I picked this up on a whim at the library the last time I visited because it looked cute. And it was! It was nothing really special, and some of the dI picked this up on a whim at the library the last time I visited because it looked cute. And it was! It was nothing really special, and some of the dialogue felt stilted or forced. But overall it was cute, and I learned a fair bit about Cambodian culture and a little about its history. I was able to zoom through it in 2 days / 3 reading sessions. (view spoiler)[I was annoyed by all the happy endings all over the place... not realistic. And definitely not realistic how quickly the older women changed their beliefs... (hide spoiler)]...more
This was a pretty solid book. It was a fast read, kept me pulled in. The first chapter was pretty awful, I thought I was really going to dislike the bThis was a pretty solid book. It was a fast read, kept me pulled in. The first chapter was pretty awful, I thought I was really going to dislike the book based on that alone. Thankfully, it improved quickly... so if you start reading and hate the first chapter, keep going! In the end, though, nothing really pushed me into loving the book. I didn't mark a single passage as I went along. I ended up liking the characters, but none of them was really anything special... just ... the kind of people I wouldn't mind being friends with.
One thing that bothered me is the sense of time in this book is all screwed up. The author often makes it seem like many years have gone by, but it turns out to be maybe a few days or weeks. At the beginning of the book, she keeps saying things "always" happen, and it turns out that means "twice". Similarly regarding the number of postcards delivered. And at the end of the book it feels like many more years have gone by than really have. Shelby also changes too quickly for my suspension of disbelief to work properly.
(view spoiler)[ I do love Shelby's relationship with Ben. And also how she interacts with Damien, or whatever that one kid's name is. And how she steals the animals. I only wish we could have learned more about the homeless people. (hide spoiler)]...more
1/17/17 - Giving this another try on the kindle edition.
1/29/17 - Well, the Kindle edition allowed me to finish this book. I was afraid that the audio1/17/17 - Giving this another try on the kindle edition.
1/29/17 - Well, the Kindle edition allowed me to finish this book. I was afraid that the audio narration was so bad that it would have ruined it for me, that I'd hear the narration as I was reading. But thankfully that wasn't the case.
This book wasn't amazing, but it wasn't awful either. A solid 3 stars, I guess. I enjoyed the first half of the book a lot more than the second half, although throughout the book there is a lot of interesting historical perspectives. It really made me realize how lucky I am to have been born with all of these modern conveniences! Giving birth in your home, doctor may take hours (or days!) to get to you if needed, and even they are not all educated about things like scarlet fever... raising children with a woodstove and rattlesnakes and people trying to shoot you... wow.
(view spoiler)[The beginning of the book, so many tragedies one on top of the other on top of the other. She loses her father, brother, friends and traveling companions... watches her friend get raped, kills a man... all within the first 10% of the book. What a life! And we're all rooting for her to get with Captain Elliot, and know that it will happen eventually, just not how. I didn't see the depth of Jimmy's betrayal coming, or his gory death, but knew something would happen. But after she married him the book kind of got boring. There were large skips in time, sometimes years between journal entries. And not much happened, really. There were a few interesting episodes... and of course, she started writing again magically 2-3 days before each one! Sometimes the beliefs that she and Captain Elliot held, I think they were too good to be true for this time period. (hide spoiler)]
It's hard to believe there can be a sequel to this!...more
ETA: Ahh yes, after reading some of the other reviews about this, I should add... something I did not like about the book. But I'd forgotten about itETA: Ahh yes, after reading some of the other reviews about this, I should add... something I did not like about the book. But I'd forgotten about it until I read the reviews, because I like the workout plans and advice. I do remember being turned off by a bunch of stuff as I was reading it though. Most of those things were that it is written by a man, about women, and he doesn't let you forget that. He makes comments about it, most of which aren't really offensive (to me), but it's annoying and ... right, obviously, this book would be better coming from a woman rather than a man. The only comment that made me go "UGH" is when he apologized for "thinking like a man" and commented on how low a woman might be expected to go during a push-up, basically because her breasts might get in the way.
This book was recommended to me by a friend at the New Year's event we attended, who was (is) making her way through the recommended workouts. I had already decided it would be worth my while to do some strength training this time around during my training season, so I decided to check it out as well. I originally borrowed the book from the library, but in the end decided it was worth shelling out the cash for.
Of course, I got the book expecting it to be a bunch of workout recommendations. I started reading, and 50-60 pages in, hadn't gotten to any such thing! But I was really ok with this -- the first third of this book was fascinating. The authors did not spend it telling me what exercises to do, but why I should listen to them. And by that, I don't mean "here is a list with our credentials" (although there was a small bit of that), but "here are the scientific reasons why the things we suggest should work and the things you are usually told to do aren't the best". I like scientific reasons. And I especially like them when there are sources provided that I can check up on, and when I use Google I find more information, that points to this being real science instead of pretend science. Yay!
