Who Doesn't Love a Classic? discussion

OTHER reviews (not classics) > OTHER reviews - October - December 2016

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message 1: by Lara (new)

Lara (llevinson) | 115 comments Mod
We LOVE the classics, but it's not all we read!

Please leave your reviews of books that are NOT classics here!

If you read a book that IS a classic (Originally Published BEFORE 1950), please put that review as a NEW topic in the CLASSICS review folder.

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message 2: by Lara (new)

Lara (llevinson) | 115 comments Mod
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
★★★ 1/2

Honestly, I have no idea what I just read but it was very interesting!

I can't even summarize the book because it's so beyond me. Basically a group of women (nameless women as they are referred to only by their job titles: the biologist (the narrator), the surveyor, the psychologist, and the anthropologist) are sent into Area X to observe. No one knows what Area X is or how it came about, it's a mystery as to how one even "crosses the border" into Area X, but they are the 12th group to try and explore it. Or are they?

And that's really all I can explain...

This book was very different than all the other dystopian novels I've read. It has a lot to do with biology and you're never quite sure what is real and what is not. The biologist is an unreliable narrator because it seems that half the time her mind may be playing tricks on her. Did she really just see a dolphin with the eye of a human? Who knows! A few words I can think of to describe Area X are odd, creepy, and haunting. This book is the first in a trilogy so I now have to read the other books in order to try and figure out what is actually going on. The writing was very good and the pace and plot kept me going, hoping with each new page I'd understand what was happening. Alas I never got to that point. But I'm intrigued to say the least!

message 3: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 212 comments Mod
First published in 1971, this is a little "young" to be considered a classic ....

A Few Fair Days by Jane Gardam A Few Fair Days – Jane Gardam – 4****
Lucy is a young girl living in a small, seaside town in Yorkshire, in the years between the wars. This is a charming collection of stories about childhood, and reminds this reader of our greatest and most valuable plaything – imagination. I loved how they played pirates, explored the abandoned estate next door, or searched the seashore for “treasure.” At least one of their escapades had me laughing aloud. Just a lovely book.
Full Review HERE

message 4: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 212 comments Mod
Throne of Jade (Temeraire, #2) by Naomi Novik Throne of Jade – Naomi Novik – 4****
In Book two of this series, the Chinese demand the return of the dragon known as Temeraire. Novik does a great job imagining a fantasy scenario where dragons are part of the Air Corps, while also keeping the reader in a (circa) 1801 time frame. The battle scenes are exciting, and the intrigue builds suspense. I really like the growing relationship between Temeraire and Capt Laurence. This is not my preferred genre, but I think I’m hooked on the series.
Full Review HERE

message 5: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 212 comments Mod
A contemporary (or futuristic?) children's book....

Pax by Sara Pennypacker Pax – Sara Pennypacker – 4****
Peter is forced to turn his pet fox, Pax, loose in the woods, but then reconsiders and sets out to rescue his beloved pet. This is a wonderful tale of loyalty, love, grief and perseverance. The point of view shifts from from Pax’s story to Peter’s experiences by chapters. Both Peter and Pax have been betrayed and are distrustful as a result. They draw on reserves of strength, courage and perseverance they didn’t know they had to help not only themselves but those around them.
Full Review HERE

message 6: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 212 comments Mod
Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson Journey to the River Sea – Eva Ibbotson – 4****
Maia is an orphan in London, in the early 1900s who is sent to live with distant relatives on their rubber plantation in Brazil. What a lovely adventure / coming-of-age story! Maia is a strong female character – intelligent, kind, generous, brave, resourceful and loyal. I did think the Carter family – father, mother, and twins – were rather stereotypical “villains,” but that is a small quibble. This is a children’s book, after all, and I don’t expect the same subtleties that I would in literature written for adults.
Full Review HERE

