I wanted to like this book more than I did, truly, given what I had learned about the author and what she endured. I wish I could rate it higher, howeI wanted to like this book more than I did, truly, given what I had learned about the author and what she endured. I wish I could rate it higher, however in being completely honest with my review, the book did not live up to all the hype it received. I had to force myself to finish it, something I normally wouldn't bother with once a book has lost my attention....more
This was a diversionary, better-than-watching-brainless-television kind of read for me. Light fiction, with enough of a family profile that just aboutThis was a diversionary, better-than-watching-brainless-television kind of read for me. Light fiction, with enough of a family profile that just about anyone with siblings can relate to, and mildly entertaining (though I don't agree with Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress, reviewing it as "Hilarious and utterly winsome.") I wanted to like these sisters, but found they just weren't likeable enough to gain my favor.
I found the omniscient first person plural ("we" rather than "I") for the narration interesting, and often I liked the way Brown would end her chapters, but this was not a page-turner, and I finished it mostly to say I did.
The Weird Sisters is not a book I would recommend to others. Not because it's horrible, but because there are so many other good choices one can make. ...more
To say I 'finished' this book today, is to mean I just finished reading it completely through, from front to back, for the umpteenth time in a row - tTo say I 'finished' this book today, is to mean I just finished reading it completely through, from front to back, for the umpteenth time in a row - this is perhaps the only book I've ever done this with, because it's so possible, so uplifting, and such a trigger for one's own self-talk, often in a completely different direction, yet always welcomed. The back-cover review calling this "the ultimate picture book for grown-ups." nails it.
I gave it the 5 stars as "it was amazing" for the experience it gives the reader, though it admittedly may have been a case of perfect timing for me to change it up like this... As I write this, I have no other books on my bookshelf for "art." With all due respect from this non-artistic person, the art wasn't particularly 5-star to me, nor was the writing. Like I said, it was the experience of reading it altogether.
Keep this book on your desk for a while, and it will surprise you how many times you’ll pick it up, and just dive into it again.
I’ve mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I admire Rice’s effort when I acknowledge her research and her bravery with imagining the mindseI’ve mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I admire Rice’s effort when I acknowledge her research and her bravery with imagining the mindset of Jesus, just 7 years young. I thought she smartly ended the book as she did, for as I read I wondered what she’d eventually arrive at. On the other hand, there were parts of the book which disappointed and made me quite impatient, causing me to speed-read through them. I felt Rice didn’t give the reader enough clarity, particularly with understanding the power struggles in play at the time, and with more detail about faith-defined geographic nationalities or civic loyalties, which would lead me to question if she really did enough research after all: I was grateful that I had been raised a Christian [in Catholicism to be clear] and already had learned of the story. As reader, I could be supported by my own knowledge.
What I enjoyed most about the book, wasn’t about the “Young Messiah” at all, but about the Virgin Mary, the rest of Jesus’ extended family, and particularly about Joseph, who usually is so overlooked; I loved the important role Rice gave him in this story as patriarch, and his character in balancing strength and humility. Joseph’s son James was a total surprise to me, and I wish we knew more of his story as well — ‘The Young Joseph’ is the story I now wish to learn!
I can see why the NY Times cover-placed review called this a “prayerful beauty” and despite my impatience in the first reading, I can readily imagine myself picking this book up to reread and savor more slowly now that I know how and where it will end, with a focus to better enjoy the prayerful part of it. I understand this is being made into a movie, and I’d love to see it, however, I don’t anticipate that I will reach for another of Rice’s books again....more
I bought this from the book table at Costco, intrigued by the title alone, then chucked it in my carry-on bag for my next trans Pacific flight hopingI bought this from the book table at Costco, intrigued by the title alone, then chucked it in my carry-on bag for my next trans Pacific flight hoping it would cocoon me from the misery that airplane travel can be these days - and that it did, magnificently. I had 3 different planes to catch, started the book upon settling into my seat with the first one, and then never put it down until I'd finished it.
I really love Ng's writing style. She keeps you reading, moving you ever forward in the story, but patiently, so you can fully enjoy her story-telling. Details unfold as mini mysteries underlying the main one; for instance, it took me a while to figure out if Nath was the eldest, or if Lydia was, and then relished the answer being more and more obvious, and perfectly right.
