This book was a shallow exploration of a collection of morally repugnant people. There was nothing enjoyable about it, and while I've seen it on a lisThis book was a shallow exploration of a collection of morally repugnant people. There was nothing enjoyable about it, and while I've seen it on a list of thought-provoking books, I can't say that I even found it thought-provoking....more
For anyone who read and loved The Red Tent, this book is not to be missed!!
I am not generally a fan of art history or even historical fiction, but SusFor anyone who read and loved The Red Tent, this book is not to be missed!!
I am not generally a fan of art history or even historical fiction, but Susan Vreeland's Girl in Hyacinth Blue was recommended by a friend, and it captured my heart. That led me to select this book, which was equally captivating.
Pick up this book and be transported back to 17th Century Italy, the wonders of the art world, and the daily life of women of the day. Next you'll be hungering for a trip abroad....more
Well-researched and compelling given the amount of detail about the lives of average citizens in North Korea, this book was an education. I liked thatWell-researched and compelling given the amount of detail about the lives of average citizens in North Korea, this book was an education. I liked that about it.
On the other hand, the book was choppy and in need of further editing in places.
Furthermore, I found all the characters blending together, which seemed like a failure of the author to fully distinguish them. That transgression was particularly tough for me to forgive when the North Korean regime, fixated on the collective versus the individual, takes the same approach.
All in all, I am glad that I read this book and would recommend it for those who want to learn more about life in North Korea. I would not necessarily endorse it for persnickety literary readers....more
**spoiler alert** This dreadful book is told in four parts, from the perspective of each of three brothers, and then from the perspective of one of th**spoiler alert** This dreadful book is told in four parts, from the perspective of each of three brothers, and then from the perspective of one of their family's servants.
Spoiler #1: The sections of the book don't get better, folks! Spoiler #2: Yes, this author reused names. He didn't care if you found it confusing or not. Spoiler #3: He also didn't care if you could understand anything else he wrote.
Part 1: Benjy: The groaning, drooling, time-jumbled perspective of a mentally handicapped adult man is a confusing, maddening, and seemingly never-ending mess.
Part 2: Quentin (not to be confused with the niece, Quentin): If you care about the boring details of life at Harvard, intermingled with Quentin's obsessive thoughts about his sister's virginity, culminating in his suicide, then this chapter was written for you.
Part 3: Jason (not to be confused with the father, Jason): Jason is one of the biggest douchebags known to literature, but even that doesn't make him interesting. He is infuriated when his niece runs away with the money he stole from his family. That's about it for Part 3.
Part 4: They go to church. This really seems to have no relevance.
So, dear readers, there you have it. The Sound and the Fury is a book that I promised myself I'd read, then regretted, page after awful page. How this book came to be considered a brilliant classic is absolutely baffling to me. If I hadn't found it to be such a miserable experience, I might have given it another read-through just to figure out what I missed, but hell would freeze over before that would happen....more
This book came highly recommended and it didn't disappoint. This, my first Stephen King novel, left me convinced that the author has a brilliantly creThis book came highly recommended and it didn't disappoint. This, my first Stephen King novel, left me convinced that the author has a brilliantly creative mind. His literary abilities didn't blow me out of the water, but it wasn't bad, and the plot kept me going even if it did lag a bit with some repetition 2/3 of the way through. I can't say that I would run out to read more of Stephen King's books, but overall this was a solid read that I enjoyed. ...more
As an avid reader of Kennedy biographies and history it seems to me that this book, more than any other, presents Jackie as pretentious, greedy, cold,As an avid reader of Kennedy biographies and history it seems to me that this book, more than any other, presents Jackie as pretentious, greedy, cold, elitist, materialistic and manipulative.
While the author seemed to have conducted extensive research, one gets the sense that there was an axe to grind or a driving bias behind this portrayal. Balanced it is not.
That said, like other Kennedy biographies, it is interesting and full of facts noted elsewhere, but not my favorite by any means....more
First, I'll admit that I am currently on page 79 of 226. If I had to rate my desire to keep reading from one to ten, ten being the most compelled to gFirst, I'll admit that I am currently on page 79 of 226. If I had to rate my desire to keep reading from one to ten, ten being the most compelled to go on, I'd have to say that I'm about at -57.
Next, let me get this out of the way. I'm no prude, and I occasionally enjoy cursing like a sailor. But even I was shocked by Mr. Doyle's overuse of the words f* and c&*#. So much so, in fact, that I can't bring myself to retype the words because I'm so over-exposed to them. The volume of cursing was a distracting and unnecessary turn-off.
So Mr. Doyle has written a book about domestic violence. This is neither a surprise nor a spoiler; it was referenced on the back of the book. I have read other books about domestic violence, fiction and non-fiction, and have worked with survivors of domestic and sexual assault. Perhaps this is why I find this book to be so desperately inadequate.
