Oooh – I am already excited about this year! I think good books are in store.
Last year I read 25 books, this year I am aiming for 3 a month – or 36 books.
Part of a new book reading determination of mine is: If I don’t like it, I will stop reading it and move on.
I tend to punish myself with books – make myself finish what I started, even if I am bored senseless.
Well, No More!
Twilight – Stephanie Meyer
It’s true, I did begin this book last year – but then I had to get it back to the Library and pay some overdue fines and then forgot all about it. Until, a blogger friend wrote about how she was re-reading the series and loved it.
She was right – this book was fabulous. In fact, it was so good I stayed up all night to finish it. I am really glad I have the 2nd book already and I just requested the 3rd online. Hopefully there won’t be much of a lag between book 2 and the arrival of book 3. However, if there is a 4th in the works – that is going to be some lag!
Don’t let the YA fool you – if you are a fan of fantasy you’ll love it. Even if fantasy isn’t your thing, this might be a book for you. It doesn’t dwell as much on the fantastical as it does on the relationship between the two main characters. Well…you’ll just have to read it yourself to get more info. 😉
New Moon – Stephanie Meyer
Pretty good sequel – another ultra speedy read.
I love Bella & Edward’s complex (yet not) relationship. The blank sections with just the names of the month 😦 They broke my heart.
The section with the Volturi was especially exciting to read. I adore Jacob — and was wishing for his warmth today – it’s freezing here!
Eclipse – Stephanie Meyer
I decided I couldn’t wait for the Library to bring in the 3rd book and I bought it this afternoon – and read it in a day!
I am sure Twilight is my favourite, but this was a close 2nd. Now I just have to wait until August! ack – to read the 4th and final (?) book.
Bella grows up quite a bit in this book – and that entails the usual complications and sadness. But she always has Edward to fall back upon and oh is he steady.
The epilogue is shattering. So, so sad. 😦
Rhett Butler’s People – Daniel McCaig
Wonderful, wonderful book! Honestly, in the beginning it is like discovering Margaret Mitchell’s lost chapters.
Rhett is his rakish and soulful self – he had me laughing out loud. When accosted by 2 thieves he coolly replied “I have one bullet. Who wants to be shot, and who wants his neck broken?” How could he fail to capture any woman’s heart?
At first I was frustrated how often the story diverted to other characters and then Hel-lo it’s called RB’s People! what did I expect? But I soon became engrossed. It is quite interesting to view key events through the eyes & voices of other characters such as Rosemary. The letters Melly sent her were very bold – and still vulnerable.
This book really explores the relationship between Belle Watling & Rhett, and Langston Butler as well. It satisfies a lot of curiosity — see I keep forgetting it is not written by Margaret Mitchell.
The mourning for a way of life, of innocence lost is sharp and ever present. It is at turns melancholy and nostalgic, hopeful and invigorating, tragic and joyful. Everything you would expect in a novel so closely connected to an epic. Every year or so, I have to read Gone With the Wind – this is definitely going to be a book I revisit right along with it.
The Almost Moon – Alice Sebold
This book started so strongly – in fact, it was so upsetting I didn’t know if I would be able to keep reading – and then…it faded away into nothing.
The woman’s mother was so much like my own Nana it was very difficult to read. Her personality, her house, her habits, her relationships, her neighbourhood, her tense past/present with her daughters.
And then suddenly the book became an absurd recounting of childish actions and avoidance of reality/responsibility.
Even though this was a Book Club selection, in keeping with my new policy I did not finish it. Ugh. I recommend avoiding it altogether.
The Great Divorce – CS Lewis
One of many to come, Lost book club choices. A fantastic little book. I devoured it. I have missed CS Lewis and his writing more than I knew. His books are more like conversations with a dear friend – even when they make my head swim.
This is a vivid account of one man’s journey between Hell/Purgatory/Heaven – or is it? It begins right away with no introduction and no common setups, but it doesn’t need them.