The most interesting parts to me were not the evidence that says women's muscles work much the same way as men (I figured that was the case, actually), but the reasons why endurance exercises (my exercise of choice) may not be the best for weightloss after an initial period, and how you can use interval training to make endurance exercise better for that purpose.
As well, when it came to the nutrition chapters, he railed against the idea that women should be eating 1200-1500 calories per day, which is without fail the advice given by pretty much every weightloss website in the world (myfitnesspal, for example, insisists I need a 1200 calorie diet to lose a pound a week, and 1500 calorie diet to maintain my current weight). He gave lots of good reasons why I should be eating more like 2000 (the number one reason being that sure, you'll lose weight, but you are doing a lot of that by losing muscles and getting weaker), caveated on the idea that we need to increase our metabolism, not eat less food. I think it will take a while for me to really trust this advice, but I'm not opposed to trying it out. (Eat more food and still lose weight? Who wouldn't?!)
The middle portion of the book is all about the meal plans. I'll admit, while some of the suggested meals do sound delicious... I won't be following them, with few exceptions. Yes, the authors say that my results may not be as good if I don't do so... but I have both a toddler and a husband who eats like one, and I don't want to make separate meals (honestly, I don't want to make meals at ALL). However, I am trying to follow the spirit of the meal plans. I'm using the tracking in MFP to both slowly increase my calorie count and (more importantly according to this book) adjust my proportions of fat/carbs/protein to be more equal. But one thing that I am doing is drinking a protein shake as soon as possible after each workout. They are not as bad as I expected (although the fruity concoction recipe was just gross) although I need to try different protein powders because the one I'm using doesn't dissolve very well.
Finally, the last third of the book addresses the workout plans. I already had a lot of workout equipment in our basement that I purchased with good intentions a few years ago and have used 3 or 4 times. However, I did go to Dick's and purchase a standard bar and some plates, because this book does focus a lot on barbell exercises (although it does provide alternates using dumbells for most exercises if you really don't want to spend the money).
Things I like about these workouts: - they take less than 30 minutes, including the warmup! - for the most part, I can do them in my basement (but you do have to buy some equipment). - I feel like I'm making progress quickly
And honestly, I can't think of anything I don't like. My body parts feel like jelly the next day?
It hasn't been long enough for me to speak of results yet, I'm only about halfway through phase 1. I do see that already I can do these exercises with more weight than I could on day 1, so there's progress. But in terms of weightloss... not much. Plus I'm laid up from any of my regular endurance training with an injury. I'll keep you updated!...more
This was so close to a five star book to me! Had I given it a rating at the 75% mark, it definitely would have been. And the last quarter wasn't BAD,This was so close to a five star book to me! Had I given it a rating at the 75% mark, it definitely would have been. And the last quarter wasn't BAD, it was just slow. There were some long narrative parts where nothing much seemed to happen, and I thought it was ending 3 times before it really did (that's one disadvantage of the audio version - had I been reading a paper or kindle version, I'd have known there was still a lot left to go). But the real ending was worth it.
Once again, here is a book I can't believe I waited so long to read. It's very dark, but beautifully written.
I liked Hopper and usually liked Scott. Didn't care for Nora, and honestly I do think the book wouldn't have lost much without her, at times she felt like a token female. This is one of those books where I can't write anything at all about the plot, or it will completely ruin the book for you.
The audible version was good. The narrator did a great job with the characters. Although I'm a little sad I missed out on some of the mixed media things. He read the case notes and newspaper articles and etc, but would have had a different feel seeing them in the book....more
This book was pretty cute. It reminded me of a better A Little Something Different, with the really short (a page or two tops, often just a paragraphThis book was pretty cute. It reminded me of a better A Little Something Different, with the really short (a page or two tops, often just a paragraph or even just a sentence!) chapters, switching points of view. This one had the point of view of the two main characters as they were falling for each other, but also some chapters from the point of view of either other characters they met along the way, their parents, or sometimes an interesting history lesson. Rather than trying to follow 17 characters for the entire book the way the other one did, sometimes these "pop in" characters only ever had the one single chapter... but I never felt like those extra chapters were extraneous or just there to be funny or different. It was very well done. (view spoiler)[ I really liked the character of Natasha, although I wish she had a little more skepticism about all the "fate stuff". It seemed like she would, but she started wondering and questioning it much more quickly than I'd think she would given the background the author supplied about her.
