**spoiler alert** The most difficult thing for me to stomach about ATTTiM was the first person perspective. Initially, I could not tell if the protago**spoiler alert** The most difficult thing for me to stomach about ATTTiM was the first person perspective. Initially, I could not tell if the protagonist was obsessing over someone, legitimately mentally ill, or just a teenage girl mooning over a boy. Once the I learned the circumstances which required the first person perspective of Judith, the story telling became far easier to digest. This lead to it quickly gaining momentum. Unlike other stories where pages upon pages of detail, settling, and dialogue are presented, Berry presents her story in succinct flashes of plot as if one is reading Judith's diary. There are flashes to the past which her paint the cloudy picture of her captivity, but the omission of detail pushes the reader forward like one of the nosey village locals trying to piece together all the gossip. A very easy read with a very nicely tied up finish. Great for a rainy-weekend in on the couch.
**spoiler alert** The Circle was truly an engrossing read, and made my sit back and ponder how much I trust the internet with my personal information,**spoiler alert** The Circle was truly an engrossing read, and made my sit back and ponder how much I trust the internet with my personal information, especially in relation to social media. While some may roll their eyes at the instant gratification-based, free flow of information, I personally could see Eggers' proposed "future" as disturbingly possible in the not-too-far future. For those who dabble in social media or those who dive headlong into the digital world, this is a must read. While there is some name dropping, I found myself wondering if the practices of The Circle could eventually become a reality. When is enough, truly enough? If anyone wants to borrow my copy, I am more than willing to send it on an old-school snail mail adventure!...more
In high school, the fragile relations between frontier settlers and the Native Americans is heavily glossed over, with pivotal battles being merely hiIn high school, the fragile relations between frontier settlers and the Native Americans is heavily glossed over, with pivotal battles being merely highlighted. Until I read EotSM, I had not realized how little I truly knew about our native people, but I left with a greater understanding as to why high school American history is so heavily abbreviated in regard to discussion about the warring period for the Plains Indians. The delicate subjects of raping, murder, and plains warfare, while essential to a deeper understanding of life on the American frontier, are quite difficult to accurately and safely educate young students about. Gwynne painstakingly stitches together a brand new quilt of Americana, which opens with the Comanche raid of The Parker Compound in which a young nine-year-old girl, a single moment that would later unravel the empire of the Plains Indians.
Gwynne covers over forty years of American history in two key stages: the abduction and integration of Cynthia Ann Parker into the Comanche lifestyle, and the incredible account of her son, Quanah, who later rises to power after she is forced back into "civilized society." It is by no means an easy read and requires steeled nerves and an iron stomach as some of the graphic details can make the more delicate reader shudder. The rise and fall of the Comanches is documented in parallel to the haunting familiar historical battles that made up the threadbare blanket of Native American history that we covered up with in high school. The vivid color and detail is almost blinding, but a worthwhile read nevertheless.
I have read criticisms of this work, discrediting the author's account on the basis of utilizing "white sources", "Euro-centric accounts," and "derogatory namings," but what readers should consider is the availability of materials on the subject either in English or in translation. Additionally, the language used in the books is most likely presented to stir emotions, but also raise an awareness as to the various nomenclatures used by the individuals of that era. While I grit my teeth through several sections, it was mainly due to the underhanded methods employed by the government in their treatment and manipulation of the Plains Indians. The writing style could be viewed as sensationalist, but it was a riveting read. I would love to read a companion piece from the perspective of a Comanche author. The extensive list of resources shows that the book is well-researched, and I found it quite informative....more
When I poured through my massive American History text in high school, there was a mere glossing over on the role of whiskey in the Whiskey RebellionWhen I poured through my massive American History text in high school, there was a mere glossing over on the role of whiskey in the Whiskey Rebellion as well as the correlating taxes that would help shape the financial infrastructure of our fledgling country. Mentions of whiskey were peppered throughout the pages, but I now know that I could not have possibly begin to comprehend or appreciate the scope of the impact of bourbon without having actually tasted and savored it.
Huckelbridge's tone throughout the book is informative, eloquent, and at times casual, making it accessible to folks from many walks of life. He depicts the evolution of our great nation through key stages of our political, economic, and social growth, but stitched the quilt together with a piece of Americana that only the grown ups could play with. Big names throughout history are dropped in every chapter, answering many of the questions I couldn't ask as a high schooler. I have finally gained clarity as to "what's the big deal about the Whiskey Tax?" question I posed to my very exasperated AP History teacher in eleventh grade.
Huckelbridge digs down to the deep set roots of bourbon, exposing the family tress of key individuals whose contributions and methods have paved the way for the pillars of modern bourbon making today. Additionally, the creation process of bourbon is explained with layman's terms for those unfamiliar with the distilling process. The footnotes are quite entertaining, giving the reader the impression that Huckelbridge is leaning in to give you some of the best dirt you'll take to the grave. Admittedly, I had to hit up a dictionary for a handful of word choices, but it merely accentuated my interest in the topic.
