As an avid Janet fan, I got joy out of reading this book because it was written from the point of view of Janet herself. You can almost feel her sensiAs an avid Janet fan, I got joy out of reading this book because it was written from the point of view of Janet herself. You can almost feel her sensitivity, her pain, her insecurity, and her strength while reading each chapter in which she explains her journey about accepting her body and her true self, and how her journey can help others in finding the "true you." It's not a memoir or an autobiography; it reads more like a journal, meaning that there are parts that are extremely brave, personal, and candid, but other parts where her train of thought is kind of scattered. One moment she talks about her body issues, and then out of nowhere jumps into a story about a friend or a fan letter, and then talks about her recording Control, Rhythm Nation, etc., and then jumps back into her feelings of shame and regret about her body, with not much explanation as to why she felt that way at that particular time and moment. I wished that Janet could have written in more detail about her thoughts and feelings about particular deep and scarring moments in her life (like her relationship with her father, Mike's teasing, etc.); many times it seemed like she hardly touched the surface, only giving us a mere fact about how she was feeling but not really telling us WHY she felt that way and how she overcame those struggles. Her explanation of the fan letters and some of the stories she's heard from them were touching at times, but didn't seem all too relevant to what she was speaking of prior to sharing it. As sincere as they are, they felt almost like filler, to be honest. The ending was very abrupt; instead of us reading Janet's final thoughts about her journey, we are given pages and pages of commentary from her nutritionist and a unnecessarily long list of cooking recipes. Why? Again, I feel like it was added for filler. It would have been nice if the book ended on a stronger note instead of concluding it as if True You was a cookbook. Nonetheless though, despite the book's flaws, I commend Janet for being so brave in writing a book about her body/self-esteem issues and willing to share her journey in loving herself to her fans. ...more
What I had initially thought would be a novel strictly based on the downfall of an affluent family was surprisingly something more: it’s about how theWhat I had initially thought would be a novel strictly based on the downfall of an affluent family was surprisingly something more: it’s about how the advent of one of the most important inventions known to man (the automobile) would, as one of the characters had put it, “bring a greater change in [our] life than most [of us] suspect.” It’s a tale that takes place in the most important era of American history, the Industrial Revolution, which was a time of change and development that would affect an entire nation.
This novel puts into prospective of just how much the change and growth of a nation can affect not just the country, but of the people of that time. It brings into light of how change, although good for many, can be bad for others. And most of all, it puts into perspective on not only what it was like for people of that era to deal with change, but of how people had to adjust to a different way of life and a different way of thinking. What makes this novel so wonderful is how its theme will more than likely always be relevant, because as time goes on, the arrival of a particular invention, which at first may seem like a trend, can indeed change everything (for example, the Internet, the computer, e-books, etc.)
Besides the historical context which makes The Magnificent Ambersons such a great novel, is the writing style of Booth Tarkington and the main protagonist, George Amberson Minafer. He’s a classic example of the anti-hero; he’s rude, he’s snotty, he’s self-centered, and naïve, we should not like him, throughout the novel, we don’t like him, but then near the end once he finally gets his “come-upance” we start to have an immense sympathy and respect for him. Booth Tarkinton’s writing style is surprisingly very modern, considering that it was published in 1918. His style is simple, at times amusing, extremely descriptive, and immediately engaging from the first page to the last. Most of all, it’s powerful and so beautifully well written. He has a way of having us emotionally connect with the Amberson family more than we thought we would, or could. Even if that emotion is that of irritation and anger (none of the characters are actually likeable!), the writing style, the story, and the characters still has major impact. There were times when I was overwhelmed of the harrowing experiences that the characters had to go through as the town was ever changing and growing while their family legacy was only getting smaller and disintegrating into nothing more than a memory of what used to be.
I’m surprised that this novel is practically under looked and forgotten despite being listed as #100 on the Modern Library’s “100 Best Novels.” For its historical context (yes, the story is fictional, but the time and setting is real and important), this novel should be required reading for American history classes or American literature classes. It’s a shame that it isn’t widely recognized, and that Tarkington is perhaps an author that very few people will know or recognize. It might seem dated on the surface (who uses the word come-upance and riffraff anymore?), but it’s pretty difficult to not read this novel without thinking of the current state of our economy in the 21st century, and how even fads like Facebook and Twitter have changed things in ways that will never be the same again. It was published over 93 years ago, but to this day it is still an enjoyable novel, certainly a must-read that I’ll be sure to revisit for years to come. ...more
As a long time fan of Dionysos and of the album itself, I was eagerly excited to read La Mecanique du Coeur in French. I thought it started off well:As a long time fan of Dionysos and of the album itself, I was eagerly excited to read La Mecanique du Coeur in French. I thought it started off well: it tells the tale of a boy that was born in Edinburugh on the coldest day on earth, whose heart is replaced with a cuckoo clock by the strange and eccentric Docteur Madeline, who adopts him as her own. He's forbidden to fall in love, and, of course, he instantly falls in love with a girl, Acacia, and the rest of the story is dedicatd to him travelling across Europe to find her. It comes to no surprise that everyone is comparing this story to something that Tim Burton could have written or should film: it has all the elements of steampunk, goth, fantasy, and magic, which is bolstered by the wonderful writing style of Mathias Malzieu. However, this book has many flaws. Malzieu is indeed an excellent writer, but I think he gets so caught up in his own writing that it borders on the pretentious. His constant use of figurative language bogs down the narrative, making it more tedious of a read than it should be. The second flaw is that the story wears very thin. I think this story worked better as an album than it does as a novella, and, as I could imagine, will work better as an animated film as well. The biggest flaw of this novel for me is that I didn't find myself as emotionally invested in it as I did for the album. All of the characters are very one-dimensional, and as noted, the story is so thin in substance and yet tries a little too hard to be more than it is, and then it kind of wanders and goes nowhere. I was satisfied with finally reading the novel, but I don't see myself reading it as often as I listen to the album. So overall, I throughly enjoyed it, but also left it feeling that it was far more pretentious and over the top than it needed to be. I'd much rather stick to listening to the album, and await for the long anticipated animated movie. ...more
The Ramayana is the most underrated epic in the Western world, which is a shame, because this tale is quite extraordinary and breathtakingly thrillingThe Ramayana is the most underrated epic in the Western world, which is a shame, because this tale is quite extraordinary and breathtakingly thrilling. It's a story that seems all so familiar, even if you haven't read this before. This "modern retelling" truly captures the essence of the characters, the mythology, the beauty, and the excitement of an epic that's chock full of magic, mystery, war, violence, but most of all, faith, loyalty, courage, and love. It's a story that's both exciting and entertaining, but also deep and profound, truly inspiring and uplifting to the core. This accessible translation also beautifully captures the ancient Indian culture and the literature of that world that most Westerners far too often under-look. The Ramayana, and this excellent translation of it, is by far one of the most inspiring books I've ever read, one that I will certainly read again and again for years to come. ...more
I'm a huge Rupaul fan, always have been, but this book was pretty disappointing. Though he offers quite a bit of wisdom and words of advice on how toI'm a huge Rupaul fan, always have been, but this book was pretty disappointing. Though he offers quite a bit of wisdom and words of advice on how to love oneself and to be true with yourself, this book was pretty scattered and disorganized in its format and execution. He comes from talking about confidence, loving yourself, and achieving your goals, to then talking about himself, then about what drag-queens-in-the-making should do to mold their image, then more and more about himself again. About a good 85% of this book is pure filler, with too much information on Rupaul's working schedule, makeup, and hair. There was never any transition, this book was basically going with the flow. The only thing I did really love about this book was the pictures, which showcases just how absolutely STUNNING the amazing Rupaul is in and outside of drag. Overall, this was a fun, quick read, but nothing special. ...more
Clotel: or, The President's Daughter is known to be the first work of fiction ever published by an African American. What impressed me about this noveClotel: or, The President's Daughter is known to be the first work of fiction ever published by an African American. What impressed me about this novel was not so much the plot or the story, but the issues that is touched upon, such as the plight of mulattoes, the stigma behind mulattoes versus darker skinned slaves, slavery and religion (the Bible), love and sexuality between master and slave and the children they produce with each other, the rights and freedoms of slaves, and so forth. Brown was well ahead of this time. It makes reading this novel not only a fascinating historical study of African American history but also of the many issues that was presented during the time of its publication. ...more
My Bondage and My Freedom is basically an extension of his Autobiography. Just like the latter, it's a very important book to read about the life of FMy Bondage and My Freedom is basically an extension of his Autobiography. Just like the latter, it's a very important book to read about the life of Frederick Douglas in his own words, however, it's nowhere near as exciting and engaging of a read as Autobiography. The first 5 chapters are very moving as he speaks about his childhood and what slave children had to endure, but then it gets rather slow and boring as he tells his story from his bondage to his freedom. This book is still worth reading, but it isn't as great of a read as his first book. ...more
I've always admired Phillis Wheatley, not so much for her poetry, but for what she stood for during her time period. Although technically she isn't thI've always admired Phillis Wheatley, not so much for her poetry, but for what she stood for during her time period. Although technically she isn't the FIRST published African American female writer (that title should go to Lucy Terry), she was the first African American female poet to practically take the world by storm with the power of her words. Her poetry is rather dry and outdated to read these days, but it is worth reading to appreciate one of the first African American authors to ever be published, in a time when such a thing was hardly possible. ...more
I think I’m one of the very few who did NOT have this book assigned to me during middle school or high school. Out of curiosity, with all the hype I’vI think I’m one of the very few who did NOT have this book assigned to me during middle school or high school. Out of curiosity, with all the hype I’ve been hearing about it over the years, I had to give Lord of the Flies a try. Honestly, it is not a bad novel by any means. I think I would have enjoyed it during my younger days. However, I’m not going to lie, I expected better. The only thing that Lord of the Flies has going is its allegorical morality theme of how the corruption of power can overpoweringly shake the social order of humanity and the failures of human government in general. I just wished there was more of an actual plot and real character development. I mean sure, the whole concept of dropping a bunch of prepubescent kids on an island without adult supervision is interesting, but it doesn’t seem to really ever go anywhere. It came off as pretty superficial to me; a bunch of kids are stranded on an island from a plane crash, but there’s no wreckage, no luggage, no adults, nothing? And from a harrowing experience of being in a plane crash, not a single one of these kids can remember anything? Nobody is hurt, injured, bleeding, or dead? C’mon, that’s just not believable; it’s just very make-believe and imaginary from the start. The “plot” kind of floats and wanders until finally there’s some coherence as to what is actually going on and why. And even then, I still did not feel the least bit of an emotional connection with the characters because of the simple fact and the matter is that they seem more like allegorical figures than actual human beings. Maybe that’s the point, but it still would have been nice if there was some depth behind these characters. There’s no real personality in any of them; they’re all too one dimensional. Nothing about this book really made me think this was as compelling, disturbing, or frightening as everyone and the author himself is making it out to be. The writing style left nothing to be desired; mostly it was flat and boring, and on parts where the author was trying to sound more sophisticated, it came off as unnecessary and pretentious.
I’m glad I wasn’t “forced” to read this in middle school or high school, so I wouldn’t have to be “forced” to analyze the contents of this novel. It’s pretty self-explanatory and easy to see where the author was going with it, and all the themes and symbolism are as apparent and clear as day, but it wasn’t enough for me to really see this novel as the masterpiece that everyone is making it out to be. It had so much potential, but started to get dull and boring really quickly into the story; the lack of a real plot, character development, and action didn’t really help it either.
I guess I can see why many people of all ages enjoy this novel, but it did absolutely nothing for me. It was just an ok read overall. I’m glad I read it at least for the sake of saying I’ve read it, but on the other hand, now that I’ve read it, I can now care less if I did or not. ...more
Personally, I didn't find King Lear to be the best of his plays or the best of his tragedies, but I found it to be one of the most moving in its portrPersonally, I didn't find King Lear to be the best of his plays or the best of his tragedies, but I found it to be one of the most moving in its portrayal of familial discord, politics, government, and most of all, of daughters, sisters, and sons and how their greedy actions can lead one man, the father, into madness. King Lear is one of those Shakespeare plays that one must read at least once in their life, otherwise, they'd be missing out on one of the best pieces of literature ever....more