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What did you read last month? > What I read in April 2014

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Share with us what you read in April

Please provide:
~ A GoodRead link
~ A few sentences telling us how you felt about the book.
~ How would you rate the book


message 2: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 30, 2014 07:33AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments I read only one book this month.

The Cider House Rules by John Irving The Cider House Rules--John Irving
Fiction
Rate: 4/5

This was our group read. I read the book and watched the movie. I enjoyed the book a lot. The movie was a bit of a disappointment. You can read more of my thoughts in the group read thread.


message 3: by Carol (last edited Apr 30, 2014 10:50AM) (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 830 comments CAROL's APRIL 2014 READS
I read a lot this month because of the rain. This is not my norm.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
1. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Barbara Kingsolver -- 370 pp.- (2007) - 4/2/14 -- 5 stars!
This is the first book I read by Barbara Kingsolver, and just what I was looking for. I'm a vegan but the rest of my family are addicted to fatty processed foods, and desserts with high fructose corn syrup - basically everything that is not good for your health. This book, although published in 2007, was a delight to learn how her family (in southern Appalachia) learned how to grow plants during the majority of the year, as well as learning how to make pickles, chutney and mozzarella. Nine year old Lily started a heritage poultry business, selling eggs and meat - abandoning industrial meat years earlier. It was an interesting read, learned new ways of supporting farmers in your community as well as learning how to raise chickens, and be able to start making some of the recipes she provided. I liked how her daughter changed her life (health-wise and financially) and her husband's essays were excellent.

Reason for Hope A Spiritual Journey by Jane Goodall
2. Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey
Jane Goodall –- 298 pp. -- (2003) -- 4/3/14 -- 5 stars!!
Happy 80th birthday Jane Goodall!!
Amazing!! This memoir is begins before her birth to now. I didn't realize that she suffers from a neurological condition called Prosopagnosia (problems with face recognition). Goodall is a strong woman who wouldn't let a college degree prevent her from groundbreaking fieldwork with the chimpanzees of Gombe, Africa. I was very surprised how important her Christian faith is to her daily. I need to write a review to do justice to this book, which is great -- at times I laughed, and other times I cried.

Vermeer by Lawrence Gowing
3. Vermeer
Lawrence Gowing -- 270 pp. -- 1997 -- 5 stars!
First, as an artist, I have to admit that Vermeer is one of my favorite artists. And I am thrilled that an English artist, Sir Lawrence Burnet Gowing (April 21, 1918--February 5, 1991) was an exceptional English artist, writer, curator and teacher. (As a student of art history he was largely self-taught.) Sir Lawrence was a trustee of the Tate Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the British Museum, and was a member of the Arts Council of Great Britain. In 1978, he was elected an associate of the Royal Academy, and was made honorary curator of its collections in 1985. Beginning in the 1960s he travelled to the United States to serve as Kress Professor at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., and was also curator of the Phillips Collection in Washington. Knighted in 1982, he was made a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters in France in 1985.

Johannes Vermeer (1632--December 1675) was a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He seems never to have been particularly wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings. He worked slowly and with great care, using bright colours and sometimes expensive pigments, with a preference for lapis lazuli and Indian yellow. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work. But he is also known for using a "optical technique" that allowed him to paint almost photorealistic artwork. I was also fortunate to see in person (at the Frick Museum in NYC) the collection from the The Mauritshuis in The Hague, Netherlands--roughly 800 paintings reside there. As an artist, I'm in awe of the Dutch Golden Age that features Rembrandt, Jan Steen, Paulus Potter and Frans Hals, Vermeer is best known for Girl with the Pearl Earring at the Frick - http://www.rawstory.com/rs/wp-content... and The Goldfinch -- http://www.frick.org/sites/default/fi...


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou -- 291 pp. -- (1993) -- 5 stars!
This book is Angelou's coming of age as a precocious but insecure black girl in the American South during the 1930s and subsequently in California during the 1940s. At three years old, her parents divorced. Both she and her brother, Bailey, are sent to live with their paternal grandmother, Annie Henderson, in rural Stamps, AK. Annie (aka moma) runs the only store in the black section of Stamps and becomes the central moral figure in Maya’s childhood. Both children feel the pain and loss of their parents. Maya is so tormented by her appearance, that she doesn't feel equal to other black children. Growing up in Stamps, Maya faces a deep-seated southern racism manifested in wearying daily indignities and terrifying lynch mobs.

When Maya is eight, her father, of whom she has no memory, arrives in Stamps unexpectedly and takes her and Bailey to live with their mother, Vivian, in St. Louis, Missouri. Beautiful and alluring, Vivian lives a wild life working in gambling parlors. One morning Vivian’s live-in boyfriend, Mr. Freeman, sexually molests Maya, and he later rapes her. They go to court and afterward Mr. Freeman is violently murdered, probably by some the underground criminal associates of Maya’s family. Maya endures the guilt and shame of having been sexually abused. She also believes that she bears responsibility for Mr. Freeman’s death because she denied in court that he had molested her prior to the rape. Believing that she has become a mouthpiece for the devil, Maya stops speaking to everyone except Bailey. Her mother’s family accepts her silence at first as temporary post-rape trauma, but they later become frustrated and angry at what they perceive to be disrespectful behavior. Momma manages to break through Maya’s silence by introducing her to Mrs. Bertha Flowers, a kind, educated woman who tells Maya to read works of literature out loud, giving her books of poetry that help her to regain her voice.

Maya endures several appalling incidents that teach her about the insidious nature of racism. At ten, Maya takes a job for a white woman who calls her “Mary” for her own convenience. This enrages her and retaliates by breaking the woman’s fine china. Maya’s 8th grade graduation, a white speaker devastates the proud community by explaining that black students are expected to become only athletes or servants. When Maya gets a rotten tooth, Momma takes her to the only dentist in Stamps, a white man who insults her, saying he’d rather place "his hand in a dog’s mouth than in hers." The last straw comes when Bailey encounters a dead, rotting black man and witnesses a white man’s satisfaction at seeing the body. Momma fears for the children’s well-being and saves money to bring them to Vivian, living in California. Maya, 13, moves with family to LA and then Oakland, CA.

Maya, 13, and the family moves to live with Vivian in LA and then in Oakland, CA. When Vivian marries Daddy Clidell, a positive father figure, they move with him to San Francisco, the first city where Maya feels at home. She spends one summer with her father, Big Bailey, in Los Angeles and has to put up with his cruel indifference and his hostile girlfriend, Dolores.

After Dolores cuts her in a fight, Maya runs away and lives for a month with a group of homeless teenagers in a junkyard. She returns to San Francisco strong and self-assured. She defies racist hiring policies in wartime San Francisco to become the first black streetcar conductor at age fifteen. At sixteen, she hides her pregnancy from her mother and stepfather for 8 months and graduates from high school. The account ends as Maya begins to feel confident as a mother to her newborn son.