Daniel, on the other hand, was too good to be true. Well, actually, Natasha had a little of that going for her as well. Some of the conversations they were having about things like racism and just life in general were overly mature for many adults I know, let alone high school students. I know they are supposed to be worldly and sophisticated New Yorkers or somesuch, but ... I dunno. Too good to be true, I felt.
I absolutely loved the ending... and absolutely hated the epilogue. The ending was so realistic- they try to keep in touch for a while and fade away, and then think about contacting each other but it'd be weird after so long, and they wait longer, and it gets weirder. So life. And felt right to me after all that "fate" crap. But then somehow they end up on the same plane together as adults... and of course, not just the two of them, but also the one security guard happens to be on the plane as well?! Bleh. Not likely. Ruined a perfectly good ending. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, a 4 star book for me. Great for young adults - has the romance, some history, tackles some difficult topics... well done....more
This was my least favorite of the three books in this series. Right from the get-go, it's very strange. When the book begins, it isn't clear what is gThis was my least favorite of the three books in this series. Right from the get-go, it's very strange. When the book begins, it isn't clear what is going on, or who is narrating. Are these new characters, or some we met in the first two books? And then there's a chapter in second person ... really weird. Eventually it comes around that all of the chapters from a certain character's point of view are in second person, but then I wonder, "why does he want ME to be that person?" I can't figure out the point, from a literary perspective.
A lot of questions were answered in this book. What is going on in area X? What were the motivations of the old director and Grace? Why/how did Control's mom get involved? What's up with Whitley? And Lowry. And what happened to the lighthouse keeper?
I was not a fan of the ending. While there was an explanation, there was no conclusion. And no understanding of WHY. On the one hand, I guess that maybe a literary trick... after all, were this happening in reality, it's likely that none of these people would have an understanding of why. Or at least, not until it was too late and they had undergone a change... and at that point they'd be unable to explain it. But it makes for a really unsatisfactory ending for me. I'd like to have something from the point of view of Area X, even though I understand that "in reality" the people would not get such a thing.
I did like all the explanation of the biologists journal and her life there. Some of that was pretty powerful, I thought.
Things I still don't understand/know (probably by design):
(view spoiler)[Were these the real Whitley and Lowry, or doubles? Lowry especially... it was hinted that Whitley could be a double, since at least there WERE two of him and one killed the other. But no one knows who won. I suspect he was a double. But with Lowry, it wasn't suggested that he was a double ... except it seems like everyone who comes back IS a double, yes? So it would make sense if he were...
I also want to understand the words that Saul and the crawler kept repeating. Everyone kept reacting as if these words were really powerful and deep, but I did not understand them. What were they trying to say by causing this to be the only thing on his mind?
Where did Suzanne and Henry from the S&SB really come from? Well, I mean, I guess they were Area X creatures, since there was no record of them being on the board? But that seems weird because as far as I can tell, the only human-like forms Area X had were doubles. Or were they just normal people but sent from Central? I didn't think there was a conclusion about whether the line item actually referred to the S&SB. (hide spoiler)]
Anyway... yeah. I finished a series! Left me feeling a little meh....more
This is a tough one to review. I'm wavering between 3 and 4 stars, but I guess I'll round down, even though I did like it and definitely plan to contiThis is a tough one to review. I'm wavering between 3 and 4 stars, but I guess I'll round down, even though I did like it and definitely plan to continue through the rest of the series. Why round down? Mainly, due to pace. This book is really long, but not a lot happens. Or well, a lot happens but it doesn't feel like it's really important stuff. The whole book is a series of move to one land, get attacked by something, move to the next land, get attacked by something, move to the next land... it's like, I GET IT ALREADY, THIS PLACE IS FREAKING HUGE! But I have to wonder how many of these lands, or the people/puppets they meet will actually come to matter in the end. There are four books in this series. I have to wonder if it could have made due as a trilogy. I guess I'll find out.
Also- characters. So far, Renie and !Xabbu are being treated as the main characters, I think. But their whole thread kind of annoys me. Renie is too... I guess stereotypical heroine. I'm not a fan. And most of the rest of their crew doesn't interest me either, most of them just seem thrown in so there are more people. One is already dead, and he wasn't really useful. I think he just served to make it harder to tell which sim the bad guys were inhabiting. Meh. Orlando's storyline though <3*sigh*. I look forward to his sections, including the ones now with Catur. He and Fredericks are great, and Beezle. And I also like Christabel's sections, though I think the author doesn't do so well with the 5 year old point of view.
Wow, I hadn't realized just how many characters there are! It's like Game of Thrones... except most of these ones matter less to the plot.
