Meh. The book hooked me with the location- especially the culinary tour of small businesses in lower Manhattan. I have read several of Ruth's other bo...moreMeh. The book hooked me with the location- especially the culinary tour of small businesses in lower Manhattan. I have read several of Ruth's other books, and wanted to enjoy this one, Reading this was like pushing through mushy mashed potatos, or walking in pool of hardened lard. Ok, my attempt to use food references, pales in comparison to Ruth's talents, but you get the drift, reading this took effort. I hope she goes back to her non- fiction. Maybe "Billie's" Gingerbread cake recipe, included at the end of the book, is worth the time spent. Chances of making this 20 ingredient cake unlikely, especially one requiring me to grind cardamom.(less)
I needed tissues at the end of Harold's journey. Powerful story and unforgettable characters. Dragged a bit during the Forrest Gump section, and proba...moreI needed tissues at the end of Harold's journey. Powerful story and unforgettable characters. Dragged a bit during the Forrest Gump section, and probably could have been a bit shorter in length, but emotionally charged ending. (less)
Go on Dan's journey! Walk with doubting Dan, as he eventually accepts meditation as "the way". Expect alot of kicking and screaming throughout the jou...moreGo on Dan's journey! Walk with doubting Dan, as he eventually accepts meditation as "the way". Expect alot of kicking and screaming throughout the journey, because Dan is not one to go lightly into the good night, Enjoy the comedic moments of pain and torture, laugh out loud descriptions of the "10 day Silent retreat". Dan has written a book endorsing meditation , and it's a book for the masses, for all of you out there who are skeptical about all of this, "crap" as Dan writes many times, I say grab this book. This journey resonants because he writes what many may think, and it's funny.He pulls back the veil on others, and himself. So kudos to you Dan, for motivating me to exercise my mind, Need to go now, and find that meditation mat buried in some closet here. And, Thanks Dan, for including the " how to" section.Ty(less)
Haiti-heartbreaking right. Probably why I was reluctant to read this at first, but after the first thirty pages I was hooked. I highly recommend this...moreHaiti-heartbreaking right. Probably why I was reluctant to read this at first, but after the first thirty pages I was hooked. I highly recommend this book. The picture on the cover is exquisite and captures Edwidge Danticat's story, sense of place, characters and Haiti itself. " Luminous " is the word often used and, well, it fits, I know, how can Haitian life be luminous? Danticat a Macarthur fellowship recipient and , previous National Book Award winner weaves an intricate tapestry,which is meticulously crafted, maybe too structured, but also fluid at the same time. Seems contradictory,doesn't it? It's like jazz- this book, structured but you just want to flow with the current. Claire, running by The sea. " Life " and all it's mysteries, heartbreaks and happiness.(less)
I'm a big fan of Colum McCann's, Let The Great World Spin, and I wanted to love this book. I wanted to gush about this book. I did, I really did. LTGW...moreI'm a big fan of Colum McCann's, Let The Great World Spin, and I wanted to love this book. I wanted to gush about this book. I did, I really did. LTGWS, captured the grit, grime and hope of 1970-80 NYC, in such stunning detail, I became a big fan of this National Book Award winning author.
There was a familiar " sense of place" in LTGWS, and I cried through many sections of that book. It moved me. Transatlantic didn't. Transatlantic, was too broad in scope, too " all encompassing of time, place, and meaning. Too many characters, who do intersect in interesting ways, but really that technique isn't new and brilliant any more. (At least since reading Cloud Atlas)
I now rate a book, on the likelihood I will remember it in the future, What imprint did it make on my psyche. I hope I'll remember Frederick Douglass's important visit to Ireland, in the early 1840s. I"ll remember Alcock and Brown's first transatlantic plane flight, the vivid, bloody,body parts and horror of the civil war. I hope I remember George Mitchell's pivotal role in brokering peace for the weary mothers who lost children in senseless bombings in Northern Ireland during 1970s. I hope I remember McCann's soulful homage to all the women who live longer than their children, who are killed in war, or savage acts of terrorism the world only continues to know, only too well.
So I learned a lot, but grew so weary of McCann's writing style. Simple words. Telegram style. Verb-less non sentences. The staccato. Overdone.
This really was two books, confirmed by Colum in an interview, He had the idea to connect the men's stories, the historical accounts- Douglas, Civil War, George Mitchell, and Alcock and Brown, and then decided to tie it together with a story line of four generations of Irish women, Lilly, Lottie , Emily, and Hannah. If Colum hadn't been so ambitious, had written a more intimate, moving story, as I know he can do, I would have liked this Irish saga so much more. I did cry, so all was not lost. Glad I read it, even glad I bought it, cause, dang it, I do like you Colum McCann!(less)
Dear Ms Byatt, Your wish came true. Your novel, POSSESSION, inspired me to devise my own crash course in 19th century British literature,Norse mytholog...moreDear Ms Byatt, Your wish came true. Your novel, POSSESSION, inspired me to devise my own crash course in 19th century British literature,Norse mythology, Pre Raphealite brotherhood, Victorian poets, and their fondness for Arthurian legend, The Tale of the Ancient Mariner, the Rosetti's, and Browning. Its been a wild ride, I have never been more thankful for the Internet and embedded links.