To finally learn how Lydia died, or to be more accurate, to discover how Lydia actually felt when she tragically died, shattered me in the sad truth that if we're not more self-intentional, we can easily be doomed to live as we think we should, rather than how we can know what is possible for us... a 'good selfishness' is required at times....more
I admit being someone surprised at seeing this book was written by Glenn Beck, however I'm glad I pushed that aside and bought it - in fact I impulsivI admit being someone surprised at seeing this book was written by Glenn Beck, however I'm glad I pushed that aside and bought it - in fact I impulsively bought 2 (off the Costco book table), anticipating that I'd pass one on to each of my now-adult children as a gift during Thanksgiving, usually time when they start their own winter holiday preparations.
But first the mommy-reading test, even though they are older, and for me this was a quick afternoon and into the evening read. After sleeping on it, I did find myself opening certain passages the next morning over coffee to review them, especially feeling I may have missed or misread when immortality may have really happened.
As my rating reflects, I really enjoyed it, and I would recommend it. As an author myself I admired Beck's writing and story-telling: he writes with a good balance of detail versus sparse necessity for story. I would caution that it's not a candidate for reading aloud to young children, but it will be perfect for the gift I intend it to be, to young adults able to evolve their holiday practices with some fable-flavored perspective.
I'm guessing that I liked Beck's story in part, because of the comforts and recognition of my own Christian upbringing, and after saving and sharing my own review I'll read the others, for I'm curious to know perspectives other than mine: This is not a totally original story, but a retelling of a centuries old one crafted with different connections and a "What if?" kind of ending. I particularly enjoyed reading more about the 3 wise men, even knowing Beck's account might be totally fictional, for we rarely learn much about them.
I did not award the book a full 5 stars because of pace, and wanting more from the story's ending. The first 2/3s of the story (Part I) was very well developed (Chapter 1 pulls you in quickly), but I found that Part II was a little less engaging, almost rushed. Chapter 15, which starts Part II, didn't seem to fit at all as I read it, though I could understand the effort to include it as I pressed on toward the ending. Upon reflection though, I do wonder if Beck intended his ending to be less revealing, as a subtle challenge for us to self-author, weaving the story's connection to our today as we can now live it ourselves....more
Really enjoyed this: In this time of quick publish/barely edit or verify, it was very satisfying to read a nonfiction book that presents such a fascinReally enjoyed this: In this time of quick publish/barely edit or verify, it was very satisfying to read a nonfiction book that presents such a fascinating case study over the course of an author's adult life.
I could quibble about some things, as did others in their reviews, yet I awarded this a full 5 stars recognizing what it took for Skloot to complete this book, both in her research and with the emotional journey required. Skloot writes well, and kept me reading: I completed the book over a long weekend and wished there was more....more
I've now enjoyed 4 of Albom's books, and have shared them often as gifts, yet when I finished The Time Keeper I had one strong thought and certainty:I've now enjoyed 4 of Albom's books, and have shared them often as gifts, yet when I finished The Time Keeper I had one strong thought and certainty: I've had enough and need not select another Mitch Albom book to read again. Out of all his books, this was the one I liked the least. [This was my favorite, and I will still recommend it: The Five People You Meet in Heaven.]
Albom's messages are good ones, and I do admire his imagination in weaving a story (an example in this one, is how the hourglass comes to be). I feel he wants us to be stronger: Seems to me that his literary obsession isn't with dying (a recurring theme in his fiction), but with living in full presence and gratitude. Feeling as I do, Dor's character in The Time Keeper was increasingly odd to me: His decisions, so crucial to the story, were disjointed and seemed to be pulled from thin air or pure luck versus much deliberation; for a reader to imagine, "well, he did have a lot of time to mull this over" just wasn't enough for me in light of what I have come to expect from this author. Dor may have had the biggest share of time in this story, but we weren't let in to share enough of what he did, or thought about within it.
Albom is capable of giving us so much more, and I didn't feel this book had the substance of the others I've read (and not just with Dor). It felt very choppy and shallow, and then seemed to rush toward a much too predictable ending. Its portrayal of the future is rather bleak and began to cast a dark shadow on other things I thought I liked about the book.