It is engrossing and thought provoking – and the similarities to some of the storylines, plot devices and settings are certainly evident in Lost. Whether you watch the show or not, this is a very interesting perspective on prevalent ideas of religious punishment & reward.
Not Wanted on the Voyage – Timothy Findley
Oh this was hard to read. Sometimes it made me feel ill. But it was riveting! A thoroughly captivating tale of the Great Flood from a thoroughly unique perspective – Mottyl, the cat of Noah’s wife.
It’s sad, infuriating, horrifying, depressing and hopeful — how’s that for contrary? It is always interesting and imaginative.
Told in 4 books it shares the narrative is shared between each family member and not a few of the animals- though mainly Mrs. Noyes and Mottyl. Noah is portrayed as a doddering tyrant, drunk on his power over the 7 people aboard the ark – and the numerous animals.
I have to say sometimes reading this felt a little blasphemous to me – makes me feel old to say it – nevertheless, it is a book I was glad to read.
Can You Hear the Nightbird Call? – Anita Rau Badami
This book was brilliant – from India to Vancouver and back – we follow the lives of three women and their families and their surprising connections in the past, present and future.
This was a rarity – a book club selection I really enjoyed! It touched on major events – the rise of Indira Ghandi, her execution and the religious persecution and riots that followed (and preceded) and the Air India tragedy – all of which I vaguely recall from news reports I was too young to appreciate the scope of.
The food, the tangle of relationships/hospitality, the colloquial speech patterns brought back memories of childhood growing up in a part of town affectionately (by some) referred to as New Delhi-cliffe (really Valleycliffe). Of afternoons spent in a friend’s living room, fed and spoiled and served sweetened milk tea by Bebes (grandmas), who taught me some Punjabi words while we did our homework. Fascinated by the spicy smells and the altars and artwork so different from my own orange and brown living room with macramed plant hangers and handpainted ceramics.
Aside from stirring up warm memories, this book also made me wonder about what led these families to leave their homeland and settle here. How it was for them to see the news stories that meant so little to me. How it felt for the Sikh men to be free to walk around the neighbourhood with their kirpans and turbans and not have to fear mob violence — just the ignorant taunts of Canadian school children who knew next to nothing about what these articles signified. (I wasn’t one of those kids but some of my other friends were – and I remember feeling ashamed to know them)
By far the best book I have read in any book club to date.
Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
Boring, slow, predicatable and dirty. Dirty like Waterworld – only muddier and smellier.
I’ve heard such praise for Gaiman’s work I expected a lot more. I kept holding out for it – there were nuggets of original ideas, possibilities within the story. But in the end dull and disappointing was as good as it got.
The strangest thing is that the ending made way for sequels and I found myself wondering where the story went from there. Since I am sure it didn’t improve I won’t find out — unless the tv show comes overseas…
I Am Legend – Robert Matheson
Even though I won’t be seeing this film, I have to wonder how they managed to translate this novella into a Will Smith vehicle. Or into a film at all.
90% of this story takes place within the head of Robert Neville. This is a very intriguing take on the traditional vampire story – a real blend of myth and science fiction. The conclusion is profound.
I won’t say anything more, so I don’t give away too much.
Good In Bed – Jennifer Weiner
This book has the cover of a Shopaholic novel. I was expecting a piece of fluff writing, light hearted, a predictable but a harmless day’s read – it turned out to be so much more. 🙂
The first half was mostly predictable, but the characters are so likable – and for once it is a story about a ‘sizable’ woman who leads a mostly fulfilling life – that I kept on reading. I am so glad I did.
The second half of the book was fantastic – heartfelt and truly engaging. Things did end as tidily as I expected but the path there took more turns than I expected.
I really enjoyed this one.
Drop City – TC Boyle
This was a great read. Told from various perspectives within a commune dedicated to Peace and Love in California. This story questions the ability to achieve true harmony with one another, society, the planet, and within.
While ideals are sought and everpresent in the narrative, the story itself and the individulas are not idealized. It’s a closeup look at the hippie movement from within as the commune is forced to move, and decides to move to Alaska – last bastion of ‘freedom’ in the USA.
