Silverfin is a book that takes you back to the days of spy movies and James Bond. Wait. That's because it IS James, just in his childhood years. While...moreSilverfin is a book that takes you back to the days of spy movies and James Bond. Wait. That's because it IS James, just in his childhood years. While he has not the suave or demenor of his grown up self, you can tell that the budding spy and killer instict is surfacing. But this is just a shadow of his future and his shadow is afraid. He is essentially just a normal school boy who happens to mix up in something bigger than himself but has to grow exponentially if he wants to survive.
While some of the characters do nothing with this fear and let it consume them, James does not. When "every moment brought him closer to home. To everything he feared" (94) Helborne was lost in the fear and became blind to the world or help. I realized how I even will shy away from fears but very rarely actually confront them and deal with it. It may be that fear of fear itself may be what is holding so many people back because of what might happen. James once thought,"was my mind feeding on fears and creating phantoms? No." His train thogught showed a strong realization and stongly held mind to his body.
I read this book in two sittings. the first reason was that is was not the twenty thousand page epic I could have read and it was not exactly a philisophical mind bender either. However, It was very enjoyable and gave me a good feeling by the time it was done. The ending left me filled and happy it tied up some of the questions raised (though I often like to have to work for my own answer to the unknown). This book should be on every growing boys bookshelf(less)
"Have Space Suit-Will Travel" by Robert A. Heinlein is a sci-fi novel following the exploits of Kip being abducted by aliens and having to save his ow...more"Have Space Suit-Will Travel" by Robert A. Heinlein is a sci-fi novel following the exploits of Kip being abducted by aliens and having to save his own life, his new friends and eventually an entire species. There is a strong theme of perserverance throughout the story in his pre-abduction life, in his fight for survival and in many other aspects.
Kip had said,"a tough prep school back east can drill you so that you can enter Stanford, or Yale, or any of the best- but you can pick up false standards, too-nutty ideas about money and social position and the right tailor. It took me years to get rid of ones I acquired that way." (26) This shows Kips ability to apply himself to a task, in this case his habits of passive life, until it eventually gave way. His perserverance is also seen in the collection of soap wrappers. He had the desire to win a contest to recieve a space suit and went out to take all of the wrappers from his neibors, friends, and even people who he did not remotely know at the time. To get things done, no matter how long it takes, shows this theme of perserverance.
Later on, Kip is abducted and held prisioner in a dungeon. The dark, dismal atmosphere did not dimay him too much ever after suspecting that the other "prisioners" were being eaten. "He said,'The fat one was missing',flatly" (181), both showing the shock or horror of his situation and at a near loss for words. Instead he pushed through the dark and planned and survived until he was saved by his friends "Peewee" and The Mother Thing. This trial to hold on even though you see no sight of escape or hope, shows this determination to perservere and live on to save himself and his friends.