message 7: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 212 comments Mod
The Dinner by Herman Koch The Dinner – Herman Koch– 4****
In an oh-so-fashionable restaurant in Amsterdam two couples meet for dinner. I was completely fascinated by the psychological nuances explored in these two couples. Over the course of this meal they dance around the very serious situation their sons have gotten into. Emotions are triggered, and just as quickly suppressed. I can hardly wait for my F2F book group discussion!
Full Review HERE

message 8: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 212 comments Mod
The Red Leather Diary Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal by Lily Koppel The Red Leather Diary – Lili Koppel – 4****
Lily Koppel was a young (age 22) writer working at the New York Times when she discovered an old red leather diary. It had originally been given to Florence Wolfson for her 14th birthday – Aug 11, 1929, and Florence dutifully wrote in it every day for the five years allowed on its pages. The diary did more than offer a fascinating glimpse into the past. As Lily read the young Florence’s record of her hopes, dreams, heartbreaks and triumphs, she discovered something about herself. And then Koppel went searching for Florence…
Full Review HERE

message 9: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 212 comments Mod
For the "young" set (i.e. middle-school age) this probably IS considered a classic! First published 1986.

Redwall (Redwall #1) by Brian Jacques Redwall – Brian Jacques – 5*****
What a wonderful story; I was engaged from beginning to end. Every mouse of Redwall Abbey has taken a solemn oath to never harm another living creature, unless it is an enemy seeking to harm the Order by violence. I love this message of peaceful coexistence and tolerance. The mice are willing to live-and-let-live, but they will defend to the death against those who seek to overtake their peaceable kingdom. Jacques filled the book with detailed descriptions which serve to really put the reader right into Mossflower County. It’s entertaining, scary, exciting, and inspiring. I think I’ll read more of this middle-grade series for the sheer joy of it.
LINK to my review

message 10: by Jerry-Book (new)

Jerry-Book | 22 comments Mod
Book Concierge wrote: "For the "young" set (i.e. middle-school age) this probably IS considered a classic! First published 1986.

Redwall (Redwall #1) by Brian Jacques
– Brian Jacques – 5*****
What a wonderful story; ..."

My son loved the Redwall series.

message 11: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 212 comments Mod
People of the Deer by Farley Mowat People of the Deer – Farley Mowatt – 4****
Farley Mowatt examines the various factors that led to the demise of The People of the Deer in this fascinating book. He went into the vast Barren Plains of North central Canada to study the caribou, and the Ihalmiut people who depended on “the deer” for their very existence, living among them in the late 1940s, when their tribe had dwindled from several thousand in about 1900 to less than 50 individuals in 1947.
LINK to my review

message 12: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 212 comments Mod
Long Man by Amy Greene Long Man – Amy Greene – 4****
Greene delivers a riveting story that explores the question: What cost, progress? The Dodson’s loss of their home is representative of the hundreds of families displaced by such projects. The novel is peopled with strong characters, with tangled relationships. Their competing loyalties are what made the decisions so difficult: to stay or to go, to delay or to embrace change
LINK to my review

message 13: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 212 comments Mod
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
Our Souls At Night - Kent Haruf - 5*****
In the small (fictional) town of Holt, Colorado, Addie Moore drops in on her neighbor, Louis Waters one evening, and asks if he isn’t as lonesome for conversation and companionship as she is. What follows is a beautifully written story of a mature couple in a different, but very loving, relationship. The strength and dignity with which they faced life endeared them to me.
LINK to my review

message 14: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 212 comments Mod
A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
A Christmas Memory - Truman Capote – 5***** and a ❤
Capote was a gloriously talented writer and he is at his best here. The reader feels the anticipation of a child, smells the piney woods, shivers in the crisp morning, and is comforted in the warmth of love.
His writing is never so brilliant as when he is mining his childhood for stories such as this. The emotion is evident and genuine. His descriptions are gloriously vivid without overwhelming the story. The lessons learned – about kindness, tolerance, family, love and forgiveness – are gently told but ring loud and clear in the reader’s heart.
LINK to my review

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