I’m kicking myself in the ass for reading this before the third book was out as well. I never should have picked any of these up until they were all oI’m kicking myself in the ass for reading this before the third book was out as well. I never should have picked any of these up until they were all out and in my possession so I could have a nice, reclusive weekend where I could read them all at once. But that is not what I did, so I about threw the book across the room in frustration when I reached the end and realized it was even more of a cliff hanger than the first book. Seriously, WTF.
Hunger Games set high standards for this series, and Catching Fire managed to hold its own. It almost aggravated me with the whole love triangle, but just when I was getting ready to start bitching about it, they were back in the arena and the action started to break loose. From what I understand, this is meant to be a trilogy. The second books in trilogies are notoriously the worst because they are building the story and offering background info. If this is the low point, I can’t wait to see what the finale is like. It took me a bit longer to get into Catching Fire, but once I was hooked, I was up till the wee hours unable to put it down until I finished it. ...more
There was a brief period of time where I thought this book might redeem itself. It started out at a solid level of crappy, sunk even lower into dismalThere was a brief period of time where I thought this book might redeem itself. It started out at a solid level of crappy, sunk even lower into dismal, started to redeem itself, but never quite managed. I liked Jeanine and Ross, but in the same way I like to have the TV on in the background while I’m cleaning. It passes the time, but if I actually had to focus my attention on it, I would find something more enjoyable to occupy myself with. The one upshot to the book...I learned a good deal of random information about life during the Great Depression. ...more
My mother actually gave me this to listen to, and I did not read the back cover prior to starting it, so I didn’t know what I was delving into. I’m cuMy mother actually gave me this to listen to, and I did not read the back cover prior to starting it, so I didn’t know what I was delving into. I’m curious now that I have finished it if she gave it to me on a fluke, or if she had already listened to it. I feel like there are a lot of similarities between my relationship with my mom and the relationship between the authors. The struggles of the daughter to find herself (I know, how cliché) are of course different than my own, but at the same time feel so entirely alike. Those who know me know that I count my mom as one of my best, and closest, friends. Many, therefore, can’t wrap their heads around why, when I was struggling with depression, I could not bring myself to discuss it with her. Ann Kidd Taylor does an excellent job of describing what I have been unable to. I’m curious to see what my mom thinks of the book; to see if she relates with Sue Monk Kidd (my feministic view of the world definitely came from my mother). In a world full of dysfunctional relationships, it’s nice to read a story about a mother and daughter who, despite their struggles, managed to come out the other end closer and stronger. On a less personal level, I found the mythological references a very innovative way to unfold the story. I was impressed with how seamlessly the stories of both authors as well as all the mythology fit together. ...more
Not exactly a book you want to curl up with (unless you're looking to fall asleep) but I'll give it credit for being well laid out and easy to follow.Not exactly a book you want to curl up with (unless you're looking to fall asleep) but I'll give it credit for being well laid out and easy to follow. It offers some good advice for basic strategy formulation, although I think they could have widdled down the chapters (some of them were rather repititous from one paragraph to the next). My favorite aspect of the book were the insight boxes. Concepts are much more interesting when you can apply them to actual companies, and they picked some of the more interesting examples availble....more
Still wonderfully written, but drastically different than the last book I read by Lehane, The Given Day. The characters are intensively well developedStill wonderfully written, but drastically different than the last book I read by Lehane, The Given Day. The characters are intensively well developed and the plot peels back in layers that keep you guessing. There are few books (or movies for that matter) that offer a good, solid psychological thriller and this book delivered. Hitchcock did it years ago with movies, and King did it to a certain degree with some of his earlier books, but there are few authors who can truly pull this genre off well. I’m impressed with Lehane.
