Thursday, November 29, 2012

Global Literature - Weeks 7-10

Mini Reviews of the last two books in the semester!

Love in the Time of CholeraLove in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this book, but it was a bit disturbing.  The whole romance between senior citizens...yeah that didn't go over so well with me.

I think I enjoyed it more because I had to analyze it for class. Having to break it down and look at meaning and everything gave me a different way to look at the story.  If not for this, I think some of the descriptions would have had me closing this book and not picking it back up.  The same can be said for Midnight's Children.

Midnight's ChildrenMidnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

OMG I feel like I've been through a war reading this book. I don't know how some of my classmates said it was their favorite book of the semester.

There was so much going on in this story.  I think an abridged version was needed for me.  There was just too much talk of excerment, and bodily fluids and stuff.  If you could reach into a book and harm a character, it would have been done with this book and these characters.

Like with Love in the Time of Cholera, it helpped that I had to break down the story.  This is the book for my final paper/presentation.  So I ened up just reading for information that I needed.  Again if not for this I think I would have closed the book and not picked it back up.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Color Coded Reading Challenge - Yellow

Yellow FlagYellow Flag by Robert Lipsyte
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The last few YA books I've picked up have been directed at boys.  I must say, they are a refreshing break from the drama/love stories of the YA I have been reading.  They seem to focus on a older teen boy who needs to make a choice between two things and they aren't little things, they are major life changing decisions.

In Yellow Flag, Kyle needs to decide if he's going to keep racing with his family or keep pursuing his music.  The race scenes were great, I couldn't put the book down.  Not being a big race fan (I've been known to watch a handful of laps of a handful of races) it was a great look at the inside workings of a team/car.

As great as those scenes were, I got thrown a few times when the POV changed from 3rd to 1st person.  Normally when I see those changes there is a font change or the changed POV is italicized.  Not so in this book, and there was no warning, it was one sentence to the next in the same paragraph.  Things like that just throw me off.

The other thing that bothered me was the ending. Not going to spoil it, but I didn't care for the way the book ended.

I'm interested in reading more of Robert Lipsyte's books.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving Quote

Coffee And Kung Fu

 "Happy kill an Indian and steal his land because God told you to day."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Global Literature - Weeks 6

Wide Sargasso Sea: A Norton Critical EditionWide Sargasso Sea: A Norton Critical Edition by Jean Rhys
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After giving myself some time to dwell on it, I had to up my rating of this book.  I think this book was my favorite of this class.

This book is written as a sort of prequel to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.  It really changes your opinions of Bertha and Rochester (or just mine).  I always felt bad for Bertha, having your husband lock you away in the attic because you went crazy, now I really feel bad for her when you read Rhys' back story of how she ended up the crazy woman locked in the attic.  I had felt bad for Rochester for having the first wife that wasn't the love of his life and who went crazy; I no longer feel bad for Rochester!  Well, I guess I do, but just not as much as I did before reading this novel.

Being a big fan of Jane Austen, it's almost required (in a sense) to not be a fan of the Brontes.  Charlotte didn't like Jane, just look at the results of a Google search for Charlotte Bronte vs. Jane Austen! If a book like this had been written about one of Jane's works.  A book that changes how I view (possibly) beloved characters I would be very upset.  I can't find myself getting very upset about having a changed perspective of Rochester.

Bertha (according to Rhys) starts out her life as Antoinette Cosway.  Life isn't easy for her; her father dies, her mother kind of loses it, they lose their money, her mother remarries, they lose their house, her brother dies and her mother goes crazy.  Antoinette ends up living in a convent until she's 18 and then her stepfather marries her off to a man who is supposed to be Edward Rochester.  He doesn't really want to marry her, but he needs her money. So it's a bad marriage and it just doesn't get good for either of them.  It ends with Antoinette now Bertha (Rochester changes her name) crazy and living in the attic. 

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Color Coded Reading Challenge - Brown

Brown-Eyed GirlBrown-Eyed Girl by Mariah Stewart
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I read romance, but I tend to stay away from romantic suspense, it's just not my thing.  I find too often that the suspense is just a catalysis to throw the characters together with out ever really contributing to the plot.  There are a few authors who write really great suspense stories and oh yea there's a lot of romance.  Mariah Stewart is now one of those authors I'll read for this reason.

I picked up the book because it was the only "brown" titled book that sounded interested in my library system. The plot seemed like it could have been the flip side of a Criminal Minds episode, and I really like that show.

Anyway Leah's sister Missy disappeared forever ago and now this serial killer is contacting her with information about her sister's disappearance.  Before she can get any information out of him he's killed in jail (shortly before his execution).  So Leah goes to see Ethan who wrote a book on the serial killer.  She gets to his place, he's not there and she kind of falls for his family.  Ethan is not please to see her, but they come to terms and he'll help her the best he can...and this is where the whole suspense kicks in and completely hooked me.

There were great sub plots and secondary characters.  I like who we get the killer's perspective but I would have liked maybe a little bit more towards the end with the twist.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Late Halloween Themed Post about Werewolfs

In honor of Halloween I had wanted to read some appropriately themed books. (This post is late due to Super Storm Sandy and my own laziness.)

 Moon ShadowsMoon Shadows by Nora Roberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just reading Wolf Moon for my Nora Roberts Reading Challenge. I have read everything published since 2004 (except for the books that haven't been released yet).

I have to say I like how Nora Roberts seems to write these male characters who just worm their way into the woman's life.  Simone wants to keep her distance since she's been turned into a werewolf but Gabe just nudges his way into her life.  Together they end up working on a way to cure Simone of being a werewolf.

Personally it's the first time I've read this concept of trying to cure the werewolf.  I've seen it done in TV shows and it never really goes far, but I like the way Nora worked with the concept.  Simone had been working on it but she just needed Gabe.  A fresh set of eyes, a medical background, and a personal connection to make it all that more important to succeed.

Forever Werewolf: Forever Werewolf\Moon KissedForever Werewolf: Forever Werewolf\Moon Kissed by Michele Hauf
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(I received an ebook copy from NetGalley)

I haven't read Michele Hauf before but it seems that she has created her own little paranormal world filled with vampires and werewolves. This caused some problems with understanding some back story which put a hitch in the plot of Forever Werewolf and a little less so in Moon Kissed.  I think the couples worked well together but I could have used just a little more build up to the relationship in Moon Kissed.
- small spoiler below -
There was one thing in each story that just didn't work for me.  In Forever Werewolf Tryst has this kind of snowboarder dude inner dialogue persona and it just didn't seem to fit with this serious lone wolf guy he's supposed to be. In Moon Kissed, the whole combo he's a werewolf and now she's a vampire thing just bothered me, I think the story would have been great otherwise.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Trailer Thursday - Madly in Love with ME

Madly in Love with ME - Self Love Guidebook Trailer

Self love author Christine Arylo releases the official self love guidebook - practical, tangible and fun ways to truly love yourself, for real and for keeps.
I don't know if I'll really get this book, but it's one that will be added to my list of books that I'll consider.  I'm picky about which self help books I'll pick up, the writing style of the author has to sound like me.  I want to read the book and feel as if I'm telling myself these things, as if I'm pushing myself to make the changes and helping myself.