Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: When She Woke

a book review when she woke
When She Woke is a dystopian retelling of a Scarlet Letter. In this world criminals are chromed (their skin turned a different color) according to their crimes. Hannah the main character in this book is charged with murder, because she had an abortion, and is chromed red. Life as a chrome is not easy and Hannah must navigate difficulties she never encountered before.
What impressed me most about this book is how strong Hannah is. Even though it added years to her sentence as a chrome she refused to name the person who performed her abortion. She also refused to name the father of her child to protect his job as he is famous and influential. You do not find many woman of this strength in books. She poses a good role model for doing what is right for you and having the strength and backbone to follow up on it. This book does not descend into preachy moral tones but instead present things as they happen as the logical next step in the life of Hannah.
This book if full of tension. I had to stop reading a few times because I was so afraid of what would happen to Hannah. I really felt connected to her and cared about her and what happened to her. The author did I good job at ratcheting up the tension. This book is horrifying in a way because it shows what can happen if political climate goes to far to the right. It shows a world where choice is taken away. Where people must live how other people say you must. While I was reading I kept thinking this could really happen. That made it all the more horrifying.
Every word seems to be crafted to mean something in this book. The prose was beautiful. It was like Hannah was your friend and she was telling you, the reader, what had happened to her. This book comes highly recommended.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Library Loot

It is winter break so I went to the library and picked up

100_0716

 

When She Woke- I heard rave reviews on this one so I decided I had to read it.

How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend- I liked the premise of the book so I thought I would get it.

Why We Read what We Read- Again the book summary caught my attention

AshFall- I heard this was on the best of 2011 lists for Young Adults

The Iron Knight- I heard rave reviews

Wither- Again I heard rave reviews

The Unbecoming of Myra Dyer- I also saw this on a lot of blogs so wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Review: How I stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend

A book Review for how i stole Johnny Depp's Girlfriend
This has to be one of the weirdest books I have read recently. I mean this in a good way.
It starts with Zelda who claims to be 325 years old and an alien. She is under treatment with David’s dad who is a psychologist. He prefers to treat people in his home because he fells that a home setting is more beneficial for them. She makes a few escape attempts and then when David finds out that she is looking for her one true love who happens to be Johnny Depp he agrees to help her find him. Off they go on an adventure that includes police chase arson and more.
I saw this in the library and thought it looked interesting so I picked it up. The story is a fast paced and easy read. It is plot driven with not much character growth. About halfway through the book you do learn about Zelda and her home planet. I thought what world building there was was good. I would have liked more but as this book is geared toward a young teen audience I can see why it keeps the focus on the action. This would be a good book for teens who might not like to read heavier books and young teens that like action novels with a bit of sci-fi thrown in.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: A Cousin’s Challenge

a book review of a cousin challenge
This is the third and last book in the Amish Indiana Cousins Series.
This book I was looking forward too as it had a Deaf main character and I am Deaf myself. Granted the woman in the book lost her hearing after she was in a van accident and I was born Deaf but I will take a deaf character where I can find them. Especially if they are positively portrayed like they are in this book.
Jolene lost her hearing in a Van accident and had went to PA to live with her aunt to learn to sign. She is back in Indiana to teach two deaf children. She also teaches some adults in the community. Lonnie becomes deaf after getting hit in the head with a fence post. Yeah, that was stretching it a little far even for me but I am willing to suspend my disbelief for the sake of the story. His girlfriend breaks up with him after he becomes deaf and he thinks he cant be a good husband because he cant hear. Throughout the whole story I kept wanting to push these two together. I know that they had to grow and the author was showing authentic relationships but honestly Jolene and Lonnie was so perfect that each time they did not end up together I just wanted to scream in frustration.
The story throughout the three books really draws you in and you can see how all of the characters grow. I became attached to the characters and was rooting for them. The story drags at times but looking back I can see it was necessary for the characters to go through what they did to complete to growth.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: A Cousin’s Prayer

 a book review for a cousins prayer
From Goodreads: Kumme to Amish country, where the simple ways of life lead to hope and healing. Katie Miler is traumatized after her boyfriend is killed in a van in which she was also a passenger. How will she find her way out of the valley of her depression? Freeman Bontrager will make any excuse to be near to Katie, hoping to win her love. But how far will he go to gain her trust. . .and her heart? What will bring this girl out of the shadows of fear, and open her heart to life—and love?
My Review: This is the second book in the Indiana Cousins series. The book can be read as a stand alone. Like the previous book before it, it focuses on one character in each book so you can see how each character grows and changes over time.
Katie is still not over the tragic death of her boyfriend Timothy who was killed in a car accident. Ever since Katie has these attacks where she has a feeling of unreality and a sense of panic and like she is going to die. Her good friend Freeman is the one who tells her it is panic attacks and helps her get over them.
Over time her and Freeman draw closer and a romance starts to brew. There is one hitch, there is a woman who wants Freeman for herself. I felt that the love story in this books was authentic and relatable. You could see where each character was coming from and it was easily to become emotionally invested in the outcome. You find yourself rooting for Katie all the way.
Like the previous book this book provided insight into the Amish lifestyle which I enjoyed. It even has some Amish vocabulary words and refers to the things that the Amish would. It also does not gloss over difficulties such as a woman spreading gossip about Katie which we can all relate to.
This is a book that I would recommend to anyone wanting to get a glimpse into the Amish way of life and for those looking for a sweet inspirational and or romance.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: Sex on Six Legs

sex on six legs

From Goodreads:

Insects have inspired fear, fascination, and enlightenment for centuries. They are capable of incredibly complex behavior, even with brains often the size of a poppy seed. How do they accomplish feats that look like human activity— personality, language, childcare—with completely different pathways from our own? What is going on inside the mind of those ants that march like boot-camp graduates across your kitchen floor? How does the lead ant know exactly where to take his colony, to that one bread crumb that your nightly sweep missed? Can insects be taught new skills as easily as your new puppy? 

Sex on Six Legs is a startling and exciting book that provides answers to these questions and many more. With the humor of Olivia Judson’s Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation, Zuk not only examines the bedroom lives of creepy crawlies but also calls into question some of our own longheld assumptions about learning, the nature of personality, and what our own large brains might be for.

My Review: I have to admit  when I saw this at the library it was the title that drew me in. My first thought was sex life of insects? Who would write a book on such things? Then I picked it up and saw that it compared human processes and insects process and was hooked.

I never thought of insects as having any redeeming qualities. I see one and I stomp on it. This book opened my eyes. It described how insects can be social and how they communicate various things. For example, wasp can tell when another wasp not of its nest intrudes and will fight the intruder. What I found most fascinating was the fact that a researcher actually got a hold of a wasp and painted their faces to test this fact. I want to know how they do these sort of things without getting stung.