I downloaded Shutter Island because I saw the preview for the upcoming movie release and I was stoked when I found out Lehane wrote the book it was based on. He is a very talented author, and I wanted to see what the book was all about before I saw the movie. Oddly, as much as I liked the book, I think this may be one of those few and far between situations where I may end up liking the movie more. I can see the story lending itself well to a movie adaptation. Hopefully it won’t let me down, since I have high expectations. Shutter Island had me unsure as to what was real and what was an illusion right up to the end. I knew something wasn’t right, but I could never quit place my finger on what was off. ...more
I love this book for the fact that it weaves scandalous financial dealings with family drama with a weird, sadistic serial killer. You just wouldn’t tI love this book for the fact that it weaves scandalous financial dealings with family drama with a weird, sadistic serial killer. You just wouldn’t think of finding all those topics in one book, and yet it all fits together so perfectly. The mystery of what happened to Harriet offers a strong core, but the undercurrents are what set the story apart from run of the mill suspense authors like Patterson. I think I actually got more into the story of Lisbeth than I did Harriet; I wanted to see her prove others wrong and be credited for her talents.
I have to point out a few pet peeves, however. First, I don’t get why all the women are supposed to swoon over Blomkvist. Seriously, are there that many women out there looking for some rouge reporter to have a casual fling with. I get that he’s supposed to have a sexual charisma, but it seemed a bit overdone to me. Second, the ending seemed to take a bit long to wrap up. This is probably due to the number of underlying stories, however, and I think they offer enough extra oomph to the novel to make up for the sluggish finale.
Typically when I’m talking to people and they ask me to recommend a book, I stick to the same few fall backs. People have such varying tastes, and if I don’t know someone well, it’s hard to gauge what they would or wouldn’t like. This is one that I think I may be willing to recommend. I can see it being a book enjoyed by a wide array of readers, and while it’s not going to take home any literary awards, it is better written than many of the suspense novel crap that I out there. ...more
This is one of those books that is obviously written for young teens given the characters and the setting, but deals with so much more than typical teThis is one of those books that is obviously written for young teens given the characters and the setting, but deals with so much more than typical teen angst. I love books like Hunger Games and Octavian Nothing that push the boundaries for what is considered “young adult”, and while this isn’t quite of that caliber, I think it definitely sets a higher standard for young adult literature.
The story is told in a style similar to The View From Saturday, where the events are told in a reverse chronology of a sorts. Miranda is talking to an unknown person to whom she is writing a letter. They have asked her to tell a story, and she is retracing back to where it all started. Initially, it seems like your average narrative about a kid trying to adjust to crossing over into teen-dom, abandoned by her best friend and forced to make new friends. As events unfold, however, there is a much larger plot that begins to come into focus. The numerous references to A Wrinkle in Time begin to have a greater purpose, and the reader is forced to re-evaluate their perspective on certain characters and events. ...more
I like detective stories and I love dogs, so of course I thought this was an adorable book. Chet is a dog that is bound to make many a pet owner say “I like detective stories and I love dogs, so of course I thought this was an adorable book. Chet is a dog that is bound to make many a pet owner say “Hey that sounds just like my dog” at numerous points throughout the book. He cracked me up with his Oh look a chicken attention span and his constant wondering as to what was causing that nice breeze (the cause being his tail). The book is more than a cute dog story, though. There is an actual mystery, and the (supporting) human characters are pretty well rounded. They offer a nice filler to the aspects of the mystery that Chet overlooks. The only thing keeping me from giving this story five stars is that I read The Art of Racing in the Rain so recently, and I feel like the two books are very similar, but with Dog On It not being quit on par with writing quality. If you’re looking for more depth and emotion, go with the Art of Racing in the Rain. If you’re like my husband and you don’t want to read a book where the dog dies, read Dog on It. (I’d personally recommend reading both, but that’s just me)...more
Well, isn’t this just an obnoxiously optimistic book? Just about everyone is good natured to a fault, only doing anything wrong due to their overwhelmWell, isn’t this just an obnoxiously optimistic book? Just about everyone is good natured to a fault, only doing anything wrong due to their overwhelming need to be a good person blinding them from the possible ramifications of their actions. Seriously...this reads like it was written by someone with a delusional idea of quaint, Irish life. Add to that the fact that the story lines of different characters fade in and out in a rather discombobulated fashion, completely failing to meld together into a coherent plot line, and you’re left with a story line on par with a paperback romance novel. I seem to recall liking Scarlet Feather, so either this is not a good representation of her writing abilities or my taste have (thankfully) greatly improved. I had bought another of her books about the same time this was passed on to me, and I immediately moved it to the bottom of my to-read stack after finishing Heart and Soul. I don’t want to risk reading another poorly written, feel good, piece of crap right away....more
This has been a book of mixed feelings for me. I picked it up in the bookstore lord only knows how many times before I finally downloaded it to listenThis has been a book of mixed feelings for me. I picked it up in the bookstore lord only knows how many times before I finally downloaded it to listen to at work. The authors name seemed vaguely familiar (I didn’t place him in my memory with Maniac McGee until after I finished listening to it) and the plot sounded interesting, but I was afraid that it would seem forced or unrealistic.
