Review to come. But. I may have overrated this, but something about this resonates with me. There is, of course, the usual YA angst, etc., but betweenReview to come. But. I may have overrated this, but something about this resonates with me. There is, of course, the usual YA angst, etc., but between the lines, in the books and crannies, is so much more....more
I would have liked to give this four stars, I really would; I found the story itself rather engaging, and loads of sentences and paragraphs in this shI would have liked to give this four stars, I really would; I found the story itself rather engaging, and loads of sentences and paragraphs in this short little book are quotable and apropos in my little life. But. Yes, you sensed the 'but' coming; The punctuation drove me ape: commas missing or inserted in completely inappropriate fashion. Perhaps Mary's speaking/writing style or dialect is just that dissimilar to mine, but I found myself having to re-read entire passages multiple times, unfortunately not because they spoke to me, but because the pauses didn't make sense to my brain. Maybe this calls my reading comprehension into question, or maybe the editor proofreading, but this fault succeeded in subtracting a star from my rating.
(I will add more to this review later, I just wanted to get that point down before I forgot it.)...more
Ho-ly CRAP!!!!!! Or, Rather, not so holy. Perhaps "holey." Urghl. Now there's a picture. When I signed up to receive th**spoiler alert** SPOILER ALERT
Ho-ly CRAP!!!!!! Or, Rather, not so holy. Perhaps "holey." Urghl. Now there's a picture. When I signed up to receive this uncorrected proof from Ecco/Harper Collins, I had NO idea what I was getting into. This book is completely different than what I thought it was going to be from the brief description I had read of it. WARNING: if you're squeamish or easily disgusted by the wantonness of the full spectrum of human sexual behavior, do not read this book! I almost wish I hadn't. All that being said, Ms Nutting is a phenomenal writer; either that, or she's one sick puppy. Our protagonist proves herself to be thoroughly unlikable, having no remorse whatsoever, and vested only in when, where, or how she can finagle her next "fix" of nubile 14 year old boy, even after she's been caught. Brings one-track mind to a whole new level. She excuses her own behavior with an ease and rationalization of thought that bowled me over. No guilt. She wants what she wants, she KNOWS what she wants, she doesn't apologize for it, AND she thinks she is doing these boys a favor: who wouldn't want to fuck a hot young blonde? Granted, these are not young children, they are adolescents, but they are also undeveloped males: she wants them only before their milestones of muscle and stubble development, innocent and immature; so, while not pedophilia, it is still wrong (what is the word for desiring only quasi-pubescent teens?) Her contention that it is not wrong given their "advanced" age is how she excuses her actions to herself, to her lawyer, to the very children she assaults. But by its very nature, what makes it an internal thinking error is that 1) she fears police involvement and being caught- she knows it's wrong and 2) she dumps (or plans on dumping) these boys as soon as they show the slightest sign of advancement beyond her opportune age. And don't get me started on 3) she has planned her entire career (teaching) on obtaining access to eighth grade boys. The fact that all is subject to her libido, that her husband's advances are the object of ridicule and disgust on Celeste's part, that she uses his wealth and status as a policeman to achieve her own ends- creates a clear picture, brilliantly fleshed out- as it were- told so believably that it is downright scary. As I said, it worries me to see this so well told. Then again, if I think it's so well-told, where is my own point of reference coming from? How would I know- and there you have it: our author has achieved the unattainable (untenable?) and managed to tell a story exceedingly well from a thoroughly unlikable viewpoint. That's all you really need to know....more
I am officially pissed off. i just spent the better part of the last few hours writing a really great review of this book and goodreads lost it insteaI am officially pissed off. i just spent the better part of the last few hours writing a really great review of this book and goodreads lost it instead of saving it. so. forget it, if i feel like wrriting another review later, you'll get one, but at the moment, the felines need medicating, so, I'm off. Suffice it to say, this was an engrossing read........more
