My mom gave me this lovely little book for Christmas. The photos are nice--some are better than others, but none truly spectacular (I am a harsh critiMy mom gave me this lovely little book for Christmas. The photos are nice--some are better than others, but none truly spectacular (I am a harsh critic today)--but the sentiment is beautiful. There is nothing like "up north" for those who hold some place up north near to their heart, and that feeling is well translated....more
Even better than her first book (though it repeats an entire chapter pulled straight from that book, but it's about sex scenes so it's still interestiEven better than her first book (though it repeats an entire chapter pulled straight from that book, but it's about sex scenes so it's still interesting and funny). My favorite parts were the recap of her experiences with President Obama and a White House aide(?), the fictional narrative of her 25-year-old Latin high school teacher alter ego, and her commencement speech to Harvard Law students, but I also enjoyed her comments on the audacity of a journalist asking her about putting jam on her toast.
This book will make you laugh loud enough to disturb a napping, disdainful cat. Kudos to Kaling!...more
Far more likeable and enthralling than I imagined. Having just completed a smaller scale, motor-driven, personal path out west and back, I found manyFar more likeable and enthralling than I imagined. Having just completed a smaller scale, motor-driven, personal path out west and back, I found many details, nuances and epiphanies more relatable than otherwise (much of her personal details were not relatable for me); there is no denying the warmth and spirit of Strayed's heart. Reading along with her quest was an enjoyable, touching journey that incited personal soul-searching as well as excitement in future adventuring. If you appreciate thoughtful reflection and challenging voyages, this is for you....more
Raw, honest, ethical, full of insight and personal stories. Sugar is both relatable and distinct, her advice is on point, her writing clear, interestiRaw, honest, ethical, full of insight and personal stories. Sugar is both relatable and distinct, her advice is on point, her writing clear, interesting and well crafted. Most importantly, her responses originate from a deep love for her readers. Only a few pages in, I was already shocked by how much this book moved me....more
A strange and beautiful book. It requires a certain mood and open mindset, which is why, after I began reading it on a traveling vacation (one of a feA strange and beautiful book. It requires a certain mood and open mindset, which is why, after I began reading it on a traveling vacation (one of a few perfect times to begin reading it, likely) it took me over three months and multiple renewals and library late fees to finish. Overall enjoyable, but the kind of book that needs time and space and room to breathe, and probably multiple rereading to fully grasp....more
See my review in the fall/winter 2015 issue of Public Art Review (issue 53). Check out www.forecastpublicart.org for info on other great public art anSee my review in the fall/winter 2015 issue of Public Art Review (issue 53). Check out www.forecastpublicart.org for info on other great public art and art books...more
Underwhelming, but an easy summer read for people who like breezy pop culture, myself included. James could have done more with the character by filliUnderwhelming, but an easy summer read for people who like breezy pop culture, myself included. James could have done more with the character by filling in his background in areas that were inaccessible the first time around but she chose to rewrite scenes readers already knew. While a few sections filled in gaps, she could have done much more with Grey.
I liked Ana less from his perspective, the ending felt abrupt, some inner monologues were awkward and strange (dare I say... eye-roll inducing?), and I was left a little disappointed, empty and unfulfilled. That finish hardly seems to align with the capabilities of this confident, skilled, hunky, beautiful frail, creepy stalker billionaire; how anti-climactic.
But, we're not expecting this to be lofty literature, right? For what it is, it is enjoyable enough....more
A lovely time-traveling romp through 18th century Scotland with a strong female lead and her dashing Scotsman. The author's prose is often poetic, theA lovely time-traveling romp through 18th century Scotland with a strong female lead and her dashing Scotsman. The author's prose is often poetic, the characters come to life, and the plotlines are interesting and varied.
While a much more enjoyable read than anticipated, I had a few problems with this book.
1. While it is not specifically homophobic, the blend of torture and evil with the only homosexual in this book is unsettling. It sends the message that homosexuality itself is wrong, rather than the character of the villain.
2. Domestic violence is justified. While it may have been normal for the era, and the author spent considerable time exploring the events surrounding Jamie "punishing" Claire, it didn't sit right with me.
3. Not necessarily bad, but notable: It felt like several books in one. This is already a long series, but loose ends kept tying up and then some new twist introduced. Stories often move that way, but it felt a bit odd. My disorientation may have been partially due to reading a digital copy, but it felt long. I kept thinking, "well, that could be the end of the first book." And then it wasn't. It's such an engaging story that I didn't mind continuing, however.
4. The author often writes in a manner that feels like she leaves out a directive/descriptive sentence. She will describe something leading up to an event, and then suddenly the characters will have moved on. These are always minor... like leaving a room... we know they are going to do it, but she doesn't actually tell us they've done it and suddenly the characters are outside. It happens several times, and it pulls the reader out of the story. I had to stop and re-read sections to make sure I didn't miss a sentence describing what had happened. it's as though she expects the reader to infer a bit too much in terms of basic events (and yet it's pleasant enough to follow along and make intellectual story leaps along with her).
5. I'm a bit torn on this one. Sex scenes and love are wonderful, but the loving and sweetness gets... I don't know, maybe a bit old? I'm a huge fan of Richelle Mead——who wrote a whole series based on a succubus——but the excess lovey-dovey scenes between Claire and Jamie grew boring at times. On the other hand, after Claire saves his life and he essentially "breaks up" with her, I was sickened. It was a little hard to believe after everything they'd gone through. Perhaps the emotional depth speaks to great writing overall, but I wasn't always happy with where the author chose to take her readers. Somebody else has probably written a review that speaks more eloquently to this aspect of the story, but it was on my mind. However, she explores well the range of Jamie's emotional responses, so even though Jamie's recovery involves an *unlikeable* series of events, the emotions feel real. As much as a time traveling book can feel real.
6. Claire wins in a hand-to-paw combat with a starving wolf? Really? That would have felt less fantastical (even in a time-traveling story!) if it hadn't been in the midst of Jamie's rescue, but I suppose the point was the ridiculousness of its timing.
7. Claire's ability to adapt to 18th century Scottish medicine. We're set up for her medical skills and botany interests in her 1940s setting, but she knows A LOT about what seem to be foreign healing methods.
The Good stuff: 1. The author's ability to turn a phrase. She paints some lovely pictures of sweet moments or beautiful scenes. It feels like 18th century Scotland. 2. Claire. Jamie. Ned Gowan. Murtagh. Various other characters. They're wonderful. 3. Jamie is so much better than Frank. Frank's ok, but there's hardly any contest, really. 4. Claire's strength and determination. 5. Exploration of emotional depths and complex feelings. 6. Good amounts of tension and page-turning anticipation. 7. The addition of a just-missed-it fellow time traveler. 8. The story is full of possibility and seeks to fulfill much of it. 9. It's just fun. 10. Some decent sex scenes. (Yes, I complained about some of the excess above, but there are some good ones). 11. The author's ability to make us suspend our disbelief. It's truly imaginative and well told. 12. Great details.
A fine end to a delightful and unexpectedly smart series with charming characters and thick plots. Thank you, Ms. Caine, for giving us a view into MorA fine end to a delightful and unexpectedly smart series with charming characters and thick plots. Thank you, Ms. Caine, for giving us a view into Morganville and the Glass house....more