The biggest thing that the book does is to show that even though we think of humans has having special qualities and insects are nothing like us they are in fact. They do not have brains per se so everything boils down to neurons. We can see how neurons influence behavior and this in turn can lead us to discover more about humans and the why we act the way we do.

This was a fascinating book. I could not put it down, The author writes in a way where lay people can understand it. The author injects a sense of humor throughout the book that makes it a funny and delightful read.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Review: Becoming a man of Unwavering Faith

becoming a man of unwavering faith

From Goodreads:

During the course of his 60-year ministry, John Osteen combined an extraordinary love for people with a vision for ministry best described in his own words: "No limits." In this hardcover volume not only includes content from John's sermon transcripts, but also a foreword and commentary written by his son, Joel; the principles of this "no limits" faith come alive again for a new generation.
For the moments of struggle and temptation that every man faces, and the times in life when he feels surrounded and under attack, John's message is profoundly simple-those moments are precisely the time for an unwavering faith. In this book, John schools today's believers in seven qualities of unwavering faith:
1. It hears and sees what the world cannot see or hear.
2. It prays earnestly even though it has already heard the answer.
3. It is strong when there is no evidence of the answer.
4. It always says, "Go Again!"
5. It goes on when there's just a little evidence.
6. It believes for the big when it sees the little.
7. It begins with nothing but ends up doing mighty things for God.
Osteen also provides principles for those times when faith doesn't seem to be working. BECOMING A MAN OF UNWAVERING FAITH is a guidebook to stronger faith, from a man who spent a lifetime testing its limits.

My Review: If you have ever wondered what it is like to live a life of unlimted faith then this book explains how. It describes the seven things people do to get the most out of life and how to trust God for everything. People think that faith is something you have but this book also explains that faith is something that you do. It goes into depth of each of the seven steps that you do. This book was short but there is a lot of information packed in this book.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Review: Blood Red Road

blood red road

From Goodreads:

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

 

My Review: I have been attempting to branch out from my usual fare of Literary Fiction. I head good reviews from several bloggers on this Young Adult book and when I saw it in the library decided to give it a try. I am glad I did..

This is a book that is fast paced so you will never get bored. It seems that from the very first page there is action. The world building is done through the plot. And what a world it is! It is set in a dystopian future where chaal (a drug) is used to control people and they have barbaric cage fights using humans and stuff. There is some points where I thought there was no way Saba (the main character) could get out of this one but yet she always did. I came to admire her strong independent spirit. I loved the characters in this book. It was easy to connect with them and imagine myself in their place.

The narration style is different than what one would be used to. It took me a few pages to get used to it but once I did it quickly fit in with the characters and the plot and only added to the story.

I would encourage everyone to read this book. This is one book that lives up to its hype.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: The Loving Dead

the loving dead

From Goodreads: Kate and Michael are roommates living in the Oakland hills, working at the same Trader Joes supermarket. A night of drunken revelry changes their lives forever, but not in the way that anyone would expect. A slow-spreading plague of zombie-ism breaks out at their house party, spreading amongst their circle of friends, and simultaneously through the Bay Area. This zombie plague - an STD of sorts - is spread through sex and kissing, turning its victims into mindless, horny, voracious killers. Thrust into extremes by this slow- motion tragedy, Kate and Michael are forced to confront the choices they've made in their lives, and their fears of commitment, while trying to stay alive and reunite in the one place in the Bay Area that's likely to be safe and secure from the zombie hordes: Alcatraz.

My Review: I was looking for something to read for Halloween when I saw this book in the library so I picked it up. I was not sure what to expect from this book. Would it be gory? Would it give me nightmares? Would it gross me out leaving me unable to eat for a week?

Thankfully expect for a few gory details it was none of the above. It was a quick fun read.  It is good for people just getting into zombie reads.

The story while it drew me in was not such that I was willing to suspend me disbelief and become emotionally invested in the characters. For some people this can be a deal breaker and for me in some books it is. This story had enough of a plot though to keep me moving forward. The characters do not have much of an arc they stay static for most of the book. There were some points that were so unbelievable that it snapped me out of the book. Such as the group taking a paddleboat across the bay to Alcatraz. I mean the ocean is so rough there that it was near impossible to escape and I am supposed to believe that inexperienced group managed a paddleboat? Other than a few plot points such as these the plot was good.

While I did not love this book. It was tolerable. Maybe zombies not my thing.

Overall I would recommend this book to a person who is looking to get into zombie reads. The ones who are more experienced might think this is too light to read.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Readathon Introduction

1)Where are you reading from today?

Northeast Ohio
2)Three random facts about me…

I love the color purple

I am addicted to caffeine

I love to meet new people.


3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?

4- Coffee talk, Elizabeth Tudor Secret Vampire Slayer, The Amber Spy Glass and the Stuble Knife
4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?

To stay awake as long as possible.
5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time? Pick a book that is interesting and fast paced.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review:Squirrel Seeks Chipmunks

seeks chipmunks

From Goodreads:

Featuring David Sedaris's unique blend of hilarity and heart, this new collection of keen-eyed animal-themed tales is an utter delight. Though the characters may not be human, the situations in these stories bear an uncanny resemblance to the insanity of everyday life.

In "The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck," three strangers commiserate about animal bureaucracy while waiting in a complaint line. In "Hello Kitty," a cynical feline struggles to sit through his prison-mandated AA meetings. In "The Squirrel and the Chipmunk," a pair of star-crossed lovers is separated by prejudiced family members.

My review: I got this from the library because I loved David Sedris older work. I was unaware that this was a collection of convoluted fairy tales. I was a bit disappointed if only because it was different than what I  originally anticipated.

Once I got into the stories though I could see how the related to his older work. Those familiar with his previous stories will be able to pin point what he is referring to in this book.

As long as you don’t go in expecting his usual stories about his life and prepare yourself for a sort of fairy tales you should like this book.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: State of Wonder

state of wonderFrom Goodreads:Sometimes being on the vanguard of scientific progress thrusts you into the teeth of danger. For Minnesota pharmaceutical researcher Dr. Marina Singh, that means being sent into the remotest region of the Amazon jungle to track down her former mentor. Finding Dr. Annick Swenson promises to be perilous: The last scientist assigned to find her has disappeared too. What follows is the most ambitious novel yet by Bel Canto author Ann Patchett as its adventure story opens into a penetrating study of personalities, loyalties, and ethics.

My Review: I had heard wonderful things about this book so when I saw it at the library I had to get it. I was not disappointed. This was a riveting read. With Anne Prachet’s writing one is drawn into the lush jungles of The Amazon complete with how life is really lived there.