Albom ties up all loose ends in telling us what happens for his characters, and I was thankful that he did, but he still left me unsatisfied and a bit annoyed, for I was also left with a feeling of dread for everyone else in the world, and what we may be up against....more
Sometimes, I can’t help but judge a book simply by measure of how long it took me to read it, and such is the case with Wild. It may not seem fair, buSometimes, I can’t help but judge a book simply by measure of how long it took me to read it, and such is the case with Wild. It may not seem fair, but it is what it is; when I love a book (or kind of hate it, but remain intrigued by its’ storytelling) I can’t put it down and zip through my reading, annotating it fully. Others, like Wild, take me much too long to read, and become laborious. The longer it takes me to plow through it, no matter how forgiving I try to be, the more that book has to eventually win me over, a proverbial uphill battle.
My problem with Wild, was a mismatch in expectations. I knew it was a NY Times bestseller and had made it to Oprah’s book club, and I had heard those ‘for grown-ups’ comparisons to Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet (thoroughly dissected as my son’s “all time favorite book.”) That said, I did make an effort to come to it fresh, i.e. knowing the press Wild had received, but not reading any reviews until I had read it for myself.
Wild’s basic storyline, of a woman braving the Pacific Coast Trail alone, and to find herself after the death of her mother, was very compelling to me — it was beyond courageous, a quality I hold in high regard. And yet, where Strayed would lose me, was in the telling of her memoir; I didn’t care enough about it, despite a couple of spots I could pretty strongly relate to, and I wanted to hear more about the Pacific Coast Trail instead. I began to realize that Strayed was not successful in getting me to keeping caring about her, much as I wanted to, and did try to. A courageous endeavor began to look like an ill-conceived, reckless decision.
Strayed’s challenges in regard to drug use, promiscuity and other careless decisions, began to slide from raw honesty to gratuitous sensationalization for me, and I found my impatience growing. I genuinely wanted to admire her, and I wanted to root for her, but she made it so hard for me to do so. Each time she introduced a new character, usually her fellow trail adventurers, I would hope she’d stick to telling me more about them instead of about her. As I neared the end of the book, I began to wonder if Strayed was an author with a good story who fell victim to a publisher’s ruthless, story-robbing editing, for ultimately, she didn’t completely convey to me how she emerged ‘from lost to found.’
I did finish the book, mostly because I was determined not to start a new year with it unfinished. I was grateful for the way Strayed tied up some loose ends, bringing us into her happier life today to give us a more satisfying ending, but altogether, this was not a book I was particularly wild about....more
I deliberately chose a ‘literary classic’ to start the new year with, anticipating that its’ older English language would slow me down in the reading,I deliberately chose a ‘literary classic’ to start the new year with, anticipating that its’ older English language would slow me down in the reading, getting me to be much more attentive and not skim or jump ahead, and it did.
Wuthering Heights was required reading for me back in high school, as it was for many of you, I imagine. My remembrance of it was very sketchy, other than having the name Heathcliff firmly park itself in my memory banks, as the dashing, and romantic hero. Turns out my memory of Heathcliff had grown exceptionally kind over the years, and I wondered if I had totally confused Brontë’s character for someone in another story, for Heathcliff is neither dashing or romantic, and I found the book is not at all what I thought I remembered. My memory had also failed me on Wuthering Heights itself, and those moors, so this became more of a first-time read for me, and not a reread.
I can’t really say I ‘enjoyed’ reading it; it would be more accurate to admit I was pleased with myself for finally doing so — therefore, I did read it with anticipation, easily turning the pages though it is a very dark and bleak story, very far removed from my usual tastes. I kept telling myself, ‘the good part must be coming…’ but it never did.
What I did not appreciate at all, was wading through Joseph’s heavily accented dialect — I must admit to skipping over some of it with growing impatience, feeling that he could have been totally cut from the story and replaced with another character: His primary purpose seemed to be getting Hareton to adulthood (poor Hareton).
It was shocking to get to those passages which revealed the ages of these characters, for their lives were quite short and shallow; this is not a story which will give you any desire to have lived back then. The relationship between these characters is somewhat incestuous because their lives were so sheltered and geographically limited; when Brontë sends them away somewhere, she gives very little detail and I started wondering about her world view. At one point I put the book down to find out more about her, and the life she had led (she died at age 30).
I’m happy to have read Wuthering Heights again in terms of it being a personal accomplishment for me, but can’t say it will be on my list of recommendations for others. I hesitate to call it a love story at all: It’s more about obsession, ‘tragic’ is an understatement, and sadly, none of the characters are particularly likeable — it’s difficult to root for them.
Why did we have to read it in high school at all?...more