Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gone Girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

If you see this book, and you think 'Maybe'. Just say to yourself, 'NO' then put it down and walk away. 

You're welcome. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

I read the first chapter, and made it halfway through the second. It got pretty graphic quickly, and I didn't care for the subject matter (babies dying, lots of sex)...no thanks. I guess I shouldn't be surprised  Oprah liked it. I'm glad it turned me off right away, not half-way through when I was already hooked on the story. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Snow Child

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

I've been looking forward to reading this book for awhile, and it was exactly what I hoped for. A very light read, it was simple and lovely. 

The story follows an older couple from the East, who are in Alaska in the 1920's attempting to homestead, trying to run from the heartache of losing their only child (a stillborn) ten years before. 

The two drift further apart, even though their Alaskan adventure was meant to unify them, but they are each dealing with their grief individually. 

What brings them together is a seemingly mythical little girl that appears in their lives with the first snow of the season, and is a elusive and mysterious as the nature around them. 

A very beautifully written pseudo-fairy tale. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Flight Behavior

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

I know I have mentioned my love affair with BK before, but it deserves another little nod here. Her latest, Flight Behavior was a good read. I'll just paste the goodreads description, then give my two cents:

Flight Behavior transfixes from its opening scene, when a young woman's narrow experience of life is thrown wide with the force of a raging fire. In the lyrical language of her native Appalachia, Barbara Kingsolver bares the rich, tarnished humanity of her novel's inhabitants and unearths the modern complexities of rural existence. Characters and reader alike are quickly carried beyond familiar territory here, into the unsettled ground of science, faith, and everyday truces between reason and conviction.

Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at seventeen. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she has settled for permanent disappointment but seeks momentary escape through an obsessive flirtation with a younger man. As she hikes up a mountain road behind her house to a secret tryst, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media. The bewildering emergency draws rural farmers into unexpected acquaintance with urbane journalists, opportunists, sightseers, and a striking biologist with his own stake in the outcome. As the community lines up to judge the woman and her miracle, Dellarobia confronts her family, her church, her town, and a larger world, in a flight toward truth that could undo all she has ever believed.

Flight Behavior takes on one of the most contentious subjects of our time: climate change. With a deft and versatile empathy Kingsolver dissects the motives that drive denial and belief in a precarious world.

O.K. so I prefer more of the relationship/inner struggle that the main character, Dellarobia, was going through (reminded me of Kaye Gibbons...I love allll her books, she knows how to give women a VOICE). Not so much the science stuff (but it was still interesting) that reminded me of State of Wonder by Ann Patchett, which I really liked too. Flight Behavior was more than just a commentary on global warming. Sometimes the characters got a little long-winded, and some of it was a little cliche, but it's worth reading. 

If you've read any Barbara Kingsolver (I know some of you have) I would rank this about on par with The Bean Trees. It was WAY better than Prodigal Summer and The Lacuna but nowhere as good as The Poisonwood Bible, which was just on another level completely. I liked reading fiction from her that was along the same lines as her more personal non-fiction: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Since this book was about farmers in the Appalachia's, and in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Barbara and her family are trying to be farmers in the Appalachia's. 

Anyway, on to the next! Hooray for books that make you want to keep on reading, and not give up and watch television. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
A Novel
Robin Sloan

   I just finished this book a couple minutes ago, and I wanted to hurry up and blog about it, before I lose my momentum. I really enjoyed this read. It was quick, easy, and entertaining. Because I read a lot of YA fiction, I liked that this was a novel who's target audience was adults, but it read very much like YA. Which to me, goes to show that you can write lighthearted fiction, with a great plot and good characters, and have it appeal to adults. 

   The story begins when a young guy ends up with a gig working the night-shift at a mysterious bookstore in San Francisco. From there the story takes off, and moves at a nice clip. Clay (the young guy) along with a colorful cast of really likable (if a tad underdeveloped) characters set off to solve and/or protect the mystery of the bookstore. It takes a science fiction turn, and also has a lot of other nerdy-ness thrown in (all inserted rather tongue-in-cheek), so I really liked that. Another thing that appealed to me is how it's all about books! Of course readers are going to like that! 

Anyway, perfect weekend read. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats....and a couple others...

  Well, once again I got derailed, and just fell off the blogging band-wagon. Now that this has become a pattern for me, I was able to trace the problem back to the roots. I feel like blogging about what I'm reading, when I'm reading something I really love. I don't like blogging about books I didn't care for. So when I read a couple duds consecutively, I give up my blog. That being said, here is what derailed me:

Sorry Potter fans, I did not care for this one at ALL. I'm not sure how it's possible to introduce a cast of like 20+ characters, and have all of them be so awful. Really, every single character was terrible. And I guess to J.K. writing a book for grownups just means all the characters have to be revolting, and throw in tons of profanity, drugs, and explicit sexual innuendo. Um, last time I checked, it was still o.k. to have a good plot/story line in adult fiction. Sheesh. 