Anyway. I'll continue to read the series. The world that Tad Williams has created is pretty interesting, and I want to know what the Brotherhood's plans are, and what the coma kids and the circle have to do with it. I'm hooked!...more
I went to the library to get some books for my son, and this book caught my eye on the "featured" shelf (it worked!). It was a fast read, I got througI went to the library to get some books for my son, and this book caught my eye on the "featured" shelf (it worked!). It was a fast read, I got through it in less than two hours I think, in a single setting. Parts of it were very funny. A lot of it was kind of meh. Some of it might have been funnier, except I'm maybe less well-read than I think I am, because I hadn't read many of the books here. Oh well....more
This was the second of two books in this series that my niece borrowed from the library when she visited. I didn't like this one as much as the MedusaThis was the second of two books in this series that my niece borrowed from the library when she visited. I didn't like this one as much as the Medusa book -- this one had a lot of the same annoying gimmicky feel with the made up words and the "oh brother" relationship between Hades, Zeus and Po, but the plot didn't do enough to make up for it. The main storyline in this book is Zeus giving Pandora the box and betting that she'll open it, and when she doesn't he does everything he can think of over the course of many years to trick her into opening it. The "tricks" are kind of lame, and there is no climactic ending because it's just so predictable when it does happen. I did like the parts with Prometheus though, and how they dealt with his punishment and tricked Zeus... but not enough to up the stars on the rest of the book....more
My 10 year old niece borrowed two books in this series from the library here when she visited in early July, and since they were both still here wellMy 10 year old niece borrowed two books in this series from the library here when she visited in early July, and since they were both still here well after she left, I decided to read them before taking them back to the library. It was a pretty cute book! I think I was a pretty "serious" reader when I was a kid and probably would have been amused by the humorous (sarcastic, as my niece said) tone of the book, but as an adult I was able to get past that a little, though it did still annoy me how there were random words for things (oh, that's old-timey speak for camera.... whatever)
It's told from the point of view of Hades, who it turns out is just an all around great guy with a good sense of humor trying to set the record straight about his annoying brothers, Po and Zeus, who always screw everything up. So in this book, Hades tells us about what REALLY happened with Medusa, who was also a lovely and intelligent lady, even after she became a gorgon.
The book is amusing and kind of gimmicky, but it's entertaining and a fast read. I'd recommend it for kids who are already good readers and know the traditional Medusa story....more
Love! we have been reading these comics for a while now, since before our son was born back in August. I have seen some of these panels multiple timesLove! we have been reading these comics for a while now, since before our son was born back in August. I have seen some of these panels multiple times and I STILL laugh out loud when I see them. a great read for all parents and soon-to-be parents!
The only reason I didn't give 5 stars is because he didn't include any of the bonus panels, which are often the best part. If you don't normally read these comics, I recommend finding them online and checking out the bonuses....more
It's interesting. This is the second book I've read recently where there are different classes of people separated by color, where Red is at the bottoIt's interesting. This is the second book I've read recently where there are different classes of people separated by color, where Red is at the bottom (the first being Jasper Fforde's Shades of Grey). And there is yet another that I anticipate reading soon, Red Rising. Strange that there is a confluence of these suddenly!
I actually wrote the beginnings of a book with a similar premise for NaNoWriMo back in ... 2008? Or, I guess it must have been 2004 (man, I'm getting old). So I love to see what the different people did with it.
I see a lot of complaints about this book being "a cross between hunger games and X-men". I guess I can see that, but lots of books have remnants of other books and are still wildly popular, so I won't hold that against it. It held my attention. Yeah, it was kind of young, but I knew it was YA going in so I was ok with that also.
I did think the main character was kind of dumb, and should have seen a lot of this coming.
I also wonder, did Cal know there was something different about her right from the beginning? Is there something about his ability that gave him a hint? After all, he'd been sneaking out for a while, it seemed like, and it isn't as if he was befriending random red girls all along, right? I'll be interested to read the rest of the series to find out how it progresses....more
I've never read anything by this author before, but one of my Goodreads Groups is reading a bunch of his stuff this year, and this was the first selecI've never read anything by this author before, but one of my Goodreads Groups is reading a bunch of his stuff this year, and this was the first selection. Nora Webster has been on my TBR based on its description ever since it came out.
When I first started reading this book, I was concerned. It moved really slowly for me, and I kept drifting and realizing I'd stopped reading. I had a bunch of "false starts" where I kept starting at the beginning again.
I did like the story in the end, so I'm glad I stuck with it, but I don't like his writing style - at least not in this book. It seemed really choppy and unnatural and unemotional to me. Except it was a very emotional story -- it was really strange to me to read such an emotional tale told in what felt like a neutral and robotic tone.
