I could have kept reading The Rosie Project for hundreds more pages. It was so charming, so funny, and such a pleasure to read.
I love Rosie but my truI could have kept reading The Rosie Project for hundreds more pages. It was so charming, so funny, and such a pleasure to read.
I love Rosie but my true love of the book has to be Don, hapless, brilliant, intense, weird, thoughtful, peculiar, overcompensating, under-comprehending, awkward, awesome Don.
Several "classic" Don moments keep coming up in my memory when I recommend this book to others. My favorite is when Rosie uses finger quotes during an emotional conversation and once Don figures out the concept, he begins using his fingers to punctuate his speech with exclamation points and periods, all while Rosie is sobbing through her heartfelt outpouring. He's so sweetly clueless! I kept putting my head in my hands and saying, "Oh, Don."
The author, Graeme Simsion, has created a character that the reader is absolutely rooting for from the very start, despite all the missteps and awkward moments he causes. The amazing thing is that Simsion hasn't made Don too sweet or too pathetic, I found him to be perfectly balanced for me to relate to, marvel at, laugh with, laugh at, and cheer on. ...more
Having never heard of Huguette Clark, or her copper magnate father, W.A. Clark, before I picked up this book, I was amazed at how drawn into the storyHaving never heard of Huguette Clark, or her copper magnate father, W.A. Clark, before I picked up this book, I was amazed at how drawn into the story I became. Author Bill Dedman's explanation of how he discovered Huguette's never-occupied, monumental real estate holdings worked its magic on me and I was hooked. It's not just Huguette's bizarre reclusive lifestyle that fascinated me, but the fact that due to unusual longevity, she and her father combined lived for a total of 190 years. Between the two of them, they lived through a pretty sizable chunk of American history. ...more
You don't expect a cookbook to make you laugh out loud, but that's exactly what Jennifer Reese's Make the Bread, Buy the Butter did to me. Reese is aYou don't expect a cookbook to make you laugh out loud, but that's exactly what Jennifer Reese's Make the Bread, Buy the Butter did to me. Reese is a practical homemaker, humorous writer and a daredevil in the kitchen. Inspired by the discovery that frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a thing that exist, she launches a “make it or buy it” examination of foods from butter to vanilla extract. Reese makes foods I’ve never thought of as homemade - vanilla extract being one example. She says she’ll try anything - and she does. She ranges from tamer experiments, like making bagels and yogurt from scratch, to kitchen adventures that take some real guts, like raising and slaughtering chickens and curing her own bacon.
I like a lot of things about this cookbook, but what I enjoyed the most are the introductions to each chapter and to each recipe. The author sets the stage for each new food foray and her self-deprecating humor is pretty hilarious. I laughed out loud at the passage when her husband discovered she’d bought chickens to raise. She's honest about when she takes shortcuts, when a recipe just isn’t worth the work, and when her kids tell her she's nuts.
Another plus is how the book is laid out. For each recipe, she answers the question asked in the title: make it or buy it? She also offers a cost breakdown between supermarket brands and homemade. If you weren't motivated to make your own cocoa mix or hollandaise sauce when you turned to that page, you might change your mind after reading her cost and taste comparisons.
I’ve recommended this cookbook to even my most kitchen-challenged friends. I think it’s as pleasant to just read and enjoy as it is to cook from. It’s clear that Reese simply believes food should taste good - she doesn’t discriminate between potato chips (buy them) and hot dog buns (make them). Read it for the fun of it and you might surprise yourself with what recipes you end up wanting to try out for yourself....more
These comics are hilarious, but far better if you already have passing familiarity with some of the figures Kate Beaton focuses on. I had no idea howThese comics are hilarious, but far better if you already have passing familiarity with some of the figures Kate Beaton focuses on. I had no idea how much I would enjoy some good Jane Eyre jokes. I loved her style as well - her comics look hastily drawn, and the imperfection makes me feel like she was just super excited to tell people her jokes. Fun, smart, and really funny. ...more
It's impossible not to like William Kamkwamba after reading this book. Part of what I liked about him was he wasn't a great student. Before his familyIt's impossible not to like William Kamkwamba after reading this book. Part of what I liked about him was he wasn't a great student. Before his family was unable to pay school fees, his grades were low, C's and D's. He worked hard, but school didn't come naturally to him. But after school was no longer an option, he didn't hesitate in trying to continue his education by heading to the library. The library!? What a great place for someone who loves to learn to spend their time!
So yes, another thing I loved about this story was the important role played by the library. William found old science books, books like "Explaining Physics" that he reads and re-reads until he's reasonably confident he can built a windmill to power his home and pump a well in order to have more harvests and give his family more security. There is no end to William's ingenuity. He melts PVC pipe and hammers it flat for windmill blades. He uses half an old bicycle and makes do with old wires. He also hunts through the scrapyard near his old school and faces mockery and derision every day from his former schoolmates and most of his village.
William has a supportive family and wonderful friends, who help him build, source parts and even invest their money to help him make his dream of "electric wind" come true. The narrative does an excellent job painting a picture of what poverty in Malawi is like - during the famine years, I kept having to remind myself that this was taking place in 2002, when the events sound impossible in this modern age.
Journalist and co-author Bryan Mealer does an excellent job of letting William's voice do the telling. The terms he uses, the personal details about favorite foods or music all fit perfectly and help make William relatable and lovable.
When William has become a success, the story follows him to a TED conference and on his trip to the US and every moment is heartwarming and thrilling knowing how hard William has worked and how much he deserves praise and further encouragement and support to receive more training and continue to improve life in his country....more
Tina Fey is nothing if not honest. About everything. About her awkward childhood, her teenage drama friend years, her uninterested or gay boyfriend-chTina Fey is nothing if not honest. About everything. About her awkward childhood, her teenage drama friend years, her uninterested or gay boyfriend-chasing college years to her successful, ammbitious SNL years and then her working-mom, wealthy-Manhattanite guilt.
If I should ever be called upon to do a magazine cover shoot, I feel like she has prepared me adequately to do a good job. And to expect vegetable tartlets.
As a 30 Rock fan (and who read this book who isn't a 30 Rock fan?) I really enjoyed the look at how the show was developed and is run. She calls out some of her favorite jokes and sequences and then credits the writers who came up with them. It's one of the funniest, and nicest parts of the book....more
An utterly engaging story of an Indian couple raising their family in America. I found myself far more invested in the relationship of the parents thaAn utterly engaging story of an Indian couple raising their family in America. I found myself far more invested in the relationship of the parents than in Gogol early in the book, but as it progressed, I eventually came to care about him as well.
This is beautifully written, from the very first page, I was completely captivated and absorbed this book as fast as I possibly could....more
This Newbery award-winning youth book was a knockout that completely won me over. It’s only at the end that you realize you’ve been reading a puzzle aThis Newbery award-winning youth book was a knockout that completely won me over. It’s only at the end that you realize you’ve been reading a puzzle and have been gradually picking up the pieces the whole time....more