I think sometimes we review books based on the actual merits of the book...is the grammar correct? Do they use the words cold and hard to describe theI think sometimes we review books based on the actual merits of the book...is the grammar correct? Do they use the words cold and hard to describe the main character 500 times too many? Are the sentences perfectly formed or can a high school student create more interesting sentences and plot devices? But sometimes there are certain books that we love because they speak to us. We relate on some level with the characters in the story. It's subjective and unquantifiable. Yes the book is written well, but goshdarnit I totally get what the characters are thinking, what they are going through, what they want, what they dream and what they fear. I relate to Myriam on so many levels, her thought processes, the way she feels about the inevitability of the consequences of life, I have loved who I shouldn't and haven't loved who everyone thought I should. I may not like everything about her. I may even be uncomfortable with the nature of her sins. In fact i think its the only drawback of the story...it was so difficult to get past her ultimate sin even though the revelation is only dwelled on for maybe 5 pages. But I hear her inner thoughts, her pain, her doubt, her confusion, her joy and I felt like I was reading my own. I loved Myriam's voice and in the end this is why I loved the book. This may be subjective, but I think it also smacks of damn good writing....more
First off Walter Isaacson is one of the best biographical authors. I have read Benjamin Franklin and Einstein and he is by far one of my favorite nonFirst off Walter Isaacson is one of the best biographical authors. I have read Benjamin Franklin and Einstein and he is by far one of my favorite non fiction writers. He knows how to tell the stories of these people's lives ...good and bad...make it compelling and ultimately readable.
Secondly even though Steve Jobs may not have been the most likable guy and he made some life choices regarding his children that were incredibly selfish, he has had an unarguable affect on our lives whether we know it or not, whether we purchase Apple products or not. He was a brilliant genius who has shaped much of our modern every day life. I am continually amazed at how much his inventions, innovations and ideas I use, see, or have integrated into my daily life. I am impressed with his business sense and his ability to create beautiful and easy to use products. Of course I am one of the fans...as I sit here typing this out on my iPad and privately gloat over the easy set up of my iMac. You may not always like Steve but you can't help but have respect and admiration for the guy. Isaacson brilliantly captured him in this book ...flaws and all....more
This is a great book, organized well, short and sweet but informational and interesting. I plan to read Gotham at some point, but this was a good intrThis is a great book, organized well, short and sweet but informational and interesting. I plan to read Gotham at some point, but this was a good introduction to the history of NYC and a lot easier to finish than a 1000+ page tome. I look forward to being able to take the walking tours sometime in the near future....more
What a great idea! Fanciful and romantic and funny. Very cute story with quite a bit of meaning behind it. I enjoyed every bit. It reminds me of my owWhat a great idea! Fanciful and romantic and funny. Very cute story with quite a bit of meaning behind it. I enjoyed every bit. It reminds me of my own love who knows me only through the words of our heart. Awwwww...more
This is an amazing book! Definetly need to read again and start taking notes and marking up the book. I recommend this to anyone who is searching forThis is an amazing book! Definetly need to read again and start taking notes and marking up the book. I recommend this to anyone who is searching for God. I am more in awe of the majesty and holiness of God because of it....more
A psuedo-history on the origins of comics (their value as an art form, writing and escapist yet heroic nature is subtly woven into the story), which iA psuedo-history on the origins of comics (their value as an art form, writing and escapist yet heroic nature is subtly woven into the story), which is not only written well (of course it is, since it won the Pulitzer), but the characters are down to earth and lovable. They have their faults, foibles; their own personal kryptonite, but like any great superhero they sacrifice much for those they love, forgive, have their own secret identities and have to endure great tragedy in some form or another.
It looks like The Escapist appeared as a new hero in modern comics, along with Luna Moth (who is my personal favorite since she is a librarian!!) and a few of the other heroines/heroes created by Kavalier & Clay under the Dark Horse publisher...but alas they cancelled it. :( The idea was taken up again, but I'm not sure if it is still being created. Plus it looks like the movie that was planned is on hiatus as well. Again :(
The descriptions of some of the comic book pages made me wish this was an illustrated novel, I really would have liked to have seen what Michael Chabon described so I could compare them to the pictures he created in my mind. Maybe they will do another issue illustrated and containing The Golem graphic novel as an extra bonus.
**spoiler alert** I loved Krauss' History of Love, so I wanted to read more by her. Her prose is lyrical and descriptive and I was hoping her other bo**spoiler alert** I loved Krauss' History of Love, so I wanted to read more by her. Her prose is lyrical and descriptive and I was hoping her other books would be the same. I was not disappointed and Man Walks into a Room warrants more than one read through. The story is deep and philosophical, is man meant to be alone? The writing is beautiful and there are passages of such beauty that you will want to read them over again, just to be sure you understood what it is that Sampson is learning about himself.
It took me to almost the end to understand why the first chapter was there and who it was talking about, it hit me about the same time it hit Sampson and the affect was palpitable.
