Monday, July 30, 2007


I finished The First Verse (sort of) on Thursday.

I was really hoping that this book would be me all excited like the Secret History did. I was sadly disappointed. The characters were a bit lack-luster for me and I really started to just not care about them. I got bored. I also didn't find it very realistic. At first the basic idea is intriguing -- using random excerpts from books to answer questions, but then it just all fell apart for me. The author could have totally made it extraordinary, but it just imploded on itself. The book just dragged on and I kept saying to myself just hurry up already! Sadly I gave up around page 200. I don't even care what happened next...


Then however I picked up Sickened by Julie Gregory.

I finished this book in a day and half. It was fascinating. Granted the writing style was pretty simple but also eloquent. I was amazed by the story. I love memoirs and this was no different. I just grimaced when Julie described some of the procedures she had to go through. I find it hard to believe that someone could do these things to their child. I wanted to cry when Julie went back after recovering only to find out her mom was doing it again to new children. I recently logged on to Julie Gregory's website searching for an update on the case against her mother, but was disappointed when there was nothing there. But in the end I found the book a very satisfying read.

Next Up: The Noodle Maker

Thursday, July 26, 2007

One Year

On August 8th it will be one year since I started my goal. Accordingly, I should have read 36.5 books by then. I am currently finishing book 34. Not have half bad. If wouldn't have picked a couple of pretty long books I might have been exactly on target. I am okay with where I am at. If I keep it up, I will finish right on time.

I am about 100 pages from finishing The First Verse. It's okay. Nothing to get too excited about. I was hoping it would be more similar to The Secret History. I mean it is actually pretty similar, but it isn't getting me as excited. I should be finished shortly.

In other news, because I like projects and organizing so much, (yes, I know I am obsessive) I have decided to categorize all of my books into 25 categories. (On librarything I have more tags than that). I am going to go through ALL of my books and mark them accordingly. (Partly because my landlord is making our building clean out the basement and label all of our stuff or she will throw it out. So this gives me a chance to go through all my boxes of books down there). I might have trouble putting all the books into these categories, but I am going to try. Each book is going to be allowed up to two categories. They are as follows:

1. Memoirs
2. Classics
3. Middle Eastern Lit
4. Asian Lit
5. Latino Lit
6. Travel
7. Current Fiction/21st Century Lit
8. Beatles
9. Southwestern Lit
10. Outdoor/Nature
11. Poetry/Drama
12. African American Lit
13. Chick Lit
14. Holocaust
15. Animals/Pets
16. Misc. Non-Fiction
17. Teen/Children
18. Humor
19. Teaching/Education
20. Books/Reading
21. African Lit
22. Reference
23. 9/11 and Katrina (I know, strange grouping them together, but it was all I could think of)
24. History
25. 20th Century Lit (I know this will probably over-lap with #7 a bit)

We will see how it goes....

Monday, July 16, 2007

Burned Alive

I found the prose very simple (no surprise since the author herself was illiterate until she was able to move to Europe and that it was translated, I am guessing from French). With that said, it didn't detract from the horrific, yet moving story.

I found Souad probably one of the most courageous women I have ever encountered. I know personally that I probably wouldn't have been able to survive what she went though, especially at such a young age. Hats of to Jaquline who was also very courageous and brave in dealing with this situation. It's people like her who are the true heroes in this world.

I still find it hard to grasp that these terrible, awful things are happening in this world that we live in. That crimes like these are still acceptable. How is this possible? There are so many people in the world who are oblivious to the fact that these things are still happening. It makes me very sad.

Next up: The First Verse -- Berry McCrea

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I thought I was very much going to enjoy this book. I loved the whole first section on Lincoln. There were so many great facts and tidbits that I just had to underline. Then once I hit the whole Garfield section I just got so bored. Maybe because I couldn't care less about Garfield (sorry) or maybe I was just burnt out on Vowell's writing style. Sometimes I found it very pompus. Other times quite funny. I was annoyed how she spoke of her "phobias" so often...isn't that a bit more information than we all wanted to know? Maybe some day I will pick it up again.

Next up:

Burned Alive -- Souad

Sunday, July 8, 2007

What is the What

Okay-- Dave Eggers always seems to impress me. What is the What was fantastic! I loved it. I really plan on doing some research on Valentino after I figured out that yes, he is a really person. I wonder how he feels about the final version of the book. I know he states in the introduction that yes, it's a fictional work it is based on his life. I am just a curious person. I wonder how many of the events in the book really took place and how many were made up by Eggers for the story. (even though I am sure things very similar happened.) Because I personally work with refugees on a daily basis I found this book even more fascinating. It makes me wonder more about some of the things my students have been through. I also wonder how Eggers met Valentino in the first place and how it came about that he would be the once to write this story. Anyhow, I loved the story, I loved the writing style and how it was laid it. Fantastic all around.

Next up:

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell