This book is amazing... just not for me, exactly. The sexual aspects made it hard for me to fully enjoy it. That made me sad, because I wanted to loveThis book is amazing... just not for me, exactly. The sexual aspects made it hard for me to fully enjoy it. That made me sad, because I wanted to love it, but my Mormon Prude side just couldn't. Make no mistake, this book is written wonderfully. It is rich and unique and maybe if I were in a different place in my life it would be a favorite! And there are many of my friends that I would not hesitate to recommend Bitter Greens to (just maybe not as a church bookclub!). Truly, Bitter Greens... it's not you. It's me....more
I like biographies. But when the biography is about a personal hero of mine (Like The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis, for example.)I like biographies. But when the biography is about a personal hero of mine (Like The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis, for example.) I sometimes hold it to an impossibly high standard. It is not that I hold the PERSON to a high standard, or expect the book to present that individual as perfect... quite the opposite. I want to know EVERYTHING about them; their flaws, their issues and fears, and what they ate for breakfast. East to the Dawn did not disappoint. I have read reviews that complained about this book for the same things (too much detail, getting caught up in the minutia, etc.) for which I give it praise. And hey, to each their own. But this book was written well, included much in Amelia's own words, and left me with even more admiration for this bright, unique, imperfect, complex, even FUNNY woman who I have been inspired by all my life. It was more of a story than a dry "textbook" type and I would recommend it to anyone wishing to know Amelia Earhart a little better....more
Ethnocentric, imperialistic, racist... but somehow still an extremely FUN adventure with characters that rival even Sherlock. Granted, I am a big fanEthnocentric, imperialistic, racist... but somehow still an extremely FUN adventure with characters that rival even Sherlock. Granted, I am a big fan of science fiction, especially OLD science fiction (thus my passion for Steampunk) and a story about finding living Dinosaurs... when it was so recent that in real life they had discovered/coined the TERM "dinosaur"... just totally entertained me.
And yes, you have to look at the characters (and their servants and "pet" indigenous people) with an eyeroll and understanding that Doyle was a victim of his times to keep from being put-off by the inequality. But adventure-wise, this MIGHT have been my favorite Doyle book....more
This book is pretty amazing. Often that amazingness is just HEARTBREAKING, but as Huw would say "There is beauty!" There are certainly themes that areThis book is pretty amazing. Often that amazingness is just HEARTBREAKING, but as Huw would say "There is beauty!" There are certainly themes that are hard... I would not recommend it to everyone, but the mature incidents are handled well.
A note about some of the negative reviews I have seen. They baffle me! They talk about how the characters solve all their problems with violence, etc. so they give it one star. Okay, see, I agree that solving all their problems by violence deserves a star, or less.... but does WRITING about it? Isn't there any value in reading about people who are doing things DIFFERENTLY than yourself? Do you have to be a wizard to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone? I'm not a mouse. I wouldn't make the same choices a mouse would, but I still loved The Secret Of Nimh as a child (and still do!) I live in a culture very different from the characters, too. I live in the suburbs in the United States. I'm a Mormon, so I don't drink alcohol, smoke, or do drugs. I'm also waiting till I get married to have sex, so... yeah.
Like many negative reviewers, I found the descriptions of violence in How Green Was My Valley very sad. Perhaps especially so because, while reading, the news came about the horrific events at Sandy Hook. I think there is a knee-jerk impulse to decide things like "AACK! I DON'T WANT MY KIDS TO SEE/READ ANYTHING VIOLENT!" But Adam Lanza didn't kill those innocent children and teachers because he read too many books with fighting. In fact, I think in this often terrifying would, I wish more people would read books with violence ALONG WITH their kids, and then talk about it. Ask them how they would handle things instead, etc.
From the book: “Men lose their birthrights for a mess of pottage only if they stop using the gifts given them by God for their betterment. By prayer. That is the first and greatest gift. Use the gift of prayer. Ask for strength of mind, and a clear vision. Then sense. Use your sense. … Think long and well. By prayer and good thought you will conquer all enemies.” -Richard Llewellyn...more
With my Steampunk obsession, I *thought* this would be be a great book. I wanted it to be. Instead, it was a very long book with characters I WANTED tWith my Steampunk obsession, I *thought* this would be be a great book. I wanted it to be. Instead, it was a very long book with characters I WANTED to care about but didn't. Too busy, no heart. (also, I was mildly annoyed with the anti-Mormon sentiment. I don't really care if a character doesn't like the LDS Church... this felt more like the author didn't and used the story as a way to say so. Irritating.) Wish I hadn't wasted so much time plowing through this one. It wasn't worth the effort....more