This is the 8th book in the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher - and I'm really enjoying how the character, Harry Dresden, is growing. He's snarky an...moreThis is the 8th book in the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher - and I'm really enjoying how the character, Harry Dresden, is growing. He's snarky and flawed but overall a good guy. I also really love Butcher's take on Chicago - full of vampires and ghosts and fairies and who knows what else. Good stuff!(less)
Consider the Twinkie... A popular food item, first introduced to the public in the 1930's, which now represents a vast example of how ingredients have...moreConsider the Twinkie... A popular food item, first introduced to the public in the 1930's, which now represents a vast example of how ingredients have changed over the years to meet consumer demand. Honestly, I'd never really thought about it before... that long list of hard-to-pronounce chemicals on the packages of my snack cakes never bothered me. But reading this book not only opened my eyes to what, exactly goes into this innocent-seeming treat, but also how incredibly complex and vast and intricate the entire food industry in America IS. It's shocking to find out how much of our food additives come from products that were once thought to be useless by-products of steel manufacturing. And oil. SO much stuff comes from oil!! Food stuff, concrete, plastic (of course), stuff that goes into our shampoo and soap and toothpaste... it's amazing to discover the origins of all of these things, the intricate web of relationships between manufacturing and food products. I know people who won't eat Twinkies because "they're made from nothing but chemicals" but honestly, MOST of the food we buy and eat contain quite a few of these same chemicals... it just goes to show that many consumers don't REALLY know what they're eating anymore. I mean, if something you wanted to eat had an ingredients list like this: hydrogen oxide, cellulose, hemicellulose, malic acid, dexrose, fructose, pectin, sucrose, amylacetate, and citric acid... would you eat it? No? Not natural enough for you? Not healthy?
Do you realize the above is the ingredients list for an apple?
Anyway, the point of this book was certainly not to tell everyone that Twinkies are just as healthy and natural as apples; it's true purpose was simply to explore WHERE these chemicals that are contained in most food items on our shelves today come from, how they are made, and what it means in terms of the advancement of making better, tastier foods with longer shelf lives. It's astounding how much goes into something as innocuous-seeming as a Twinkie. I'm glad I read this book; it was well-written and informative and even funny at times. I'd love to see it made into a Discovery-Channel-like documentary.(less)
I admit this is a re-read, as I have of course read this book before, when it first came out in 2005. I haven't read it since, however, and the way my...moreI admit this is a re-read, as I have of course read this book before, when it first came out in 2005. I haven't read it since, however, and the way my brain retains information (ie: it doesn't) it was almost like reading it for the first time. Which is why I'm counting it here.
I'm one of the many who have been following Harry in his adventures with much interest and glee, and this book held as much magic for me as all of the previous ones. I'm especially thrilled with how much these books have "grown up" along with the characters (and, presumably, most of the readers). I know a lot of people didn't like how Harry fell for Ginny, but I didn't mind it. And the insights into Tom Riddle's life was very interesting; while Voldemort will always be the stereotypical bad guy, it was great to know how and why he is the way he is. I also got a kick out of Slughorn, and one of my favorite scenes is at the Christmas party when Slughorn has his arm around Snape, talking about his "star pupil". Snape continues to be extremely interesting too - and the fact that he IS the Half-Blood Prince that Harry (and Ron!) have been "worshipping" via his old textbook speaks volumes as well (ha, I punned). I've always been a Snape-lover, and when he killed Dumbledore I was surprised (at least, I was the first time I read the book!) but I very quickly came to the conclusion that this was planned between him and Dumbledore; that Dumbledore's pleading "Severus, please" was not for his life, but for his death. Because of his withered arm and weakness from the potion he'd drunk, I'm also very convinced that Dumbledore was probably dying anyway.
It was good to give this book a very close re-read, since the final book came out, and that review follows... (less)
Two Scottish fairies find themselves in the middle of New York, and mishaps ensue.
I can't say that I'm overly fond of the way this book was written;...moreTwo Scottish fairies find themselves in the middle of New York, and mishaps ensue.