I guess this would be a pretty good example of how I feel about profanity and sex in books, because some books need to be pretty raw, others, not so much. Which leads me to my next read:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a pretty graphic read, but I also felt like it was a pretty accurate portrayal of a high school existence. At first it seems like a pretty simple coming-of-age novel, but as the layers begin to peel away, it tackles some way deeper issues the characters are dealing with (domestic violence, coming out, child molestation). I would say read this one at your own risk. Its a tiny little book, but it took me awhile to finish it because I kept putting it down, but I kept going back, and finally made it through. I wouldn't say I'm recommending it....but...if you want to, go ahead. If that makes any sense at all. 

This one was a little gem, now I want to go buy it for my library. A beautiful story about the power and longevity of true love. A father disappears  and his grown daughter goes on a search to find him that uncovers a tale of his life she never fathomed. Has elements of Cutting for Stone and The Painted Veil, if you liked either of those, but it's a much sweeter story.

Also really loved this one. It's hard tale about slavery. It's not Roots or anything, but it was a good story.

I'm comfort reading these two right now, and they are like a warm cup of tea/cozy sweater/a hug...love my A. McCall Smith! 

And I'm waiting for a tidy list I have reserved at the library right now. How fast I blog about them will probably depend on how much I like them. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

One Thousand White Women: the Journals of May Dodd

One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus

Ahhhh, what to say about this book. What to say. It's been on my radar for awhile, just because I always see it when I'm browsing the best-sellers at Target. Also, my local mommy book club read it awhile back (I never actually started attending the club, when the first three books they chose were The Help, the Hunger Games, and The Book Thief) not that I had a problem with the books themselves, I just wanted to read something that I hadn't read forever ago, and had already flushed out talking about with just about everyone. I didn't realize that in 2012 there were people who still hadn't read those books! I'm sure all of you three people who still check this blog out read them long ago! 

Ok, sorry, I'm trying to put off reviewing this silly, silly book. Let me just start by saying, I love historical fiction. Or historical novels in general. This book was sooooo ridiculous! It was so historically inaccurate, and so obviously written by a man, it was laughable. There were so many cringe-worthy moments, it made me so happy I wasn't at that book group discussion! 

I know the title makes it seem like a story about the Romney recruitment process (just kidding people! GO MITT!) The premise is actually about a girl named May, who is locked away in the loony-bin by her blue-blood family for living with guy and having two kids with him. She signs up for a super-secret government program to marry Native American Indians, to get out of the asylum. 

I found the book very racist in his depiction of Native Americans. It was like it was written by someone living in that time, suffering from the prejudices of the era. I really can't  believe someone in this day-and-age would paint them in such a fashion. It was just as offensive how he wrote his main character, May Dodd. She really was the worst character EVER. She finds herself headed West, into an unknown world, and she's just looking to hook up with the soldiers at the fort, en route? Her words are written in letter and journal form, and it was just so stupid to read her mocking letters to her sister, putting her down, and laughing about her own sexual exploits, but then tossing in a little 'I miss my kids' at the end of each letter to make it seem like she has substance. Then the journal entries, where she comes across like one of the 'mean girls' in high school. And wants to dedicate time to discussing penis size....really? Ahhhh, it makes me think women who actually lived on the plains, or with Indians, would be rolling in their graves. 

Ok, I will give you an example (albeit, a graphic one) of what a racist perv. the author is...So he goes into detail about the women finally consummating their marriages with the Indians, and he can't get enough of talking about the Native Americans favorite sexual position, since that's the only way they know how to do it, cause their only example is by watching animals....ummmmm, I was like, did he really just write that? And then all the women run to each other the next day to discuss  how they liked the kinky Indian sex. Oh my. Ok, I'm not going to waste anymore time writing about this asinine book (no pun). 

So you know the foodie books, Eat THIS Not THAT? I'm going to do a little favor for you and make it a 

Read THIS, Not THAT:

Here are some AMAZING books, some are autobiographical, they put Mr. Fergus' book to complete shame, and in juxtaposition show it for the trash it is. 

Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart 

This book shows the true capability of women. Actual letters of experiences of the author, it will amaze you what she does! Getting stuck in a snowstorm, making camp, and hunting for a meal, all with her three year old daughter in tow! And she acts like it's all in a day's work, and it was. 

My Antonia by Willa Cather

Oh Willa Cather! Read everything by her. You must. One of the greatest American authors. My Antonia is my favorite, there is a woman with A VOICE. 

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Probably the books that made me love reading about the time period so much. And that they were HER stories, I just loved that! They also made me want to live in a sod house. All of the series must be read. Is is weird I didn't like the TV show?

These is my Words by Nancy E. Turner

It's not an autobiography, but it feels like one. I was thrilled when I found out there were more books in this series, none were as good as the first, but it was still fun to see the story continue. 

 Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

The most darling this about this book, is that it is told from the perspective of a 14 year old boy, about his Grandfather and his relationship with a much younger woman.

Peace out folks! I have some reading to do! 

Is it a spoiler to tell you I'm working on J.K. Rowleys new grown-up book the Casual Vacancy, and also Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close?


Is it a spoiler to tell you I'm going to review The Perks of Being a Wallflower next???