The superficial story is the Marina the main character goes to the Amazon to find out what happens to her co worker who has died. But it goes much deeper than that Marina finds a kind of salvation through her work there. She has been haunted by an accident that she had during medical school and her old professor is the same woman who she goes to meet in the Amazon. First she is terrified but then as the story weaves tales of Amazon way of life and interactions with her old teacher she is in a way relived of the burden.

There is also exploration of ethics that one must choose when confronted with a different non Western way of life. I feel that the author got to the heart of this and through a story beautifully told she also showed that human no matter where they are or where they came from are not fallible and can make what would seem at home a blatant display of wrong ethics seems almost right in a  strange environment.

This is a story that borrows from the book Heart of Darkness but while there are similarities in themes the author makes it her own book. This is a testament to the authors writing. This book comes highly recommended.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Review: A Cousins Promise

a cousinf promise From Goodreads:Willkumm to the Amish country, where a tragic accident and an old beau complicate the lives of two young lovers.

My Review: A friend lent me this book. I normally would not pick up Amish Fiction but I have to say I am glad I did. This book is the first book in a trilogy. It starts with a car accident and goes on to explore what happens when a normally abled bodied person become disabled.

I liked this aspect of the book. It showed a realistic grieving process while at the same time keeping with the faith and lifestyle of the Amish community.

This trilogy was given to me because all three deals with disabilities and in one book there is a Deaf person in the storyline. I haven't gotten to that book yet but if the first book is any indication I am looking forward to the next two books. I feel it is important to portray disabilities in books as they happen. Here the man who lost his leg in the car accident did not all of a sudden come to terms with it. The grieving process was accurately shown. While I wanted to slap the main character Wayne a few times the reader comes to understand that accepting becoming handicapped takes time and even with a person of supposedly deep and unwavering faith you can still make what seems like stupid decisions. In the end though one must accept what has happened and go on to live the best life possible. This is exactly what happens.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

BBAW Interview

Today I  have Bailey from Window Seat Reader for an interview.

What made you decide to start book blogging?  I love talking about books, and one day I came across Goodreads when I felt like venting about an upsetting read.  Next thing I know, I'm reading several blogs regularly!  I'd thrown the idea around a few times of starting a blog.  Finally, I just went for it, and it's been lots of fun ever since.

What is your favorite genre?
I really enjoy historical fiction especially books with a Gothic setting.  I also like literary fiction and memoirs!

How did you come up with the name of your blog? 
As a kid, I always thought it'd be awesome to have a window seat in my room.  I imagined it'd be a great place to relax and read and write.  My dream hasn't come to fruition yet, but I thought it was a fun and unique name for the blog!


You mention on your blog you are a graduate student what do you study?  I'm studying school psychology.  Some parts of the US don't really use school psychologists in their education systems so I'll briefly explain what that role entails.  Basically, I'll be trained to asses students with behavioral and learning deficits; additionally, I'll be able to implement interventions and consult with teachers and parents on effective strategies and solutions to help their children succeed in the classroom and in life.

What is your favorite book of this year?
  Favorite audiobook: The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees; Favorite memoir: Little Princes by Conor Grennan; Favorite fiction (print): The Distant Hours by Kate Morton (Sorry, I can't ever choose one!)

Monday, August 22, 2011

What Have I Been Up To?

I know things have been quite on the blog front lately. No I havent forgotten about it, I have been studying all..the.. time for
gre 001
the GRE. I am hoping to enroll in graduate school to get my Masters of Library Science. I have still been reading during study breaks. Most lately this book:
lover mine
What are you reading?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review:Nemesis

nemis

This is a historically imagined polio outbreak in Newark in the summer on 1944. Bucky who wishes he was in the military fighting in the pacific is disqualified because of his bad eyesight. Instead he is the playground director for a local school. Apart from his bad eyesight he is the epitome of manliness.  When the chance arises he goes to the Poconos which is polio free. Then the twist occurs which I am not giving away for it is spoilirsh.

I have to be honest I had a hard time getting through this book as it seemed nothing happened. I know usually the first 100 pages is used for scene setting but this book dragged on past that. The book went into detail about the playground. Kids died. It described in excruciating detail about Bucky’s past and how he wanted to join the military. The overall theme of the book was what kind of God would let polio happen? I was getting pissed. I wanted a twist or SOMETHING big to happen in the book. In the end I got what I wanted. I really did not see that twist coming. It is at the end of the book so you will have to suffer through 200 pages to get to it but boy, it it worth it!

To be fair it did give an accurate portrayal of the horrifying conditions and the panic that ensued.I was able to empatize with the characters. While reading this book I felt bad for the people that got polio and suffered it devastating effects before the vaccine was created. What it must have been like for those people not knowing where polio came from or how it was spread.Philip Roth does a brilliant job of creating a historically accurate portrayal of that summer. How the kids on the playground felt when their friends died or was confined to an iron lung. How healthy kids were falling one by one to the disease.

The part that bothered me was the long drawn out descriptions of the summer camp. That I could do without. I am sure most of us have been to summer camp and is aware of what it entails. However it is here that the twist comes up and it makes suffering through the 200 pages prior worth it.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review: Wolf Mark

This book was sent to me by the publisher

wolfmark

From Goodreads:

Luke King knows a lot of things. Like four different ways to disarm an enemy before the attacker can take a breath. Like every detail of every book he’s ever read. And Luke knows enough—just enough—about what his father does as a black ops infiltrator to know which questions not to ask. Like why does his family move around so much?
Luke just hopes that this time his family is settled for a while. He’ll finally be able to have a normal life. He’ll be able to ask the girl he likes to take a ride with him on his motorcycle. He’ll hang out with his friends. He’ll be invisible—just as he wants.
But when his dad goes missing, Luke realizes that life will always be different for him. Suddenly he must avoid the kidnappers looking to use him as leverage against his father, while at the same time evading the attention of the school’s mysterious elite clique of Russian hipsters, who seem much too interested in Luke’s own personal secret. Faced with multiple challenges and his emerging paranormal identity, Luke must decide who to trust as he creates his own destiny.

My review: I am now a fan of TU a new imprint of Lee and Low Books. I have liked all three of the books they have sent me. I never thought I would like young adult books but boy, was I wrong. I think I am going to seek out the genre a bit more.

Wolf Mark is has sci-fi elements which I love. It also has a little romance thrown in but with a young adult feel to it. It brought back to memory of my own high school days.

The characters all of them are well developed. I found myself rooting for Lucas and he races to save his father. It is hard to find a book whose secondary characters are  as well developed as they are in this book. I could find myself empathizing even what I thought to be the bad guys (even though they weren't) and his best friend.

I also love the lore that was interposed in this book. I love mythology. And there was not short of it here. It explained in such a way that it was assessable to it target audience which is 12 and up. I myself learned quite a few things from this book. Such as what a grue is among other things.