To a certain degree my fears were founded. I realized fairly quickly that this was a book that I would need to accept that it was not going to be a realistic story. The setting, the background stories, the general gist of what was going on during WWII is all accurately portrayed, but the actual story of the main character is not one that I could accept as rational. Readers need to approach the story open to looking past this point in order to allow the impact of the more important message to come through. I think this would be an excellent book for young adults to read in ADDITION to other more factual based stories about WWII (such as Anne Frank). What I like about Milkweed that I think is not offered in other stories is the insight into how something like the Nazi’s party rise to power could happen. How could a whole nation of people condone the attempt to wipe out entire populations of individuals?
If I were to rate this book simply based on how much it got me thinking and how profound of an insight I felt it offered, I would give it five stars. My issue, however, is the consistency in the writing. I had a really hard time getting into the story initially. The whole scene with the boys hanging out in the horse stall when we are first being introduced to Misha seemed to drag on to me. The story eventually begins to congeal into a much more eloquent writing style, and continues to maintain this level, until the plot suddenly speeds into a crashing finale. I actually had to go back and re-listen to a large section because I thought I had missed something. Nonetheless, I think the content of the story is enough to outweigh the writing issues, and I’ll be setting this aside to have my kids read one day. ...more
What a sweet little gem of a book. This story is simplicity at its finest. Its briefness hinders its ability to delve into deep emotions and complex sWhat a sweet little gem of a book. This story is simplicity at its finest. Its briefness hinders its ability to delve into deep emotions and complex story lines, but it still has substance to it. Peachy is one of those characters that you don’t love or hate, but in a good way. He’s so normal that he comes across as an actual person, and not just a character. I was expecting something more outlandish given that it is written by Gene Wilder, and I was pleasantly surprised by what I got instead. This is one of those books that I struck gold on as I found it when I was wandering B&N itching to buy something, but seriously lacking in funds. This was chilling on the clearance rack for five bucks, a total steal....more
I have a bit of a conundrum with this book. I love the author’s style of writing...there’s something lyrical about the structure of his sentences thatI have a bit of a conundrum with this book. I love the author’s style of writing...there’s something lyrical about the structure of his sentences that just engulf the reader. Balzac and the Little Chinese seamstress hypnotized me with some of its passages. That being said, Mr. Muo’s Traveling Couch is written with the same artful style, and yet somehow never struck the same chord with me. I like quirky books, so the whole approach of the main character being a Chinese scholar who traveled to France to study the works of Freud was an amusing backdrop for exploring the culture of modern day China. His obsession with dreams and sex open the door for him ending up in some very odd situations. But I never really connected with the characters. One of the wonderful things about Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is that it really draws the reader in, allowing them to experience the reeducation of Chinese youth in a way that is very touching and relatable. Mr. Muo’s Traveling Couch did not provide this for me. It kept my interest and I enjoyed it, but it failed to move me in the way that Balzac and the Chinese Seamstress did, which I was so wishing it would....more