The Reason I Jump The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida
5. The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida -- 176 pp. -- 5 stars!!
For five years, I worked as a paraprofessional (one on one) with Autistic children, ages from 3 yrs. to 6 yrs. I only worked with one child at a time, and was with them throughout their school day. I loved working with them, but it was also very challenging since most unable to speak, and very few knew sign language. Also many were not toilet trained. I became very close to them, despite their distance from me through communication. My first three children were removed from the program due to moving out of state (spouse employment). But my last child, Kevin, was non-responsive, but over time he began to learn words, and in the end interact with the "regular" preschoolers.

I find this book amazing since Naoki, the author, who lives in Kimitsu, Japan-- is the boy who was born in 1992, later diagnosed with autism at age five, and when he was a junior in high school, his book was published. His story is in a Q&A format regarding his disability, and how he deals with it. I found it amazing that his mind is as complex and curious as well as other children, below are a few
Q& A --

Q: Do you prefer to be on your own?
A: For people with autism, what we're anxious about is that we're causing trouble for the rest of you. This is why it is hard for us to stay around you.

Q: Why do your write letters in the air?
A: I'm writing to confirm what I want to remember. As I write, I'm recalling what I've seen--not as scenes, but as letters, signs, and symbols- they are my closest allies because they never change. These are just a few Q&A. I highly recommend reading this book.


message 4: by Carol (last edited Apr 30, 2014 11:28AM) (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 830 comments Part two . . . .

continue of APRIL 2014 READS . . .

Quarantine by Jim Crace
6. Quarantine by Jim Crace -- 242 pp. -- 1 star.
Crace's "Quarantine" is the story of Christ's self-imposed exile in the desert for 40 days; along with other devout Jews who moved to the wilderness in search of enlightenment. A long-suffering, pregnant wife, Miri, stays by her abusive husband, Musa, who is dying. She wanders outside their tent as Jesus walks by and Musa's health is revived. The ‘miracle’ is credited to the mysterious Galilean, Jesus, who has hidden himself in an almost inaccessible cave to pray and fast. Jesus’ extreme commitment to the discipline of quarantine means that he is soon weak to the point of death. Musa’s rape of Marta is the last straw for Miri, his oppressed wife. The two women abandon Musa and leave the desert together to shape a new life for themselves, and Miri’s baby. Musa is a survivor, and he sets off, once more, along the caravan ways. I felt as though I missed the main character which, in my opinion, would be Jesus. Yet all the focus is on Musa and his abusive ways. He is truly a horrendous, terrible tyrant. The author was probably trying to compare the two for a clear juxtaposition between good and evil: Christ, the strong, loving, optimistic healer with the obnoxious, abusive, self-centered Musa. During the 40 days, there was "next-to-nothing" on Christ's life. My guess would be that the author is not a Christian. This book was very disappointing -- not worth the time to read it.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
7. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell--325 pp. -- YA -- 4 stars!!
I posted 3.5 stars, but I'm changing it to 4. It is very well written and totally realistic. Set in 1986, Eleanor and Park become friends on the HS bus. Eleanor is physically a “big" girl with bright red hair ("Big Red") and describes herself as a barmaid. She recently returned to her home in Omaha. But every moment of Eleanor's life is terrifying and claustrophobic due to her abusive alcoholic stepfather, Richie. Both her mom, Eleanor, the oldest of her siblings, live in constant fear. Eleanor is also poor that she cannot even afford a toothbrush. Park is a half-Korean, loved and supported by his parents, is passably popular but separated from the larger social order of his school both by his race and by his passion for comic books and good music.

The first day of school, Eleanor sits next to Park on the bus. Over time, she begins reading his comics over his shoulder, and he lends them to her. They bond over music. Eventually, they begin holding hands on the rides to and from school. Their hand-holding becomes intense. “Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat.” Evocative sensual descriptions are everywhere in this novel, but they always feel true to the characters. I really enjoyed this read.


The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
8. The Gargoyle -- Andrew Davidson--468 pp. --5 stars!
The narrator of The Gargoyle is a very contemporary cynic, physically beautiful and sexually adept, who dwells in the moral vacuum that is modern life. As the book opens, he is driving along a dark road when he is distracted by what seems to be a flight of arrows. He crashes into a ravine and suffers horrible burns over much of his body. As he recovers in a burn ward, undergoing the tortures of the damned, he awaits the day when he can leave the hospital and commit carefully planned suicide — for he is now a monster in appearance as well as in soul.

A beautiful and compelling, but clearly unhinged, sculptress of gargoyles by the name of Marianne Engel appears at the foot of his bed and insists that they were once lovers in medieval Germany. In her telling, he was a badly injured mercenary and she was a nun and scribe in the famed monastery of Engelthal who nursed him back to health. As she spins their tale in Scheherazade fashion and relates equally mesmerizing stories of deathless love in Japan, Iceland, Italy, and England, he finds himself drawn back to life — and, finally, in love. He is released into Marianne's care and takes up residence in her huge stone house. But all is not well. For one thing, the pull of his past sins becomes ever more powerful as the morphine he is prescribed becomes ever more addictive. For another, Marianne receives word from God that she has only twenty-seven sculptures left to complete — and her time on earth will be finished. I hope he writes another story soon.


North by Seamus Heaney
9. North--Seamus Heaney--73 pp. --4.5 stars (on my part since I'm not Irish)
With this collection, first published in 1975, Heaney located a myth which allowed him to articulate a vision of Ireland--its people, history, and landscape--and which gave his poems direction, cohesion, and cumulative power. In North, the Irish experience is refracted through images drawn from different parts of the Northern European experience, and the idea of the north allows the poet to contemplate the violence on his home ground in relation to memories of the Scandinavian and English invasions which have marked Irish history


Life of the Beloved Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J.M. Nouwen
10. Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri J.M. Nouwen -- 156 pp. --4.5/5 stars.
A friend of Nouwen asked him to write a book explaining the spiritual life in terms that he and his friends could understand, avoiding theological language. Nouwen's response was "You are my Beloved" which revealed the most intimate truth about all human beings. Over the years, Nouwen's greatest trap in life is not success, or popularity, but self-rejection. "I hope you can somehow identify in yourself the temptation to self-rejection, whether it manifests itself in arrogance or in low self-esteem. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the Beloved." Becoming the Beloved means letting the truth of our Belovedness become enfleshed in everything we think, say, or do. Long before any human being saw us, we are seen by God's loving eyes. Long before anyone heard us cry or laugh, we are heard by God who is all ears for us. Long before any person spoke to us in this world, we are spoken to by the voice of eternal love. Life is a God-given opportunity to become who we are, to affirm our own true spiritual nature, claim our truth, appropriat and intergrate the reality of our being, but most of all, to say "yes" to the "One who calls us the Beloved."