Over 79 repetitive pages (filled with uncreative cursing, I repeat), this author has reduced the central character to one role. That of victim. Do we as readers really believe other human beings can be so completely uni-dimensional and incapable of other defining personality traits beyond their subjugation to others? Is it possible that a woman, any woman, could ONLY be defined by the long string of men who have abused her, everyone from her classmates to the milkman to her teachers to her husband? I personally don't think so. Nowhere in these 79 pages does there seem to be any semblance of a well-developed character.
There are so many books that capture the complexity of domestic violence with brilliant writing, rich characters, and a depth of understanding. Unfortunately, I don't think this novel is one of them. Anyone seeking an alternative that feels real and true might find something that will stick to their ribs in Here on Earth by Alice Hoffmann. ...more
I read somewhere that this was one of the best books of 2005.... I could see how some would think so.
Smooth and full of life, this novel is a delightfI read somewhere that this was one of the best books of 2005.... I could see how some would think so.
Smooth and full of life, this novel is a delightfully satisfying, believable and well written work of art that reminds me of Lori Lansens' writing. The characters are flawed and quirky, but are so well developed and evolving that they are likeable despite their failings.
I would not have chosen this book by the title itself or the back cover summary, so I was glad to have come upon this book on a must-read list....more
The layers and shifting realities of this book provoked such an overwhelming torrent of thoughts, feelings and questions in me that I could not even bThe layers and shifting realities of this book provoked such an overwhelming torrent of thoughts, feelings and questions in me that I could not even begin to process them fast enough to keep up with my desire to find out what happened next in the story.
Dark banalities comprise so much of this book that I can understand why some readers turn away, disgusted and offended. However, I found myself perpetually peering beyond the desperate survivalism, searching, along with the characters, for redemption, goodness, hope and love.
Reading this book is like peeling an onion. Your eyes will burn from the pungency and you will wonder if you can go on. You will find more and more that you aren't sure you can stand, yet you forge ahead.
Is this an awful book about dubious characters, or a brilliant novel of immense depth and dimension? I just read it, but I still don't know the answer.
When bad guys are good guys, when victims conspire with perpetrators, when love and hate co-mingle inextricably, when lust and shame become one, and when giving up is a simultaneously hopeful act, worlds turn upside down. I'm left with no other more articulate and appropriate way to say it: This book is a mind-fuck, through and through. If that very sentence offends, potential readers should skip this book altogether.
I really cannot think of a single solitary person I would recommend this book to. It is more the kind of book you happen upon. Then, like a train-wreck you can't stop watching, you simply buckle down as sparks and wreckage pile up around you, yet you keep turning page after fiery page.
I would like to say more, but it feels like I've said everything when in fact I have said almost nothing. Best of luck to anyone who picks this one up! I still can't get it out of my head, but maybe that is just me.
The Myth of You and Me is one of those books that I was drawn into and yet I felt like I still didn't know the characters very well. Is it just becausThe Myth of You and Me is one of those books that I was drawn into and yet I felt like I still didn't know the characters very well. Is it just because they were a bit one dimensional?
I loved the relationship between Oliver and Cameron, and the surprise at the end did make me think about the many things we do not know about one another, even after years of "knowing" those in our lives.
I am glad I read this book, if only for the comforting reminder that there are others in the world who still cherish, mourn, and think about a friend who passed through their lives, as I do.
This review is a little disjointed, and that is how I experienced this book. It flips between different relationships, periods of time, stages of life.....
Several months ago I encountered this book at a used book store for $2.00. My joy soared, and increased by the minute, as I discovered that it was autSeveral months ago I encountered this book at a used book store for $2.00. My joy soared, and increased by the minute, as I discovered that it was autographed by Jane Goodall herself AND the woman next to me waxed on about how she read it and it was a GREAT book!
Several years ago Jane Goodall lectured nearby and I felt like the luckiest person in the world after attending. Inspiring, generous, deep, interesting, and articulate, Jane mesmerized the audience (including me). I expected to feel more of the same while reading this book.
But I didn't. In fact, I felt nothing but boredom.
Sure, the book has some fun pictures of Jane, her family, and chimpanzees. The photos are the best part, and I'm not sure I have ever said that about a book before, because I read to READ.
That said, I must explain myself... While Jane Goodall may be a powerful orator, brilliant scientist, and a woman of saintly character (and I truly felt that way in her presence), she is absolutely, in no way-shape-or-form, a good writer.
I believe Jane Goodall just may have led one of the most interesting lives in modern times, and I have endless interest in primates, foreign cultures, and other peoples' random self-reflections. For these reasons, this book genuinely should have been one of the most interesting books on my shelves. That it was written in such a dull, lifeless way is a crying shame. I've seen elementary school children infuse more energy and rich description into writing stories about their common slobbering house mutts than Jane did with this book about her remarkable life and perspectives on the world.
Finally, I must admit that I did not finish this book. The writing is just too bland to hold my attention.