Despite the fact that I was hoping for recipes - especially for the dessert she made. (I see that you are a Goodread Author, you have to forward me th...moreDespite the fact that I was hoping for recipes - especially for the dessert she made. (I see that you are a Goodread Author, you have to forward me the recipe!) this was a great light-heart read that I really enjoyed even with the predictable ending. Laughed out loud when she kept clicking on her views - I always wondered if I was the only one that did that.(less)
For those that were paying attention, it took me a while to read this. Slow beginning but once you get started it was easy to continue. Historical non...moreFor those that were paying attention, it took me a while to read this. Slow beginning but once you get started it was easy to continue. Historical non-fiction that talks about the invention of the wireless and how it was thrusted into the limelight with a cross Atlantic murder. Two plots in the beginning that merged into one 2/3 of the way thru. Tons of research made apparent by the index and bibliography in the back. Gave me an understanding or Marconi his life and his invention.
I'll be checking out Larson's other books, maybe I'll learn something. (less)
This was a very quick read for me. I read it in two days - of course it helped that I was sick in bed. Let's see if I remember everyone:
I did like thi...moreThis was a very quick read for me. I read it in two days - of course it helped that I was sick in bed. Let's see if I remember everyone:
I did like this book, I liked how the book took over the span of one day but kept bringing up past stories to keep the reader in the loop. But so much happened in the course of one day - car accident, road trip, argument, making-up, funeral, visiting their grand daughter, family dinner, another argument. I'm was exhausted just thinking about their day.
Maggie - Didn't like her at all. She had this way of convincing herself that she knew what was best. Everyone was wrong and she wasted so much time trying to convince them of this. I wanted to slap her and shake her into reality. I was exhausted just reading about her, imagine if I had to grow up with her. She actually bordered on cruel, in my opinion. She lied to manipulate people and then convince herself it was okay because it was for the best. Sometime you just need to step back and let nature take it's course. Instead she would look at the damage she did, shake her frizzy head and go on trying to change things to suit her. And she always jumped from one thing to another. When she got out of the car and walked back to the diner she had her new life already planned out and then dropped it as quickly as it came up. (as an afterthought, she reminded me of Lucy in I Love Lucy - always getting into one scheme or another. Only Maggie wasn't funny)
Ira - The perfect person for Maggie, he was use to being pushed around by his family and probably figured that it was normal to have someone other than him take charge. I also didn't like how he left Maggie there singing alone but when you are dealing with someone like Maggie, imagine how many things she would probably get him into if he bent over more. I don't think either one of them respected one another. Ira thought Maggie was too emotional (he actually was embarrassed when she started crying in the diner) and blind about the faults of their son. Maggie blamed him for splitting up the young couple and being too hard on their son. Were they still married because they loved one another or because that was what one did, stayed married until death?
Jesse - He was a loser plain and simple. Never even thought to visit his daughter, never thought to tell Fiona that he was sorry and that he loved her. The only time he did speak up was when he got angry. Never thought to make a better life for himself. He never took the time to know his daughter, buying her gifts that she wouldn't like and then blamed it on Fiona. Was he that way because of Maggie's constant interfering and Ira's lack of encouraging? And if so, do you still blame him for his faults?
Fiona - Her and LeRoy were the victims of this dysfunctional family. Used by Maggie to try and shape up Jesse. She was lied to by Maggie too many times for me to count. Jesse as well, he lied and cheated on her and constantly disappointed her. Maybe life wasn't much better for her at her mom's but at least there she had a fighting chance. The only problem I had, if she really loved Jesse, than she gave up too easily. She should have tried to get them out of that vortex of a house and on their own. Maybe if Jesse was forced to stand on his own two feet he would grow a back bone.
Serena - I have a cousin just like this person. Always on her own page, marches to the beat of a different drum. She always goes against the norm and persistent as anything. It's easier to shut up and do what she says because she will wear you down anyways.
You read about had three different stages of marriage, one ending (in death) one continuing on and one that didn't work. It gave an honest view of what relationships are. Everyone thinks that marriage is care bears and rainbows and if isn't they should walk away. Perhaps if the young couple grew up in different times they would still be together.
I must be the minority, I liked it. Or maybe I'm bias because it mentioned villages that my grandparents were born in so that was kind of cool. I agre...moreI must be the minority, I liked it. Or maybe I'm bias because it mentioned villages that my grandparents were born in so that was kind of cool. I agree that there could have been better character development but if you really think about it, a person in time of war is not normal when they are dealing with hunger, stress, fear, pain and everything else that goes with war. So why describe them, they could be completely different during times of peace when they are sitting home watching paint dry. And towards the end they were pretending to be completely different people anyways. Married with money and without a care in the world even though they both went AWOL and were fugitives.