Independent People by Halldór Laxness
11. Independent People by Halldór Laxness -- 482 pp.--5 STARS! Love his writing, as well as its setting in Norway.
Set in rural Iceland in early 20th century, Bjartus- a sheep farmer - is determined to make a living off the land. Nothing will come between him and his goal of financial independence. His wife dies in childbirth, and he is now a father of this little girl, who he names Asta Solillja. As she grows up and makes her way into the world, Bjartus's ways of living are opposite her lifestyle, and their future together may be separated forever.

Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass by Isak Dinesen
12. Out of Africa: and Shadows on the Grass by Isak Dinesen --462 pp. -- 3/5 I expected more. . .
This is such a strange book?! It encapsulates the receding tide of African culture. Dinesen wrote "It was not I who was going away, I did not have it in my power to leave Africa, but it was the country that was slowly and gravely withdrawing from me, like the sea in ebb-tide. The procession that was passing here,--it was in reality my strong pulpy young dancers of yesterday and the day before yesterday, who were withering before my eyes, who were passing away for ever. They were going in their own style, gently in a dance, the people were with me, and I with the people, well content." So much written about the ending of many things.

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
13. V for Vendetta by Alan Moore--358 pp. -5 STARS!!
A powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V For Vendetta takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet. I believe that this is one of the few books that was done on film and was truly EXCELLENT. I just love it! 5+ stars!!!


message 5: by Carol (last edited Apr 30, 2014 01:46PM) (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 830 comments Part three . . . .

continue of APRIL READS . . .

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue
14. Frog Music by Emma Donoghue --416 pp.
San Francisco: Summer of 1876, record breaking heat wave and smallpox epidemic. Blanche Beunon, a burlesque dancer, fashionably dressed prostitute, one-time circus rider, and recent immigrant from France. She befriends cross dresser, bike riding, Jennie Bonnet, who carries a Colt revolver. Blanche owns her 6 story house in Chinatown, and supports her longtime lover, Arthur, and his best friend, Ernest, former trapeze artists who spend $ on drinking and gambling. Blanche invites Jenny to her home. Jenny sits down, Blanche's reaches down to her shoes, and a bullet misses Blanche and kills Jenny. Blanche is convinced that Arthur and Ernest are the culprits. Blanche rescues her baby boy (P'tit) and tries to be a mom, but Arthur and Ernest have taken the baby from her. I appreciated her dedicated to historical fiction, but quite honestly, I would had preferred not to read a detail play-by-play of their "menage-a trios." 4.5 stars.

Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
15. Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson --320 pp.
Kate Worthington's plan is to travel and move to India, and never marry. But Kate's mother has other plans. Kate journeys to Blackmoore's Manor to get advise from her childhood friend, Henry Delafield. The question is will the proposal Kate is determined to reject, actually be the one thing that will set her free? This is a book I didn't want to end. Delight to read -5 stars!

The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan
16. The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan--160pp.
Set in Ireland, it captivates the spirit of rural Ireland with words and thoughts of a generation. 3.5 stars.

On Writing (Modern Library) by Eudora Welty
17. On Writing by Eudora Welty -- 128pp.
On Writing presents the answers in seven concise chapters discussing the subjects most important to the narrative craft, and which every fiction writer should know, such as place, voice, memory, and language. But even more important is what Welty calls “the mystery” of fiction writing—how the writer assembles language and ideas to create a work of art. (Originally part of her larger work The Eye of the Story but never before published in a stand alone volume.) 4.5 stars!

He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado
18. He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado --215 pp.
This is THE book (and the DVD entitled The Passion of Christ ) I read and watch each year on every Good Friday. It's the least I can do to grow my faith and to understand what Jesus did for mankind. IMO Max Lucado is truly a man with a gift when it comes to writing Christian literature. I truly LOVE this book 5+ stars!!!

Living by Fiction by Annie Dillard
19. Living by Fiction by Annie Dillard--185 pp.
Quote by Annie Dillard in the book: "You can, in short, lead the life of the mind, which is, despite some appalling frustrations, the happiest life on earth. And one day, in the thick of this, approaching some partial vision, you will (I swear) find yourself on the receiving end of - of all things - an "idea for a story," and you will, God save you, start thinking about writing some fiction of your own. Then you will understand, in what I fancy might be a blinding flash, that all this passionate thinking is what fiction is about, that all those other fiction writers started as you did, and are laborers in the same vineyard.” 5 stars.

Entwined by Heather Dixon
20. Entwined by Heather Dixon--472 pp.
A retelling of the German fairy tale of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses" (or "The Worn-out Dancing Shoes") where, in this book ALL 12 young ladies are named alphabetically listed by flowers (from Azalea to Lily.) Their loving mother dies, and the family must be in mourning for a year, but the girls try to sneak around and dance anyway against the King's commands. Evil "Keeper" (who likes to keep things that are not his, especially those that have personal meanings to the girls) uses his magic to make things go his way, which makes life difficult for the girls. The King focus is on finding the right man for his eldest daughter, Azalea, to marry. In this process, the King becomes a devouted father. 3,5 stars!


message 6: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 30, 2014 01:04PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Carol wrote: "CAROL's APRIL 2014 READS
I read a lot this month because of the rain. This is not my norm.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
1. [book:Animal, Vegetable,..."


I read Animal, Veg. Miracle and enjoyed it. It seemed to be an expanded idea from one of the essays I read in one of her other books.

Carol wrote: --5. The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida -- 176 pp. -- 5 stars!!

I am adding this to my TBR list. I have a niece that works with autistic children. I'm sending this title on to her, too.

You certainly had an awesome reading month, Carol. Congratulations and thanks for the terrific write-ups on the books. I am enjoying reading your posts a lot.


message 7: by Carol (last edited Apr 30, 2014 01:50PM) (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 830 comments I was truly amazed how that young man with Autism was able to express himself and express it to others. I felt as though I was truly blessed to work with these children.

Yes, this is what happens when you borrow 30 books at one time (or try to read A BOOK each day!) Our librarians don't seem to mind to have extended my borrowed books. They know me well. (Or maybe it was my daughter who worked there while in school.) Once these are done, I'll go check out the new releases . . . can't wait! But I won't be able to read this weekend, my niece is graduating from Northeastern University. We haven't been to Boston, since my son graduated in 2009.


message 8: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Enjoy Boston, Carol ! I would love to visit there one day.

