I thoroughly enjoyed this novel by Backman. Is it scary that I saw a bit of me in Ove? Perhaps not. This was a delightful read and brought me throughI thoroughly enjoyed this novel by Backman. Is it scary that I saw a bit of me in Ove? Perhaps not. This was a delightful read and brought me through a range of emotions as I read it. I think that one reason I enjoyed this so much is that I saw glimpses of my grandfather, my father and myself in following Ove in his final journey. The marvels of looking back on life and being in a rush to do something for oneself, but understanding that there are others who need you more is the nature of this book.
I love the relationship Ove strikes up with Parneveh and the others in his community. Throughout his life Ove has not realized how important he is and how much he has to give, even when he thinks he is not giving! This is as moving as the wonderful movie, "It's a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart. The writing is easy to follow, the characters are lovingly crafted and the outcome is precious. You want to see Ove succeed in his goal for his own comfort, but you also want him to wait a little longer and share with those around him. You want him to get that he has so much to offer.
In the end, I loved this book and recommend to all readers. What a lovely tale. I want to read more by Backman....more
I was really taken by this story. I was not sure what possessed me to take it up and read it. I saw a movie advertisement on Goodreads in the margin aI was really taken by this story. I was not sure what possessed me to take it up and read it. I saw a movie advertisement on Goodreads in the margin and was impressed. But books are usually better than the movie, so I explored the book first. I then read what the author, Mr. Ness, had to say about why he wrote the book. I was intrigued by the artwork, the story idea and the dedication to continue the work of Siobhan Dowd. So I purchased the book.
I was immediately sucked into this story. The artwork in the book is dark and fantastic. For me, it had that same attraction like reading Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with the artwork by Ralph Steadman. The vivid, dream-like images mirrored the story and did not cause me to wonder if the artist was interpreting the story for me, but reading with me. This journey for Connor is heart-rending. I wondered all the time I was reading if Connor really knew the truth about his mother. However, instead of doubting the legitimacy of his thoughts, I found myself emotionally alongside him, coaxing Connor and supporting him in his troubles at school and at home.
The story seems very real to me. I have not had a similar experience to Connor, but I can imagine from stories like this that the heartache and denial are real. This poignant story, making an effort to explain the emotional detachment of a young child dealing with such a heavy burden as his mother's battle with cancer, is a must read. I encourage all ages to take on this read, and perhaps the movie (although I have not seen that yet). And I will be reading other stories by Ms. Dowd in the future. ...more
Having read most everything that Mr. Quick has written, I had to dive in on Every Exquisite Thing, his most recent novel. The story is an interestingHaving read most everything that Mr. Quick has written, I had to dive in on Every Exquisite Thing, his most recent novel. The story is an interesting one, dealing once again with the high school age mind and consciousness like few other authors I have read. Mr. Quick has always created wonderfully believable characters with normal lives, yet not normal ways of experiencing those lives. Nanette O'Hare is certainly an interesting character. A high school senior who does not feel that she fits in, yet her life seems perfect from the outside. She battles with social conventions and is helped along the way by the author or a teen cult fiction novel long out of print. Through the challenges of youth and misguided popularity, Nanette learns important life lessons. But the end is not the fairytale or Disneyesque ending so many of these tales tend to culminate in.
I will, however, add that Quick's point of view is fresh in this story from the other teen dramas. No vampires or mythic heroes, just real people doing the best they can, but not necessarily coming out on top. Quick's storytelling continues to be well-paced and refreshingly full of unique plot twists that are not predictable. I appreciate this in his writing. There are some more "adult" themes in this book, so I am reluctant to suggest to all readers, but high schoolers and adults alike will appreciate the challenge of adolescence in this story. ...more
I was entirely taken by this novel. I have been wanting to see the movie version, but just have not found the right opportunity. So, when I was in oneI was entirely taken by this novel. I have been wanting to see the movie version, but just have not found the right opportunity. So, when I was in one of my favorite bookstores (Jabberwocky Bookshop in Newburyport) and saw the novel on the shelf, I bought it. Over this holiday I picked it up off the pile next to the bedside table and started reading. I was hooked in the first few pages and could not put it down. I believe that I was more drawn to the piece by the time period than the love story, but both are equally good. Tobin's language and storytelling are beautiful. He rarely puts the reader in a position to become tired or bored with either the plot or the development of Eilis' growth as a character.