I would recommend this book to any young adult who likes sci-fi and to any adult who likes sci-fi and young adult books.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

                                    book blogger hop

“What is the one ARC you would love to get your hands on right now?”

I would kill to get my hands on “The last Werewolf”

For the rest of the hop click here

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review: And the Angels Were Silent

and the angels were silient
Max Lucado is one of my favorite Christian authors. He writes so fluidly and tight it almost as if God himself were feeding him words to say. He tone is never to condemn or to be to preachy but rather to convey the message that God really loves you and you are destined for better things in life.
In this book he examines the last week of Christ while explaining how it applies to real life. I have never thought about many of the aspects that he mentions. As always I have felt refreshed after reading one of his books.
I really enjoyed this book. You can see how his writing has evolved if you have read his earlier works. It is amazing to see.

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Library Loot for Today

libary loot 2 001

Nemesis

Lover Mine

The Pale King

Mockingjay

State of Wonder

Atkins for Life-Low carb cookbook

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Review: Galaxy Games

I received this book from the publisher

galaxy games

From Goodreads:

Things are looking up for Tyler Sato (literally!) as he and his friends scan the night sky for a star named for him by his Tokyo cousins in honor of his eleventh birthday. Ordinary stars tend to stay in one place, but Ty’s seems to be streaking directly toward Earth at an alarming rate. Soon the whole world is talking about TY SATO, the doomsday asteroid, and life is turned upside down for Ty Sato, the boy, who would rather be playing hoops in his best friend’s driveway.
Meanwhile, aboard a silver spaceship heading for Earth, M’Frozza, a girl with three eyes and five nose holes, is on a secret mission. M’Frozza is the captain of planet Mrendaria’s Galaxy Games team, and she is desperate to save her world from a dishonorable performance in the biggest sporting event in the universe.
What will happen when Ty meets M’Frozza? Get ready for the most important event in human history—it’ll be off the backboard, around the rim, and out of this world

My Review:I really like sci fi. Any form of sci-fi so this was a book I couldn’t not like. What I really Liked was the way he incorporated diversity in his book.In most books it’s white people meets a space alien and blah blah. This book however, incorporated all different sorts of cultures and even I learned something from this book. It incorporated Japanese culture, Japanese-American culture among other cultures. It truly embodies the fact that it is earth  meeting the space aliens.

It also says true to the worries and day to day activities of children in that age group. Whether it is going to school or making new friends or even a new girlfriend the emotional completely stays within the typical middle age group

over all it was a great story the characters were well developed. The story had so many believable elements that it was easy to suspend your belief in meeting the aliens. The descriptions were wonderful. I even liked the illustrations that came with the book. I would recommend this to a middle grade student or to anyone who likes sci-fi. I cant wait for book two to come out!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop

To see the rest of the hop go here

“Highlight one book you have received this week (for review, from the library, purchased at the store, etc.) that you can’t wait to dig into!”

I know I am very late into the game but I finally got ahold of the Hunger games trilogy at my library. I hope it is as good as everyone says it is!

Review: The Case for Falling in Love

the case for falling in loveltearlyreview

This is  a book that was hailed as the anti-self help book. Where most self help books tell you what to do to gain a man (annoying if you ask me) this book goes in the other direction and tells us how the “self-help” culture gets in the way of actually falling in love.

In the first half of this book the author explains how certain books exploited the gender gap leading readers to believe there is something wrong with them if they do not act as if society accords them too. In one section she explains how her friend was reading from John Gray’s “Starting Over”. After she read a few passages this once strong independent woman became so concerned that she was doing everything wrong and started to act in the very manner that drives men off. She shows that these books were written for a time ages past. Instead she shows readers that just accepting yourself and acting like you is the best way to go. She does a through job at disassembling the convoluted gender stereotypes and why they do not work in today’s world.

The second half of the book she explains what to do if you been through a break-up. She treats relationships that have ended not as personal failures but as a way to grow. She states that each relationship teaches us something about ourselves and that we should take the opportunity to grow. She does caution against dating certain kind of men. Namely those who act as we were still in the 50’s.

I found myself agreeing with her. This is the kind of book strong independent woman need to read. After taking apart the self-help culture and poking fun at traditional books on how to get a man or what to do to keep a man she shows that acting like yourself really is the best way to go. This was a refreshing read. I too get tired of hearing that I must mold myself into a cookie cutter of a perfect wife or girlfriend to keep a man. Her overall tone of the book is that somewhere somebody will love your quirks is much needed.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Booking Through Thursday

bookthruthursady

What’s the latest you’ve ever stayed up reading a book? Is staying up late reading a usual thing for you?

The latest I have ever stayed up reading was 5 am. I think it was a new Harry Potter book. I used to devour those books on the same day they came out. I still stay up late regularly. If a book grabs me I don’t want to stop reading til I have reached the end. I regularly consume obscene amounts of caffeine to enable me to do this.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Review: Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World

hardboiled

I have to be honest this is my first Hakuki Murakami book. I have heard good things of his work. Along with he is one of Japans most beloved authors. This was a book I had on my selves for a LONG time. I decided it was finally time to read it. I was not disappointed.

It is hard to describe this book exactly. It encompasses two stories. One is real while the other takes place in the mind. The characters have deep philosophical conversations and there are plenty twist and turns. The biggest twist comes near the end but I don’t want to give anything away. Once you come to it the whole novel makes sense. Up until that point you as a reader are left hanging of what exactly the two stories have to do with each other but trust me it is worth the read.

This book will make you think about what is real. Is what goes on in our minds real? It will also make you think of the dangers of messing with the mind. Is changing the brain good or does it bring more despair? There are a lot of question this book grapples with. While you wont find the answers in this book it will make you think.

If you like philosophical questions and a mind bending read you will love this book!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Salon

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First of all let me say that my intention to read a book a day has been a big fat failure. I made the mistake of telling some friends and they decided I needed to got out of the house and make some real friends  and took me to lakes and other places of entertainment. While I had fun there was little to no reading to be done during these trips. I think this week will be different as we are all inside trying to stay out of the oppressive heat. Speaking of heat it was HOT here in the last week. While I like hot weather I do hope it cools down a bit as I like reading outside and in the heat and humidity that makes it impossible.

I did finish and review one book History Of Love. That book was sooo good. I cant believe that it took me this long to read it. I read it in one day it was that good. I could not put it down. Like I said in my review, if you haven't read it already Go… Read… It… Now!

I am reading Hardboiled Wonder Land and the End of the World today. This is my first Haruki Murakami book. I am enjoying it so far. I cant wait to see how it all comes together in the end. Have any of you read it?