As to your reading, I can honestly say you are an inspiration !


message 9: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 30, 2014 02:24PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Carol wrote: I'm a vegan but the rest of my family are addicted to fatty processed foods, and desserts with high fructose corn syrup - basically everything that is not good for your health.

I was thinking of what your wrote and had to come back online to ask you a question. Do you find it difficult to avoid the temptation of the foods the rest of your family eats? You have a lot of will power.

The best vegan book I've come across is
The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen by Donna Klein The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen by Donna Klein

The book is vegan. What I like is that she doesn't us meat analogs or imitation cheeses for example. Her book is whole foods that aren't processed. I also love Italian food so that may be why I like this book more than her other books. I am not a very adventurous eater.

I also like that the recipes are usually pretty easy and don't have a ton of ingredients.

I initially got the book out of the library and liked it so much I purchased it.


message 10: by Carol (last edited Apr 30, 2014 04:00PM) (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 830 comments Not at all. It's not will power!

If I eat something healthy and then something not healthy (like mono sodium or HFCS - High Fructose Corn Syrup) I get pains or indigestion. Plus I'm so happy that company's like Talenti gelato puts everything on the container. Plus since they are more pricey, I'll eat a spoon or two, and that's satisfies me enough. (while my family eat regular ice cream which would put me in the bathroom.) I also like baking -- I'm addicted to homemade banana bread where I use a lot less white sugar. If you put your bananas in a plastic bag for 2-4 days they are overripe but still eatable, this takes the place of sugar. Or I use them in my food processor with almond milk and other ripe fruits to make my version of "ice cream."


I'm reading that Shirley Temple book, I had no idea how terribly Hoover was treated, ridiculed and despised as no other president had been since the days of the civil war. Hoover privately thought that Roosevelt was disqualified for presidency due to his handicap. While his aids confidently predicted that the country would never elect a cripple. All the time, people were dying from starvation and malnutrition. I'm so glad to live in this generation!

Boston is as busy as NYC but majority of the people are 20 something's attending colleges, or grad schools. I love the art museums (I do commute to NYC museums from New Haven train.) the food is great, and lots of sports--


What does she, author Donna Klein, say about making pasta? My parents bought me a pasta machine decades ago, and I cannot find the directions which were on a VHS -- I probably threw out. (I had a friend who worked as a firefighter and said any fire comes near the tape in those DVDs would never survive). So I do think I donated them to Goodwill.

I have all the Ina Garten recipe books. I know there a few that are heathy and delicious. I'll have to find them. We (my husband) is in the purging state. My youngest is coming home for his birthday in May. Hasnt been home since last fall. That's my "baby"-- the youngest who is 6 feet 2 inches; (I'm 5' 2" so needless to say my doctor took him 2 weeks early - C section.) Thank God! I was so bruised!


message 11: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Carol, I almost bought Talenti Gelato the other day. Though the flavors they had didn't grab me.

I went instead I went with Turkey Hill All Natural chocolate. The only ingredients are:
Cream, sugar, milk, cocoa.

https://www.turkeyhill.com/products/a...

As you note, you pay more, but so many of the other ice-creams have labels like a science experiment.


message 12: by Carol (last edited Apr 30, 2014 04:38PM) (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 830 comments That's great! I haven't seen an everyday brand with so few ingredients. Maybe it is affecting the common ice cream companies --


message 13: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 30, 2014 04:48PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen

Some of the recipes for pasta are:

Linguine with Asparagus and tomato Coulis

Linguine with pesto, potatoes and green beans

Linguine with tomato- pesto sauce

Gratin of macaroni, tomatoes, basil and olives

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

Orzo pilaf with peas, pearl onions, and roasted red peppers

Pasta primavera with roasted vegetables, basil, and olives

Penne with porcini mushroom sauce

Penne with sweet pepper and tomato sauce

Enraged penne

Spaghettini with green sauce

Radiatore with herbed oven roasted tomatoes

Rotelle with mixed summer vegetable sauce

Golden spaghetti pie with olives and raisins

Spaghettini with walnut garlic sauce

Vermicelli nest with chickpeas, spinach, and tomato

* She doesn't make her own pasta.

* all recipes are: meat free, egg free & dairy free


message 14: by Carol (last edited Apr 30, 2014 05:14PM) (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 830 comments I think they all sound delicious and healthy. I would just check with a doctor about how often can you eat pasta (daily, weekly, etc.?) Have you ever had a reaction to eating pastas? (different types?) What type of pasta are you eating?

1. Whole wheat pasta: Seven more grams of fiber and two more grams of protein per serving than white (semolina) pasta. Also, 100 percent whole grain pasta does not undergo the chlorine dioxide beaching process, which removes three-quarters of the vitamins and minerals.

2. Spelt pasta: A distant cousin to wheat, spelt does not seem to cause sensitivities in most people who are intolerant of wheat.

3. Rice pasta: Has a slightly unusual texture but is also gluten-free, wheat-free, and cholesterol-free.

4. Jerusalem Artichoke Pasta: High in protein, this type of pasta is helpful for digestion thanks to a prebiotic called inulin.

5. Kamut Pasta: This is the brand name for an ancient wheat called khorasan. A relative of modern durum wheat, kamut can often be eaten by people who are sensitive to modern wheat.

6. Quinoa Pasta (one of my favorites): Very high in protein, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus, quinoa pasta is fast becoming a popular gluten-free choice.

7. Rest are Japanese noodles -- Soba: 30% buckwheat; Udon: wheat flour, salt and water; Ramen: wheat flour, boiled.

last 8. Angel Hair Pasta -- raw foods recipe-http://www.rawfoods.com/recipes/angel...


A very basic pasta recipe is Fresh Semolina and Egg Pasta
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Fresh-Se...

You could add a small salad or slightly cook at the end of sauté. I love a variety of salads: Spinach, Romaine, Arugula, red or green lettuce, Bibb. I love olives -- black olives (like kalamata which is my favorite) have a higher oil content than green olives. I also add small cubes of feta cheese. You are making me hungry, I will have to make Italian tomorrow for supper.


message 15: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments No, I haven't had any reaction to regular white pasta.

I am going to continue this conversation in the health thread.


message 16: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (daniellecobbaertbe) I read one book this month and finished three I started earlier in March or February.

Audio book - The Woman in Black by Susan Hill - narrated by Paul Ansdell ★ ★ ★

I had high expectations after seeing the play of 'The woman in black', first in Antwerp then in London. And after listening to 'Mist in the mirror' by the same author. I was however not so enterely pleased with the narrator who used too much drama for my taste. Towards the end the narrator became less agigated and more relaxed. In fact the last bit of the book pretty much drove a shiver amongst my spine. Maybe it was because I was too familiar with the story or because it had pretty much the same ingredients as 'Mist in the mirror', that I was a tiny bit dissappointed. Nevertheless I liked it. It's a decent read.

