One of the best books I've read in awhile. And hands down the creepiest book I have EVER read. (I 100% shrieked last night when my heater turned on)....moreOne of the best books I've read in awhile. And hands down the creepiest book I have EVER read. (I 100% shrieked last night when my heater turned on). It takes some effort-- it's a labyrinth of interconnected stories that literally weave together (Like seriously. literally. weave. together. Footnotes. Appendix. Pages that you turn upside down and sideways) to create a book about.... Hallways? That randomly appear and never end, in a house. (Im not lying. Hallways. and NOTHING has ever seemed scarier) And the photojournalist who created a documentary about them. And the people who then studied the documentary. And wrote about it. And cats? And its about language. And words. And darkness. And haunting, echoing, fear. It's about perception. And how we experience things. Its about all of the different spaces that surround us and we inhabit. Its about...emptiness.... That vacuous emptiness that, (at sometime or another), we all feel..that is at the core of being human, that black hole of solitary aloneness that sometimes arises in the middle of the night or when you catch yourself seriously considering the question, who am I? And realizing that you can never, ever truly know another person, and that we all go through this life in our own alone.
Its a book that begs for discussion. It is so damn creepy, and bizarre, and at times confusing, that you just NEED to talk about it. (S&P Im looking at you) Because even though I just listed all of those things above I still don't really know what it was about. I just know that I loved it. I loved that it was laugh out loud funny, and i loved that it gave me the chills it was so creepy. and i loved that it was creatively executed, and beautifully written/-I'm a chronic underliner and the book is heavily marked up pointing out lines and pages of poetic beauty... House of Leaves. 5 stars. (less)
S6haun Tan's artwork, and his unusal stories are amoung my favorites. In this compilation of 3 stories the first 2. The Red Tree and The Lost Thing we...moreS6haun Tan's artwork, and his unusal stories are amoung my favorites. In this compilation of 3 stories the first 2. The Red Tree and The Lost Thing were my favorite, I found them both to be huantingly beautiful.(less)
The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story 1932416870
Does your todo list during the Holiday...more100% just laughed out loud. Numerous times.
The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story 1932416870
Does your todo list during the Holidays have you feel like screaming? Sometimes the best sort of therapy is realizing that others have it much worse than you do. And then laughing out loud. Several times. Because, seriously, this Latke has it MUCH worse than you. And an irate latke in the hands of veteran satirist Daniel Handler, better known to his many fans as Lemony Snickett, is one of the funniest things I've read in awhile. It may be published as a children's book, but this is a book that adults may appreciate more than their pint sized counter parts. Need more reasons to check it out? The book is so brief you can actually fit reading it into that crazy todo list of yours. And then feel much better about the amount of books you have read this year, because your numbers just went up. Not to mention that after it's completion, you will likely realize that it is the perfect gift for those people on your list that perennially leave you feeling stumped when it comes to gift giving ideas. Thus decreasing the size of that ominous todo list- that suddenly doesn't seem so stressful, given the life of a latke. I mean, you may have a lot to do in the next week or so, but at least you're not a latke. Sometimes all we need is a little perspective. (less)
I loved this book (I almost gave it 5 stars. But I feel like no one else will like it if I do because I will have set their expectations to high. Mayb...moreI loved this book (I almost gave it 5 stars. But I feel like no one else will like it if I do because I will have set their expectations to high. Maybe it should be a 3?)
Rosamund Lupton's emotionally taught story is as beautifully written as it is hard to put down. It's a literary page turner that immediately pulls you in. Beatrice lives in the Unites States away from her sister who lives in London. Bea is smart and successfull-- the practical New Yorker while Tess is the arty flightly younger sister art student. When Beatrice learns that her sister has gone missing she immediatley leaves for London. The story starts as a letter from Bea to Tess and it's this literay device that makes the story succeed so well on so many different levels.
The letter writing helps build suspense by revealing parts of the story before they have actually occured-The reader keeps turing pages as they try to figure out how everything will unfold and how everything ties together.
The letters also create an intense intamcy beteween the narrator and the reader. The reader is on the recieving end of emotionally raw writing that feels as if it is addressed directly to them and it pulls them into the story. It is impossible not to feel Beatrice's heartbreak. The writing is absolutely beautiful. I would stop to read heartbreaking descriptions aloud, "Grief is love turned into eternal missing." OR "People think it's reassuring to say, "life carries on." Don't they understand that it's the fact your life carries on, while the person you love's does not, that is one of the acute anguishes of grief? There would be day after day that wasn't the day you were found; that hope, and my life with my sister in it, had ended."
It's chilling and heartwearming, terrifying and life affirimng. Like I said. I Loved it.
YA readers who enjoyed Thirteen Reasons Why will find that this story has a similar feel--Beatrice's letter to her sister works in much the same way Hannah Baker's tapes did. They create the same sort of suspense and intimacy. And although it has been a long long long time since I read it, I feel like readers who enjoyed Lucky by Alice Seabold would also find similar elements of appeal in Sister. Or maybe I'm thinking of the Lovely Bones? Like I said, it's been awhile... (less)
Did I love this book or hate it? I have no idea. But I think I may have loved it. And it definitely made for a lively book discussion. I wanted a litt...moreDid I love this book or hate it? I have no idea. But I think I may have loved it. And it definitely made for a lively book discussion. I wanted a little more Douglas Adams type philosophy and instead I got, well, I'm not sure what. Maybe something a bit too deep for me to fully understand? Or maybe the author was trying too hard. Or maybe there is only so much you can glean from a herd of sheep who set out to discover who murdered their beloved Shepherd. It was strange. And it was quirky. It maybe could have been a bit shorter. But it made me laugh (although not as hard as I wanted to) and I'm glad I read it with a group. Discussing the personality types of the different furry fellows definitely added to my enjoyment of the book. (less)
Hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time. A colorful and vibrant family in full dysfunction. Although this book is a work of fiction readers who e...moreHilarious and heartbreaking at the same time. A colorful and vibrant family in full dysfunction. Although this book is a work of fiction readers who enjoyed The Glass Castle and Jesus Land will likely enjoy Kelly's Apologize, Apologize. I couldn't put it down. (less)
A beautiful glimpse into the fictional mind of a high functioning autistic boy on the brink of adult hood.