I can't say that I'm overly fond of the way this book was written; I'm not sure if it's just this author's style, but it felt very quickly-written, as though the author didn't really have much time or motivation to care very much about this story. There was very little detail about any of the characters, and none of the characters, (except maybe Kerry) was very likable at all. Also not the author's fault, but this particular book was FILLED with typos, which is a pet peeve of mine.
So, a sorta cute story, a quick read, but I could have done without it. I really only bought it because Neil Gaiman wrote a forward for it. ;-)(less)
It was... okay. I mean of course it was overly gross at times; but the message he was getting across was truth; human beings love drama/conflict/bad t...moreIt was... okay. I mean of course it was overly gross at times; but the message he was getting across was truth; human beings love drama/conflict/bad things happening. So much to the point that we'll create it if it doesn't already exist. Make it worse than it really is to prove how much of a martyr/victim we are. It's not our FAULT, it was DONE TO US. Palahniuk hits us over the head with this over and over again, but then, it's hitting us over the head over and over again in real life, too, but everyone still ignores it.(less)
I read the book after I saw the movie, and I really think it made me like the book more than I would have if I'd done it the other way around. And tha...moreI read the book after I saw the movie, and I really think it made me like the book more than I would have if I'd done it the other way around. And that's a rare thing (since we all know the books are ALWAYS better than the movie!) But I was able to understand how the book was written, with the "voice-over" (Edward Norton's in my head) and it made a lot more sense to me that way.
Neat book! Made me wish I knew how to knit better (and have more patience) so I could make some of the cool things in there. I DID make a cell phone c...moreNeat book! Made me wish I knew how to knit better (and have more patience) so I could make some of the cool things in there. I DID make a cell phone cozy though, in only one evening! That was fun. (less)
My husband heard about this book from an article he read (in Time magazine, I think?) and asked if I could get the library to purchase it. I did, and...moreMy husband heard about this book from an article he read (in Time magazine, I think?) and asked if I could get the library to purchase it. I did, and when it came he read it, and then I read it. VERY insightful stuff. Ms. Roberts went through a lot to pull off her experiment, and it was vastly interesting to read about what she learned. I came away with a better understanding of how/why men do some things, and also how/why I do some things, too.(less)
Okay, so it's been a while since I've read "horror". It usually leaves me feeling a little ... what? Unresolved? Unsatisfied? Somewhat the issue here,...moreOkay, so it's been a while since I've read "horror". It usually leaves me feeling a little ... what? Unresolved? Unsatisfied? Somewhat the issue here, too, even though the author DOES actually tie things up pretty nicely. I liked that he went a different way with the ghost thing - usually you have a ghost story, and much of it is the horror that no one believes you. This time, EVERYONE could see/hear/sense the ghost. I think this kinda made it less scary for me though. Why is shared horror not as horrible? Random thought. Moving on...
I think I wanted Jude's father to do something... I mean, it was worked up so much that his father was this nasty, mean, bad guy; when the ghost possessed him, I was sorta hoping the old man would do something, like die in the attempt, at least, to help Jude out. But nah, he just died, and in the end it was "official" on paper that his dad tried to kill Jude and his girlfriend. Wraps it up nice, but leaves me feeling unsatisfied. And, there was a whole lot of to-do about Jude's beard, and how Anna yanked on it, and told him he should shave so no one would recognize him anymore, etc. and I was really hoping by the end that Jude would shave it off. But he didn't. And I'm not sure if I'm disappointed because the author seemed to be working towards that but let it drop, or if it's because I hate big shaggy beards and I wanna like Jude but I just can't if he's got that stupid beard still?
Final word - it was an entertaining book, and I read it pretty fast (for me). It's a little creepy, but it never did give me the nightmares I was worried about getting. It didn't "hit me" in that psychological spot, you know? It was just too open about everything for it to be very scary at all.
OH, and the black scribbles over the dead people's eyes made me think simultaneously of Neil Gaiman's button-eyed people in Coraline and of the black-scribble-monster in season two ("Fear Her") of Doctor Who, when the kid's drawings come to life. ("I got attacked by a pencil scribble?") Yes folks, it's not hard, but eventually I can bring everything back around to Doctor Who eventually. ^_^(less)
This was a great book - beautifully written, and very engaging. It's been a while since I've read a book that I found hard to put down. It's a love st...moreThis was a great book - beautifully written, and very engaging. It's been a while since I've read a book that I found hard to put down. It's a love story, with fantastic and likable characters, who have their strengths and are believably flawed as well.