I thought it was kind of funny when it was suggested that she drink to ensure that the baby would be small. I've heard that before and actually it was really common for a doctor to tell women to have a drink while pregnant until recently. I bet everyone remembers in Bewitched when Samantha drank martinis all the time while pregnant. (I think doctors also suggested smoking as well, but that's another story).
Obviously, by the details given, this is an anti-war book. People didn't even know what they were fighting for. They were talking about winning rivers, bridges and mountains not people's rights or freedom. I'm curious to know how Hemingway really felt about war and what his experiences were. It's also an anti-God book with a quotes like " All thinking men are atheists." slamming you right in the beginning of the book. The characters believed that there was no God and each person was in charge of their own destiny.
Here is a rough translation for a few of the military terms knew my Italian dictionary would come in handy: tenente - lieutenant carbieneri - Captain or lieutenant captain depending on the branch
Signing off with a couple of really interesting links.
I'm actually enjoying the book and picked up Italian Education to read afterwards.
They really don't have characters in this book (unless you count Ital...moreI'm actually enjoying the book and picked up Italian Education to read afterwards.
They really don't have characters in this book (unless you count Italy as a character)so obviously it's really hard to do a Character Analysis.
But, all in all, I like reading about the little quirks and traditions that foreigners deal with in new countries. I think it would be very interesting to read a book like this but based in Japan.(less)
I just have to say that I kept flipping to the dustjackets to re-read that this is a TRUE story. I couldn't believe all the stuff I was reading.
That b...moreI just have to say that I kept flipping to the dustjackets to re-read that this is a TRUE story. I couldn't believe all the stuff I was reading.
That being said, I can name two people off the top of my head that are psychiatrists and are probably more messed up than their patients. I think you have to be a bit off to deal with everyone's problems.
Let see, I think he was so obsessed with hair because it was something he could control unlike the rest of his life. He could make it blonde or orange he could make it look perfect like a Ken doll. And he was so obsessed with everyone else's hair because again it was the only thing he could control about everyone else.
And apparently this person never heard of Robert Frost when he said no one knows poets.
I did liked the book and I plan on looking at his other books and articles. If this was a fiction book it would bug me to not know what happened after he decided to move to New York but since it's a memoir I guess I can figure it out! :)(less)
I actually didn't like the book. I don't need a book to entertain me by girls / women fighting among themselves for the attention of a man. I think I...moreI actually didn't like the book. I don't need a book to entertain me by girls / women fighting among themselves for the attention of a man. I think I see too much of that in real life ;) But it is interesting to see how one person affected so many people even decades after he died. Just shows you how important everyone one is and how their role could an affect generations after they are gone.
I did like the quote, "It's like we started out being sold, got free of it, then sold ourselves to the highest bidder" I think that describes not only a few characters in this story but many people in general and the highest bidder could be a person or even a job.
I didn't have as hard of a time with the marriage. That was what people did back then. My grandmother was engaged at 13, married at 15 and pregnant by 16. And my grandfather was 10 years older!!! No one even batted an eye and they were married for over 55 years and had 5 kids.
My favorite part is when the two friends made up in the end - they cleared the air before it was too late, not that many people have the opportunity to do that. And the great part was that their family played a role in keeping them apart and it was an enemy, Junior (a non-family member with bad intentions) that brought them together in the end. (less)
**spoiler alert** I looked up Harper Lee online this is her only published book. However, she did write a few articles that one can find and read onli...more**spoiler alert** I looked up Harper Lee online this is her only published book. However, she did write a few articles that one can find and read online: Love in other Words - Vogue Christmas to me - McCalls When Children Discover America Romance and High Adventure
Her full name is Nellie Harper Lee - I bet she dropped the Nellie part so publishers would mistakenly think she was a man and read her material. She is also still alive and living in Monroeville, Alabama. And once you read about her and her family, you will know that she is not the only amazing person in that family (guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree).
I was able to tell in the beginning that the book started in the 30's once Dill mentioned that he saw Dracula in the theaters. Dracula was in theaters in 1931-32 (don't ask how I know that), and they mentioned that they were in the Depression which started in 1929 (1927-28 for the farmers) and went on through out the 30's. Since they were openly drinking, Prohibition must have ended (1933). And, towards the end of the book, they were mentioning Hitler and what he was doing in Germany which took place in the late 30's. My history teachers would be so impressed that I retained all of that information. Too bad my head is so full of that information, I have to look up my own phone number.
