In the midst of being super stressed about school, I needed a good ol' fashioned literary escape. I haven't read these books in... uh, over a decade IIn the midst of being super stressed about school, I needed a good ol' fashioned literary escape. I haven't read these books in... uh, over a decade I assume. (And in the interest of full disclosure: this is actually the edition I'm reading, but come on, Goodreads, I can't count three books as one if I want to make my 2015 Reading Challenge!) It was super fun to revisit this series after so long away, and even though some of it struck me as a bit cheesy, I still found it an exhilarating read. And let's be real here: Lessa is the original (and honestly... kind of cooler) Daenerys.
I'm not sure if I'll keep going through the series at this point or not, but it was great fun to get away from school and visit Pern. Now someone get me a dragon!...more
Reading this book was a somewhat odd experience, as I think for my own well-being given what I currently do (and aspire to do), I have to disconnect tReading this book was a somewhat odd experience, as I think for my own well-being given what I currently do (and aspire to do), I have to disconnect to a certain extent from really feeling the depth of despair associated with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. I'm not sure how to describe the experience beyond "there were tears" and also "I tried not to think too hard about it." It was powerful, well-written, and well-researched (I don't believe I had any facepalm moments of recognizing blatant inaccuracies in the descriptions of things I actually knew something about Edit: Aaaand I just learned the author is also a neuroscientist - cool!). ...more
It's been awhile since I last read a book that I could just pick up and immediately enjoy, and continue enjoying till I put it down for the day, and eIt's been awhile since I last read a book that I could just pick up and immediately enjoy, and continue enjoying till I put it down for the day, and enjoy again when I picked it back up. ...more
Okay, I freely admit it: I was probably primed to NOT like this book. But I gave it a chance, I really did! And I confess I did find the storytellingOkay, I freely admit it: I was probably primed to NOT like this book. But I gave it a chance, I really did! And I confess I did find the storytelling interesting enough to read the whole thing in about a day. But there were just some things I could not get past.
1. Yeah, yeah, I know it's a clichéd complaint at this point, but geez... Hunger Games much? Reading this was like reading some weird mishmash of The Giver and The Hunger Games, only without The Giver's thoughtfulness and without Katniss's personality.
2. It is a thing now. I write terse sentences. I write them in first person. It's how I show you I live in a cold, serious world. I use fragments for emphasis. Any fragment. For emphasis. I wish. People. Would stop Shatner-ing in literature.
3. PACING. Oh my word, the pacing. I read on Kindle so I get the nice little percentages, which allow me to say that 75% of this book dragged on for way too long before rushing through the most interesting 15% of the story. (And 10% of the book was trying to sell me the next book, apparently.)
Overall, not my favorite thing I've ever read--but not my least favorite, either. And I do have to thank it for giving me company on a night when I couldn't sleep. But unless someone tells me the next books are huge improvements, I don't really see myself finishing the series.
Edit: Oh my gosh, I almost forgot to list the thing that bugged me the most until I saw it mentioned elsewhere. Abnegation: Noun. Amity: Noun. Candor: Noun. Erudite: ADJECTIVE. Dauntless: ADJECTIVE.
Allow me to use choppy writing to emphasize my desperation: Why? Why do this? To me? To hurt me? Because inconsistency is cool? Dangerous? Dauntless, even?...more
Hey guys, it only took me half a year, but I finished it! This one was slow going for me at first, but when I picked it up again I tore through it - pHey guys, it only took me half a year, but I finished it! This one was slow going for me at first, but when I picked it up again I tore through it - particularly the last half. Given the series' propensity for killing people off, this one fills the dwindling narrator roster out a bit by adding some newcomers, and my interest in those tends to be hit or miss. That said, overall I found both the old and new storylines just as compelling as previous books, although this one definitely feels like a book in the middle of a series. And that's all I'll say about it for fear of spoiling anything!
Now all that's left is to wait who-knows-how-long for Book 6......more
Trying to make my 2013 Goodreads Challenge slightly less pathetic by including assigned reading. And since I think I might be the only actual review oTrying to make my 2013 Goodreads Challenge slightly less pathetic by including assigned reading. And since I think I might be the only actual review on Goodreads, I should probably try to say something moderately useful.
