I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!!!! I have to say, though, that it took me about 75 pages to get into it. I might even have given up on it, if it werI ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!!!! I have to say, though, that it took me about 75 pages to get into it. I might even have given up on it, if it weren't for the fact that our book group chose this classic. I know that not everyone will love this story - it is slow moving and wordy, but I have to say, it will go on my mental list of best books I've ever read!
I'm glad I read the paper version - it was very helpful to refer to the map at the beginning of the book, and to the "Lapine Glossary" at the end. A kindle version would have been frustrating.
I loved the characters and savored the journey. I had no idea how it would end, but the ending was perfect. It's a long book, but once I got past those first 75 pages, I was thoroughly into it! Adams' premise seems to be, "Men will never rest till they've spoiled the earth and destroyed the animals."
Very briefly, this story concerns a group of rabbits, the main ones being Hazel, a leader of a warren that needs to find a new home, due to the encroachment of man, Fiver, a sort of rabbit visionary, BigWig, another leader in this warren, and Woundwort, a very big. dictatorial rabbit from another warren named Efrafa. Kehaar is a big white bird who becomes a sort of friend/protector.
I loved the way the animals were able to communicate among other species, the way the difficulties they encountered were similar to that of humans I loved their thought-processes. Interspersed among these chapters were stories/legends of the rabbit folk-hero, El-ahairah. These stories were great, too!
A sample of the prose which I loved: "We do not take moonlight for granted. It is like snow, or like the dew on a July morning. It does not reveal but changes what it covers. And its low intensity - so much lower than that of daylight - makes us conscious that it is something added to the down, to give it, for only a little time, a singular and marvelous quality that we should admire while we can, for soon it will be gone again."
Some great quotes: ""Animals don't behave like men', he said. 'If they have to fight, they fight; and if they have to kill, they kill. But they don't sit down and set their wits to work to devise ways of spoiling other creatures' lives and hurting them. They have dignity and animality.'"
"When Marco Polo came at last to Cathay, seven hundred years ago, did he not feel - and did his heart not falter as he realized - that this great and splendid capital of an empire had had its being all the years of his life and far longer, and that he had been ignorant of it? That it was in need of nothing from him, from Venice, from Europe? That it was full of wonders beyond his understanding? That his arrival was a matter of no importance whatever? We know that he felt these things, and so has many a traveler in foreign parts who did not know what he was going to find. There is nothing that cuts you down to size like coming to some strange and marvelous place where no one even stops to notice that you stare about you."
This was a surprisingly enjoyable read for me! I had heard of this series before, but when we found out it was available from the library's "Book ClubThis was a surprisingly enjoyable read for me! I had heard of this series before, but when we found out it was available from the library's "Book Club in a Box", we decided to read it for our February meeting. The story was put together really well - we read about Maisie's life in 1929, when she is opening up a sort of detective agency, and also during WWI, when she is working as a nurse. Her background story is also told. Maisie's first case is a husband wanting to know is his wife is cheating on him. This story then also relates to the major mystery - what happens at The Retreat - a place where disfigured soldiers can live their lives in privacy. Maisie's love interest is Simon Lynch, a doctor she works with at the front. We know this is a sore spot in her life - something happened to prevent them from currently being together, but it isn't til the end of the story that we find out more. Maisie's "mentor", Maurice, has lots of wise sayings to encourage her. I may well read more of these mysteries - it depends when I finish more of the books on my to-read list....more
it's hard to believe that this book was written in 1911! I know I read this a LONG time ago, but was curious to read it again after coming across it mit's hard to believe that this book was written in 1911! I know I read this a LONG time ago, but was curious to read it again after coming across it mentioned in a few articles. Anyway, even though parts of it are dated (or maybe quaint), it still was a very well written, thought-out story. It concerns two ten-year-olds, Mary and Colin. Mary was brought up in India, and is a very spoiled unhappy girl. Both her parents die during an epidemic, and she is sent to live with a distant relative, Mr. Craven. Mr. Craven lost his wife in childbirth ten years ago, and is still mourning her. Their son, Colin, is thought to be very sickly and ill-tempered. Mr. Craven spends little time at home. The book chronicles the change in character of both children when they begin spending time outdoors. Colin calls it "Magic" - the ability to forget about your problems and to feel alive when you're in this secret garden. I enjoyed the growth and the emphasis on forgetting your self. It wasn't deep - more like "positive thinking can cure almost anything"! But still - sweet!...more
Probably a 4.5. The story was fascinating - definitely a 5. I sometimes got tired of Toobin's insertion of his own opinions, though.