Though I read Huckelbridge's work from cover to cover without a single drop, I now have a new found appreciation and desire to learn more. As a girl raised in The South, I now feel a deeper connection and responsibility to further my knowledge about bourbon, or at least sweep the category entire should it pop up on Jeopardy....more
I gave up on this work by JK. I couldn't stomach the swearing and hot topics she tried tackling. With three teenagers (two boys & a girl), all I cI gave up on this work by JK. I couldn't stomach the swearing and hot topics she tried tackling. With three teenagers (two boys & a girl), all I could think about were Harry, Ron & Hermione gone terribly wrong....more
Those in possession of the Twilight series, pitch those doorstoppers in the fire and pick up a refreshing steampunk series! I plowed through SOULLESSThose in possession of the Twilight series, pitch those doorstoppers in the fire and pick up a refreshing steampunk series! I plowed through SOULLESS cover to cover in one relaxing afternoon, but I'm already priming my imagination for the next book in the series. I enjoyed building my vocabulary with the eloquent vocabulary and period diction provided by Ms. Carriger's novel. A healthy mingling of supernatural, preternatural, and historical fiction, SOULLESS does not fail to disappoint. For those wanting less high school drama, and more bodice-ripping, Victorian era grandeur, this in the launch pad with zeppelin awaiting to wisk you away. ...more
**spoiler alert** Upon hearing about The Hunger Games, I was immediately reminded of Koushun Takami's controversial novel in 1999, Battle Royale, in w**spoiler alert** Upon hearing about The Hunger Games, I was immediately reminded of Koushun Takami's controversial novel in 1999, Battle Royale, in which a randomly selected class of Japanese junior high school students were placed on an island in a government sanctioned death match. The book and film were later banned from release in the US in the wake of the Columbine High School shootings in the early 2000s. I found it interesting that a book of a similar premise would gain such popularity in the United States, despite Battle Royale's rocky introduction into American literary and popular culture.
Personally, I tend to dislike like books written in first person perspective. Yet, like The Twilight Saga, I found myself turning the pages very quickly. The concept was interesting, and many of the characters memorable. Geared toward young adult readers, I felt some of the events moved too quickly and several of the characters remained too shallow. Try as I may, I find Katniss to be on the same level of mediocre as Bella from the Twilight series, despite her meager upbringing. I feel that her character is a little flat and has that same awkward, tomboyish quality who always manages to "clean up nicely".
I like the in-depth political controversy within the structure of the book, and I am curious to see how it continues in the second and third installments....more
Brutally honest, but she owns up to every event which transpired. It's been a while since I've read anything cover to cover in a day. Not for those wiBrutally honest, but she owns up to every event which transpired. It's been a while since I've read anything cover to cover in a day. Not for those with weak stomachs....more
[Loves] The witty quotes and honest language, really puts a marathon virgin like myself at ease. It makes attempting the epic task of a full marathon p[Loves] The witty quotes and honest language, really puts a marathon virgin like myself at ease. It makes attempting the epic task of a full marathon potentially possible for anyone willing to put in the work. Early on, a questionnaire is presented to the reader, requiring serious thought as to the individual’s personal evaluation of their physical and mental fitness as well as their goals and motivators for attempting endurance racing. The eight training plans provide clear and reasonable training patterns for those with different levels of fitness and goals.
[Likes] The book reads like a journey from the moment one decides to attempt the distance, and culminates in their crossing the finish line. The side bar anecdotes of actual participants who utilized Bingham & Hadfield’s method were interesting, but sometimes detracted from the actual text presented.
[Dislikes] The book is written in a format where both authors express their opinions conjunctly. Sometimes an image is used to indicate a change in speaker, other times it’s designated as “I, John…” I would have preferred a clearer division of speakers, instead of reading through half a paragraph or so to find a clue as to who is making the point.
[Disappointments] This book is not available in eBook format for the Barnes and Noble nook, but is available for the Amazon Kindle. I am searching for a way to request this book for the nook, as I would like it to be a part of my permanent, running library. I was lucky to find it in my local library system, but it’s harder to find in others. ...more
Unlike many reviewers who complained that the book didn't fulfill their expectations of what an "elite runner" advice book should contain, I found KarUnlike many reviewers who complained that the book didn't fulfill their expectations of what an "elite runner" advice book should contain, I found Kara Goucher's anectdotal approach reassuring and comforting. Having started running two years ago this coming December, I picked up "Running for Women" to gain an informative, but realistic female perspective on running. A sweeping range of themes are covered from basic nutrition and training plans, to discussions about injury prevention, race training, and how running impacts women's bodies.
As I am aspiring to run the 2012 NYC Marathon, I found her tips easy to digest and remember. Many of the books on running tend to use "runner speak" which requires a dictionary to decipher or superhuman abilities to complete the training plan. The simplicity of the provided training plans inspires confidence in me that I, too, will be able to conquer the City "where the world comes to run."
The format is written in an informational format, with chapters providing quick reference points. The topics are addressed in a bullet point format, but the information is concise and clear (and sometimes light, like chatting with a close girl friend). Goucher also highlights tricks of the trade that she uses as well as includes advice and tips from those contributing to her success as an elite athlete (trainer, massage therapist, nutritionist, and even her ob-gyn). She does a little myth breaking as well as highlights great quotes from famous runners, both female and male.
Initially after reading the mixed reviews, I picked up my copy at the local library, but now that I am finished, I will be adding a copy to my personal library. Anyone curious about starting (or returning to) running should consider picking it up. Kara may just give you that extra push you need to lace up and get out the door. ...more