This book probably deserves more than three stars, but I really didn't like it. I feel like most of not liking it is just where I am right now. I did...moreThis book probably deserves more than three stars, but I really didn't like it. I feel like most of not liking it is just where I am right now. I did a lot of crying while reading this book, so much that I woke my husband up and he said, "you know, usually its the baby that wakes me up with crying."
This book is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the servants point of view. The first volume or section of the book is exactly what you expect, glimpses of familiar characters and scenes through the lens of new characters and dialog. The third volume takes a sharp turn into the awful depravity of the Peninsular War. I also have to say that I don't like my favorite characters tarnished. I especially didn't like the portrait of Lizzie Bennet as brittle and unsure of herself. I did like the author's lyrical language and descriptions.
"There could be no wearing of clothes without laundering, just as surely as there could be no going without clothes..."
"Work just lingered and festered and lay in wait, to make you slip up in the morning."
"Behind her, in her absence, the house was grinding along, its cogs turning and teeth linking..."
"these things were not fatal, no matter what poets and novelists liked to pretend."
"She'd turn this way and then that, race on a few steps, make her choice; but then she'd find herself turned quite around, and sliding back to the start, back into her place."
"But what I can't see, what I have no idea at all of, is what it will be like day to day, day after day, just him and me. I am not certain of it I find I am a little nervous."
"She rounded one bend, expectant, but there was nothing - then the road swung past an outcrop, and the land fell away, and a green valley and a brilliant blue lake and sunshine opened out beyond."(less)
This book is a memoir of the time author Cheryl Strayed spent hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in the summer of 1995. If you are not familiar with it, t...moreThis book is a memoir of the time author Cheryl Strayed spent hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in the summer of 1995. If you are not familiar with it, the Pacific Crest Trail is a long distance hiking trail running 2,663 miles through the pacific mountain ranges from the Mexican border to the Canadian. (see included map) At the time Ms. Strayed was in a serious downward spiral from death, divorce and addiction. She made the radical decision that the way to turn her life around was to spend 3 months walking north along the spine of California alone. This book was an Oprah’s Book Club pick so you know that it gives an unflinching, gritty view of human weakness and frailty.
The first hundred or so pages of this book are quite depressing as they expand on the downward spiral that initiated Ms. Strayed’s trip (I almost put the book down for good during this section). There are a lot of bad things happening back to back, some from outside sources and some self-inflicted. At points I wanted to just grab the author, shake her and yell “Snap out of it”. But ultimately to understand how far she came, we have to start at rock bottom where Ms. Strayed began her journey.
The Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” A trip like the one Ms. Strayed accomplished is just a collection of steps, each one a conscious effort and decision to continue to move forward. This book is about what can be accomplished if you put your mind to it and reach for your goal while working to overcome every obstacle in your way. At points Ms. Strayed shows incredible endurance; I’m not sure that if my shoes were slowly eating my toe nails and ruining my feet that I could continue to put them on each day and hike for 10 hours.
During a long-distance hike like this, your life boils down to the most basic needs. It doesn’t matter what celebrities are dating or who’s winning on Survivor. You are focused on water, food, shelter and pain. It leads you to question how much stuff you actually need. For instance, if Ms. Strayed survived for 3 months with only the contents of a backpack do I really need 25 pairs of shoes?
My favorite parts of this book were the descriptions of places that I remember from hiking on the PCT, like the Shelter Cover Resort and three sisters mountains.(less)
Oh my gosh! I can believe it has been 10 years since I first read this book. It is one of my all time favorites, and I think I've read it about 12 tim...moreOh my gosh! I can believe it has been 10 years since I first read this book. It is one of my all time favorites, and I think I've read it about 12 times. Now with that said, I did not enjoy it as much this time around as I have in the past, hence the 4 stars.