This book was an excellent resource for those of us who are in the very early stages of clinical work (aspiring psychologists, counselors, social workers). You could probably go ahead and retitle this Intake Interviews for Dummies. On the whole it was very accessible, and acted much like a nice set of water wings for fledging clinicians drowning in that seemingly enormous sea of "What the Hell Am I Doing." Some chapters were more engaging than others, but overall it's worth a read for students beginning (or soon to be beginning) their first year of practicum. Note though that when they say "a practical guide," they mean it--this book is geared toward the nuts and bolts of conducting an intake interview. Readers interested in insight into longer-term relationship building and the therapeutic process should look elsewhere....more
I had been warned ahead of time that this book was a bit of a letdown after A Storm of Swords, and that seems about right. That didn't stop me from deI had been warned ahead of time that this book was a bit of a letdown after A Storm of Swords, and that seems about right. That didn't stop me from devouring this one about as quickly as I have the previous three books in the series. But things are getting a little out of control here--as if there weren't enough characters to keep up with already, this book introduces chapters told from the perspectives of characters-I-knew-about, characters-I-sorta-remember-hearing-mentioned-once, and who-the-hell-is-this-character--which is confusing enough as it is, but is made all the worse by chapter titles that describe rather than name the character ("The Reaver," "The Prophet"). The working memory capacity required to read these books is becoming a bit too much at this point, and I hope the series begins to pare that down a bit.
Lastly, I'm getting a bit worried about series completion here. I understand that there are to be seven books in the series; this book ended with a note dated June 2005 from George R. R. Martin stating that the fifth book could be expected "next year"--when in reality, it was another six years before its publication. Oh boy... what have I gotten myself into here?...more
HOW ARE THESE SO GOOD?!!? Everyone seemed to be telling me the third book was the best, and although I didn't quite see it at first--I definitely do nHOW ARE THESE SO GOOD?!!? Everyone seemed to be telling me the third book was the best, and although I didn't quite see it at first--I definitely do now. *So* many excellent and unexpected story turns, both good and bad. Once again I'm left with the decision of whether to immediately dig into the next book or wait awhile and make the series last......more
Although this one didn't leave me quite so rapt as A Game of Thrones, I'm still completely hooked on this series. I wasn't as thrilled about some of tAlthough this one didn't leave me quite so rapt as A Game of Thrones, I'm still completely hooked on this series. I wasn't as thrilled about some of the new perspectives in this one; in particular, I have a hard time caring about what's going on with Theon. But some of them grew on me--while I was frustrated as hell with this monotheism storyline in the first half of the book, once it became part of something bigger it became much more compelling for me. I'm very much looking forward to the next book, and to Season 3!...more
This book might have an alternative subtitle: "85 Protips for Being a Therapist." It was the first of Yalom's books that I've read, and it was a greatThis book might have an alternative subtitle: "85 Protips for Being a Therapist." It was the first of Yalom's books that I've read, and it was a great look into the world of an experienced therapist. It's pathetic I know, but I especially appreciated that the content was broken into tiny, bite-size chapters---it was a nice contrast to just about everything else I've been reading for grad school! Although of course I didn't find myself on board with all of his advice (the author would likely roll his eyes knowingly at me, a member of a younger generation who had to trudge through the chapters regarding dream work), there was so much good, insightful, thought-provoking stuff in here. And I must admit---I gained new perspectives on even the things I disagreed with.
I'm looking forward to reading more of Yalom's work....more
LOVED EVERY PAGE OF IT. I'm so torn between wanting to devour the rest of them and wanting to take my time and make them last! I had watched Season 1LOVED EVERY PAGE OF IT. I'm so torn between wanting to devour the rest of them and wanting to take my time and make them last! I had watched Season 1 of the television show before reading it--so I'm also deciding between which to do first, read the next book or watch the next season. Decisions!!...more
When I learned that The Great Gatsby was about to become a film (starring Leo DiCaprio!!? Eee!), I knew I needed to revisit F. Scott Fitzgerald's mostWhen I learned that The Great Gatsby was about to become a film (starring Leo DiCaprio!!? Eee!), I knew I needed to revisit F. Scott Fitzgerald's most famous work. Like just about everyone, I had read it in high school (let's not use the phrase "about a decade ago"), but remembered absolutely nothing about it save for the presence of a vaguely phallic car.
