What a heartbreaking story. The book is spot on, on so many levels. It's about how people handle their own issues and the impact their experiences havWhat a heartbreaking story. The book is spot on, on so many levels. It's about how people handle their own issues and the impact their experiences have on their children.
One of the things that I love about reading is how a simple story can make readers think about the choices that they make in their own lives. This book made me think about the expectations that parents place on their children and how even with the best intent can lead to disastrous outcomes.
I highly recommend this book. It is not plot driven. It is a character-based read with the primary focus on five members of one family. There is no action, and there is no big twist. It is simply a book about people who that even when doing their best, may or may not be able to make it.
P.S. Thank you to Marilyce for recommending this book to me....more
This book is pretty bad, but I didn't hate it. Hence, the two instead of one star. Some of the story made me laugh out loud, which I don't think was aThis book is pretty bad, but I didn't hate it. Hence, the two instead of one star. Some of the story made me laugh out loud, which I don't think was appropriate in light of the subject matter, but at times it was just so silly. An uncle gives a knife to his nephew whom he thinks may be a killer. Thereafter, the uncle finds a sliced up mouse in his basement. Flipping hilarious!
Solid book about the current education bubble, which was a nice complement to The Lawyer Bubble: A Profession in Crisis that I had read last year. TheSolid book about the current education bubble, which was a nice complement to The Lawyer Bubble: A Profession in Crisis that I had read last year. The current secondary school system is outdated and the incredible rise in the tuition in higher education can't be sustained. Reynolds puts forth some good ideas on how overall the American education system can change for the better, most of which I agreed with; however, the clock is ticking for our kids, and many of us don't have time to wait, which is why parents should be looking at different alternatives for their children. I would recommend this book for parents who are interested in exploring other options that than the traditional public school route. ...more
I am trying to read more business related books. This one was ok. I found the empirical data to be interesting, but most of the book is for people whoI am trying to read more business related books. This one was ok. I found the empirical data to be interesting, but most of the book is for people who are recent graduates and entering the business world for the first time. I found the author's advice to be very basic. Some examples are "look people in the eye when you speak to them", "have a firm handshake", "don't dress like a whore, because it confuses men" and "fat men are ok, unless obese, but women need to be fit and trim", etc. Interestingly, the best part of the book was when the author talked about the difficult situation that women are in - "too nice" or "too aggressive"; "not enough make up" or "too much make-up"; etc., and offered up some ways in which to strike a balance. Unfortunately, however, I was left with thinking how much women are hosed in the workplace. It's no wonder that they continue to lack a seat at the table viz-a-viz their male counterparts....more
Another outstanding book by Murakami. What makes this book different from the others that he has written is that Murakami brought more clarity and reaAnother outstanding book by Murakami. What makes this book different from the others that he has written is that Murakami brought more clarity and realism to this story than he has done in the past. There isn't so much to figure out, which was a nice change of pace, because I could just sit back and enjoy the beautiful writing. Tsukuru is the protagonist of the book and one of the most lonely people that I have ever read about in literature. Yet his story is told with such beauty and grace that it is hard to feel sorry for him.
I highly recommend this one on audio. Also, there were no cats, but Murakami continued his theme of letting us know the drinking and eating preferences of his characters. Love that....more
My 5-year old daughter took this one out of her school library. Many of the stories are depressing to the point where I was concerned that the subjectMy 5-year old daughter took this one out of her school library. Many of the stories are depressing to the point where I was concerned that the subject matter may have been too taxing for my daughter. She seemed to handle it all well, though, and in a way, was almost whimsical about the graphic nature of some of the stories.
Other stories had the most incredible imagery, full of vivid descriptions and vibrant language. "The Swan" is one of the most beautiful stories that I have ever had read imagery-wise. I think that my daughter loved it, too, because before she went to bed that night, she said: "Mommy, I am a swan." Outstanding....more
Excellent read about how humanity is creating the next mass extinction. Kolbert does a great job of giving us a historical perspective of the prior 5Excellent read about how humanity is creating the next mass extinction. Kolbert does a great job of giving us a historical perspective of the prior 5 extinctions and what the differentiating factors are for the potential upcoming one. Specifically, it is the rapid rate of change that humans are making to the environment, not only in regard to release of CO2 gases into the atmosphere but also in the transference of flora, fauna and other creatures from native to non-native lands. The rapidity of the rate of the change impacts a species ability to evolve at a rate that it will need to survive amidst the change. To put it in perspective, we have increased or will increase the CO2 levels in the atmosphere in the 300 years since pre-industrialization at the same rate that an increase in these CO2 gases last occurred over a period of 3 million years!
Kolbert focuses on the extinction of a number of specific species. What's cool about her book is that she has done much traveling with other scientists so that she is able to provide a first-hand account of a bunch of bats dying in a cave or the finding of fossils in an unnamed location outside of Princeton, New Jersey. Although the science can be dense at times, Kolbert does a nice job of communicating the overall message and theme of her book.
I had never heard of this book before (thank you Bookish!), and after briefly reading the description, I thought that it would be something that was aI had never heard of this book before (thank you Bookish!), and after briefly reading the description, I thought that it would be something that was aligned with my interests. Boy, was I right, and what a tremendous find!
The book is based upon the rule of Christian VII in Denmark and how the people around him used him to further their own political agendas. The author also did a great job of depicting the mood of what is known as the period of Enlightenment and how Denmark ended up becoming a huge part of the forefront of that movement.
There are some extremely disturbing scenes at the beginning of the book, but once the reader gets past all of that, the book becomes a story about what happens behind the scenes at the Royal Court when so much is at stake as it relates to freedom.
I listened to this book on audio and really enjoyed it. Walls wrote this book after she had published The Glass Castle. Half Broke Horses is told fromI listened to this book on audio and really enjoyed it. Walls wrote this book after she had published The Glass Castle. Half Broke Horses is told from Walls' grandmother, Lily's, first person perspective. Lily is a fascinating person who led a dynamic life, almost all of which that Walls captures in the book is true. However, Walls had to fill in some gaps along the way, which is why she choose to label the book as fiction. At the end of the book on audio, Walls goes into detail about how she chose her subject matter, decided on the first person perspective, among other decisions that she made when writing the book. Walls is very natural and candid here, and I found this "add" to the book to be both highly informative and enjoyable.
The only miss for me was that Walls had an opportunity to better explain how her mother's childhood may have influenced her life as an adult, and although she hints at it from time to time, she fails to create any "aha" moments for the reader. In light of this point, I would recommend that readers new to Walls read HBH first and TGC second. Either way, I thought that both books were great so readers can't go wrong.
Diaz does a nice job on audio reading his own book, which is well written and interesting, albeit a bit all over the place. It appeared that the intenDiaz does a nice job on audio reading his own book, which is well written and interesting, albeit a bit all over the place. It appeared that the intent here was to have a common thread that linked all of the women with whom his main character, Junior, had had a relationship to show why he lost the one true love of his life, but unfortunately, he didn't get there for me as a reader. Moreover, Diaz intersperses the stories with those from Junior's childhood, which are interesting, but I'm not sure lead us to any greater understanding of why Junior becomes the man who he is in present day.
The writing is gritty and raw, which was a nice change of pace for me as a reader. I also liked that even though Junior is a ladies' man, that he really cares about women and empathizes with their loneliness and need for love.