In Alaska they meet others who have ‘dropped out’ of society and, like the hippies, they are not all pure of motive.
Having dreamed of living in Alaska, and having traveled to Alaska (I know, from within a luxury liner!) I was worried about the dangers these ‘turned on’ but unschooled revolutionaries might find themselves in — Alaska and California are very different places!
Some of them do indeed find more than they bargained for — imagine the everyday strains of living amongst a group of 20 or more and picture doing that for months at a time inside a tiny cabin while it is dark outside 18 hrs out of the day! what a nightmare. Add to that the extreme weather, predators – man and beast – and you have a story that is hard to put down.
The cover photo is pretty awesome too. 😉
The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield
So, I didn’t think this book was worth the rave reviews I’ve been hearing about it but I did enjoy it. It was a quick read for me. Sometimes the writing felt kind of silly and overly descriptive (I think 3 adjectives/adverbs are plenty – 4 or 5? ridiculous! sorry I am writing this so long after the fact or I would supply an exampe) but when the narrative was in the past I was engrossed.
As a person who works with young children I was intrigued by the way the adults interacted with the twins – especially as it became clearer that these children were more than just temperamental. I thought the story around their parentage was shocking then and now, which contributed to their unique upbringing.
Some of the later plot devices were stretched thin versions of gothic tales and therefore predictable, but the bigger surprise was one I didn’t see coming so I have to give the author that.
Amy and Isabelle – Elizabeth Strout
Since I have next to no time for library visits these days, I’ve taken to reading through our libraries New Book listings each month and requesting books that sound or look interesting. I have found some great reads that way. This wasn’t one of them — how funny is that?
I was indifferent to this story of the strained relationship between a single mother and her teenage daughter who was having an affair with her married Math teacher in a small, small town. So indifferent in fact, that I don’t remember how the book ended right now!
However, some of the settings were so evocative I can recall them vividly. Like the office they worked in, and the co-workers they sat with and the house they lived in. Maybe the people just weren’t that interesting?
A Blade of Grass – Lewis De Soto
Oh boy. This book was so upsetting for me. I mean, I should have realized but I just kept thinking something would happen, someone would intervene.
It is set in South Africa as Apartheid was being instituted on a small out of the way farm, where a recently bereaved woman loses her husband, her income etc. etc.
There is an intricately explored relationship with her and her recently bereaved (see a pattern developing?) kitchen maid that crosses racial boundaries and then recrosses them. Fascinating but ultimately their relationship explodes in an unexpected (by me at least) way that I am still disappointed in.
Toss in sadistic, chauvanistic farm overseer who feels he is wrongfully dismissed and then joins a maruading self made militia and you can see how badly this story is going to end.
Like Amy and Isabelle though, there are scenes that are as vivid as if this was a film I watched – that’s an accomplishment for an author, don’t you think?
The Big Over Easy – Jasper Fforde
I started this book last year and ran out of time before it was due back – I am SO glad I borrowed it again. I was out-loud-if-it-wasn’t-after-midnight-I’d-call-my-friend-to-read-her-this-passage laughing!
Example – Mrs. Dumpty: “Monogamy wasn’t in his wordstock anymore than, anymore than…”
DCI Spratt: “Vocabulary?”
Mrs. Dumpty: “Yes. Monogamy wasn’t in his wordstock anymore than vocabulary is in mine.”
I loved this book! It is full of homonyms, wordplay, fairy tale and nursery rhyme references — oh The Gingerbread Man is a deranged serial killer. He was hard to catch. — I thought this book was delightful and I can hardly wait for the next book, which I think comes out late this year — nope. Site update – it now comes out sometime in the next 3 years! Arrgggh! I guess I’ll have to re-read. That’ll be rough.
The Gaia Book of Organic Gardening
Loved this concise manual on how to garden without pesticides etc. Really useful section on composting and plants to grow just for compost – which I’d never heard of before. That reminds me…I should get some of those…
The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde
Who wouldn’t want to be able to walk right into Jane Eyre and speak with Mr. Rochester? Or have Mr. Rochester come and rescue you? It’s really too bad about that Jane person.