I remember bits anProbably a 4.5. The story was fascinating - definitely a 5. I sometimes got tired of Toobin's insertion of his own opinions, though.
I remember bits and pieces of the the Patricia Hearst story - I was around, and actually in the general area, during parts of it. One impression that remains after reading this book is that I hadn't remembered how violent those times were. Violence isn't just a new fact of life today - there have always been people attracted to violent causes. In some ways i came away with a feeling of pity for Patricia, believing that she kind of was a poor little rich girl. famous family, lots of money, wanting to be a part of something. Who's to say if she really was "coerced" into becoming a legitimate member of the SLA - but she sure had many opportunities to leave the group. I think, though, that when you're young - 20ish - many people probably believe that they are kind of participating in a "game", albeit a very violent one. I can't imagine living with the memories of what she had participated in. But, also, I came away from the book with a feeling that money can fairly easily buy your way out of prison. F. Lee Bailey comes across almost as a buffoon in this narrative. The book was actually a page turner, and a good length. I'm glad I read it!...more
Our book group chose this book to read for December because it was a classic, and seemed like a quick read. Growing up, I read every Agatha Christie,Our book group chose this book to read for December because it was a classic, and seemed like a quick read. Growing up, I read every Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, and Erle Stanley Gardner book I could get my hands on - but haven't read any since. I was looking forward to this "trip down memory lane". It was funny, though - after I read about twenty pages, I realized I had fairly recently seen this movie on tv! I remembered the young reckless driver almost causing an accident with another car. Anyway, I remembered bits and pieces of the movie, but I really appreciated the details contained in the book. Christie did a great job with her pacing - I wanted to keep reading "just a little more" to find out what was going to happen next. The tension really built up! The copyright for the book was 1939 - which explains the n word used in an idiomatic comment. I had no idea what it meant and had to look it up. Thank goodness we've progressed from this idiom. The story is basically about ten people on an island, invited there for unique reasons. One by one they are killed off- but by whom?????? The ending was a bit convoluted for my liking, but it was still interesting. ...more
I can't say enough good things about this book! Originally, I was going to wait until I finished the Chernow biography of Hamilton before I treated myI can't say enough good things about this book! Originally, I was going to wait until I finished the Chernow biography of Hamilton before I treated myself to reading this one. But, it sat on my coffee table and just looked so inviting.........and it was easy to read a couple of pages here and there. And before I knew it - I was done! All the lyrics to every song in the show are here - along with so many notes about their origin, significance, whatever. Lin-Manuel was definitely the right person at the right time to accomplish this great task of bringing Hamilton to life, and showing us how relevant history is to the present. This has definitely fueled my excitement to eventually see the musical!...more
Funny - this is one of those books that I am (almost) embarrassed to admit that I loved! I was not expecting to. The story sounded kind of interestingFunny - this is one of those books that I am (almost) embarrassed to admit that I loved! I was not expecting to. The story sounded kind of interesting, but I had read The Aviator's Wife when it came out, and hadn't especially liked it. (I looked up my review, and I had given it 3 stars. And it reminded me of some of Benjamin's writing that I hadn't enjoyed). Anyway, this book was not even on my to-read list. But, when I went into a library to turn in my ballot, I decided to take a look at their "new" book section - and this was just sitting on the shelf. So, I figured, why not try it?
This was a quick read - and I don't think everyone would necessarily love it. But - it was the right book at the right time for me! Benjamin tells the fictionalized story of Truman Capote and some of his NY socialite friends in the 50's and 60's. Women like Babe Paley, Slim Keith, etc...... (I hadn't heard of them before, but I looked up info on everyone during the reading of this book - fascinating!) who were "bred" to be beautiful and to marry into money. Trophy wives of that day. And it wasn't easy being a trophy wife then - having to look beautiful all the time for your husband, putting up with affairs, etc. The time period was interesting, as were the characters and all the name-dropping. Evidently, Capote became part of their little group - he was openly gay, very self-confident, loved to gossip, really fit in with that crowd. We see snippets of his conversations with his "swans" - the socialites - and are kind aghast (at least I was) at the shallowness and backbiting that go on. But - Benjamin also chronicles the loneliness that remained under the surface of many of these relationships. All goes fairly well - until Truman releases one of his final works, which betrayed the confidences of many of these women.
This story was fascinating, sad, unbelievable - a really good read!...more