Hopefully starting this week I will be able to read a book a day. How do you all explain to friends that you would rather really be reading?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Blogger Hop



                            Book Blogger Hop  
               


What’s the ONE GENRE that you wish you could get into, but just can’t?
Classics. No matter how much I try and read them, I find them stuffy and boring. I have tried and failed to read any number of classics and each time I have given up. Maybe this is why I was not an English major in college. I would have died of boredom. I can read modern books off all kinds but give me a classic and ugh. I really wish I could read them. I heard so many great things about them. After all that’s why they are classics right? But for me they just don’t keep my attention.Go here to see the rest of the hop

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Review: A History Of Love

history of love

From Goodreads:"Leo Gursky is trying to survive a little bit longer, tapping his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbor know he's still alive, drawing attention to himself at the milk counter of Starbucks. But life wasn't always like this: sixty years ago, in the Polish village where he was born, Leo fell in love and wrote a book. And although he doesn't know it, that book also survived: it crossed oceans and generations, and changed lives." Fourteen-year-old Alma was named after a character in that book. She has her hands full keeping track of her little brother Bird (who thinks he might be the Messiah) and taking copious notes in her book, How to Survive in the Wild Volume Three. But when a mysterious letter arrives in the mail she undertakes an adventure to find her namesake and save her family.

My Review: I cant believe it took me so long to read this book! I had heard good things about it but did not read it until I picked it up a the library. the characters are extremely likeable and the twist and turns just keep on coming.

I did find it hard in the beginning to keep all the characters straight but as I became more engrossed in the story I found this to be less of a problem.

It explores relationships and how they came to be. It revolves around the fictional book “The History of Love”. It details how this book impacted all who came into contact with it. It even has passages so you can get an idea of what the book is. I loved this. It was a story within a story.  Actually there were several plotlines that all came together beautifully  in the end. And the end! It was beautiful.

It also delves into the emotions of the characters. It explores loneness in old age. A young girl who is trying to understand the woman she was named after. Even the little brother Bird we get to see the inner working of his seeming warped mind. The characters all develop beautifully in the course of the novel. There is growth and maturation as each character comes to the end. I became invested in all of the characters and wanted things to work out well for them.

I have to say again this book is a must read. If you haven't read it yet go now and do it!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Review: The Almost Moon

almost moon
From Goodreads:
A woman steps over the line into the unthinkable in this brilliant, powerful, and unforgettable new novel by the author of The Lovely Bones and Lucky.
For years Helen Knightly has given her life to others: to her haunted mother, to her enigmatic father, to her husband and now grown children. When she finally crosses a terrible boundary, her life comes rushing in at her in a way she never could have imagined. Unfolding over the next twenty-four hours, this searing, fast-paced novel explores the complex ties between mothers and daughters, wives and lovers, the meaning of devotion, and the line between love and hate. It is a challenging, moving, gripping story, written with the fluidity and strength of voice that only Alice Sebold can bring to the page.
My review: I wanted to like this book, I really did. I liked The Lovely Bones. To say that this book was a disappointment would be an understatement. I want to know what the hell Alice Sebold was thinking when she wrote this book. We all know she can write. So how to explain the travesty that is The Almost Moon?
The main character was unlikeable. I don’t need them to be likable to like a book. This one was so one dimensional that it was hard to see past what she did to garner any sympathy for her. The secondary cast were not fully developed so no connection there either.
One thing that really irritated me, especially as a person with mental illness is that it seems she to failed to research what a real live person with the condition really acts like. I kept reading and was like you are making it sound all bad. As if we are one dimensional beings without any other traits. I really wish she had done more research or yet spent time with someone who has a mental illness to see how we really behave and such. I was offended to be honest with you.
I tried to find something that I liked about this book. That is why I kept on reading til the end. I kept thinking, there has to be some redeeming value. I will give it this it was short so I don’t feel as if I wasted to much time on it.
I am willing to give her one more shot. I hope she writes another book that is on par with The Lovely Bones.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: Bad Girls of the Bible

bad girls of the bible

I have to admit it was the cover and the title that got my attention on this one. So often in the realm of Christian books we get titles that say that we need to become more Holy. This title grabbed my attention because well it had “bad girls” in the title. I had to know who the bad girls were and what their story was.

This book chronicles ten of the books bad women. Lot’s wife and the women at the well and the sinful woman among them. It gives a modern day retelling of each then gives a verse by verse commentary on what the story on the whole means and what it means for us today.

I liked this book and especially liked the way Liz Curtis Higgs added her own commentary style to it. I loved the modern retelling. It put a new fresh spin on ages old stories. I had read the stories in the bible but had not truly understood what they meant until I read them in this book. What I mean by that is that is that the lessons had not sunk in that you are supposed to take from them.

This is an easy read. Liz writing style is chatty and she added touches of humor to each story. I found myself highly amused by what she had written. Another thing I liked is that she does not talk sown to the reader but rather gives them hope. She adds bits of her own story so you can see that she is just like many woman out there today. It does not feel as if she was always holier than thou but like every person has made mistakes and was given God Grace to help other woman know that they too can find God and life a better life no matter what their background.

Even if you don’t like inspirational books Liz storytelling makes this book fun to read.Highly recommended

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Salon

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Good morning everyone!

I ran across this website Read All Day and thought it was captivated. I will try this while I am waiting until I go back to school. I also cant wait to read the authors book Tolstoy and the Purple Chair when it comes out. It sounds like a book I will love.

I was also captivated but Google plus. I finally scored an invite. Click here if you want to connect with me. I love how you can control who sees what. That was my biggest gripe with Facebook. I always felt paranoid about who was going to have to my inner ramblings. Now I can put everyone in circles and I feel like I can rest more easily. I hope it catches on but only time will tell.

This was a slow week on my blog but I did review

Springs Renewal

The Artist Way

I have noticed that since taking the advice in the Artist way my writing has been more easier. I guess getting out of the house and getting everything that bugs you out of your system really helps.

This has also been a slow reading week for me. I hope it is not another slump because there are so many books I want to read. I am curious when you hit a slump what do you do to pull yourself out of it?

Today I will be reading and hopefully finishing The almost moon by Alice Sebold. I loved her previous book and I am loving this book also.

I hope everyone has a great Sunday!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Review: Spring’s Renewal

spring's renewal

When I said I like all sorts of books. I really meant all sorts. I have always been interested in how people of other sub-cultures live. When I saw this on a friends book shelf I knew that I had to borrow it. After all one way to learn about different people is to read about them right?

Tim is visiting his Uncles farm in Ohio. He did not want to go at first but his family encouraged him to go. He had a sweetheart he left back in Indiana so he wasn’t looking for anyone to love. Until he met Clara. Clara is different in that as a child she was badly burned. Many people in the community look down on her or pitied her but not Tim. He wonders why no one is courting her. As they get to know each other Tim must make a decision. Will he continue with his sweetheart Ruby Lee back in Indiana or will he go to Clara?

