Quite a bit of time is devoted to characters reminding each other of historical events and such. Not the most engaging stab at world building I've eveQuite a bit of time is devoted to characters reminding each other of historical events and such. Not the most engaging stab at world building I've ever come across, but I doubt I could do better. The premise itself is interesting and kept me hooked. I'm glad to add this sci-fi classic to my working knowledge of the genre but I highly doubt I'll be finishing the series....more
One star because it's a classic plus one star because of Woola. The rest? Meh. One thing is clear though: John Carter gives himself five stars. John COne star because it's a classic plus one star because of Woola. The rest? Meh. One thing is clear though: John Carter gives himself five stars. John Carter never ever tires of explaining his amazing-ness. Ever....more
'Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone. Dawn and doom were in the branches.'
On'Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone. Dawn and doom were in the branches.'
One might say that Janie knew how to get along, but she never was one to settle. Buffeted along by the social dictates of her time Janie made do in the depression era South as best she could. She was married off young, her ambitions were shrouded for years, yet through it all Janie remembered the joy of being a bee kissing a pear tree.
Zora Neale Hurston captures a cultural history of America that few remember. Through Janie, Hurston tells the story of being an African American woman in America's awkward adolescence. She tells a love story set to rival anything written since. A painfully honest recount of a time not so long past, this breathtaking novel is a must read....more
Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" is a story told through letters from deep in the segregated South. Celie is lost in an ocean of violation, abandonmeAlice Walker's "The Color Purple" is a story told through letters from deep in the segregated South. Celie is lost in an ocean of violation, abandonment, loss. This is a story about sisters. Celie thinks only of her baby sister, Nettie. Cruelly, Celie's husband keeps the sisters separated for over 30 years. Celie believes that Nettie is dead and in her grief and shame she writes letters to God. This is a story about love. The friendship of strong-willed Shug Avery shakes Celie to her core, freeing Celie to the wonder of God, love, freedom. Finally, "The Color Purple" is a story about forgiveness.
The epistolary style of the novel makes it a fast-paced read that documents the power of love to heal the human spirit. "The Color Purple" is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel that is as elegant as it is earthy. A must read....more
To say that I did not enjoy this book would be putting it mildly. I read this as quickly as possible (a bit like pulling off a band-aid) and marked doTo say that I did not enjoy this book would be putting it mildly. I read this as quickly as possible (a bit like pulling off a band-aid) and marked down my thoughts at the end of each reading session. My thoughts were as follows:
Day 1. Page 125 "Oh, what a pair of miserable sad sacks. This book is moving along at a swift pace, engaging and relevant. But the premise is so darn miserable. If this weren't a book discussion title I'd probably give up now to spare myself from having to share in the characters' desperation."
Day 2. Page 225 "Everyone in this book is insane, and not in a good way. Life was stifling in the 50s. I get it. But did it really turn everyone into a bunch of narcissistic neurotics?"
Day 3. Page 346 (book finished) "Well, that was depressing in a very pointless sort of way."
That basically wraps up my thoughts on this novel. As I read I kept wondering what I was missing. "What is Richard Yates trying to say here?" I'd wonder in a rare moment of magnanimity. But then April or Frank would raise the bar on self-absorption and my moment of open-minded acceptance would be gone, replaced by much grumbling and gnashing of teeth. These characters were horrible people and I honestly didn't care what happened to them. Which is for the best, really, since it all ended very badly. ...more
Eleanora Fagan was born April 7, 1915. Her mother was only 13 and her father was pretty much absent. Eleanora was raised by family while her mother woEleanora Fagan was born April 7, 1915. Her mother was only 13 and her father was pretty much absent. Eleanora was raised by family while her mother worked; her childhood was painful and short. At 13 Eleanora was working as a prostitute, by 14 she was singing her unique style of jazz as Billie Holiday in Brooklyn clubs. Racism and drug addiction dogged her for most of her career but her unyielding spirit could never by broken.
In "Lady Sings the Blues" Billie Holiday tells us her story in her own, bold words. There were parts of her story that made me cringe, others that left me behind. The stories are not necessarily shared chronologically and words aren't wasted on clarifications. Either you know who and what Ms. Holiday is talking about or you don't. If you don't you'll have to go elsewhere for explanations. Her autobiography is not what I'd call well crafted, but it is still well told. Through the rough edges of her prose Ms. Holiday reveals more of herself than would be found in any professionally written biography.
I'd recommend this book to anyone, but it would be particularly well received by those interested in Women's history or African American history. It's also a must read for fans of jazz....more
"Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; a"Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her."
It has been Emma Woodhouse's distinct privilege to live twenty years with all the high society that her modest village home can provide. From the outset we learn that Miss Woodhouse has no faults other than her sincere conviction that she is, in fact, without a fault. Coddled her entire life by a doting and hypochondriacal father and an ever loving but soft governess -- Miss Woodhouse has little knowledge of anything other than her own perfection. The only exception to this is the critical eye of Mr. Knightley, a family friend whose remonstrations are an ongoing irritation in our heroine's otherwise peaceful existence.
Being a woman of some leisure, Miss Woodhouse decides to pass her time by orchestrating the romantic lives of her friends. Unfortunately for her friends, Miss Woodhouse proves to be a pitiful matchmaker. She is so unaccustomed to failing at any endeavor that she stubbornly tries again and again before eventually seeing the error of her ways.
Jane Austen's works appeal to different people for many different reasons. I find myself attracted to her depictions of daily life in England during the early 19th century. The characters in her story live such simple lives compared to the hustle and bustle of the modern world, but still they resonate with me. I'm also forever amused by the sarcasm of Jane Austen. While the surface of her stories may be all innocence, the undercurrents are thick with sardonic wit. Without being preachy Jane Austen pokes fun at the social norms of her day, many of which left women no actual control over their own lives.
If you've not tried Jane Austen yet, please do. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
P.S. It's certainly not necessary but it's heaps more fun if you read her books with an English accent. ...more