When Ms Lewis first proffered this book for my review, she prefaced the offer by saying, "It's not like my other book [you just reviewed, Free FallingWhen Ms Lewis first proffered this book for my review, she prefaced the offer by saying, "It's not like my other book [you just reviewed, Free Falling, this is a romance novel.]" Oh. But I told her to go ahead and send it and I would see what I thought regardless. (yup, there was a time in my life when I was 12 or so that my grandmother fed me True Story and Harlequin's. I was that starving for something to read.) You undersold yourself, Susan! This was a far more complete story than the other, plus, it's no mere bodice ripper. In fact, there is no bodice ripping. Well, yeah, there're two "sex scenes," as it were, but they fit into the flow of the story. I think Ms Lewis sold herself short: she tells a story here along the lines of something Jennifer Weiner would write: sure, it's fluff, but, it's chick lit and, thus, real life. Quite all right in my book. While the story itself is the story of a hundred thousand women, the detail applied to the telling, even down to the decoration on the cupcakes our heroine bakes, was more than enough to keep my attention; the ins and outs, where things went right in Liddy's life, and then went oh so wrong: her husband's immediate decline and death (which we don't read much of,) her Mom's illness preventing her escape to Paris and opening her own cupcake shop, all of this serves to propel every little fact and foible and, let's face it, major life decision, into the things that life (and dreams,) are/is made of. I vote this a 3.5 for all of these reasons, but on our scale, that makes it a good, solid 3!...more
I admit it. When I first read the introduction to this book, I quietly set the tome down in my to-read pile and didn't touch it again for about a montI admit it. When I first read the introduction to this book, I quietly set the tome down in my to-read pile and didn't touch it again for about a month. Here is a helpful suggestion: don't read the intro. And you, G2? (as the author calls himself): you may want to make that intro an after-book appendix, because once I was able to get beyond the boredom and technicality inspired by that intro, the book was on fire, I loved it. The premise was unusual: taking a superhero into a whole new dimension: you invented him. You had him be a regular person with the technical know-how to be great. To change history. And then you showed how that could go oh-so-wrong. I'm already trying to figure out the next volume Surgical from the title itself. And that's all we really want: the jolt to our imagination that leads to the desire to read more. And I want to read more....more
What the hell happened?! I just typed in the name of this book: Fear of Falling, and Goodreads couldn't find ireview to follow, as promised, Susan....
What the hell happened?! I just typed in the name of this book: Fear of Falling, and Goodreads couldn't find it, because, evidently, someone's changed the title. Okay, I can roll with the change. First off, I must say, that Susan was quite kind to me: she sent me a paperback copy of this book after I informed her that I owned no e-reader, kindle, nook, tablet, etc. I guess I'm old-fashioned. I like to hold a real book in my hands. I've spoken to many people who have told me it's not so bad reading on these various electronic devices, but I remain unconvinced. It could simply be sour grapes on my part; I can not exactly afford any of said devices, but that's beside the point: I still hate to see all of the printed matter in my house become obsolete. To review, then: With all of the dystopian literature out there these days, this is somewhat unusual in that our protagonists do not find themselves quite in dystopia. It's a little bit before then. To break it down, our family finds themselves on vacation in Ireland when all hell breaks loose and they (and everyone else) are foraging for themselves and all sense of normalcy in the wild Irish countryside. I love this premise. It's a bit more in-depth, more detail than we're used to in this setting. And I think this could be really amazing, but the author foreshortened what could have been a really fabulous 800 page novel. Instead we are left with a Cliff's Notes version of a fabulous story. I've never been much into condensed versions of stories, so I can only hope that, with the new title change, maybe Ms. Kiernan-Lewis has also fleshed out her story a bit more. I admit, I love it as it is, but, oh, what you could do with a few hundred more pages.........more
I thought I had the review I intended to write all squared away in my little pea brain, but it must have gone the way of the Zliffer. and you'll haveI thought I had the review I intended to write all squared away in my little pea brain, but it must have gone the way of the Zliffer. and you'll have to read the book to figure out what I'm talking about. A few things I enjoyed along the way: page 6: "You might say that Oliver's main problem was that he wanted a black and white world, but found himself stuck with color. Or perhaps he simply didn't realize that even black and white worlds come complete with a palette full of grays." page 149: "'When's the last time he was seen?' Penny's voice jettisoned all traces of sarcasm, like a penguin abruptly aware of the bikini she has on." (say what??!!) page 263: "Just like you might guess: more prayers in more boxes, this time nailed to their doorways. They call these ones Mezuzzahs. Sort of like garlic for god, if you get my drift."