Audio book - Poirot and Me by David Suchet ★ ★ ★ ★

I was hesistant in downloading und purchasing this book from Audible, as I was unsure whether it would be interesting enough for me to keep on listening. There was no need to worry though.

'Poirot and me' covers David Suchet's career from the moment he takes on the role of Hercule Poirot till the final film 'Curtain' in which Poirot dies. David Suchet actually played Poirot for 25 years in 70 films made for television. And it was quite a journey for Suchet with the constant uncertainty whether or not there would be another Poirot series. Luckily, David Suchet was able to play many other roles in between the various Poirot series. Nonetheless the book shows the less glamourous, more realistic side of acting: the constant waiting on a call that might never come.

Besides David Suchet's career span, you get in detail the production of each Poirot film together with details about Agatha Christie life and career, and the story concerned. As I don't consider myself to be an avid Christie reader it was interesting to have these facts. It added something extra.

'Poirot and me' is read by David Suchet. David Suchet's attention for detail really shows in this audiobook, making it a delight to listen to. All in all I consider 'Poirot and me' to be a delightful treat.

The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The dream of the Celt is a fictionalised account of the life of Sir Roger Casement. Sir Roger Casement was an Irish nationalist and activist who was arrested shortly before the Easter Rising in 1916, convicted for his involvement and hanged.

When the novel begins Roger is in Pentonville prison hoping that he will be granted pardon. In between the three months that Roger waits in Pentonville prison, Vargas Llosa subsquently takes you to Africa, Peru, Ireland, the US and Germany,telling you more about Casement's life, achievements and political ideas. Sir Roger Casement was actually first of all famous for his reports and activities against human rights abuses in Congo and Peru. His 'Casement report' of 1904, written after an expedition in Congo Free State, included several detailing grim tales of killings, mutilations, kidnappings and cruel beatings of the native population by soldiers of the Congo Administration of King Leopold II. In 1910 Casement shocked the world again with his report on the British-registered Peruvian Amazon Company and their cruelity towards the native population. For his efforts on behalf of the Amazonian Indians Casement was knighted in 1911.

The last part of Vargas Llosa novel is all about Sir Roger Casement involvement with the Irish nationalists. Casement was known amongst the Irish nationalists as the Celt. And his dream where the title refers to is an independant Ireland.

As mentioned above Vargas Llosa recounts Casement's life up till his arrest and the last three months of his life in Pentonville prison; this is done in alternating chapters. This works well but I found it easier to stop after a chapter recounting the present before embarking on a chapter recounting the past, and vice versa. I actually took my time in reading this novel - also because it contains a lot of (political) information and detail. The present parts in Pentonville prison sometimes worked a bit tedious but nevertheless it is clear that a lot of research went into this book.

'The dream of the Celt' reads partly as a biography and a historical novel, partly as a poetic account and an epic novel. It paints a interesting picture of a man, who comes across as rather naive but also very complexed.

The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I acquired the book'the King's Speech' at a reduced price after handing in a coupon. Thing is with cutting out coupons and exchanging it for a book, is that you can't look inside the book until it's presented to you in a shopping bag. Nowadays I try to find a reading sample, back then I was on a blind book date as I had no idea whether or not I would like this book. The main story of course I knew from the film 'The King's speech'. A film I loved.

The book opens with the cornation of king George VI. The resounding success of the king's cornation and live radio broadcast was largely due to Lionel Logue, the king's self-taught Australian speech therapist. What follows is not only the life story of Lionel Logue, but also that of King George VI. One is actually not allowed to touch a monarch, Logue however did. He only could as he had built up an unique relationship with the king. The uniqueness of their relationship was not only due to what Lionel Logue had done but also due to what he meant to the king. This is illustrated by the reply of the Queen mother when Logue wrote her to offer his condoleances when King George VI died on February 6, 1952. "I know perhaps better than anyone just how much you helped the King, not only with his speech, but through his whole life and outlook on life."

Apart from Lionel Logue's diary entries which offer an unique insight into the life of the Windsors, the authors also provided me with an interesting account on the major historical events of the 20th century. All in all there is some truth in the publishing hyperbole: how one man saved the British monarchy.

This is a fine biography


message 17: by Lori (new)

Lori Baldi | 38 comments Due to my unfortunate state of unemployment, I find the upside is that I am reading more. Only 3 books a month but that's 1 better than 2 a month! And I'm nearly finished with Bleak House which has taken me years. But the finished books for April:

The Lavender Garden, a solid 4 star read. I believe that all 3 of the reads for April are 4 stars. This book by Lucinda Riley was enjoyable for again a different, to me, take on World War II. And I find that I'm quite taken with the format of 2 different stories within 1 book -- 1 in the past and 1 related story in contemporary times. Now this is not new to most but the epiphany, of sorts, is for me. It gives me purpose in searching out the next good read.

I then took up a book of a similar writing style but different region of the world which is India. The Kashmir Shawl took me to the mountains of India and the still trouble region within India of Kashmir. Why can't religions unite people instead of tearing us apart? I won't start, trust me.

I then took up a very American story, The Last Runaway. The setting of my home state of Ohio as seen through the eyes of an immigrant from England, the theme of the Underground Railroad, interesting story of Quakers and quilting. Very good story and not very sympathetic to the Mid 1850s Ohio but that's all good.


message 18: by Connie (new)

Connie (constants) | 73 comments It seems like I read a lot in April but several of these books were things I started in March and only finished last month.

The Visionist - Rachel Urquhart. A mother leaves her abusive husband in their burning home in 1840's Massachusetts and takes her children to a Shaker colony to be raised there while she leaves for parts unknown. Lots of interesting info about the Shakers, but the story seemed to drag on for me. Or maybe I was the one who was dragging.

Elsewhere - Richard Russo. This is Russo's memoir of growing up with a mother who always felt like she would be happier "elsewhere." As a devoted only child, he spent a large part of his life accommodating her wishes, but he makes it clear how difficult that devotion was for him, his career, and his wife and children. I like Russo and I liked this book.

Zelda - Nancy Mitford. I read this book many years ago and looked forward to visiting it again. Well, the book hasn't changed in that time so I guess I did. I didn't find the story of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald as fascinating and romantic and tragic as I did in my 20's. In fact, they actually annoyed me. Guess I'm too old and cynical. Zelda's story is still sad, but I think I've outgrown my fascination with her.

Falling to Earth - Kate Southwood. When a tornado hits the town of Marah, Illinois in 1925, homes are destroyed and lives are taken. Except for the Graves family. Their lumber business isn't touched and neither is the family home where the mother, grandmother and children are all safe and sound. As the rebuilding begins, the townspeople start to view the Graves family with suspicion and eventually contempt. And the Graves family begin looking at their neighbors differently too. It took me forever to read this book, but it was actually very good.