I loved Scout. In fact, I get dibs on that name for a little girl- or did Bruce Willis and Demi Moore beat me to it? I loved that she wanted to be a person first and then a girl. And she supports the fact that little kids know the meaning of life and forget it as they get older. She had a great relationship with her brother and father and they encouraged her to be true to herself and not follow the stereotypes of ladies of that time. I loved her way of thinking especially how she drew the conclusion that if she starting swearing her dad would assume she picked up the bad habits from school and pull her out. And when she wanted to write a letter to Dill in invisible ink just to drive him crazy, I almost ruined the book because I was drinking a Diet Pepsi at the time.
I have a feeling that Harper Lee was just like Scout and have you noticed that all early 1900 female authors are tomboys? Louisa Mae Alcott was Jo in Little Women, Laura Wilder wrote about herself. It just goes to show you that the truly creative women were those that went against the stereotypes of the time.
I'm not sure I like the fact that Atticus allowed them to call him by his first name and not Dad, but aside from that he was the perfect role model. He talked to them, not at them, and he always listened. He firmly believed that it was important for his children to respect him and by NOT following the creed "Do as I say, not as I do", Scout and Jem would be able to look up to him. He wanted his children to look beyond the color of one's skin, therefore he did. He treated everyone as equal despite their race, family background, age or education and if more people did that, there wouldn't be as many problems today. His teaching methods worked. You can tell how much the children loved and looked up to him. Nothing hurt them more then having their father be ashamed of them. They didn't keep things from him because they thought he wouldn't understand. They kept things from him because they didn't want him to get hurt. And they always listened, because to disobey would hurt Atticus.
Atticus's brother was another one of my favorite characters even though he wasn't mentioned a lot. When he realized his error after punishing Scout for beating up her cousin and tried to make it right, it showed that he also strived to earn their respect just like Atticus. Nothing irates me more then when someone tells me I have to respect them because they are older than me. Whatever. Does that mean I have to respect Bob Ewall because he is older?
It's easy to see with all of the problems in the world why Boo Radley feels safer hiding from away from it. It takes a special person to admit defeat to the cliché "if you can't beat them join them" and turn his back on things he doesn't understand. I think everyone has a little bit of Boo in us, when we shut out the problems of the outside. Of course, we all have a little of Scout in us to especially when I come out fighting if anyone tries to hurt my family.
The court case. Wow, the sad thing is, is I can see that happening even today (i.e. the Rodney King trial). When I moved here the first time, just before the LA riots, there was a huge ordeal about a Korean, store-owner who shot and killed a 17-19 black, teenager girl, she claimed was stealing and attacking her. The security camera shows the tiff and it shows the teen putting down the item and walking towards the exit. The store owner shot her in the back and was found not-guilty, by reason of self-defense. When the book was published in 1960, discrimination was still a big problem. I did like how Harper Lee brought up Hitler's actions against the Jews. It was obvious that what was going on in America with African Americans was no different in her eyes than what Hitler was doing. I agree, we were just more discreet about it. Perhaps because deep inside, Americans knew it was wrong to treat African Americans as third class citizens so we tried to hide it more. Hitler was right out in the open with his actions.
I listed a few links that I discovered about To Kill A Mocking Bird: http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/Belmont_HS... The Student Survivor Guide. - This is amazing it has definitions of the harder words and references to the "Allusions and Idioms" that are used.
Sophie, I liked the comparison of Sophie's beaten biscuits and her life – I don't think you read too much in it – I think it was right on. And it was...moreSophie, I liked the comparison of Sophie's beaten biscuits and her life – I don't think you read too much in it – I think it was right on. And it was accurate with Burr gone she has become something sweet and better. I'm still a little shaky on what happened to their son it touched on it so lightly that I didn't know exactly what happened that led to his death. Sophie was one of my favorite characters. Especially after Burr died and she started living.
Henry - I think it was more than `mid-life crisis' that had Henry get up and leave his wife and marry Dee Dee. He wanted his cake and eat it too (another silly cliché that I never understood, just like Henry said, what else are you suppose to do with it, frame the cake and hang it on a wall?) He wanted a maid at home to take care of him and the house and a tart on the side to sleep with and make him feel like he was all that. There's no mid-life crisis about it. He was you typical old school male that thought they could do anything they wanted without repercussions. It probably would have been better (or worse depending on who you asked) if he actually married Dee Dee and watched what happened next – they would have made each other miserable – perfect revenge if you ask me.