As a deaf reader I could sympathize with Clara. I know how well meaning people can make you more self-conscious about something than not.

I had to admit I was surprised by some of the things in this book. Like the romance part. I guess I had stereotyped the Amish into one big group with all adhering to ridged values instead of a group with its members having varying degrees of which they conform. Which is a mistake that a lot of people tend to make.

The romance in this book however was much more believable than romances in other books the author showed the up and downs a couple has before they finally realize their true feelings. I like the breadth that she took to show this.

Clara is shown as a strong woman in her own way. She made peace about her disfigurement and did not let it interfere with her love of teaching. This is a vital message for anyone that has something different about them. Through Clara we could see that what is “wrong” with you does not necessarily have to define or limit who you are.

This is not the only theme in this book although it is the main one there are many other side stories to hold and grip the readers attention. I will defientily be pick up the other books in this series.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review: The Artist Way

the artist way

I had been having serious writers block for the first half of the year. I tried everything I knew to combat it but to no avail. Then while reading book blogs I began to hear of a book called the Artist Way. I decided I had to check it out.

I have to say I was not disappointed with this book. It has been three weeks since I started the cornerstone of the book which is Morning Pages and Artist Dates. I can already see an improvement.

The book takes on a 12 step aura to help combat “creative blocks” It is not only for writers but for anyone who wants to live more creatively. That means even if you do not pursue any of the tradional creative outlets than this book can still help you.

Some people might be put of by the spiritual aspect of this book. I read some reviews where this was the case. I do not feel it is overly spiritual in in that case the spiritual overtones actually added a dimension to the book.

Overall people who are looking to be more creative  will enjoy this book.

Monday, July 4, 2011

                                 Happy 4th of July everyone!!

                              happy 4th

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Salon

TSSbadge2It is July already!! Where has the time gone?  We are at the half way nark and I have to say I am disappointed with how my blogging and reading resolutions have turned out. Although once my dr finally gave me something for my adult ADHD symptoms it has improved. I am hoping that my reading will pick up speed and my blogging will fall into a regular pattern.

One thing I realized is that I often fail to plan. And I know the most dedicated bloggers plan for every eventuality so that’s what I am going to start doing also. I set up a Google calendar with what post I want when and I am hoping this helps me keep to a regular posting schedule and not go weeks without posting anything,

Yesterday was fun I read most of the day then when dark came I had frount row seats from my house for the firework show. It lasted longer than I thought it would around 30 minutes. I was surprised because I do live in a small town so I thought it might be 5 mins tops but nope they had a really good 30 minute show.

Today I am going to church, then after church since it is raining here again, I will spend reading “Bad Girls of the Bible” and catching up with other blogs.

I hope everyone has a happy Sunday!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

If you are anything like me when you want to get a new product you go online and check the reviews first. I just as much as anyone hate to me stuck with a crappy product. But sometimes I hear that something is so bad that I have to go read it myself since this mostly pertains to books. One example of this was Twilight. Half of the people I talked to loved it and half hated it so even though at the time a needy teenage girl falling in love with a 100 years old vampire (I am more Anne Rice kinda vampire) was light years away from what I tended to read I still couldn't stop myself from checking it out at the library.

It was akin to watching a wreck on the highway. I couldn’t look away. I kept wondering how on earth she got published. And who her editor was and so forth. And I felt sorry for the next generation who thought this was good reading. Then I wondered I could be the only person to read something just to see how bad it is so my question to you. Have you ever read something or bought something just to see how bad it was?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Review: Tankborn

FTC notice: This book was sent to me by the publisher

tankborn

In the beginning of this year I told myself I was going to break out of my literary fiction rut and try new genres. So far I have tried several different genres but have held back trying Young Adult. I cant give a good reason for my hesitation for this expect maybe I thought Young Adult did not have much to offer me. I was sadly mistaken. Young Adult has changed since I was a young adult. So when I found out I had won a prize from Arm Chair BEA I picked three young adult books as the prize and I loved it. This is the first I read of three.

Tankborn is the first Young Adult that I have tried outside the harry potter craze. It is about a girl who is  a GEN (genetically engineered non-human) who is given her Assignment. Before she leaves her nurture mother though she is given a strange package to carry into where the humans live.

Her best Friend is a nurturer tasked with the care of human babies. When they realize babies are being taken in the middle of the night they realize something more sinister is happening.

I could see where a young adult especially one who is in some way different (Like I was with a hearing aid when I was younger) could relate to this story. It showed that just because you are different does not mean you are even less important. Even though they are tankborn they are still important in the grand scheme of things.Likewise YA with disabilities have their place in society also.

I also liked that it was the characters that were flawed that had a hand in solving the issues in the book. That showed that people who are different can still be leaders and have strong role models.

The characters are fully realized to such an extent that the readers starts to care about what happens to them. I was rooting for the characters to come out victorious when they were fighting to save themselves and other people.

The story itself was an engrossing one. I found that I couldn’t put the book down because I wanted to know what happened next. The pace was faster than I find in lit fiction. Which is a good thing because I seem to find a lot of books to be dragging these days. Not this one though.

I really liked this book and would recommend it to a YA that has something different about them to show them that they too can find their place and overcome.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: West of Here

Swest of heresummary from goodreads-From the rugged mudflats of the Northwestern frontier to a rusting strip mall, West of Here is a conversation between two epochs. In his eagerly awaited second novel, Jonathan Evison tells the stories of the people who first inhabited the mythical town of Port Bonita in Washington State from 1887-1891. Moving ahead more than a century to 2005-06, he introduces those who live there now and must deal with the damage done by their predecessors.

The characters are drawn with compassion and truth, the themes are grand and sweeping: regeneration, the trappings of history, the elusive nature of perception, who makes footprints and who follows them. Evison writes with heart and verve, capturing evocative details and unforgettable scenes.

My Thoughts- I really like how there are multiple plots so that it feels as if you are reading several books in one. When the story moves back and forth you can see how what the 1887 generation thought was a good idea has disastrous consequences for the 2007 generation.

Although the town is mythical and therefore not real Evison does a good job at providing some history to go along with the story. He develops the plots and the characters so well that the reader has no problem getting swept up in the story.

However I did find it to be slow going at first but after around 150 pages I figured out what he was attempting to do with all the different plotlines and characters and after that I started to really like the story. The reader has to be able to stick it out in the beginning though.

It is well worth the effort it takes to keep track of all the plotlines and characters in this book. The story is very rewarding to read.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Review:Dreadnought

dn

After reading Boneshaker I knew I had to read the rest of the Clockwork Century series. Don’t let the fact that they are part of a series fool you all three books can act as a standalone so you do not need to read all of the books to understand what happens in the next book.