Wonder - R. J. Palacio. This is a YA title, the story of a 5th grade boy with a severe facial deformity and how he struggles in a new school and eventually triumphs over odds that seem to be stacked against him. I didn't love this one the way everyone else seems to, but I did enjoy it.

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots - Deborah Feldman. This book goes in the category of I-didn't-particularly-like-it-but-I-couldn't-put-it-down. The story of the inner workings of the Brooklyn Hasidic community is fascinating but I just didn't like the author very much. The book did not explain how she managed to break away from her marriage and take her son with her, and I do wonder about that. But mostly I wonder why, when she finally set out on her own, one of the first things she did was to start smoking! What? Why? That didn't ruin the book for me, it just made me wonder how smart the author really was.


message 19: by Alias Reader (last edited May 01, 2014 08:39AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Danielle wrote: I read one book this month and finished three I started earlier in March or February.

Audio book - The Woman in Black by Susan Hill - narrated by Paul Ansdell ★ ★ ★

I had high expectations after seeing the play of 'The woman in black', first in Antwerp then in London. And after listening to 'Mist in the mirror' by the same author. I was however not so enterely pleased with the narrator who used too much drama for my taste...."


------

I've just recently started listening to audio books. The narrator can make or break a book.

For example, I listened to Elsewhere by Richard Russo. Russo narrated his own book. I totally fell in love with his voice. I know that if I had read the book, I still would have enjoyed it, but it wouldn't have had the impact it did for me with him narrating it.

I enjoyed reading your reviews, Danielle.


message 20: by Alias Reader (last edited May 01, 2014 08:48AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Lori wrote: Due to my unfortunate state of unemployment, I find the upside is that I am reading more. Only 3 books a month but that's 1 better than 2 a month! And I'm nearly finished with Bleak House which has taken me years. ..."
----------------------------------

Best of luck with the job search, Lori. I'm also looking for a job. It's slim pickings out there.

I read Bleak House by Charles Dickens and enjoyed it a lot. Though I understand what you say about the length. It can take as long to read it as the Jarndyce case took to complete !


message 21: by Alias Reader (last edited May 01, 2014 08:53AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Connie wrote:

Elsewhere - Richard Russo. This is Russo's memoir of growing up with a mother who always felt like she would be happier "elsewhere." As a devoted only child, he spent a large part of his life accommodating her wishes, but he makes it clear how difficult that devotion was for him, his career, and his wife and children. I like Russo and I liked this book.

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots - Deborah Feldman. This book goes in the category of I-didn't-particularly-like-it-but-I-couldn't-put-it-down. The story of the inner workings of the Brooklyn Hasidic community is fascinating but I just didn't like the author very much. The book did not explain how she managed to break away from her marriage and take her son with her, and I do wonder about that. But mostly I wonder why, when she finally set out on her own, one of the first things she did was to start smoking! What? Why? That didn't ruin the book for me, it just made me wonder how smart the author really was.
b..."


As I noted above, I loved listening to Russo on audio. Elsewhere is a great audio book.

The author of Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots has a new book out that continues her story. Amazon recently had it on sale so I bought it. Exodus A Memoir by the Author of Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman Exodus: A Memoir by the Author of Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman


message 22: by Susan from MD (last edited May 01, 2014 09:04AM) (new)

Susan from MD | 402 comments I read three books in April - additional comments are in my Determination List thread.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - 4/5 stars.
One of the better Poirot books, I think. It's pretty classic Christie and has a nice twist. A great little escape read.

The Cider House Rules - 4/5 stars.
This was a really interesting book and I enjoyed it. It wasn't quite as thought-provoking as A Prayer for Owen Meany and most of the characters were a bit less interesting. That said, I loved Dr. Larch and was surprised by Melony - I think they were two of the most fascinating characters I've come across in a while. In addition to my DL thread, there are great comments in the Group Reads thread for this book.

Howards End - 4/5 stars.
Just finished yesterday, I enjoyed the story quite a bit. I remember liking the movie when it came out years ago, so I was generally familiar with the story. I'm not a big fan of "representational" characters (i.e., that are meant to represent a particular group or strata of society), so it took a bit to get going in the book, but the characters emerged throughout the story and I grew to enjoy them by the end! There is a sadness about this story that I enjoyed - perverse as that sounds.

I really need to pick up the pace with my reading, but my upcoming two are An American Tragedy and Middlemarch, both of which are rather chunky and both are group reads!


message 23: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (daniellecobbaertbe) Best of luck with the job search, Alias and Lori. I'm also unemployed and it's hard to find a job when so many are unemployed.


message 24: by Danielle (last edited May 01, 2014 09:28AM) (new)

Danielle (daniellecobbaertbe) Connie wrote: "It seems like I read a lot in April but several of these books were things I started in March and only finished last month.

The Visionist - Rachel Urquhart. A mother leaves her ab..."


I read an interview once with Deborah Feldman on her first book. I haven't come across her books so far. I read Chosen By God: A Brother's Journey by Joshua Hammer twice. It's biographic as the author talks about his brother's conversion to Hasidic Judaism.


message 26: by Alias Reader (last edited May 01, 2014 10:20AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Susan from MD wroteThe Cider House Rules - 4/5 stars.
This was a really interesting book and I enjoyed it. It wasn't quite as thought-provoking as A Prayer for Owen Meany and most of the characters were a bit less interesting. That said, I loved Dr. Larch and was surprised by Melony - I think they were two of the most fascinating characters I've come across in a while. In addition to my DL thread, there are great comments in the Group Reads thread for this book.."

---------------

I'm glad you enjoyed the group discussion of Cider House. I enjoyed the book and movie, too.

I look forward to discussing our next group read with you - An American Tragedy

It's a book that has been on my TBR list for a long time. I am happy to be finally reading it along with my book friends here. :)


message 27: by Alias Reader (last edited May 01, 2014 10:21AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Danielle wrote: "Best of luck with the job search, Alias and Lori. I'm also unemployed and it's hard to find a job when so many are unemployed."

---------
Good job hunting vibes being sent to you, too, Danielle !


message 28: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Danielle wrote: I read an interview once with Deborah Feldman on her first book. I haven't come across her books so far. I read Chosen By God: A Brother's Journey by Joshua Hammer twice. It's biographic as the author talks about his brother's conversion to Hasidic Judaism. .."
------------

Thanks so much for this new to me title, Danielle. I see my library has Chosen By God: A Brother's Journey. I'll definitely add this to my list.

I also have Cut Me Loose Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood by Leah Vincent Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood by Leah Vincent on hold at the library.