I'd had it on my shelf to-read for a long time, but recently I saw the movie trailer and remembered I hadn't read it yet, and wanted to before seeing the movie.
I can always do without the whole "trying to have a baby" plotlines, but this one I didn't mind so much, since the having-a-baby was so tied up with the time-travel, and it was interesting how the "science" dealt with that.(less)
I really loved the book Cold Mountain by this author, and I couldn't wait to read this, his most recent book. I love the way Frazier tells this tale;...moreI really loved the book Cold Mountain by this author, and I couldn't wait to read this, his most recent book. I love the way Frazier tells this tale; a comfortable, slow, but beautifully painted story of one man's epic lifetime. Shuffled off as a boy to make his own life, the Native Americans who adopted him, his horse, and the woman he was to love so intensely all of his life only to lose her. Her memory haunts him still, as an old man shuffling around his house, hearing her voice on the newly-installed telephone. And I should have known going into it that, being a Frazier book, it wasn't going to end on exactly a high note. But like Cold Mountain, it did at least end with some amount of hope, and satisfaction.(less)
It took me a while to get into this book. Jim Butcher created a whole new fantasy world, and he really took his time getting the reader into it, if th...moreIt took me a while to get into this book. Jim Butcher created a whole new fantasy world, and he really took his time getting the reader into it, if that makes any sense. It focuses on several main characters, too, so once I started to care about one character, the story would jump to someone entirely new and it would be like starting all over again.
All that said, I ended up rather enjoying the story. It finally became the "fantasy adventure" I'd been hoping for. I'm reading the second book now, but if it ends up being slow as well I probably won't bother picking up any more of these. I'd really much rather Mr. Butcher focus his energies on his excellent Harry Dresden stories!(less)
I loved the 10-episode show that aired chronicling the adventure of Ewan MacGregor and his friend Charlie Boorman as they took a pair of BMW motorbike...moreI loved the 10-episode show that aired chronicling the adventure of Ewan MacGregor and his friend Charlie Boorman as they took a pair of BMW motorbikes around the world, from London to New York. I'd hoped that by reading the book written by them, there might be a little bit more insight on their thoughts and feelings during the trip, and I wasn't disappointed. Neither man is exactly a great storyteller, but it was a lot like reading someone's blogged thoughts about being away from friends and family for that extended amount of time, and it was great to get a little insight on how a famous man like MacGregor might deal with finally being in a place where no one recognized him, nor cared that he was a great big star. I'm not sure I would have enjoyed this book as much as I did if I hadn't already seen the TV shows, however. I think this was a good supplement to the show, but you really learned and saw more of their adventure in the video than you do in the book.
Okay, book 2 was much better than book one of this series. I take back what I said about Butcher not really being able to do the full-on Fantasy-type...moreOkay, book 2 was much better than book one of this series. I take back what I said about Butcher not really being able to do the full-on Fantasy-type of writing as well as his contemporary fantasy ... this book had me riveted! To say it had some action is quite the understatement... it was 300-style action, pretty much for about 500 pages of the book. There were many of the usual Jim Butcher "mistakes" (why oh WHY must EVERYONE "roll their shoulders in a shrug"?? Can't someone just shrug? And while I'm complaining about over-used action descriptions, what's with all these guys flicking their wrists around?) but finally, the characters were engaging, the action was well-written, and finally a few more things were explained. It took a whole book and a half, but they've finally somewhat explained what the hell Furies are (it took the main character, Tavi, going to school to explain it... and well, the answer is still pretty much "no one knows" but at least now as the reader I know I'm not supposed to know.)
Of course, now that this book didn't suck, I'm going to have to read the next one. But it's not out in paperback until November, so if our library doesn't have it, I might just have to wait. Which is good, because I have about a thousand books on my to-read list to get to first...(less)