Charlie Rhymer moves back into her childhood home with assorted family members after her husband basically demands a divorce. The divorce had been fairly amicable until Charlie accidently kills her husband's best friend by dropping a cast iron frying pan on his head while he was trying to grop her. One of the reasons I like this book is that Charlie's family makes mine look very normal by comparison. Charlie is a painter but also starts a magazine during the course of this book, called Skint Old Northern Woman the antidote to Glamour and Good Housekeeping
Divorced Skint Old Northern Woman? Some common questions answered: 1. Will I be lonely? Answer: Yes, but probably not any lonelier than you were before the divorce. Buy a dog. 2. I'll never be able to understand the paperwork... Answer: The running cost of an accountant are much less than a husband 3. Will all my happily married friends' husbands suddenly make a pass at me? Answer: Yes. You now have Divorced and Desperate For It stamped across your forehead in a special ink only they can read. 6. Will I ever find a new partner? Answer: What are you, some kind of masochist?
Blushing Bride Reading Challenge: Something Old - reread a book by a favorite author(less)
I ordered this book to read because I started watching the Dresden Files tv show. I liked the first couple tv shows a lot, but this book not as much....moreI ordered this book to read because I started watching the Dresden Files tv show. I liked the first couple tv shows a lot, but this book not as much. I plan to order more books in this series because my friend said that the book get better as you go along.(less)
A bit of backstory for Jack Reacher. This novel covers Reacher's last assignment before he left the military.
Reacher is sent to a small town in Missis...moreA bit of backstory for Jack Reacher. This novel covers Reacher's last assignment before he left the military.
Reacher is sent to a small town in Mississippi to investigate the murder of a young woman found with her throat slit. This is a potentially policitally sensitive scandal, because the woman socialized with soldiers stationed at a nearby military base, including the beloved son of a senator.
I love this quote and totally agree with it! "This novel has amazingly innovative scheduled sex encounters." - Mysterious Ed(less)
I am not typically a horror fan, but I liked this book alot. All of the stories were quirky, unique and fresh. Being able to check it out from the lib...moreI am not typically a horror fan, but I liked this book alot. All of the stories were quirky, unique and fresh. Being able to check it out from the library as a ebook was a real plus too.(less)
This is really the funniest thing I have read recently. I'm pretty sure it would still be funny if I didn't work in a library. I also enjoyed the job...moreThis is really the funniest thing I have read recently. I'm pretty sure it would still be funny if I didn't work in a library. I also enjoyed the job searching and HR poems. Here's an excert from Job Hunting, "She calls old teachers, asks around/ to see what classmates may have found./ They smile and talk of resumes/ and damn each other with faint praise." The poem Bubba Goes to the Library is also very true to what I see at work regularly.
This book was published in 1995; I wouldn't call it outdated but there are two poems about VHS tapes and I haven't touched one of those in like 5 years.
A real eye-opening look at how and what it means to succeed, from healthcare to psychology, from drop...moreBest non-fiction book I have read in a long time!
A real eye-opening look at how and what it means to succeed, from healthcare to psychology, from dropouts to chess. There is so much information and new ideas, I'm going to need to read it again soon.(less)
This one has been on my To-Read shelf for quite awhile. My book club almost read it shortly after it came out in 2009.
Thirteen women collectively purc...moreThis one has been on my To-Read shelf for quite awhile. My book club almost read it shortly after it came out in 2009.
Thirteen women collectively purchasing and then sharing an expensive diamond necklace is a great social experiment and story. This book also takes an interesting look at our consumer culture and some of our assumptions about owning stuff. Many of the women in Jewelia also have very interesting and inspiring life stories.
There are two things that I didn't like about this book. They were big for me but may not matter to you. First, I was listening to this book on audio while on a family roadtrip and chapters about retiree's revitalizing their sex life with the necklace and costumes is not something I can listen to with my father-in-law in the car. Second, the controversy about who can wear Jewelia on their wedding day. The first two thirds of this book are all anti-consumerism and about how sharing the necklace makes it special, then some of them women get upset that the necklace was loaned to a goddaughter for her wedding day. They don't come right out and say it but basically they want their daughters to be able to wear it on their wedding day and they don't want anyone else wearing it first. So basically the exact opposite of their philosophy. Personally I would think that it would make the necklace more meaningful and special if more happy brides wore it on their wedding day, especially since the group freely lends the necklace out for wedding anniversaries. How is a bride on her wedding day different than a woman on her 40th wedding anniversay?(less)