I also am a fan of the books by Naomi Ragen

I don't know why I am so interested in this genre. I'm just fascinated by people who live such extreme lives that are so different from my own.


message 29: by Alias Reader (last edited May 01, 2014 05:37PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Amy wrote: "One week out from shoulder surgery--only have use of one arm. Will only post books read and ratings--too much typing to list reviews, sorry...
."


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Thank you for posting your reads when you are not 100%, Amy.

I know you mentioned the recover will take a long time. I hope it goes by quickly, painlessly and you are like a brand new and improved Amy 2.0 !


message 30: by Alias Reader (last edited May 01, 2014 10:46AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments "Danielle wrote: I read an interview once with Deborah Feldman on her first book. I haven't come across her books so far. I read Chosen By God: A Brother's Journey by Joshua Hammer twice. It's biogr..."

Danielle, as I was reading up more on the Chosen By God: A Brother's Journey on Amazon I realized it was the same author of another book that I own. I haven't read it yet. I am not sure where I first heard about it. Probably the NY Times or NPR.

A Season in Bethlehem Unholy War in a Sacred Place by Joshua Hammerman A Season in Bethlehem: Unholy War in a Sacred Place by Joshua Hammer

GR has the name as Hammerman - I think this is an error. Any GoodRead librarians here ?


message 31: by Amy (new)

Amy (amybf) | 514 comments Alias Reader wrote: "I know you mentioned the recover will take a long time. I hope it goes by quickly, painlessly and you are like brand new and improved Amy 2.0 ! ..."

Thx--hope so, too! That's the goal. First few days after surgery were pretty brutal. Can only go up from here.


message 32: by Lesley (new)

Lesley | 239 comments Carol, another great reading month you had in April. I have many of your books on my TBR lists. Out of Africa starts with one of my favourites lines "I had a farm in Africa ..." As a farm owner myself I love that line. It also opens the movie.


message 33: by Lesley (last edited May 04, 2014 01:38AM) (new)

Lesley | 239 comments Here is what I read in April.

Into the Wild The true story and investigation of a young man who, loving being constantly on the road, wandered into the Alaskan wilderness to never return. fascinating. 4 stars.

The Sisters Brothers Eli and Charlie Sisters are hired killers heading out to do a job in the 1850s gold fields, but run up against other baddies. A satire of a western but I found it kind of sad. A great cover always sucks me in. 3 stars.

Burial Rites This book was very popular last year here in Australia. Based loosely on fact, it is the story of the last few months in the life of Agnes as she awaits her execution for the murder of a farmer in 1800s Iceland. Very atmospheric, descriptive and fast paced. 4 stars.

Slaughterhouse-Five After witnessing the '46 bombing of Dresden, and American soldier tries to live his life, whilst clearing suffering post-traumatic stress syndrome. Thought provoking. 3 stars.

The Vagrants Audio. The effects on various community members following the execution of a young anti-revolutionist during the cultural revolution in 70's China. 4 stars.

Housekeeping Three generations of tragic lives centred around a lakeside township. Too wordy for me. 2 stars.

Elizabeth Costello The first Coetzee I have read, though I listened to this one. Liz Costello is an aging writer who now does the speaking circuit whilst philosophising on life's issues. Well it was too much philosophy for me, but interesting at times. 2 stars.

Don Quixote The adventures of a somewhat self-proclaimed knight as he bumbles across 'la mancha' with his sidekick. Funny at times but too long for me. I can see its appeal though. 3 stars.

Life and Times of Michael K Michael attempts to take his dying mother back home from Cape Town but is caught up in the fallout from the civil war. Captivating writing. 3 stars.


message 34: by Alias Reader (last edited May 04, 2014 08:31AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Lesley wrote: "Here is what I read in April.

Don Quixote The adventures of a somewhat self-proclaimed knight as he bumbles across 'la mancha' with his sidekick. Funny at times but too long for me. I can see its appeal though. 3 stars...."

---------------------------------------------------
Great reading month, Lesley ! Thanks for sharing with us.

I agree with you about Don Quixote I started the unabridged and said NO Way ! It was too repetitious. I switched to the abridged version and was much happier.
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Lesley wrote: Slaughterhouse-Five After witnessing the '46 bombing of Dresden, and American soldier tries to live his life, whilst clearing suffering post-traumatic stress syndrome. Thought provoking. 3 stars.
----

I've been toying with putting this one on my TBR list. I like history and thought this would appeal to me. Sorry to see you only rated it a 3. Was there something specific that prevented a higher rating?

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Lesley wrote; Into the Wild The true story and investigation of a young man who, loving being constantly on the road, wandered into the Alaskan wilderness to never return. fascinating. 4 stars.
---

I've enjoyed all the Jon Krakauer that I've read.

Into the Wild

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster

Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith


message 35: by Meredith (new)

Meredith | 103 comments One book for me in April.

We Are WaterbyWally Lamb

4/5


message 36: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Meredith wrote: "One book for me in April.

We Are WaterbyWally Lamb

4/5"


I've read his other book, I Know This Much Is True twice. One was a re-read for a book group. It's a terrific book.

I'm glad to see you rated his other book well.


message 37: by Rosie (new)

Rosie Donson (rosiedonson) | 10 comments I seem to have read quite a few books this April...
Too many to write proper reviews for I'm afraid!

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
4/5
I don't always enjoy the books recommended to me by my mum but this one I thoroughly enjoyed. The novel tells the stories of two sisters and their secrets, set in the twentieth century.

All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry
4/5
I read this for the Carnegie book award and, once I had come to terms with the shortness of the chapters, enjoyed it very much. Told from the point of view of a mute who attempts to return to her normal life after mysteriously disappearing four years ago. Brilliantly written and a great plot that will make you cry!

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
5/5
Another fantastic novel by John Green about a boy whose nineteen previous girlfriends have all been called 'Katherine'. He thinks it will be impossible to ever fall in love with anyone not named Katherine but then he meets Lindsey.

Candy by Kevin Brooks
5/5
As always with Kevin Brooks' novels, this was a very absorbing and fast pace story, making it impossible to put down. When Joe first meets Candy, she seems like any other girl but soon he is pulled into a world with drugs, violence and desperation. Only Brooks could write a book this beautiful about a prostitute.

Hitler's Canary by Sandi Toksvig
4/5
I had been avoiding this book for sometime, thinking it was a children's book which, admittedly, it was. However, underneath this simple children's book is a meaningful story about life in Denmark during the Second World War.

No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay
5/5
One of the best books I have ever read and possibly my favourite. When Cynthia was 14 her family disappeared overnight leaving her with many unanswered questions. Now, 25 years later, Cynthia is closer than ever to finding out the truth about her family's disappearance.