But he didn't actually leave Vangie until after the daughter died. He kept trying to get her to come back before that. That indicated that it was depression that made him take off to Vegas. He wanted to replace what he lost as soon as possible and that was his opportunity. Eventually he would have been burned regardless if Dee Dee was really pregnant or not. Picture it 5 years later both him and Dee Dee would be cheating on one another. Now at least Billie has a chance to become decent.
Edith – I think she didn't want to move back to New York because there she would be just another artist no different than anyone else. At least in the South she got to be eccentric and stand out. People talked about her and excused her for what they thought were crazy ways. It sounded like she had what everyone hoped for when they started out – the perfect fairy tale romance. Maybe that would have changed if her husband lived longer ;)
Harriet – She was actually fun she reminded me of Harriet Olsen from Little House on the Prairie mean, gossipy and full of herself. Unfortunately she's too blind and dumb to actually realize that she's a miserable old coot so I don't think she will ever see the problems in herself. And she'll believe that she is always happy and perfect.
Dee Dee - She was a product of the time. If she was taught to provide for herself she wouldn't need to chase a man, married or not, to give her what she could have given herself. She was taught that, that was the only option, to find a man to take care of her. She blew it when she found a single man, Renny, so in her mind it would stand to reason that she would have better luck trying to get someone that she knew was a good husband – no matter if it was someone else's husband at least she could fix that. But what I don't understand is why did her aunt let them all stay – why didn't she throw them out instead of putting up with it?
Religion was a character in this book too. Actually it was a villain. Most of them used religion as an excuse. An excuse to snub people or gossip about them, an excuse to write notes instead of telling things to the victims face. An excuse to explain why someone was bad, `those nutty Baptists'. Kirby used it to get everything from food and shelter to sex. Methodists used it as an excuse to explain why they were better than the Baptists, the `Amen Baptists' used it to explain why they were better than the rest of the congregation. Harriet used it to justify all of her disgusting actions. This book is a definite explanation of why there are a lot of people out there that don't like organized religion.(less)
**spoiler alert** Read it in four days, couldn't put it down. I had to keep remembering that it wasn't 100% true. But I think that it was as close as...more**spoiler alert** Read it in four days, couldn't put it down. I had to keep remembering that it wasn't 100% true. But I think that it was as close as we could have gotten. Mineko - The geisha that Golden interviewed did a great job on educating him on the way of a Geisha according to a lecture he gave.
I wasn't as shocked as everyone else seemed to be about the way things were in Japan. Women were not permitted to think or act for themselves. And just like everywhere else, there really wasn't any use for a daughter except to marry her off to a husband with money in hopes of securing future for the daughter's parents and family. There was also a strict code of honor and respect among geishas and the Japanese culture. That is what prevented Sayuri from acting out on Hatsumomo and why she couldn't reveal her feelings nor could the chairman disrespect his friend to be with Sayuri. I admired that about The Chairman and Sayuri, they did what they knew was right and did not follow their feelings. In the end, look where it got them. They were happy, growing old together, probably had a child, she lived peacefully and very well in New York taken care of until the day she died. I wonder what would have happened to Sayuri if she acted out and exchanged Hatsumomo's make-up with rat poison. More than likely, she would have been thrown out of the house and made into a prostitute until she died. In the end, Hatsumomo ended up suffering because she didn't follow the code of honor. Also, fate punished Sayuri for disobeying, when she tried to escape and fell off the roof and I'm sure that had an effect on her future decision makings.
I wish that Sayuri was able to reunite with her sister but in a way I'm glad that they didn't and avoided the typical Hollywood ending. Sayuri reminded me a lot of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. She had her own way of seeing things but they were always clever and accurate. I loved the part when she says that her the back of her father's head was as old and his face but it was smooth like an egg, not deep set in wrinkles. There's living proof in every bald head of why stress and worry creates wrinkles in the face.
Other characters: The Doctor - warped and twisted at least he was useful in help Mameha win the bet against Mother and secured Sayuri place in the house.
The Baron - Hated that he hurt Mameha by going after Sayuri - His disrespectfulness got him in the end.
The Chairman - A man that believed in honor and respect above all. And he was rewarded for it until his death.
Nobu - Despite his rudeness and abruptness, he did care for Sayuri and made sure she was safe. I wish we learned what happened to him in the end but based on the pattern of the story those who lived with honor, died with honor.
Mameha - Loved her, she was smart, sweet, strong - she didn't let anyone push her around and her subtleness was just as effective in getting what she wants as any man. Actually it was better because no one realized that they helped her so they never came back to be repaid.