I enjoyed this book – but nowhere near as well as I enjoyed the Nursery Crime book. I’ll read the next (ha ha) book and see how I feel – I may have been biased because of all the positive hype and listings in great reads sections. Yes. I can be that way. I try to fight it but…
The Fourth Bear – Jasper Fforde
Brilliant sequel! As much fun, if not more, than the first. The Gingerbread Man is on the loose, Cuke-ulear power is being secretly developed and the Jellyman cometh.
Tamarind Mem – Anita Rau Badami
This was a disappointment for me. I loved Can You Hear the Nightbird Call so much that my expectations were a little high. I finished this book though, because like Amy & Isabelle & A Blade of Grass the descriptive writing was superbly textured – which is why I stuck with it, despite my new rule (see above).
I never really became attached to any of the characters and this book ended quite abruptly. Jarringly so actually.
If you have read this and not the Nightbird, do yourself a favour and read Nightbird. You won’t regret it.
The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls
I LOVED this book – I am so glad it is this (June) month’s book club selection because there is a lot to talk about.
It is shocking and apalling that any child is raised in the conditions related in this memoir (and this is not a James Frey style memoir either people!). Yet 3 of the 4 children have excelled and from the sounds of things, the family is still connected. That is remarkable. Truly.
Poignant, humourous, tender, violent, heartbreaking and hopeful. This is a story you will not soon forget. Again, my profession influences my response to books and I have to say this woman’s story gives me hope for some of the children I know that live in intolerable homes. The drive of the human spirit can be an awe-inspiring thing.
The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up
More nonfiction – but this reads like a novel. This time the account of a father of 3 firefighter who is injured when a burning roof collapses.
This small book deals with some big emotions. And asks some big questions – about the nature of faith and it’s connection to health, whether or not miracles do happen, and what constitutes a miracle?
There’s No Place Like Here –
I kept waiting for something magical that didn’t happen. Too bad – this story had potential. It’s just sort of embarassing to say that it was about a single girl who was obsessed with missing socks, who became a PI for families of missing people, who then went missing herself and went to a magical land where all missing things go.
Yeah. Enough said.
Me ‘n Emma – Elizabeth Flock
Wow. Wow. One month later and I am still blown away.
This book was impossible for me to put down. I didn’t want to keep reading sometimes, but I could not stop myself. There is such a twist, not a gimicky twist, I am still impressed. I never even suspected and it makes absolute sense.
The subject matter is dicey – if you don’t like unflinchingly real this book is not for you. It is the story of a girl and her little sister doing everything they can to survive their mother’s boyfriend. It is ugly stuff – but again, the tenacity of the human spirit in the tiny bodies of children is incredible and this book is a testimony to that.
I cannot recommend this book more – a perfect choice for a book club discussion.
People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks
This book was amazing. I wish every book I picked up was this good, this vivid, this engrossing. Hey – I was reading it the weekend my brother got married and every lull in my day was spent with this book in hand – the ferry ride never went by so fast!
It is the story about all the people whose lives contributed to the making and preserving of an ancient Hebrew text from the Dark Ages to present day.
Phenomenal! Richly detailed, meticulously researched. Every character is vividly portrayed. I honestly learned quite a bit of history in reading this – some of the same countries & cities as set in The Historian.
Definitely a book worth reading. And re-reading.
Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follet
I am stunned. Stunned nearly speechless. That people like this book! That it is on reading lists and, I hear it was an Oprah pick, is disappointing. Egads.
What can I say? This endless behemoth of a novel sucked my energy and my time. And still I read on. And on and on. Hey – I’m all for long books. When they’re any good at all!
This was a cheesy sketch of a plot that did not know when to end. A harlequin romance gussied up as a historical novel. Honestly, I lost count of how many times I had to read about some man’s prick.