While I am not a historian, nor super familiar with Brooklyn, NY, I was intrigued by the descriptions and found them detailed enough to make me feel that I was there. Nor were Tony, Eilis and Mrs. Kehoe, among others, too stereotypically Italian or Irish in a way that made the story seem predictable. I genuinely enjoyed the reading from start to finish.
The typical 'coming to America' story was anything but typical for me. I enjoyed the twists in plot and change in character growth throughout and found it easy to understand descriptions of people and places. I definitely recommend this book to all readers....more
I have just finished reading the book Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie. The book comprises a series of mysteries that Vicar SidI have just finished reading the book Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie. The book comprises a series of mysteries that Vicar Sidney Chambers of Granchester takes on in the course of supporting his church parish. Sidney is a wonderful character who is easily identifiable by readers despite his profession. He is likeable for both his goodness as a priest and his human foibles. He loves Jazz and whiskey, has good friendships, can be a bit forgetful, but cares about all people. He has affection for his friends, his colleagues and, of course, his dog Dickens!
Each tale in this second book of the series is quite readable. The mystery is not transparent and, the solution does not always come through intelligent sleuthing or unrealistic shootouts with the bad guys. Patience and care for human life is often what leads Sidney to the answer. He also relies on others to guide him, listening and learning from realistic parishioners and friends. One tale does take place in East Germany right before the wall is erected, separating the Berlins. This is all in pursuit of his potential love of his life, Hildegard, a wonderful character in her own right.
I found these stories to move quickly and capture my interest. Unlike many other mystery writers I have read, Runcie is able to keep the tales fresh by not presenting the same basic template for a new, more fantastic crime. This means the tales do not grow wearisome or become predictable, as I mentioned above. I definitely recommend this read to fellow mystery enthusiasts. The stories are also a wonderful period piece, in what seems a true representation of the 1950’s in England (although I am not an expert).
As a note, I would be remiss not to mention that I was turned on to this book because I have been a big fan of Granchester on Masterpiece Theater. But it is also worthy of note that the book and the TV series do have significant differences and each is captivating and enjoyable. But do not expect the two to mirror themselves, as the TV series has changed the direction of some of Sidney’s personal life for the drama of TV. ...more
The more that I read the stories of Sidney Chambers, the more I want. I would like the PBS/Masterpiece series to follow the text more closely, too. SiThe more that I read the stories of Sidney Chambers, the more I want. I would like the PBS/Masterpiece series to follow the text more closely, too. Sidney's exploits are really quite believable and not sensationalized like many movie or TV versions of books tend to become. In this series of stories, I became more engaged in the life of Sidney and his parishioners. I shed a few tears as I read some stories, laughed out loud for others, and talked out loud to Sidney trying to assist him in seeing motive and plot. I feel that this is evidence that the stories are well done, as I was in the fictitious town of Granchester with the Redmonds, Amanda, Geordie and all the others.
I enjoy that some of the stories are not confusing 'who-dunits', but explorations of life and behavior in the average person. Runcie does not overdo the religious aspect of the story while leading the reader in an exploration of faith and humanity.
I definitely recommend this book to all readers. ...more
Wow, for a first book, this is a powerful piece of writing. I think that Ms. Bennett has a strong sense of her world and was able to deliver a fascinaWow, for a first book, this is a powerful piece of writing. I think that Ms. Bennett has a strong sense of her world and was able to deliver a fascinating and challenging tale that twisted me emotionally as I read. I appreciate that while this is a book with race as a significant role, I (as a white male) was not uncomfortable or feeling guilty reading it. In fact, in some sense, the power of the author's writing, includes that you could read this either with or without race as a defining point. What I mean is that you might be so caught up in the gender and moral issues surrounding the three main characters and not really realize that race is a major piece of the story.
