The first 300 pages were just kinda there, then it picked up for about 130 pages and the last 20 pages were trying too hard. I enjoyed it, but it wasn...moreThe first 300 pages were just kinda there, then it picked up for about 130 pages and the last 20 pages were trying too hard. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't nearly as good as the first two Robert Langdon books.(less)
Despite my proclivities for England and those who call her home, I am not much on English history and the old kings and queens of England. I knew very...moreDespite my proclivities for England and those who call her home, I am not much on English history and the old kings and queens of England. I knew very little about Elizabeth I, although I did watch the movie starring Cate Blanchett (the first one) about 10 years ago. Sadly, it was a little too brutal for me, and I watched it once and never again.
However, I need audiobooks. And a friend recently loaned me this one so that I'd have a nice, long read while driving around for work. Driving is one of the few times I force myself to read something I'm not sure I'll enjoy, as I don't have anything else to do. So consequently, while I was not excited about the subject matter, I liked that there were 16 discs to fill my time.
Boy was I in for a surprise! This was a great book! The story was riveting. I would come home at night to read up on the Tudors and see how much of the book was factual and what happened to the various players on the fringes of Henry the Eighth's court.
It took me nearly 2 months of driving to finish it, but that was with the holidays breaking up much of my drive time. I will definitely read more by Alison Weir--several other titles have been recommended to me and if I can get them on audio again, so much the better!(less)
This was my biggest disappointment of a book this year. I had been wanting to read this for a while and finally got a copy via PBS. The book descripti...moreThis was my biggest disappointment of a book this year. I had been wanting to read this for a while and finally got a copy via PBS. The book description tells of a group of women who defy the Iranian regime by holding weekly meetings in their beloved literature professor's home in Tehran. Having read Princess by Jean Sasson (and if you haven't yet read it, what the heck are you waiting for?!) and loved it, I thought I would enjoy Reading Lolita a whole lot more than I did.
In fact, the story does begin with the literature club, but devolves into Nafisi's overall memoir of teaching literature in Iran, living through the revolution, the war with Iraq and eventually meanders back to her women's literature club, just before she emigrates to the US.
By the time I realized how seriously I hated this book, I was 200 pages into it. With only 150 to go, it seemed stupid to quit, so I finished it. I did consult with Lesley, who I consider my reading guru, and she confirmed reading a whole 20 pages before giving up. So I don't feel alone in hating it, and that makes me happy. Yes, I know, I have zero self-esteem about my own opinions, but deal. (less)
Clinton recounts his life from his humble beginnings in Arkansas (where he not only shares his own memories, but those the family has passed down) to...moreClinton recounts his life from his humble beginnings in Arkansas (where he not only shares his own memories, but those the family has passed down) to his rise to power in the Oval Office to the scandal of the Monica Lewinsky mess and the hope that Hillary's senate run brought with it.
Frankly, I thought that this was all a little bit glossy and a little bit slick. While I personally think that Clinton was one of the finer presidents we've had, albeit that he disappointed us greatly, when I moved to Arkansas, I discovered that the people there had voted for him to get him the hell out of their state.
The book, as with any autobiography, is a bit self aggrandizing, glosses over the scandals that beset him throughout his political career, and gives way to bragging about his achievements as an attorney, attorney general, governor, and President.
I'm glad I read it, but at the end of the day, it was definitely a little too slick for me to say I LOVE IT. Still, if you're stuck in the car for prolonged periods of time and want something to listen to, it beats War and Peace -- or so I presume. (less)