All this leads to a hilarious and fantastical revelation of the identity of god, the origins of religion and one of the most quirkily well-thought out diatribes about human nature and the search for a higher power that I have read in a long time (beginning in chapter 36 and culminating in the greatest goofiest guffaw in the final epilogue- there are several) Well worth the read just to reach this fractal end- and don't try to skip all the stuff before it, it is necessary to make any sense of those final fifty pages...........more
First, the story alone nearly rates itself four stars, I was happy to follow along and cheer for our scrawny underdog of a hero. But there are a few "First, the story alone nearly rates itself four stars, I was happy to follow along and cheer for our scrawny underdog of a hero. But there are a few "buts." I admire you for self- publishing, but PLEASE have someone proofread it next time, the typos are numerous and very distracting, plus, the continual (and I mean continual) erroneous use of the word "fug" was a personal affront (I love that word, but it refers to odorous, NOT a foggy head!) And last, the verb tenses, especially on "stood" and "sat" were all wrong. I felt at times like I was reading the poor-relation screen play of Gladiator. But seriously, a bit of polish on this story would bring it up to un-putdownable level. The exploits and pure chutzpah of Pavo, and that he kept on ticking with all those lickings, was both humorous and up lifting in a "feel good" kind of way. I have one request Mr. Doherty: when you write the sequel (and I really hope you do, I can't wait to see what Pavo & his buddy Sura do next) can you please send the manuscript to me for proof-reading before you print it? Thank you:)...more
Now, see, I can understand why many of my fellow Goodreaders would find this a cross between The Stand and The Road. I can also see why many would finNow, see, I can understand why many of my fellow Goodreaders would find this a cross between The Stand and The Road. I can also see why many would find it stultifying, especially if they did not like the aforementioned. But I actually DID happen to enjoy both of those books, and did not expect this to be half as good. So I'm pleased as punch and really got into this. Yes, I definitely see the similarities, but there are finely nuanced and brutal chasms of difference between the stories. As most have mentioned, part I is brilliantly rendered, the following, not so much, but still kept me reading and even had me dragging my feet at the end because I was not ready for it to be over. I suppose that means I will be one who looks forward to 2012 and the promised release of volume II. Hopefully it arrives in winter, so I've plenty of time to put my feet up and actually get through it if it is as long as this one's healthy 766 pages.....
Two ways with words: page 326: "Grief was a place, Sara understood, where a person went alone. It was like a room without doors, and what happened in that room, all the anger and the pain you felt, was meant to stay there, nobody's business but yours." page 443: "That afternoon, she had taken a batch of pages off the line, stiff with the sun- they always felt to her like squares of captured sunlight-" Just two examples of Cronin's prosing, a lot of which I found very evocative. If you do not feel like reading this adobe of a book, leaf through it and have a catch of phrase wander across your mind....more
As prevalent as politics today are rampant with scandal, I am surprised this is one of the few novels I've come across dealing with a crooked and moraAs prevalent as politics today are rampant with scandal, I am surprised this is one of the few novels I've come across dealing with a crooked and morally bankrupt politician- and he's not even the main character! Our main character is the wife, a long-suffering woman who puts up with her husband's bull for years before finally having had enough, what ensues is the story. While this may seem trite, the subject was handled deftly in ways where I hated who I was supposed to and loved everybody else, but not in a smarmy glad-handing or boring way. I really did come to care for the wholly original cast of characters, and not as predictable as one might expect: Gillian is definitely middle-aged (gives me hope that I still could do something with my life yet, she has a few years on me) and once she hatches from the cocoon of political life she has allowed herself to be trapped in for all the usual reasons (the children, the in-laws, the political platform, etc.) she blossoms into a woman with her own ideas, aspirations and art. This life starting over at fifty seems almost new, authors usually have their protagonists do this at thirty, maybe forty, so I really enjoyed Gillian's new lease on life as well as the direction she took it; her adult children's positive rather than petulant reactions; her friends' lives and their interactions with her (I love the back story on her gay friend- but you'll have to read the book for that- it's worth it just for how unusual that whole dynamic is); and then the prerequisite new love affair (also not completely by rote either!) All in all, I found this outing by Ms Woolpy a breath of fresh air, and I look forward to reading more by this author....more