Towards the end of the book, Kip encounters his final and greatest challenge. While it had no harm upon himself, his decisions and thoughts would be what decided the fate of the entire world. Kip once again felt the hopeless situation yet he continued to ponder what he would say to the aliens to keep his home, family, friends, everything, safe. "The best things in history are accomplished by people who get 'tired of being shoved around.'" (213) This final mental need of perserverance shows the pressure of keeping on for not only yourself, but for the well being of others. Knowing that he may be the cause for the deaths of millions, he can only move forward and continue living.(less)
"Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret life of a Critic in Disguise" by Ruth Reichl is an autobiographical novel of her own life as the New York Times food...more"Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret life of a Critic in Disguise" by Ruth Reichl is an autobiographical novel of her own life as the New York Times food critic. The book is a lazy river of her life, following it down with little detail, but as she discusses the food, the senses come alive and give you near to what a read smell can smell like. Other times this river suddenly changes pace and jumps around to the point you lose your ground and wonder what is actually happening but is still easy to understand. This book's main plot, besides the food, is Ruth's path to finding herself through alter egos she creates for herself. The book approaches this by very slowly introducing each new self into her. During the creation of her costumes, she says,"Every Resturaunt is a Theatre. Each one offerst the opprotunity to be someone else, at least for a little while. Resturaunts free us from mundane reality." (45) Her realization that who she could be if she acted as if no one was watching, was the self that she truely wanted to be. There was Brenda who was "fun loving and the nicest person" (108) to the reincarnated personificaion of her own mother. This book attracted me for several reasons. First was the food. I love it and also love cooking. The recipies strewn throughout the book are little treasures that I may eventually get to trying. Also was the way the author gives you a story that fits seamlessly with the real articles of her critiques. You could clearly see how each alter ego affected her in some way and it was apparent that they stayed after each review. I found this book to be a quick read simply because it was enjoyable to mindlessly let the story show her mind mould throughout.(less)
**spoiler alert** Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, written by Jamie Ford, follows the memories of a Chinese man's childhood in Seattle's 1940'...more**spoiler alert** Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, written by Jamie Ford, follows the memories of a Chinese man's childhood in Seattle's 1940's and his relaionships with a Japanese girl. The Seattle Times calls it,"A wartime-era Chinese-Japanese variation on Romeo and Juliet..." and has the ground to say so. But instead of a long fueled family feud, the hatred is fueled by the invasion of China by the Japanese. The distiction of race and nationality is probably the most prominent theme that appears in this book every time Henry shows his "I am Chinese" button.
Henry's father was a Chinese Nationalist. He was born in America himself but he still felt a great connection to his "homeland." When the Japanese attacked China in 1937, his feelings towards Japan obviously turned further south than it already was. This feeling of hatred toward another race, here the Japanese, could be seen from all directions. This is where the necessity of identity comes. Everyone has to choose an identity. Henry's father chose to be chinese, Henry was confused to what he considered himself, and Keiko firmly claimed American. When the first wave of arrests happened after the Pearl Harbor bombing, Henry held his button up to the police to save him from them. This "I'm not Japanese, don't group me with them" attitude is seen over and over. Keiko asked Henry, "You are Chinese aren't you?" (60) nodded and she replied, "Well I am an American." (60) The button Henry wears can represent the forced customs of your parents and the rejection of customs from the world.
Keiko's affirmation of being an American shows another side to the story. Some of the first words Keiko spoke to Henry were, "I'm American."(20) This shows how these Japanese Americans know where they come from but they are first, Americans. Even her parents replied, "No matter what happens to us, we are still Americans. And we need to be together-wherever they take us." (134) The differences between living for your country and living for your ancestors country is the difference between these two families.
Finally the rejection of these Asian races into American culture is seen through the bullying and torment they faced. Throughout the book Henry and Keiko were bombarded with slurs that originally aimed specifically at a certain one, but then melded, grouping all Asians together. The "scholarshipping",working to pay off school, at the private school exposed them to life that would be seen in the outside world. "Look! They don't even speak English!" (21) The children of this time had been taught by their parents to hate others. The taught racism kept them out of the schools society; they ate their lunch inside of the schools kitchen and left school long after others had left to avoid the bullies and to keep the most familiar things closest to them.(less)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was the first chapter book I had ever read. I remember it as a fun and imaginative book while having me work for eac...moreCharlie and the Chocolate Factory was the first chapter book I had ever read. I remember it as a fun and imaginative book while having me work for each page. The vivid descriptions and the silly language makes it a fun read for any children trying to get their first starts on chapter books. The Roald Dahl books are all great reads for young children and their parents to enjoy together. I recommended this book to ease into longer and harder reads in the future. It's been about 11, 12 years since I read this book but the singing of the oompa loompas still rings in my head.(less)
The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn depicts a girl in a society where you are followed everywhere. With the entire population forced to get a tattoo o...moreThe Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn depicts a girl in a society where you are followed everywhere. With the entire population forced to get a tattoo of a bar code that acts as an ID, credit card and proof of yourself, everyone is being reduced to a bar code. The main character Kayla, notices that the bar code is nothing but trouble as her family mysteriously dies and friends are randomly shipped off across the country. This book keeps you guessing what is going to happen every chapter. I did enjoy this book, but I thought that it's ending was a little abrupt and got a little off track from what I expected. However, I recently found out there is a sequel so I will give that a chance. (less)
"Life of Pi" by Yann Martel is one of those books that is all over the place. It begins in a zoo in India, talks about the boys, Pi, memories of child...more"Life of Pi" by Yann Martel is one of those books that is all over the place. It begins in a zoo in India, talks about the boys, Pi, memories of child hood and adolesence. Of his relationship with religions and wanting to be a part in all of them and then to his relationships with swimming. While it seems as if these things are unrelated, when you are standed on a boat with wild animals on board and sharks underneath, religion is the only thing keeping you sane and hopeful to live. The strength in beliving in something is a great power.