The general plot is well managed. The story moves cleanly and crisply without unnecessary pauses or flashbacks that could be skimmed. The prose is contemporary yet intelligent in a way that does not tax the reader. The moral twists and turns regarding the love of Nadia, Luke and Aubrey are engaging and kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what could possibly happen next. Yet, with that said, I caution that this is NOT an afternoon soap opera at all. This is well designed and well delivered from start to end. I was moved by the plight of each character and struggled at times to agree with decisions made by each.
This is a great read and one not to be entered lightly. It is a tough topic handled very well. I definitely recommend to readers in secondary school or beyond. ...more
I was intrigued as a fan of Sherlock Holmes to read this new addition to the many Holmes stories. I have enjoyed the BBC version with Benedict CumberbI was intrigued as a fan of Sherlock Holmes to read this new addition to the many Holmes stories. I have enjoyed the BBC version with Benedict Cumberbach, but more importantly, I loved the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that I read when I was a teen. They were so interesting as period pieces and mystery tales. I was drawn in by the mystique of the character of Holmes, having often heard that famous, "Elementary, my dear Watson..." quote so many times that I decided to read the stories then. I enjoyed trying to figure out the mystery before Watson was enlightened and, sometimes, actually was able to do so. But I also just enjoyed how readable the original stories were.
Now I found the first Sherlock story by Horowitz and was eager to find out if he had captured the same mystery, challenge to solve, and readability of Doyle's originals. I must, however, admit immediately, that I was listening to this on Audible, as I find I have more time to listen as I drive these days than to read a few pages at night before falling asleep. In many ways, I was pleased by this story. While I found it a bit over-wordy, the story and narration did capture my interest and lasted through several long drives. Also, when I had not listened for a couple of days, I found that I easily transitioned back into the story despite time away from the plot. Horowitz twisted and turned the plot well and kept me searching for clues along with Watson and Holmes. I also believe he captured the characters quite well.
The mystery was worthy of reading and certainly suspenseful. I do recommend this book to Holmes enthusiasts and readers of mysteries. The subject is somewhat mature, in the end, but not tastefully inappropriate, however, I would not recommend this story to readers under 16 or so without consideration of maturity.
All told, I will get the second Holmes tale from Horowitz and hope for a similarly good experience. ...more
I have to say that I struggled through this book. While I understand the premise and appreciate the candor with which Coates writes, the book and messI have to say that I struggled through this book. While I understand the premise and appreciate the candor with which Coates writes, the book and message seemed to be over-cooked. I can not, obviously, place myself into Coates shoes, but I can try to envisage and explore the challenges he has faced in his life. I agree that racism and race issues in this country and the world is a major issue that needs to be constantly addressed. But there is a finality in his writing that suggests that we, humans, will never be able to get past race and cannot live a life without inherent and inbred hatred. I want to believe, and perhaps I am too pie-in-the-sky, but I would like to think that we can do better.
While it is not a book that I enjoyed, I do get that it is worthy of reading for an understanding of this one author's perspective. I agree with some of his points, but differ in my response, which makes sense, as I come from such a different background (more than race) from Mr. Coates. ...more
This was my book of the summer!!! My son, Jake, was assigned this as a 9th grade summer reading book for his coming year at Kimball Union Academy. HeThis was my book of the summer!!! My son, Jake, was assigned this as a 9th grade summer reading book for his coming year at Kimball Union Academy. He could not put it down. So I picked it up when he finished and was equally enthralled. This is a Tolkien-esque tale in modern setting and topics. That is, it has a epic fable quality, but is loaded with modern technology, language and characters. This story made me want to understand more about typography, computer search engines, and the nature of printing books.
The saddest part of this book is that there is no real Penumbra's bookstore in San Francisco. What a shame! I would buy the airline ticket just to go and sit in just such a shop. And I would hope that Mr. Penumbra himself would be there to chat with. The characters in this book are wonderfully created and developed over the course of the story as mates to you as the reader. This book is great for many age groups. I recommend this for middle school to adult readers for great entertainment and thoughtful readers. ...more