With only two days left in Australia (and my days completely booked with activities) I only had two nights to finish an entire booWhy I Chose the Book
With only two days left in Australia (and my days completely booked with activities) I only had two nights to finish an entire book. I scanned my friend's shelves and found Fattypuffs and Thinifers. I wanted something I could read quickly and the cover looked interesting.
After the two boys descend the stairs into a world where people are divided based on weight, it becomes clear that this is a political satire. Two countries war over the name of a "neutral" island, which neither of them claim to own, but both obviously think they do. It's a reminder that the winner writes the history books and there's always two sides to a story. Initially, I thought this would be a wonderful addition for our Perspective board on Pinterest. It promised to be a great story akin to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
I can't remember where I lost interest. At some point, there was an almost "aha" realization about how I didn't want to be reading a satire. While I originally thought the two countries were meant to represent Japan and South Korea, there was later mention of United States of the Underground and an iron curtain. Though I enjoyed 1984 and Brave New World, I hated Animal Farm. I'd wanted a light read, not something I would need to dissect and probe for deeper meanings.
The interesting thing is, this book was written in 1930. For those of you who don't have history dates memorized, that's prior to WWII and the Iron Curtain that went up from 1945-1991. Sure, I could probably find loads of papers on what Maurois was getting at (it should also be mentioned that the book is set in France), but that wasn't aligned with why I wanted to read it in the first place.
If you're wanting to teach kids about compromise and acceptance, this might be a good book. If you're wanting something light and fluffy that doesn't make you think, this is not the book for you.
2 out of 5 stars.
It wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't a book that matched what I wanted to read when I first picked it up. For that reason, it got a lower score than it might have otherwise....more
Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite authors, so when I saw multiple shelves crammed with Discworld volumes, I couldn't contain mWhy I Chose the Book
Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite authors, so when I saw multiple shelves crammed with Discworld volumes, I couldn't contain my glee. After picking three based on the cover art, I asked my friend which of them he suggested.
Pratchett is one of the greatest creative minds; the number of twists and layers in Monstrous Regiment makes Bellaception look like child's play.
From the cover art and the picture of Pratchett as the Opera Phantom on the cover jacket, I should have realized this was a reimagined Phantom of the Opera story. That said, I was a little disappointed with this adaptation. Pratchett took some interesting artistic liberties with the story and kept me from figuring out "who dun it," but I'd rather have read something completely his own.
Well, this is embarrassing. Unable to write the review right when I finished the book, I rated it on Goodreads so that I could write it from home. Without double checking what I'd rated it, I wrote everything up to this point thinking I'd rated it a 2 or a 3. Once I got to this section, I checked Goodreads and realized I marked it as 4 stars. Since I've already explained what I didn't like, I'll dedicate this section to what I did.
Unlike the many Cinderella adaptations that simply modernize the story or add fun dancing numbers, Pratchett made this story his own. There was one quotable moment I wish I'd remembered to write down before I left. It was something along the lines of the witches being worse than evil--they were meddlers who always thought they knew best. The book is also deceptively long since there are no chapter breaks to leave portions of pages blank. In "the real world" I'd have taken six months or longer to read it, but on vacation I made it through in about a week.
While we were at a bookstore, the groom picked up the last Pratchett novel. "Latest" I silently corrected, but then realized it is the last book as we approach the one year anniversary of his death. Pratchett will be sorely missed and you're missing out if you're a fantasy reader who has not read any of his books. If you're a Phantom of the Opera fan, feel free to start with this one, otherwise I'd recommend another of the Discworld or Witches books....more
Ironically, I was two weeks away from being a bridesmaid for the second time in my life, so when I saw the book I had to get it. IWhy I Chose the Book
Ironically, I was two weeks away from being a bridesmaid for the second time in my life, so when I saw the book I had to get it. I wanted something to commemorate my trip and there's no way I'd forget where I got this book from given the timing.
After reading the back cover, which is a bit more expansive than the Goodreads summary, I was a little afraid it was going to be a spin-off of the TV show Four Weddings. If you haven't seen it, don't worry; you're not missing anything. Purely because I wanted to take home a book that I'd always remember was from this trip, I went ahead and bought it. Right from the get-go it had me laughing, or at least snickering quietly to myself. My only complaint right from the start is that the man is a little too perfect. Maybe it's because I just finished another romance novel, but tall dark and handsome, rich with a good job and rippling muscles just seemed overplayed. I like my heroes to be a little less obvious, or at least more flawed than a slightly crooked nose.