When you wrote this novel ( which I suspect was under the influence of some kind on illegal substance, unless you wrote this in Amsterdam) all your encyclopedic knowledge spewed onto the page in truly impressive style. Kudos, to you Ms Byatt for famously Winning the battle with the publisher to keep your LENGTHY ORIGINAL VICTORIAN POEMS IN THE BOOK .Here's my confession- I SKIPPED THE POETRY. it's not my cup of tea. I didn't torture myself reading those long sections, although I spent many hours investigating their symbolism and meaning.
The maze of literary works you cited and referenced is dizzying. It's easy to drown in the tidal wave that is POSSESSION. But, alas, I didn't succumb to the material, I conquered it,
when I read the final, brilliant chapters I felt like Persephone at spring time, or like Undine, walking the earth. I emmerged into the green, verdant world, enriched from the maze of POSSESSION.
Is the book satire, yes. Is it multi-layered, complex, challenging read, indeed But, it also, a wonderful, hard- to- out- down romantic LOVE STORY!!! . I will now peel off the countless yellow stick- on notes pressed between the pages of POSSESSION, notes to help me understand references to RAGNAROK (Norse myth culminating in battle of the gods) and MELUSINE ( the mermaid, half beast, water goddess).
Good bye MERLIN and VIVIEN back you go, POSSESSION, to the library shelves, to "possess" and drag another innocent into the mysterious, dark and amazing caverns of 19th century literature, through forests and streams and dreams. it was an enriching journey, not for everyone.
MS BYATT,YOU SO DESERVED THE BOOKER PRIZE!!
Sincerely, From a dazzled, and ever so humble reader(less)
LOVED THIS BOOK,Barbara returns to her roots describing small town, USA, with such nuance, Feathertown,Tennessee could have been the small NJ town whe...moreLOVED THIS BOOK,Barbara returns to her roots describing small town, USA, with such nuance, Feathertown,Tennessee could have been the small NJ town where I grew up. With a snarky wit, an open heart , and unflinching gaze Kingsolver tackles the limited life of our smart, clever and chronically frustrated heroine's life, amidst the turmoil of global warming and impending destruction.
You might learn more than you'd like about scientific equipment and the detailed life of a scientific researcher, but those details leant to Kingsolver's credibility.
Whether Kingsolver is writing about shopping in a thrift store, taking a kindergarten class on an environmental class trip, or describing a small town church service and It's congregants, Kingsolver writes with stunning truth and dazzling commentary. With such simple phrasing, eloquent wording, Kingsolver paints a canvas helping us see the big picture, as well as the minute brush strokes. I love the world , Kingsolver, the artist creates with words.
Ok, disclaimer, I'm a real Kingsolver fan, she had me back when The Bean Trees, her first book was published. So I'm very forgiving if the plot doesn't move along as quickly as you'd ,Ike or drags a bit from momentary redundancy. I enjoyed our main heroine, Dellarobia, so much, I didn't want HER journey to end, and enjoyed traveling all the little byways and highways this book took me on.
Once again, the writing, the wit, and politics worked for me. I even learned about the 350.org and the pseudo scientific Organizations designed to purposely confuse the American public about global warming. Scientific fact folks- Global warming is real, and buckle your seat belts for the bumpy ride ahead. As a NJ resident I know of what I speak. Thanks, Barbara for writing this book. the WORLD needs it now,(less)
dear Grace, Like many others I enjoyed you in the movie The September Issue! You broke the mold- feisty, opinionated oozing with style and artistic vis...moredear Grace, Like many others I enjoyed you in the movie The September Issue! You broke the mold- feisty, opinionated oozing with style and artistic vision! So I was excited to download the e book from the library, and am glad I didn't pay for this book, Where was the Grace Coddington I discovered in The movie? Sorry to say after reading the first half, enjoying your life's journey from small English town to London fashionista, but skimmed the second half, which became a slog of minutia about your daily life. Am sure he fashion world is pleased to be named in your book, because you didn't miss any, it seems. Perhaps many of your new found fan base won't read this book, and you'll continue to be followed by those smitten with you, which you seem to rightfully enjoy.
I know under that exterior of red flaming hair and size 12 or larger body, there's another book which would address the anorexia and eating disorders of the fashion industry,but despite including photos with you bone thin, I missed the sections where you address these industry issues- the message the fashion world sends our youth. Shame,- I expected more- didn't even read your cat chapter.
Absolutely stunning! Jane is a moral north star, a role model of integrity and passion. Charlotte crafted a book with such mystery, suspense and depth...moreAbsolutely stunning! Jane is a moral north star, a role model of integrity and passion. Charlotte crafted a book with such mystery, suspense and depth. I feel as I did after reading Gone with the Wind when I was 17, smitten with Scarlet and Rhett. Move over Rhett- Edward Rochester has taken root in my heart, alongside Jane! Wow!!!!!(less)
This book hooked me from the beginning and it was a real page turner. I cared about Victoria even though she is not always the most likable character....moreThis book hooked me from the beginning and it was a real page turner. I cared about Victoria even though she is not always the most likable character. It's written very simply, like young adult. , with a pace and story that wrapped itself around my heart like a vine. Don't read any spoilers. I'm glad I didn't know how it would end. Highly recommend this book/- of course having familiarity with flowers makes it more interesting. I really, really liked this book!