Dreadnought takes place during the Civil War. Mercy worked in VA at a Rebel hospital when she receives two devastating pieces of news. First that her husband who was fighting on the Union side was killed. Second is that her father who lived in Seattle and is dying wanted to see her. So she sets off on the journey.

The journey should be easy right? Go south then go west. But it is anything but. Things start to go wrong from the get go. First her dirigible crashes then it is one thing after another. She finally reaches St Louis and manages to catch a train the Dreadnought west. The Dreadnaught is a Union train so she keeps her southern sympathies hid. They say that the Dreadnought is on a purely civilian mission but as things start happening it becomes clear that is not the case. Mercy but figure out what the real purpose of the train is before they are all killed.

I have to be honest I loved this book. I think I may have found a new favorite genre. There were some elements that were the same as boneshaker but you did not have to read boneshaker to follow this book. There were not as many zombies and such in this book as there was in Boneshaker. I felt that the reader felt there was more danger in boneshaker than there were in Dreadnought.

The author weaves the alternate history parts together seamlessly into the story so that you were not jarred every time something out of the ordinary happened. It all had a nice flow to it.

While I might not be a die hard feminist I do like a story that has a strong female character. Mercy in Dreadnought is a very strong character, She shows times and time again that she can take control and have people respect her for it. No matter the situation she does not wait for a man to come rescue her but rather does her own rescuing. I think character such as these are important in literate as they show that a woman can be capable of taking care of herself and others.

I look forward to reading more of this authors books.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Review: Let the Great World Spin

Therelet the great world spin are books that tell a great story then there are book that function like a literary painting. They take a single snapshot of an event then paint with words with the event and the events around them. The effect if done correctly is beautiful. This is what Let the Great world spin is like.

On a  late summer morning in 1974 people on the island of Manhattan look up and saw a tightrope walker between the towers.

What transpires below is average people living average lives all converge as the author paints a portrait of each one.

They are from all walks of life. Hookers trying to make a living and a socialite trying to get over the death of her son in the war. Such disparate lives are all somehow linked to a tightrope walker.

I think McCann has done a fabulous job of taking one event and shown how a bunch of seemingly random life's are really at its heart interconnected. We often fail to think of the beauty that is inherent in these interconnected lives. If we stopped to think that one action can have so much negative effect then maybe we would be more aware in choosing our actions.

A problem can occur if a reader attempts to read this linearly. This is a novel that takes the reader around and around and up and down there is no straight line from point A to point B.  The beauty and the story is found in the circular ways and the what appears to be random interactions but really is not.

It is best to approach this work with as a literary painting rather than a novel with a nice arc in the plotline and a resolution at the end. In this novel there seems to be no beginning and end as the chapters weave in and out of charterers offering snapshots of what is happening right then,

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Salon

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Good Afternoon everyone! I have not been able to get a a lot of reading done this week because there has been a lot happening in life.For one thing my friend is moving so I helped or pretended to help while I considered which books to steal borrow. I cant help it it is a compulsion if there are book I think I have a hint of reading I must have it.This was a close friend so they was all to aware that the books was not exactly safe around me and caught me putting one in to my purse but they thought it was funny and let me borrow it.

I heard about the book the Artist Way on blogs and decided to check it out for myself. I have been making my way through the book. It is supposed to help you become unblocked as a writer and the two biggest things are to do morning pages which is three pages of writing anything that comes to mind. I have heard that three pages equal 750 words. I have been using Penzu (where I have a pro account) to do this. At first I couldn’t think of anything to say really but it is becoming easier and easier. The second big thing that they recommend is an Artist Date. I have never done one of those but it makes sense. Pick a time each week and do something u have always wanted to do that does not involve your art and let yourself be filled up with images. I am still trying to think of things to do.

Today I am going to finish reading The Artist Way then start on Dreadnought witch is a continuation of my exploration of the steam punk genre.

What are you reading for today?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Salon

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Everyone is back from BEA and is telling stories and showing pictures. I hope someday I will make it to BEA. I had fun however participating in my first ever Armchair BEA. I got to know lots of new bloggers and I even got some inside traders secrets. To be honest unless BEA and book blogger convention has an interpreter I will probably get more out of Armchair BEA. I still wish I could meet everyone I meet online though. Maybe one day! I did win a prize in the twitter party so yay!!

I did not get a lot of reading done as I was trying to keep up with the 200 plus blogs in armchair BEA. I did get one review posted last night The Convert which was an ARC from Graywolf Press.

I am not sure how much reading I will get done today (I am in the middle of Elegant Universe). I promised to partake in Memorial Day weekend activities so it remains to be seen how much reading I will get done. However I will be the book nerd who brings along the book hoping to get a chapter or two in.

I am off. What are You doing this Memorial Day? Happy Memorial Day to everyone!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review: The Convert

This ithe converts a tale of Margret Marcus a Jewish girl growing up in the shadows of War World Two. While she hears about the horrors going on in Europe, her fascination  is with the Arabs. She gets upset at the formation of Israel and decides to convert to Islam. She has also spent time in mental wards.

Mawlana Abul Ala Mawdudi a man known for his staunch support of political Islam became her guardian when so moved to Pakistan. While in Pakistan Margret Marcus who became Maryam jamaleh upon her conversion to Islam, wrote a number of book supporting militant Islam and condemning the West. She was very influential in some circles in Lahore.

However it was not all smiles and writing in Pakistan. Before she had left the United States she had spent time in a mental hospital with Schizophrenia. She states in her letter that her decision to come to Islam is one of the sanest she has made in her life but one wonders. Then she ends up in a notorious madhouse in Lahore.

One gets the sense of reading this of how much of her thinking is muddled by her mental state and how much she really believes. Then again she was probably freer in Pakistan than she would have been in the US. In Pakistan she was able to marry and have kids and have her sister wife take care of her kids leaving her to write and so what ever else she wanted. while if she had stayed in the US she would probably ended up a ward of the state in a hospital somewhere.

Ever since 9/11 it has been a zero sum game for Islam and the West. If one wins the other loses. It was fascinating to trace back this ideology on the Muslim side to a specific political group and how they in a way took Maryam in and used her to showcase just how degraded the West really was.

Here was a perfect example of how when one followed the west your parents could kick you out, get rid of you or drop you off at the local state hospital while you traveled the world. While in Islam once you had a child you are responsible for it forever. That was the thinking anyway. It seemed it was to their own best advantage to use her to their political ends.