Definitely one of my fastest reads. Perhaps it was the short chapters that left loads of space on some of the pages or the giant spider in my room that kept me awake (and reading) instead of falling back asleep, but I finished all 419 pages in two days.
For the most part, Costello was able to transport me. Only one of the four weddings had an air of being forced in by the author, but not so much so as to cost it a star. The characters were vivacious and funny. Part of me really wished one of them had turned out differently, but more than that I liked that it wasn't wrapped up in a nice bow. Obviously it had a happy ending for the main couple, but not all of the endings were happy. That may be the first romance novel I've read where that happened, so it not only added a happy element of surprise, but also a realistic feel to the story.
Don't let the thickness of the book throw you. I was half asleep reading it and even had to put another book down that I couldn't follow in that state, but this one was a breeze. I loved the characters, especially with their flaws. This book comes highly recommended....more
I was in a small bookshop, or rather the book area of a charity store browsing for something to read. Nothing was jumping out at mWhy I Chose the Book
I was in a small bookshop, or rather the book area of a charity store browsing for something to read. Nothing was jumping out at me, but I know Nicholas Sparks to be a best selling romance author so I didn't think I could go wrong. Read the back blurb and thought I'd hit the jackpot. Apparently it is coming to theaters in February so that sparked my interest as well.
Predictable, but unique. I know that's a contradiction so I'll explain. Gabby is a great heroin. She's got a good job as a physician assistant and she's not without her flaws. The main two are jumping to conclusions and avoidance. The storyline is predictable and not just in the "this is a romance novel so it's going to follow the structure of a romance novel" kind of way. For example: Gabby goes off on a tirade against her neighbour for allowing his dog to roam the neighbourhood and get her dog knocked up. He denies it, and she finds out later what you've probably already guessed. His dog has been neutered and it's just one big misunderstanding.
This easily could have been a five star book. Part one went beautifully. It had all of the elements of a well choreographed love story even if the speed was far from believable. Awkward meeting, check. Sparks, check. Conflict, check. Get together despite conflict, check. None of this is ground-breaking mind you, but Sparks gave above average character and humour to the story.
Part two is where it all fell apart. All romance novels have a period of heartbreak, where you're not supposed to be sure if they can come back from whatever it is that has split them apart. In the good ones, like The Choice, the author brings you to tears. I was so concerned at one point that I skipped to the end and read the last chapter. I skipped from chapter 16 to 23 (Epilogue). Relieved, I continued reading at chapter 17. By chapter 19 I'd put the book down with no intention of picking it back up. I couldn't take four more chapters of depressing narrative; I kept having to wipe off my glasses every couple of pages. Turns out, the first bit that I liked was really a prequel to the main plot of the story, the part where Travis has to make a choice. I'd completely forgotten he was the one making a choice about how far to go for love since Gabby had a love related decision to make in part one. I flipped back to the epilogue now that I knew what was going on and re-read it just to finish the book more or less properly.
The ending was deeply unsatisfactory. It was actually more satisfactory the first time I'd read it and went "whew they are together at the end" (as is the case for all romance novels, so that shouldn't be a spoiler), I actually liked it more than when I knew what was going on. Rule of thumb is that the epilogue should be a bonus and the final chapter is where the main story ends. Neither Chapter 22 nor the epilogue felt complete to me.
There are books that book clubs pick that happen to have a discussion guide provided and then there are books written for book clubs. I despise the latter; they feel forced, like the author is intentionally leaving out detail to stimulate conversation instead of letting it happen organically. The Choice fell into the latter category.
Without having seen the movie, I recommend watching it. I think the plot is there and it will be a good film once Hollywood is done with it since the film-makers probably won't be worried about the discussion guide at the end. Somehow I think they will stick closely to part one and take some wild creative rights with part two to shorten it. If part two had been three chapters shorter, this could have been a wonderful read. Most likely, I'll be giving it back to the used book store for credit towards something else.