I agree with what some people have said about the lack of action. It's more a slice of life book where nothing really HAPPENS but the characters grow as a result of living life, which I tend to not like as much. But I like the way in which he addressed this sort of situation of love and infidelity in the novel, and I felt like I related to Eilis at the end.
I also find it interesting that Nora Webster was mentioned when Eilis was back in Ireland ... I guess there must be some connection between the two books.
I'll give another one of his books a try and see what I think. I really thought I wasn't going to like this one after the first section with the stand-off-ish writing style and so many pages of the book devoted to vomiting all over everything which turned me off and also had really nothing to do with the story itself, but it turned out well. ...more
When I was listening to this audio book, I cried a lot. More than I'd ever cried before when reading/listening to a book. Since then, I've read The NiWhen I was listening to this audio book, I cried a lot. More than I'd ever cried before when reading/listening to a book. Since then, I've read The Nightingale, and cried EVEN MORE (which I didn't think possible). But that doesn't detract from the goodness of this book.
What's interesting about this novel, is that it focuses on crimes that are often overlooked in the history books. Reading reviews, it is clear that I am not alone in the fact that I wasn't exposed to the atrocities that these Lithuanians were exposed to in Siberia by the Soviet Secret Police. I wasn't even aware that people were shipped off to Siberia, let alone the reasons why or what happened to them there. I love books that open my eyes to historical events in an interesting way and cause me to want to read the (drier) historical documents to learn more. Yes, I realize it's a novel and not 100% accurate or representing actual people or events, but I always think if history classes in high school started by reading a novel like this and THEN taught the historical facts, students would be more engaged and interested in learning.
Ok, I'll get off my soap box now.
I loved how nuanced the characters were. The good characters weren't entirely good, and the bad weren't entirely bad (well, ok, maybe some of them were...). But they were human, and as such they were interesting and believable. I was really rooting for them.
Overall, I liked the narrator. Occasionally her voice was whiny and didn't fit the emotion I was expecting, especially when one character was trying to get the attention of the main character, Linna. I could just hear the whiny 4 year old "momma", every time she said "Linna".
My only real complaint about the book is the idea that she hid this note for people in the future to find. Didn't seem necessary to do it that way at that point....more
This was offered for free from Audible at the end of December. After being thoroughly unimpressed with last year's free offering of The Cricket on theThis was offered for free from Audible at the end of December. After being thoroughly unimpressed with last year's free offering of The Cricket on the Hearth I was a little hesitant to get this one. But, I figured, what the hell, it's free and short, I'm unlikely to ever pay for it or take it from the library... so I got it. Plus, audiobooks of "boring" stories are much easier to get through than the printed versions, and I'd read a few things saying the narrator Richard Armitage was awesome.
I completely agree that the narration was great - I checked to see if he had narrated any books I'd be interested in but seems he's mostly into classics. Eh. But the narration boosted this from 2 to 3 stars.
I liked this a lot more than The Cricket on the Hearth, both in terms of the narration and the actual story itself. I found my mind drifting a lot less frequently, and even felt like I understood what was happening most of the time! I think, though, had I been reading the paper version instead of having the great narration it would have taken me a lot longer to get through because I would have been bored and put it down and not picked it up for days.
After the story was over, I wondered about the point of the book. Trotty kept telling the goblins that he'd learned his lesson, but to be quite honest I had no idea what lesson this might have been. If anything, it seemed like Meg's lesson to learn... since she was the one who decided not to marry Richard based on what the higher class folks were saying, which led to all the bad things. Trotty had disapproved of the decision at first, but he'd kept it inside and didn't say so. Even after reading Wikipedia about the supposed lesson here, I'm not convinced that this story succeeded in teaching it. ...more
I picked up this book randomly from the library - it was nearby on a shelf when I got Twelfth Night and caught my attention. I picked a page at randomI picked up this book randomly from the library - it was nearby on a shelf when I got Twelfth Night and caught my attention. I picked a page at random and read it, it was funny, so I brought this home also. Quick read, kept me entertained one night, and I read a few to my husband who thought it was funny enough that he also read through it at bedtime.
Some of these quotes are hilarious. Some really make you scratch your head and wonder about the people in this world. Others are kind of lame. Some feel really forced and over explained - like probably the conversation didn't actually happen that way but she added in more explanation that was needed in case her readers were stupid and couldn't figure it out. I didn't like that. In general, it seemed the submissions from other store clerks around the world were funnier and less over-explained.
Anyway, it was an entertaining read, worth the evening I spent with it :)...more