What I found surprised me. For one thing, reading this book after having gone through quite a few years of higher education meant that a book which seemed somehow lengthy to me when it was assigned summer reading before 11th or 12th grade was now a breeze to get through. And having no memory of anything about the book, I was surprised by its subject--I misremembered it as being more focused on the enigmatic man as opposed to the relationships and circumstances that made (and make) him so.
One aspect that held my attention throughout my rereading was time. For one, I realized that several of the most important characters (including Gatsby and Carraway) would've been born very near one hundred years before my birthyear. I enjoyed looking at events through the lens of "What if I'd been born a century earlier [and also fabulously wealthy]?" I also realized in this reading that Fitzgerald wrote this book just a few years after it was set (1920). I tried to imagine reading the book when it was published, that the experience would be much like my now reading a contemporary novel set in New York in the present-day. This sounds like a pretty stupid realization (forgive me if it is), but it felt a bit like time travel to imagine Fitzgerald's words, the places and features he described, not as elements of a piece of classic 20th century literature, but of just... the way things are.
I loved Fitzgerald's writing and zoomed through the book this time. (How have I not read more of his stuff?!) I still struggled with that English major-y guilt if I'm not spending time doing a close reading of the text or analyzing it on a larger scale, but frankly... I'm pretty tired of trying to read that way. Go ahead and judge me, O ye Goodreads users; I read an important piece of literature for pleasure, didn't try to think too hard, and I enjoyed it!
Lastly I must note: my Goodreads ratings are based on how much I enjoyed or learned from a book or textbook and do not reflect any objective sense of quality. By giving The Great Gatsby three stars I do not intend to imply that the entirety of the Harry Potter series is better literature....more
While reading Cloud Atlas, I found myself mentally adjusting the rating in my head as I went. I was hovering at three stars for a bit, found myself atWhile reading Cloud Atlas, I found myself mentally adjusting the rating in my head as I went. I was hovering at three stars for a bit, found myself at an enthusiastic five stars in the middle, and finally settled on four - all the while wishing (not for the first time) for half-star options.
In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that before reading this book I fell in love with the movie hard. It pains me to admit when I like a movie more than the original book because unfortunately, I can be a bit snobbish--but my intense love for the movie created an unfair filter for what I truly do think is a remarkable book.
Without giving too much away, I'll say simply that this is a book about freedom, courage, and connections in the midst of seeming isolation - and how the same theme looks very different depending on context. Stylistically and structurally, the book is probably not going to be enjoyable for those who like straightforward reads - instead, it tells multiple storylines in broken chronologies. I thought it was elegantly done, but I could understand if others perceive it as gimmicky.
My biggest disappointment is an unfair one: The movie created character connections that didn't exist in the book, and I missed them! I'm curious to know what it would have been like to read this without having seen the film adaptation first, because I suspect I would've found the movie's liberties to be overkill.
Overall, I greatly enjoyed this novel and expect that a re-read will yield a million subtle allusions that are invisible on the first read-through....more
One of few textbooks that will make it onto my Goodreads, but I feel I earned it, having legitimately read the whole thing. Overall, it was a useful rOne of few textbooks that will make it onto my Goodreads, but I feel I earned it, having legitimately read the whole thing. Overall, it was a useful resource; breaking down counseling skills into the microskills framework was in fact pretty helpful. Mastering one small step at a time in order to put everything together in the end really did feel like an accomplishment.
Still, parts of this book rubbed me the wrong way. For one thing, if I have to read the expression "Creation of the New" one more time, I may barf (in case you're wondering, it's an impossibly New Age-sounding phrase used to describe guiding the client toward transforming his/her perspective and gaining transcendence over a given issue or situation). Secondly, despite this newest edition's purported inclusion of relevant neuropsychological data, the neuropsych sections amounted to little more than brief boxes, generally less than one per chapter and not often very in-depth or helpful.
Still, this text's main goal is to grant an understanding of exactly what counseling is and how to begin the process of learning it, and in those regards I feel it succeeds. The emphasis on multicultural competence was welcome as well. A bit soft overall in my opinion, but still a useful resource, especially for beginners such as myself....more