This novel missed it’s calling as a made-for-tv miniseries. I’m telling you. I haven’t shaken my head over a book’s popularity like this since Outlander (and I had the good sense to call that quits after the lady gave birth in the shrubs and then fought the ravening wolves with the tenacity of a terrier – no really, A. Terrier. read it, ok don’t – but skim it – oh, and then her lover was raped by his nemesis – yep, I skimmed too) But I digress.
And someone tell me what the title had to do with the story? The Cathedral is so by the wayside, hidden by heaving bosoms, raping landowners, corrupt church leaders and -what is the opposite of subtle?- secret plans.
Even the patient and faithful Prior Philip is questionable – what sort of ‘holy’ man, when faced with a moral dilemma makes his decision by praying to God to strike him dumb if he is not meant to lie? Well, guess who else makes moral choices this way?
“Dear Lord, the gods have been good to me. As an offering, I present these milk and cookies. If you wish me to eat them instead, please give me no sign whatsoever.” pause “Thy will be done.” munch munch munch. – Homer Simpson
I rest my case.
Twilight – Stephanie Meyer
I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this book re-reading it. I needed something enjoyable after that disastrous Pillars of the Earth!
The moody Washington setting matched our drizzly, cloudy weather that we’ve been having here. I’m hoping that the rest of the series holds up to another read as much as this one did.
Gods Behaving Badly –
Wow. When good ideas go wrong. Terribly wrong.
Ok, technically I didn’t even read this. I read the first 20 or so pages and then skimmed through. Such a shame. I love mythology and this premise was a good one. But too heavy on the cheese factor – daytime fortune telling show aside. Aside from that folks.
The German Bride
So, this is the 3rd book in a short while that deals with the maligning of Jewish people. Unintentional on my behalf, but eye-opening.
This is the story of a young woman who hastily marries a man who takes her to the new frontier of America in the 1800’s. It is about her adjustment to life in a new country and her marriage to a stranger and how the things you wanted to leave behind accompany you – even across oceans.
The Host – Stephanie Meyer
This book was great. More sci-fi than the Twilight series but with a lot of the same core values in her characters – family, love, new beginnings.
I was relieved by how different the characters were from Bella and Edward – when I’d read the preview chapter some months ago they sounded too similar to me.
Still formulating thoughts on this one…sorry. :-p
Watership Down – Richard Adams
I did not enjoy this one the 2nd time as much. It took way too long to get to the good stuff in Italy and it really felt like Bella was using Jacob. I know, she was depressed, desperate & lonely but…he clearly loved her and she let him. She encouraged him. Poor guy.
I have yet to locate my copy of Eclipse…when I do…
Lost in A Good Book – Jasper Fforde
I really liked this book – much better than the first. I was laughing out loud Nursery Crimes style in this one. And I’m so happy Thursday is expecting!
Miss Havisham was particularly funny – along with Joffey (though it might just be his name).
I can hardly wait to start the next (ha ha) book – Thursday is in Reading! Perfection — he really is far too cheekily clever this author.
The Well of Lost Plots – Jasper Fforde
Something Rotten – Jasper Fforde : 5 stars
The Gum Thief – Douglas Coupland
Douglas Coupland has this whole self-important thing that permeates his writing and drives me mad.
I liked Bethany but even she had a shallowness I couldn’t overcome. In the end this was one of the books I didn’t bother finishing. So I likely shouldn’t bother to review it.
New Moon – Stephanie Meyer : 4 stars
Eclipse – Stephanie Meyer : 4 stars
Breaking Dawn – Stephanie Meyer : 4.5 stars
The Sugar Queen – Sarah Addison Allen
Cute little story. Kind of helps me think there are still good and innocent people out there and that love is still possible. Awwww.
Garden Spells – Sarah Addison Allen
Another super sweet little book. Not much to review though. It’s like junk food for the brain.
Goodnight Nobody – Jennifer Weiner
I really detested this book. I expected so much more after reading Good in Bed. I finished reading because I kept thinking a change would occur. But yeah, it didn’t. And I wasted not a few hours on this novel.