At his father's insistence, 17 year old Marc...moreA beautiful glimpse into the fictional mind of a high functioning autistic boy on the brink of adult hood.
At his father's insistence, 17 year old Marcelo is forced to leave the comforts of a school and a job that have catered to his needs and interests to work in the "real world." In the "real world" Marcelo must make difficult decisions about what he believes, who he believes in, and who he wants to be.
Themes of friendship, communication, and religion are woven into a story told by a unique protagonist. Marcelo's brain may function a bit differently than the rest of ours but he is a character who is both easy to like and understand.
I'm not sure what the proper age recommendation is for this book--it definitely seems to require a mature reader who can appreciate Marcelo's insights--8th grade and up depending on their interests? I tend to think this book may have more adult appeal then YA, but maybe the right reader and the right setting (book discussion groups perhaps?)would improve its appeal(less)
Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I LOVED this book!! The oddly endearing colloquialisms of Himmel street have worked their way into my vocabulary in much the s...moreJesus, Mary and Joseph. I LOVED this book!! The oddly endearing colloquialisms of Himmel street have worked their way into my vocabulary in much the same way that the characters have seared themselves into my memory. I find myself wanting to tack "Saumensch" onto the end of every sentence (which my husband is finding incredibly peculiar) as often as I find myself thinking about Rudy and Lisel. This book has worked itself into my consciousness. I finished it several days ago and can't stop thinking about it.
Narrated by Death, the Book Thief is a unique addition to WWII literature. It is the story of Lisel Meminger, a young girl being raised by foster parents in Hitler's Germany. Although the war certainly affects the characters of the story, it is not necessarily a story about war. It is a story about friendship and family. Of hope, and the power of words. It is a literary joy. Zusak uses language in an original and often poetic way--he illuminates moments by personifying emotions and words. And with Death as our omniscient narrator we are often told the ending of the story before the beginning--the plot is not linear, but a circular masterpiece--bits and pieces are woven together to eventually create the whole. As Death himself notes at one point, it is not the ending that matters as much as the details that happen along the way.
Published in Australia as an Adult novel and in the US as YA, the Book Thief definitely has crossover appeal and the potential to reach a wide audience. I think the audio version probably expands the audience and makes the book accessible to an even younger audience. The print version is suitable for high school and probably even some junior high students. I think the circular plotting, German vocabulary, and unique literary techniques may challenge less advanced readers but the audio version removes, or, at the very least, lessens, the challenges that they present. I, for one,was very happy to have the German words pronounced for me and it definitely enhanced my "reading" of the story.
As I said in the beginning. I LOVED this story. It was a compelling, funny, tragic, and heartrending read. One of my new favs.(less)
It took me about 3 months to get through it but it was well worth the effort. A fascinating, thought provoking, and timely philosophical treatise. Wha...moreIt took me about 3 months to get through it but it was well worth the effort. A fascinating, thought provoking, and timely philosophical treatise. What makes the book so incredible is that the story demonstrates a complicated philosophy so clearly that when it comes to the parts of the book that are 30-40 pages of pure philosophical discourse, the philosophy already feels known. An excellent combination of rhetoric and story. Fascinating. And Long:)(less)
read this over a year ago, and am ready to read it again. A stunning piece of literature--the way the story weaves together can be confusing at first...moreread this over a year ago, and am ready to read it again. A stunning piece of literature--the way the story weaves together can be confusing at first (multiple pov told in different periods of time), but if you stick with it, it is well worth the effort and the book soon becomes impossible to put down. I finished it with tears running down my face and an incredible amount of respect for the author. The book has a strong sense of place and the city of Chicago is vibrantly described. A fantastic story that is well told and a pleasure to read.(less)
What can I say? I love Meg Rosoff! A wonderfully and beautifully told story with a shocking twist that begs to be read in book clubs! In terms of YA a...moreWhat can I say? I love Meg Rosoff! A wonderfully and beautifully told story with a shocking twist that begs to be read in book clubs! In terms of YA appeal, I think the story is best suited for older teens... high school and college aged ...it's a coming of age story which many teens may relate to, but there are complex themes that are better suited for sophisticated readers....(less)
I give the author 4 stars for literary style and uniqueness but 2 (maybe 3?) for enjoyment.
Donoghue was completely convincing in her ability to tell a...moreI give the author 4 stars for literary style and uniqueness but 2 (maybe 3?) for enjoyment.
Donoghue was completely convincing in her ability to tell an entire story from a 5 year olds point of view--which is no easy feat. I completely bought into Jack's perspective of the world--or I suppose, it might be more accurately said, I completely brought into Jack's perspective of Room. With props given for writing style and a story well told, I have to admit that I just didn't love the story. I didn't love being in Room with Jack. I didn't feel compelled to finish the story. But maybe that's because I was expecting more of a crime/thriller.....
Challenging but worth it. LOVED the writing style. I missed the bookclub meeting for this title, and was very sad not to be there. There is a lot to t...moreChallenging but worth it. LOVED the writing style. I missed the bookclub meeting for this title, and was very sad not to be there. There is a lot to talk about-the plot is circular in style and there is much up for debate (or at least I could have used some input on some of the occurrences!). (less)