It was lovely to catch up with Agatha Christie again, and this book was a smashing read. I enjoyed the lead detective and her longing for adventure. A...moreIt was lovely to catch up with Agatha Christie again, and this book was a smashing read. I enjoyed the lead detective and her longing for adventure. A lively international thriller in the best of Christie's tradition.(less)
Since this is such an American theatre classic, I expected so much more. There isn't really much story to this, it's not even much a story of the town...moreSince this is such an American theatre classic, I expected so much more. There isn't really much story to this, it's not even much a story of the town. I know it's now set about 100 years ago, but it is surprisingly sparse. I'll be interested to see how I feel after seeing the play performed (due to see it in May), but honestly, I'm disappointed with the meatiness as well as the final message. Bleh.(less)
I found this biography about one of the world's first women racing superstars a fascinating glimpse into the world of racing and a turbulent life of a...moreI found this biography about one of the world's first women racing superstars a fascinating glimpse into the world of racing and a turbulent life of a woman who ultimately lives a lonely life. The author did a lot of research into the early days of car racing and brings the excitement and pioneering field to life for the reader. There are many blanks in our understanding of who Helle Nice is, but Seymour has a way of getting under the surface and making realistic suppositions about the motivations of a woman who came from a small French village to become one of France's foremost drivers in the pre-WWII days. The sad story of what happens to her, through accidents, betrayal and then through the traumatic war days, is well written and provides a sympathetic voice for a woman who would otherwise have become a forgotten legend. The story of how the evidence and the possibility for the biography to happen at all were tantalisingly given at the end of the book, which was a strong finish. (less)
This is a nice introduction to a fairy world where fairies have to go to school to learn how to fly. As the title indicates, this is exactly the prima...moreThis is a nice introduction to a fairy world where fairies have to go to school to learn how to fly. As the title indicates, this is exactly the primary focus of this first book in the Glitterwings Academy universe. It is a nice tale about friendship and learning to persevere and finding your own way to knowledge. The interactions with teachers, parents and other fairies is nicely portrayed. Fun, light read.(less)
This was a fast read, but that's pretty much all it had going for it. In fact, I think I read it quicker to get the thing done with once and for all....moreThis was a fast read, but that's pretty much all it had going for it. In fact, I think I read it quicker to get the thing done with once and for all. I did keep hoping that the book would redeem itself, but got through the whole thing feeling it lacked any redemption for the characters or plot. There was no sense that the story meant anything, and I went through the whole thing without sympathy for any of the characters or situations. The surreal sense of it all being a fairy tale would have been suitable for the book if there was a moral or comeuppance for anyone. Unfortunately, I don't think I'd recommend this to pretty much anyone.(less)
2013: My book club chose to read this, most of us for at least a second time. It was nice to revisit it, and as luck would have it our local cinema wa...more2013: My book club chose to read this, most of us for at least a second time. It was nice to revisit it, and as luck would have it our local cinema was showing the film, so we all went to see it after discussing the book. Despite having read it fairly recently and knowing the characters very well, I didn't remember the details of what happened in the trial and it was very enjoyable to re-read. The movie centres much more on the trial, using that as a frame for the narrative, and I can see why it has been listed as 'courtroom drama' in terms of the movie, though the book gives such a wonderful glimpse into a different time and way-of-life within a beautiful coming of age story of a character realising more about the society, social class, and small town that she belongs to.
2010: I've never watched the movie or read the book before now, and I'm fully annoyed at everyone who ever called this a 'courtroom drama', because they certainly did no justice to exactly what this book conveys or the characters it brings to life. I think I've avoided it because of my assumption it would be a dry old classic. Instead I was treated to a wonderful coming of age story where we get a sense of much more changing than just our main character. The innocence of childhood reflects a bitter world so much more effectively than any documentary ever could. The strength of the people in Scout's life and the life-altering events going on around her are so perfectly rendered in her narrator's voice. I can finally understand how this became classic literature and is considered so many people's favourite book.(less)
At first I was eager to dig into this weighty tome, as it sounded like an interesting read. And I got on well to begin with, but I very quickly realis...moreAt first I was eager to dig into this weighty tome, as it sounded like an interesting read. And I got on well to begin with, but I very quickly realised that this book is not what I at first imagined. I've been reading it for so long now as to really forgotten what my expectations originally were, but I think it was a bit lighter on the describing the story elements and perhaps more about the way this related to my own personal psychology or at least my understanding of psychology. Or, conversely, a bit about story elements and how these relate to women in modern society.
Pinkola Estes has really spent an amazing amount of time, effort and pages to eke every minute particle of information about some of these stories. However, this leads to it being fairly difficult to get through chapters where she discusses one story (and really, one rendition - hers - of one story) until the reader may not really comprehend why it matters. The breaking point for me, and when I really started to skim a bit through some of the denser chapters, was when I realised that the story elements that she was dissecting and giving as universals and obvious links with psychology were ones that she included in HER version of the story and not one I'd read elsewhere. It seemed a bit like adding in things just to show they made the point of the story. I would have appreciated this more either as a psychology book or a book about story elements, rather then the two being jammed into the same volume.
I think some of the negative reviews have come from a misalignment between what this book sounds like it is going to be from the blurb and other marketing and what it is from Pinkola Estes' perspective and writing. However, there is still a thin slice of the world that this book's audience would actually be, and while I'm sure they enjoy it thoroughly, the rest of us will not be prepared to wade through and indulge to find the sparkling gems in the very muddy waters of the author's prose. (less)
**spoiler alert** I thought this was very funny the first couple of times I read it, but when I read it with a 4-year-old, he informed me that this wa...more**spoiler alert** I thought this was very funny the first couple of times I read it, but when I read it with a 4-year-old, he informed me that this was a very scary book. And thinking about it, there's a lot of incidents that could really hit some anxiety buttons for young readers (turning green, family alienating Peter, friends making fun of Peter, running away from home, being abducted, missing the family, getting poked and prodded by aliens, being thrown out of a UFO, and then turning orange). So I would suggest being a bit more aware of the audience and perhaps being cautious. Remember, what's funny for some is scary for others!(less)