Basically it’s a suburban misfit Mom, toying with the idea of infidelity while solving a murder. Yeah. Everyday life.
Even viewing it as total fantasy didn’t help. There was too much of an attempt made to make it seem possible – and it read like an ’89 Sunday Night Movie. Ugh.
In Her Shoes – Jennifer Weiner
The movie stayed pretty true to this book — and I enjoyed the movie version much better. You don’t hear me say that too often!
Outtakes from a Marriage – Ann Leary : 4 stars
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery : 4.5 stars
Anne of Avonlea – LM Montgomery : 4 stars
Anne of the Island – LM Montgomery : 4.5 stars
Anne of Windy Poplars – LM Montgomery : 3.5 stars
Anne’s House of Dreams – LM Montgomery : 3.5 stars
Wesley the Owl – Stacey O’Brien
I LOVED this book. Even while heading relentlessly towards the ending (the only ending books about beloved pets have!) I couldn’t put it down.
I’d never have thought mincing frozen mice/rats would be something I would contemplate doing for a pet — since I can’t even cut up raw chicken for myself — but this owl is incredible. The bond Wesley & Stacey shared is beautiful, and this story is a lovely insight into ‘the way of the owl’.
This would be a great addition to a child’s library I think.
Stormy Weather – Paulette Jiles
Audiobook that took FORever to get to the point. Sheesh. I never would have finished reading this. There were parts I definitely enjoyed — I’ve got a thing for the Dirty Thirties already — characters I found relatable, and scenes that remain vivid 4 months later. But honestly, not something I can recommend.
I think There Will Be Blood is a better way to learn about the oil industry in that time.
Next – Michael Crichton
This book was a lot of fun to listen to; BUT it was really reaching as far as subject matter goes. Though I do think an orangutang who swears in German & French would be awesome!
There were too many characters, too many divergent storylines and too many ‘sympathetic’ experiment subjects. It was hard to remain invested in any one character/storyline.
If you’re looking to generate discussion/thought on where experimental research/science is headed this might be the book for you. Most people scoffed more than I did whenever I brought anything up – just thought I should tell you!
Rainbow Valley – LM Montgomery : 4 stars
Rilla of Ingleside – LM Montgomery : 4 stars
The 19th Wife – David Ebershoff : 5 stars
The Gargoyle – Andrew Davidson
I loved this book! If only I could discover books like this more often. Riveting modern and historical narratives blend together to create memorable characters & settings.
I was even able to overcome my abhorrence for the suffering of burn victims — and this book does not flinch from detailed descriptions of the burning and the treatment! ugh… — and carry on reading. That is how compelling the main character was. This is on par with People of the Book, The Sparrow and Children of God. How I wish I could find more great novels of this quality!
Geurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Marie Ann Shaffer & Ann Barrows
Such a lovely book! I listened to this one too (doing a lot of that this year — now that I have a longer commute) and the various readers and their authentic accents made a it a joy.
This book had everything for me: book lovers, book discussion, Nazi’s (have you seen Ricky Gervais’ standup routine?) intrigue, romance, comedy of everyday life.
And I learned so much. I had no idea the Channel Islands played such a role in WWII. The many ways people found to survive, and sometimes thrive, while occupied and then the aftermath of the war’s end were endlessly fascinating.
While some stories were heartbreaking, others were hysterical and always there was woven a thread of the indomitable human spirit and its ability to conquer evil with the good and the humane.
I heartily reccommend this read!
Made in the USA – Billie Letts
What a major disappointment. The only reason I kept on with this story was that it was read by a young actress who really took on her role.
I liked Where the Heart Is and was expecting the same sort of hokey feel-goodedness (I know – not a real word) that book had. Yeah, I guess it was there but it took til the 8th of 9 cd’s to get to it. Before that there were a lot of distasteful people and actions and yuck. Not such a good story.
Add in a circus and well, hokey takes on a whole new level!