While a handy little reference and informative, I do have some reservations about the format; Basically, it is ordered alphabetically by Saint name, aWhile a handy little reference and informative, I do have some reservations about the format; Basically, it is ordered alphabetically by Saint name, and there is no other way to look up a particular saint. Say you had been to a remote area and visited some relic or other but could not remember the saint's name: there is no index or any cross reference or any other way to look that up in this tome. That is a severe detriment. Additionally, I would have liked to see it more as a DK or Phaidon book, more photos and illustrations, set up more like the encyclopedia it touts itself to be. All of that not with standing, it was an interesting read to sit down and consume cover to cover with a wealth of information for the casual connoisseur. ...more
Boy was I wrong: I had this novel on my "First Reads, To Read" shelf for two months before I finally picked it up, thinking it was going to drag on wiBoy was I wrong: I had this novel on my "First Reads, To Read" shelf for two months before I finally picked it up, thinking it was going to drag on with lengthy mathematical explanations and no plot. What mathematical explanations there were I was utterly fascinated by (and now I even have to go search out some more books on this subject- fractals & globalization, etc.- they do very much appeal, both to my visual sense as well as the part of me that is an engineer's daughter good with numbers.) Fractals. I even love the word! Okay, enough on that. This novel has a little bit of everything: there's the math, the photos (of the fractals), there is art (Henri's wife), architecture (Henri's son), international travel, espionage, family dynamics, illness (or, more accurately, the injurious fallout of a few misplaced bombs: Henri's entire family), death (murder), and then of course, the solving of the various nefarious crimes. And here's the really odd thing: it wasn't too much, every little bit or thing that happened built an intricate but wonderfully told story culminating, as such stories are supposed to, in the satisfying solution to this thriller. I only have one criticism: throughout the beginning of the novel, as we are being introduced to the players, it becomes very confusing, because Rosen uses a character's first name in one paragraph, then someone else's last name, then the protagonist's last name, then another character's first name, then their surname in the next paragraph: you get the idea. I actually had to write myself a cheat sheet with first and last names and their place in the story, and I get a bit shirty when I have to do that, but I survived and ended up loving the story once it was underway and unfolded. I look forward to Rosen's next foray; which is slated to be a prequel to this outing (perhaps he should have written it first to more seamlessly introduce us to the characters; just a thought....)...more
Shenk states in his "Book Origins" chapter of the Part II "Evidence" section, "My ambitious goal became to try to somehow bridge these two worlds [theShenk states in his "Book Origins" chapter of the Part II "Evidence" section, "My ambitious goal became to try to somehow bridge these two worlds [the study of genetics and the study of talent/achievement] and to distill it all into a new lingua franca, adopting helpful new phrases and metaphors that scientists could share with teachers, journalists, politicians, and so on." (pps.171, 172) Oh please. I don't think he accomplished his goal. Or maybe I'm just obtuse, but I am not convinced. Even with the Evidence section; or maybe Especially with the Evidence section. Do we really need 210 pages of what amount to notes and footnotes and bibliography to support 166 pages of ambiguous (at best) text? I think not. I fear Shenk either drastically over-simplified, to the point of, well, over-simplification, or had no idea what he was talking about in the first place. Because I am not convinced; Nor do I see this "vast difference" between "Genetics x Environment" as compared to "Genetics + Environment" (or the nature vs. nurture debate.) There were a few statements in particular I could not go along with, but I hardly feel it worth anyone's while for me to elucidate, I will just say: for now, Mr. Shenk: please keep these theories to yourself until you or some other collaborator can come up with the cold hard facts. (or, as you say these facts are already in evidence; where?)...more