Pumpkin - Started out sweet and nice but finally acted out after years of betrayal. She was abused and used by Hatsumomo and the household, lied to about being adopted, forced to prostitution during the war. If Sayuri wasn't so wrapped up in her own issues she might have been able to see past herself and try to help Pumpkin more. Despite Pumpkin's betrayal to Sayuri, I hope she went against the pattern of the book and lived the rest of her years happily. Probably the smartest, after all, up until the end, Sayuri thought that Pumpkin made a mistake in bringing the Chairman to the theater instead of Nobu. Never thought that Pumpkin did it on purpose.
**spoiler alert** First, this is the only time that I ever heard of a guy plotting so well to get what he wanted without everyone finding out his plan...more**spoiler alert** First, this is the only time that I ever heard of a guy plotting so well to get what he wanted without everyone finding out his plan. Gatsby planned everything - the house, the location, the money, the parties, the friends, everything just so Daisy would just happen upon him. Why didn't he just pick up the phone and call her or send her a letter instead of planning for five years? Usually it's a girl who will go thru all that trouble so that no one discovers what she is really up to.
Anyway, I enjoyed this story. I loved how it flowed, the era the characters. I plan on reading The Other Side Of Paradise soon (it's on my ever expanding list). There were two things that I wrote down while I was reading. The first was, on page 65 he spoke of that he traveled to San Francisco which he named the "mid west". Since when was San Francisco in the mid west? Maybe I read it wrong but the book is at home so I will have to check later.
The other thing, Fitzgerald never wrote about days, he wrote about events; the day Nick went to see Tom & Daisy, the day Nick met Tom's mistress, the day of the party, the day Nick invited Daisy over to see Gatsby and on... The reader never learned how much time passed between these events. Nick even mentioned in the book that the days just rolled into events but he didn't plan it that way.
Here's my take on the main characters.
Gatsby - Everything he did was for Daisy. Money was his first motivation for everything - leaving home and changing his name. When he met Daisy, she became his motivation. He wanted her to see how successful and rich he was. If Daisy really cared about those things, she didn't really love him unconditionally to begin with. Too bad he couldn't sit back and enjoy his money. Makes me think what he would be obsessing about once he had Daisy.
Nick - It seemed that he was just a spectator. His only place in this book was to tell the story as if he was the author writing Gatsby's memoirs. He also seemed to be the only one there with a conscience. He couldn't believe how everyone was nonchalant about the death of Myrtle, including Gatsby himself. And he couldn't believe all those people that filled Gatsby's house for the parties yet ran in the opposite direction when it was time to go to Gatsby's funeral. He finally left the city all together he was so disgusted.
Tom – He was a self-absorbed idiot who, with Daisy, created chaos and then turned the other way without thinking about their actions. Tom kept trying to act smart - taking ideas and opinions from books and passing them on as his own. Even his wife saw that and ignored him. He's a racist, quoting from the book "The Rise of the Colored Empire" and a sexist. He didn't even care that Nick was Daisy's cousin when he introduced his mistress to him. And we won't even talk about him hitting Myrtle. He didn't even want Daisy until someone else wanted her and then he freaked. Why was it okay for him to steal another man's wife but no one else could?
Daisy - Another idiot who chose money and power over love. She jumped from one thing to the next without thinking anything thru. She was disloyal to Gatsby three times. The first time by marrying Tom after promising to wait for Gatsby until he returned from the war. Then by allowing him to take the fall for her reckless driving, resulting in Myrtle's death. And then by not going to his funeral. Daisy didn't even care about her own daughter, bringing her out like a trained seal for guests and then when she was done showing her off, gave her back to the nanny after 10 minutes. Sure Tom came back to her but that was because the people they were cheating with died. Eventually Tom will find someone else to fool around with again and Daisy will be miserable.
And the one thing that will drive me crazy about this story, is what happened to the dog that Tom bought for Myrtle? Did someone go get it or did die of hunger and loneliness?
The life of girl over a period of 25 years, each new relationship brings on a new chapter in her life. There are some funny lines in the book but I ha...moreThe life of girl over a period of 25 years, each new relationship brings on a new chapter in her life. There are some funny lines in the book but I have a feeling I will forget everything about this book the moment I start a chapter in my next book, it was that forgettable.
She darted in and out of relationships, jobs and friends as if they were nothing more than a traffic cone on her way to a cliff. And there was no real ending, you have no idea if she fell over the cliff or stopped dead in her tracks.
Her never ending quest to find the perfect job and the perfect guy is impossible since she doesn't even know what would make either perfect for her. (less)