I found this book fascinating. The whole thing seemed unreal. Even the author admits all this was hard to imagine until she went to Lahore. First when she read the letters in New York public Libary it seemed that Maryam had finally found a place she could call home. That it was not rife with the strife that afflicted her with her parents in the US. However when the author went to Lahore she found something unsettling. From her old foster family saying that what she wrote home to her parents is not exactly what transpired in Pakistan. That she was guilty of a multitude of sins. When the author finally reached her for an interview she found a woman who acted complete different than what her letters portrayed. I felt that the author was being a little harsh in her judgment of Maryam. But who am I to say? I wasn’t there. Where the author gets to this point in the book I felt that it starts to fall apart. It as if the author let her emptions color what she wrote and we only get a nuanced version of the “real” Maryam. With sayings such as “I could not wait to leave the room” we are getting the author's emotions instead of what the story was supposed to be focused on.

The rest of the book is tightly written and a fascinating look at Maryam life as a political Islamist. Pick this book up if you want to know why someone would trade a middle class existence to a Life under a veil in poverty struck Pakistan.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Best of 2011

bea

I have a couple that I have read that are my favorites ones was published in 2010 but it is among my all time favorite books. It is BoneShaker.

bone shaker

It was my first foray into the world of steampunk. I told myself that this year I was going to branch out into all genres instead of limiting myself with literary fiction. I was so glad I read this. It was a perfect read for the cold dreary northern winter. (I am originally from the south).

The second is a nonfiction book and it is

happiness project

I liked this because she gives real advice on how to be happier right where you are. And the advice she gives it well researched and works. I know cause I have been following my own happiness project and and corny as it sounds I am happier.

I got this book for an ARC and it impacted me too so I don’t want to leave it out.

365 thank yous

The man wrote 365 thank yous for things to ne grateful about. This really had a deep impact on me because sometimes in my deep dark depressions I feel as there is nothing. So I started thanking people for little things and keeping a gratitude journal and now I do feel more positive and I interact more positive also.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Armchair BEA: How I Armchair

This is my first armchair BEA that I have partispated in. I look forword to what the week will bring. I will be armchairing (can I use that word) in my new favorite lazy-boy recliner.

I love reading and writing and tech stuff above all else. After trying different career paths I decided to go back to school and get my degree in Library and Information Technology. My days are spent studying for the GRE and trying to remember math I took a life time ago.

I love meeting new people but sometimes where I am Deaf it gets in the way cause I cant understand what people are saying. That’s why I love the internet so much! It levels the playing field.

I will read just about anything. I am a very eclectic reader. My gulity pleasure is self-help books. My friends don’t hesistte to tell me most are full of crap but I cant help it. It like a great big choclate chip cookie dough ice cream (another thing I love) for the brain.

I look forward to meeting all of you! If you want to know anything else feel free to ask!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Salon

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I am jealous of the people that are getting to go to BEA this year. I will be participating in Armchair BEA. I cant wait for it to start. This will be my first time participating. I am sure it will be an enjoyable week.

I have read on twitter and on blogs how many people go to author and book events. I have been trying to come up with any ideas on how get the same for North Eastern Ohio. It seems that it is only located in the big cities but I wish there were more located nearer to me so that I could attend. If anyone has any ideas let me know.

Studying for the GRE has taken up most of my time this week. I have decided to go to Library school. I hope I get in. The part of the GRE that concerns me most is that math part. The written and vocab I am not worried. I know how to make it stick but I not had any math in over 5 years and I have forgotten most. Oh well I will just pray that I score high enough to make it to Library school.

The book I am reading now is called “West of Here”. I heard about it on a few blogs so I decided to check it out. The first few chapters were slow going and I really did not get the point but after page 100 it starts to make sense and is really really good.

I look forward to meeting some of you on Armchair BEA!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review: A Sport and a Pastime

a sport and a pastime

This is a novel that on the surface is about an unnamed narrator and lovers Dean and Ann-Marie.

Dean is a Yale school dropout and comes to France for what is supposed to be a short holiday. The narrator meets him at a party in Paris and lets him stay in the narrator's borrowed house in the French countryside (The real France). It is in the village of Atun that Dean meets Anne-Marie and begins an affair which increases in volume and passion until his departure from France.

We can also get a sense of the narrator thru his retelling of Dean and Anne-Marie affair. The narrator is seemly impotent and thus cast his desires onto the couple. Even though there is few direct evidence of the narrator by paying attention to the subtle retelling of the story we can glean a second story underneath.

Beneath that story is stories about love and sex and classism among other things. As this story was published in the 60’s and retains reverences to subtle racism this story is easily dated but the language which is at the heart of this book remains as beautiful as ever.

Salter is known for his artful writing and how to best craft a sentence. This book is full of evidence of that. Not one word wasted and the prose is precise and inflicts the exact sort of mood it portrays.

One gets a sense that in the retelling it has lost some of its glamour or novelty. There seems to be a veneer of dullness that is spread across the words. Like a knife that has lost it sharpness and is now only a dull blade.

Many people love this book for the telling of a principle story but if you ask me this fails to give it justice. There are so many more gems that this book has to offer than just a story about love and sex.

My one complaint about this book is that I wanted to know more about the narrator. I have read that many people feel this way but it is perhaps one of Salter greatest achievements that he is able to disregard this and still have a book that offers so much and does not distract from the story.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review: Club Dead

club dead

GoodReads Summary: Things between cocktail waitress Sookie and her vampire boyfriend Bill seem to be going excellently (apart from the small matter of him being undead) until he leaves town for a while. A long while. Bill's sinister boss Eric has an idea of where to find him, whisking her off to Jackson, Mississippi to mingle with the under-underworld at Club Dead. When she finally catches up with the errant vampire, he is in big trouble and caught in an act of serious betrayal. This raises serious doubts as to whether she should save him or start sharpening a few stakes of her own.

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*Spoiler Alert* I am probably the last person on earth reviewing this book but just in case you haven't read it consider yourselves warned.

 

This is the third in a series of what is now known to be thirteen books. This book is deeper and darker than the first two books. It like the first two books are all exciting and she is in love then bam Bill cheats on her and things go downhill from there. Well not completely downhill she doesn't get killed but you get my drift.

For me reading about this betrayal was painful. I did not realize just how invested I was in Sookie as a character until this happened. I was so pissed at Bill and this is a fictional person but seriously my emotions were as if they were real. Then when I started trying to tell Sookie to not mess things up more by getting involved with Eric, I knew I have become a die hard sookie fan. I will now order ALL books from my library.

In all seriousness though this book takes a darker turn. There is almost no sex in this book and there is Bill who decides to take up with his ex. I liked how this book explored that relationship. The author captured the emotions that are inherent in a betrayal.

Even though I was rooting for her not to I also liked how she showed how the “chemistry” was between Sookie and Eric. It made sense in that she was hurting over Bill to want to betray him back but she doesn’t all the way.

This not “great works of art” by any means but like a good candy bar it is hard to resist. It is great to read between more substantial books.

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