I had the opportunity to read an Advanced Readers Copy of this book and absolutely loved it. It is a big book and could appear daunting given the topiI had the opportunity to read an Advanced Readers Copy of this book and absolutely loved it. It is a big book and could appear daunting given the topic and science involved, but the authors treat the subject matter like a narrative non-fiction, giving way to a compelling and easy read, despite the length of the book. The timeline at the very back of the book was helpful as the book isn't structured in a strict chronological order, but that was clearly done as a means of helping the narrative flow. I'd highly recommend this for anyone with even an inkling of interest in learning more about autism, although parents of children who are autistic might find some of the earlier "treatments" difficult to read about. The later chapters dealing with the anti-vaccine movement were handled in a sensitive manner that still managed to respect the beliefs of the anti-vaxxers.
My only criticism is that often the writers employed a variation on the deus ex machina technique. What I mean is, it would be at a point in the story when some Big Thing in the history of autism was about to happen and suddenly the last line of a section would be akin to "And then So-and-So entered the picture and everything changed." It happened frequently and while I can appreciate there are only so many available methods for introducing new "characters" like that, I found it a bit tedious after awhile....more
As a huge fan of Jane Eyre, I was first quite skeptical about this book when I originally heard about it, but I am so glad I gave it a chance. MargotAs a huge fan of Jane Eyre, I was first quite skeptical about this book when I originally heard about it, but I am so glad I gave it a chance. Margot Livesey's writing is quite lovely -- I really can't think of any other word to describe it. She has a deft hand with descriptions without them becoming overwrought or heavy. Her reimagining of Jane Eyre is well-thought out: the references, if you know the original work, are obvious, yet she puts her own spin on them that keeps the story feeling fresh. While the two thirds of the book is very true to Bronte's tale, almost plot point by plot point, the final section took a big detour and kept me guessing, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
There were parts where it dragged a bit -- Gemma's days at the school, for instance -- but overall I would highly recommend this book. (Actually, now that I think about it, the parts I found slow in this book are the same parts I find slow in Jane Eyre, so maybe it's just the overall plotline itself and nothing to do with the storytelling). It reads quickly, in that I got completely sucked in and knowledge of Jane Eyre isn't required. It can definitely stand on its own, even without knowing anything about the source. ...more
I feel like when reviewing this book it should be noted that Crystal Renn no longer qualifies at plus size. Over the past few years she has lost a subI feel like when reviewing this book it should be noted that Crystal Renn no longer qualifies at plus size. Over the past few years she has lost a substanial amount of weight and has gone from a size 12 to something closer to a size 8.
At the same time, however, I also feel like that piece of information doesn't take away from the message in her book "Hungry" and is, perhaps, unimportant. Regardless of her weight/size now, at the time of this book she was the top Plus Size model, having graced the cover of some of fashion's most important magazines and was a role model for young women everywhere, myself included.
The book itself is two-fold: Part of it is about Renn's rise through the catwalk ranks while the other part is about self-acceptance. The overlapping qualities come when you learn that before becoming a plus size model, Renn struggled with eating disorders as she tried to make a name for herself as a "straight" sized model. It was only when she let go of the baggage and gained the weight that her modeling career really took off.
The writing itself is, y'know, alright. It's written by someone who isn't a writer by profession, but I also think that adds a realistic quality to her story since you know it's really her telling it. ...more
This is one of a handful of books that I read every year and have for over a decade. In fact, I still am reading the same copy I originally had in higThis is one of a handful of books that I read every year and have for over a decade. In fact, I still am reading the same copy I originally had in high-school when I first read it for a science fiction literature course. So, in other words, I really, really, really love this book.
In a future time, Earth is recovering from previous intergalatic battles with beings known as "buggers." A third war is on the way and as a means of finding the next great commander, a Battle School has been created. From a young age, children are monitored to find the ones right for this new school which is how Andrew "Ender" Wiggin is selected. He is a rarity: a Third child in a world where most families only have two. His older brother Peter was considered too violent, his sister Valentine too passive. Ender was conceived to be a mix of the two. So, as a young child, Ender is taken from his family to be trained at Battle School, where he quickly emerges as a force to be reckoned with.
But while he plays the games and succeeds at the simulations, the threat of the buggers is moving closer and closer and time is running out....more
Robert Redford is a rather elusive actor. His contemporary movies are few and far between and aside from his participation at Sundance and its annualRobert Redford is a rather elusive actor. His contemporary movies are few and far between and aside from his participation at Sundance and its annual film festival, you don't really hear about him in the news. He is one of my favorite actors (I may be only 30 but "The Way We Were" and "The Sting" are two of my favorite films) so it was a wonderful opportunity to get inside his head, which is not an exaggeration since biographer Michael Feeney Callan frequently quotes Redford's own personal journals.
At 400 pages, it might seem intimidating but I found it well paced and, well, maybe not a "quick" read but it kept my attention and I quickly became immersed, fascinated by the story and the way it was told. ...more
I first read Jane Eyre in college and then again maybe 7 or 8 years ago and while I remember the major events of the book, some of it I had completelyI first read Jane Eyre in college and then again maybe 7 or 8 years ago and while I remember the major events of the book, some of it I had completely forgotten: like Jane's years teaching and how expansive her time with the Rivers family was. It was almost like reading the book for the very first time and I enjoyed rediscovering Jane now that I am an adult. She is far more bolder and independent than I remember or, perhaps, failed to appreciate. ...more
I confess that some of the math was way beyond my head. Even when put in layman's terms. But other than that, I did thoroughly enjoy this book. I apprI confess that some of the math was way beyond my head. Even when put in layman's terms. But other than that, I did thoroughly enjoy this book. I appreciated that it dealt with schizophrenia from so many different angles: from Nash's own perspective, the effect the illness had on his friends and family, and the genetic factor. Author Nasar did an excellent job writing this biography, because at times it read like a novel and not non-fiction. The chapters related to the selection process for the Nobel prize was especially fascinating....more