Looking for Alaska by John Green
5/5
My favourite John Green book by far. Miles is new at school. On his first day he meets Alaska Young; the prettiest, cleverest and most screwed-up person he has ever met. They become great friends and do everything together until something happens. Miles refuses to believe what people are telling him and so is determined to find the truth about Alaska.

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence
4/5
Aria Rose, daughter of one of the richest families in Mystic City, has lost her memory. All she knows is that she is engaged to Thomas Foster- the son of a feuding family. Slowly she uncovers clues about her past and the memories are coming back. Then she meets Hunter and he shows her the truth about her family and the whole of Mystic City.

The Moment by Douglas Kennedy
5/5
I read this 638 page book in one night. I think that says enough... American writer Thomas Nesbitt is living in Berlin during the Cold War where he meets Petra and they fall hopelessly in love. But, Petra has secrets and eventually this romance must end. 26 years on, Thomas receives a letter and the truth about Petra is revealed to him.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
4/5
A brilliant yet depressing story about a group of children growing up in a boarding school. But this school is different. Something will happen to the pupils before they reach adulthood but what is to come is never spoken about until the day arrives.

Blood Family by Anne Fine
4/5
The first half of this novel would have received 5/5 but unfortunately the second half was quite disappointing. When Eddie is seven he emerges from his house for the first time in years. Taken away from his mentally ill mother and her abusive boyfriend, Eddie is then taken into care. Throughout his life he moves from place to place, never fitting in until he discovers something that makes him feel 'complete'. But this addiction has terrible consequences and eventually destroys everything Eddie has ever known. Very cleverly written - will definitely make you cry at least once!

The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks
5/5
Another brilliant Brooks novel. Six strangers are taken from their homes and forced to live together in a bunker where the man above watches them through cameras on the ceiling. This novel, much like Lord of the Flies, shows how humans act when thrown together in desperate situations.


message 38: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Awesome reading month, Rosie !

I enjoyed reading your reviews and I will be adding
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro Never Let Me Go to my TBR list. Thank you. :)


message 39: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 830 comments Great job Rosie!

I think I gave Never Let Me Go 3.5 stars!


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Enjoying reading everybody's April reads - I too had a good reading month (at last!). Maybe it's the Spring spurring me on!

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - scholarship student Esther Greenwood details her struggles with perfectionism, imagining her place in the world and serious mental illness. I found this a very affecting novel about the power of depression above all things and what a fight it can be to get out of it. It was extremely well written and sometimes uncomfortably realistic and deserves its place in the modern classics canon. FOUR STARS

The Cider House Rules by John Irving - Here in St Cloud's we write about many difficult subjects. Orphans, abortions, choice, all types of love, freedom, mistakes and most importantly, how we can be of use. This book had excellent writing but sagged in plot and pace at times. I was not a huge fan of the protagonist but reading the amazing Dr Wilbur Larch more than made up for any faults. What a brilliant character and a good book because of him. (More in the discussion thread) FOUR STARS

Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel - Psychic Alison and her assistant Colette go about their grim and gloomy lives with very little indication why we are following this story. Alison has some supposedly troublesome spirits following her and a bad backstory but not much else. A true oddity - very boring book that I would have put down in a heartbeat except the writing was so good I couldn't. TWO STARS (for the writing and a little for Alison).

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller - an interesting take on the Batman legend. Batman comes out of retirement to deal with Gotham gone wild after it is overtaken by mutant criminals (really). Some famous faces here, all older and tired. Really interesting angle on the influence of the media on popular opinion, and the true nature of vigilantism. Shades of Watchmen. The art wasn't my favourite, more comic book-esque but nowhere near the clean line beauty of The Killing Joke. FOUR STARS

Restoration by Rose Tremain - During the reign of Charles II, physician Robert Merivel tells the story of his rise, fall and rise again in the King's favour and the life he constructs around his admiration for the monarch. This is not my usual type of book and I found the plot was lacking. However, the main character is very likeable and the writing evoked the era very well. I enjoyed it but wasn't blown away. THREE STARS.

Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck - I adored this book. I am such a homebody but I so wanted to go on this trip with Steinbeck and Charley. It was such a good book, so wise and true and gorgeously written. It was like hearing a really clever person talk to you and all I wanted to do was sit there and listen to the author teach me things about places, people, himself, the human condition, and dogs. Brilliant way to round off the month, so good I didn't want to start reading another book as it would pale in comparison. FIVE STARS

Hope I have such a good month this month!

P.S. Good luck to all those job hunting, and hope your shoulder gets well soon Amy!


message 41: by Julia (new)

Julia Ce (juliace) I read more than I thought I had....

Night Broken (Mercy Thompson, #8) by Patricia Briggs

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1) by Deborah Harkness - review

The Collector by Nora Roberts - review

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2) by Deborah Harkness - review


message 42: by Alias Reader (last edited May 06, 2014 07:33PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Soph wrote: Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck - I adored this book. I am such a homebody but I so wanted to go on this trip with Steinbeck and Charley. It was such a good book, so wise and true and gorgeously written. It was like hearing a really clever person talk to you and all I wanted to do was sit there and listen to the author teach me things about places, people, himself, the human condition, and dogs. Brilliant way to round off the month, so good I didn't want to start reading another book as it would pale in comparison. FIVE STARS..."

I am so happy to see you enjoyed Travel with C as much as I did. :)

Good going on the great reading month !


message 43: by Alias Reader (last edited May 06, 2014 07:35PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments JuliaC. wrote: "I read more than I thought I had....


When you really enjoy a book, like you did the All Souls Trilogy, you get so lost in a book you have no concept of time or how much you are reading. You just fall into the story and forget yourself. Those are the best books !


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

I read five books this month.

Carrie was a lot drier than I anticipated. This is one where I saw the movie first, and so I am afraid I was expecting more drama than there was. I found the book clinical in its style, so I had trouble getting into it.
Rating: 1/5

Heart and Soul was typical Binchy. She writes to make you feel like you are among familiar faces, and she certainly succeeded with this novel.
Rating: 4/5

The Doula I found disappointing. The story itself was overall pretty good, but the ending is one of the ones where not everything is resolved to the reader's satisfaction. After all of the build-up in the book, I expected a far different outcome.
Rating: 3/5

The Incredible Journey was an excellent animal story. I can totally envision myself reading this aloud to my kids one day!
Rating: 4/5

Cassandra and Jane was the last book I read this month, and it was alright. It wasn't amazing, but it wasn't disappointing either.
Rating: 2/5


message 45: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16640 comments Maggie wrote: "I read five books this month.

Carrie was a lot drier than I anticipated. This is one where I saw the movie first, and so I am afraid I was expecting more drama than there was. I foun..."


I always try to read the book first. Thanks for sharing !


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