for the last, ohhhhh, twenty years or so. And I definitely plan on giving other books of Atwood's a try. I've got Oryx and Crake next on the list, so we'll how that one goes...(less)
So, I haven't actually cooked anything from this yet, but I actually want to try just about everything in here, which is extremely rare for me. Beauti...moreSo, I haven't actually cooked anything from this yet, but I actually want to try just about everything in here, which is extremely rare for me. Beautiful presentation and photography, and lots of creative vegan recipes without reliance on fake meat--huzzah!(less)
I thought this was okay, but I guess I was hoping for more unusual options, and the writing kind of annoyed me. My husband and I have done a lot of dr...moreI thought this was okay, but I guess I was hoping for more unusual options, and the writing kind of annoyed me. My husband and I have done a lot of driving in this area before, but it's one of our favorite things to do, so we're always looking for new ideas. If you like the idea of travel based around a theme, this might really appeal to you--each drive is kind of theme-based: the literary tour, the foodie tour, etc. We just don't really travel like that or have any interest in focusing an entire trip in that way, so the book wasn't really useful to us the way it's organized. I was still hoping to find some creative ideas for things to see and do or interesting places to stay, but honestly, I feel like I've had more luck just researching online. This is probably best for folks who maybe live in the area and are looking for weekend trips to take without having to do much planning on their own--I think this book is probably a really good resource for that.(less)