The saddest line in the whole story "He opened the back and flipped on the lamp and in an instant the exposed image of Anna was burned out of existence." To even explain why this is so sad would take to long. As much as I would have liked to have had this be about the reuniting of love between Sampson and Anna this book was about Sampson's journey back from the isolation of his own mind. Unfortunately, the fact that Anna is burned from his memory makes it impossible for them to remain together. It is a sad story but Sampson's journey gives us hope that no, man is not meant to be alone even if momentarily it is what we think we desire....more
I really enjoyed this book. I had heard mixed reviews, but I felt it was really well written and the ending was not predictable. I loved all of the chI really enjoyed this book. I had heard mixed reviews, but I felt it was really well written and the ending was not predictable. I loved all of the characters, of course not Keenan's mother, but you weren't supposed to anyway. Looking forward to reading the other books in the series....more
**spoiler alert** I just finished this book, it is brilliant, beautiful, touching....I can't find the words I need to describe how good this book is.**spoiler alert** I just finished this book, it is brilliant, beautiful, touching....I can't find the words I need to describe how good this book is. I fell in love with Alma and Leo from the very start of the book. Alma so innocent in her youth, searching for answers after her fathers death. Leo at the cusp of the end of his life, he is so poignant, real and insightful. I love all the things he does to remind himself and others that he's still alive, he's cranky when he orders coffee, he knocks things over in the grocery store, I loved it when he posed nude for the figure drawing class. What he does with Bruno and I loved how that story resolved itself. The end is so beautiful I cried.
The writing is just brilliant. I've never dogeared a book before...to me that is like sacriledge, but I couldn't help myself, there are so many quotes that I just want to remember. It just touched me on so many levels. What do we do when we find the one person we love, how do we cope with death, how do we cope with the trials and tragedies that life throws at is, and in the end did we LIVE, did we live a life worth living? How many second chances do we get and when we get them do we take them?
I loved the stories within the story...The actual History of Love chapters, Isaac's story of the angel (that one is particularly haunting and touching), Bird's journal entries. Ms Krauss has such a vibrant way of describing emotions. Like this one: (pg45,46) " Once Uncle Jamie told me how the sculptor and painter Albert Giacometti said that sometimes just to paint a head you have to give up the whole figure. To paint a leaf, you have to sacrifice the whole landscape....My mother did not choose a leaf or a head. She chose my father, and to hold on to a certain feeling, she sacrificed the world."
Or this quote from The History of Love, "Of course there are certain cases in which the boy in question refuses to shop shouting at the top of his lungs for Alma. Stages a hunger strike. Pleads. Fills a book with his love. Carries on until she has no choice but to come back. Every time she tries to leave, knowing it's what has to be done, the boy stops her, begging like a fool. And so she always returns, no matter how often she leaves or how far she goes, appearing soundlessly behind him and covering his eyes with her hands, spoiling him for anyone who could ever some after her."
Leo musing on death, "At the end, all that's left of you are your possessions. Perhaps that's why I've never been able to throw anything away. Perhaps that's why I hoarded the world: with the hope that when I died, the sum total of my things would suggest a life larger than the one I lived."
At the end of the book when Leo meets Alma he is remembering an incident that happened before he left Poland, which I think is the point of the whole book. At the beginning you aren't sure how all these characters are going to fit together, but it is through the small actions of regular people that this poignant conclusion happens. Isn't it so in our lives as well, all that happens is generally started with such small incidents. "Because of that wife who got tired of waiting for her soldier, I lived...I like to imagine the first time she leaned in to kiss that stranger, how she must have felt herself falling for him, or perhaps simply away from her loneliness, and it's like some tiny nothing that sets off a natural disaster halfway across the world, only this was the opposite of disaster, how by accident she saved me with that thoughtless act of grace, and she never knew, and how that, too, is part of the history of love."
I would recommend this book to everyone! I am looking forward to reading her first book....more
Not only was this book witty, humorous, tongue in cheek, informative, interesting, fascinating, and totally enjoyable, but it was absolutely gorgeousNot only was this book witty, humorous, tongue in cheek, informative, interesting, fascinating, and totally enjoyable, but it was absolutely gorgeous to flip through. Unlike the book you don't have to be drop dead gorgeous, although that doesn't hurt, to be a siren, you only need to use all the femininity that you have inside. Ellen gives some wonderful examples of ancient and modern sirens and how they used their feminine wiles to the fullest. While each of these sirens are completely different they do have some common ground...they absolutely love men (which is such a fun adventure in itself) and then they magnified who they are through the lens of their own unique femininity. In order to emulate such siren's as Carole Lombard, Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Sarah Bernhart or my favorite Nigella Lawson all women have to do is be confident in who they are, realize that being a woman and all that entails is the best come hither we have and then be true to ourselves. I read this in a day I just couldn't put it down, I was having too much fun.
"One of the best things about love is just recognizing a man's step when he climbs the stairs"--Colette
"A woman can be beautiful at twenty, charming at forty, and irresistible all her life." --Coco Chanel
"Age cannot wither her,/nor custom stale/ Her infinite variety:/ other women cloy/The appetites they feed,/but she makes hungry/ Where most she satisfies:/ for vilest things/ become themselves in her."--Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra
"Noel Coward wrote that it was strange how potent cheap music can be; the same--in a different sphere--holds true in the kitchen." -Nigella Lawson
"Cooking is not about applying heat , procedure, method, but about the transformation of a more intimate kind." -Nigella Lawson
"Whenever a gifted male artist has embraced his Muse he has in fact made a woman appear in the art...It is not the man speaking through the woman; it is the woman speaking through the man." -Arlene Croce
"I used to be Snow White but I drifted." " I generally avoid temptations unless I can't resist it." "When choosing between two evils, I always like to take the one I've never tried before."--Mae West
"If God wanted us to think with our wombs, why did he give us a brain?"--Clare Boothe Luce
This book is absolutely amazing. Intelligent, witty, has a point...much better stated than Farenheit 451, which i read along with this book. Our languThis book is absolutely amazing. Intelligent, witty, has a point...much better stated than Farenheit 451, which i read along with this book. Our language, books, learning and reading are amazing. Loved this book, I'd recommend it to everyone, but most especially AP English Students and Teachers or anyone who has a love of letters and the English language....more