Pi was a practicing Hindu, Christian, and Muslim. He felt special connections with all of them and decided on being all of them. when he was found out he was told,"you have to choose one." (58) The thought of giving up his beliefs was very confusing for him as he continued to know of all the different contradictions he made between each but still longed to be a part of them. It reminded me of how in school you can say you love PE where they discourage sitting around reading and in LA they discourage running around and throwing things. Its a weird way to put it but for all uses and purposes, they are the same concept.
Later in the book Pi thinks,"I pray for that fish everyday"(89),"I pray for that turtle everyday"(105), and "I pray for that man everyday"(188) where each following thing he ate took a greater toll on him. In catholisism, you can confess your sins to a preist where you will be forgiven and cleansed of guilt. in the middle of the ocean with only a tiger to talk to, the guilt builds until you cannot contain it. If it were not for his frequent religious prayers to each of the gods he loved, the insanity would have killed him before the heat, the water, the starvation, the dehydration or even the tiger.
This book is definitely a thinking book. In the end of the story he reaccounts the story back in a more belivable way without the plethora of animals. He came up with it so easily I began to wonder which story is the real story, or if either are actually true in the first place. 227 days is a long time.(less)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is one of those books that becomes an instant classic in young literature. The book combines magic, mystery, adve...moreHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is one of those books that becomes an instant classic in young literature. The book combines magic, mystery, adventure and romance in an epic ( this book IS over 700 pages long ) but swift way that has you flow through the book effortlessly. By this book, the seventh in the series, the characters have become incredibly deep as you delve into their dark quest to defeat the dark lord and survive. The main character, Harry Potter, is faced with decisions to save the world from darkness which sometimes causes him to have to decide between his friends, himself or the world. Who ever has not read the book has probably seen the movie. The second half is not even out yet, but I can say with confidence that the book is much better than the movie. If you enjoyed the movie, just wait until you read this.(less)
Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold tells the story of a hardworking magician trying to make the profession successful in the early 1900's. Comi...moreCarter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold tells the story of a hardworking magician trying to make the profession successful in the early 1900's. Coming from a rich, successful business family, the idea of him leaving that profession was not a supported idea. Having to go it alone, Carter finds his way to success all the while being accused for murdering the president. Carter Beats the Devil is filled with the mystery, magic, and awe of a magic show while retaining a strong sense of reality but does not always explain everything. If you find mystery, romance, tragedy, and suspense, this book will leave you satisfied in a way that only a good book can. Recommended.(less)
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, is a compilation of humorous, emotional, romantic, and all around geeky stories by many authors with nerdy bac...moreGeektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd, is a compilation of humorous, emotional, romantic, and all around geeky stories by many authors with nerdy backgrounds. Whether you relate to the nerdy concepts or can understand the jargon, remember there is a glossary in the back, the message is universal. Loneliness, acceptance, romance, humor is explored through the views of nerds, outsiders, and even the occasional cheerleader. With so many different stories to be told, there is bound to be the right story for you in these pages. You just need to read and find it.(less)