Helpless – Barbra Gowdy
Whenever a book is nominated for a prize I kind of expect more of it…strange I know.
This was a fast read. But it didn’t really ever take you anywhere. I think it would be a great one for debating with other readers since it is told partially from the point of view of a pedophile who is warring within himself not to act on his inclination — though he still has kidnapped a girl and imprisoned her in his basement…
What I found most shocking was his girlfriend’s role. How long it took her to see what was really going on and then to act on her realization. Crazy stuff.
I guess I was disappointed because I expected more to happen. This was mostly an interior life type of story. I am also uncomfortable with the concept of generating empathy for pedophiles – it feels dangerous and undermining to me. I think there are already too many judges & political types who are willing to take extenuating circumstances into account when dealing with punishing/restricting pedophiles. Truly frightening.
When You Are Engulfed in Flames – David Sedaris
Partially hilarious – partially uncomfortable. All David Sedaris! And it was the audio version read by the author. Not sure if that helped though… 😉
The story of their babysitter with the backscratcher monkey claw was my favourite — her bizarre friends wandering in and out of her running commentary on life and David’s response was priceless.
I also enjoyed the burning mouse/Only in New York story.
One Fifth Avenue – Candace Bushnell
Not the most highbrow of choices by any means – but definitely better than Four Blondes (which I never finished).
I am pleasantly surprised at how up-to-date Bushnell’s characters are. I do worry about this generation of have’s represented by Lola Fabrikant, and their utter lack of morality — or even comprehension of the concept of morality – or heck, their awareness that there is such a thing as morality! Bushnell certainly captured that crowd here.
This was far too long a book – but I waded through the audio version nonetheless. I only reccommend it as a diversion from real life — unless your real life is comprised of multi-billionaire’s who block your attempt to have air-con installed in your heritage building. The heartless bastards!
Watchmen – Alan Moore
This is supposedly the Graphic Novel for people who don’t read Graphic Novels. And, I guess it kind of is…since I read it. 😉
I thought it was more or less predictable — there were a lot of hidden clues in the artwork I guess — and not too original. The sub-story was pretty grim stuff. I felt uneasy throughout my reading and I thought the ending was terrible.
I’m still pretty likely to go see the movie version when it is released. From trailers the vibrancy of the book is well captured. That and…Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Ah yes. Dimples. And melty brown eyes….
I was amazed at how up to date the storyline was – the fomenting of war for profit, Afghanistan etc. etc.
Also enjoyed seeing the underbelly of a Superhero’s life – and the reception of them, as bleak as that was.
Definitely a food-for-thought type of story. Surprising perhaps for a comic book — then again, maybe not. Hard for me to say since I don’t generally read them!
Joker – Ranulfo
Excellent modernization and youth-ifi-cation of Hamlet. Loved the choppy writing and the bouncing narrative.
Loved the clever update of the names too, eg: Leah for Ophelia & Ray for Horatio.
Definitely a fun extra to consider alongside Hamlet.
Hope in Shadows – Photo’s and Stories of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside
Wow! This is some book. I found I could not put it down – even though some of the stories tore me apart. There was such an undercurrent of hope and determination and self awareness that it was just enough to keep me from emotional devastation.
Certainly not a light read/view. The pictures are incredible. And the life stories/glimpses that go with it are gut wrenching.
Well worth a read!
The Hour I First Believed : Wally Lamb
The Heretic’s Daughter : Kathleen Kent – 5 stars
Tender Morsels – Margo Lanagan : 4 stars
First Time – Meg Tilly
You know, I could see where she was trying to go with this but…she doesn’t quite get there. Things are a little too tidy and the teens are a little too simply presented.
It might be good for generating discussion between a parent and a teen – or a peer group of teens. But…it is just so darned simple. I don’t know. I don’t think it would work. Maybe for the slightly dumb adolescent? Is that really awful to say? yeah. it is.
I’ve always liked Meg Tilly – ever since Agnes of God. Brilliant movie! But I don’t know that I would recommend this book to anyone.