Sunday, January 27, 2008

Summers with the Bears

I finished this book in a day! I loved it! Being from Minnesota and loving the North Shore, there is no way I couldn't love it. I also LOVE bears. This reminded me of something I would do. I know the morals are a bit screwed up and people shouldn't be leaving food out for bears and such, but how could they resist? Granted, this book was very honest. He knew that what he was doing was questionable and let the read know that and decide for themselves. I also like how he didn't claim to be an expert or a scientist, but this was just about his and his wife's experiences. All of these bears had unique personalities and it was great that the Becklund’s thought to write down these thoughts and experiences. The ending was sad, but as we know, these are wild animals and they can be unpredictable. This book is a true testament to the power of human-animal interaction and relationships.

The Myth of Me and You

I am not sure what to think of this book to be honest. I know I didn't like the ending. I guess I should have thought it would be something like it was, tying in the whole "myth" theme. I did however like the whole idea that relationships with people who have ended are almost like myths. How do we know they really existed sometimes? I have often had that same feeling of people in my past, thinking, maybe I just made them up?
I did however, also like the characters. Sonia's mother in particular I thought was a really fascinating character and so was the relationship between Sonia and her mother. I thought that was a fantastic part of this book.
I hated however, that this book didn't focus more on the relationship more between the two main characters. Why do men always have to be involved? Does it always have to be about them? It made it feel too "chick-lit-y" for me. The plot was pretty good and the mystery of it all kept me reading. I really wanted to know what was in the package. I was sadly disappointed by what was in it, though. The ending was more of a let down than anything, I guess. But it wasn't half-bad. But it wasn't anything to write home about either.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Eat, Pray, Love Part 2

I loved this book! I wasn't sure what I was going to think, maybe that it was going to be this cutesy, look at me-I traveled around the world-during a mid-life crisis thing, but it was SO far from that.

The writing style of Gilbert, in my mind, is almost flawless. She tells it like it is, but is funny when appropriate, sappy when appropriate. She is just very REAL. I loved that.

The book's layout was wonderful. Gilbert really let the reader understand the new environments she was in. She shared all the details of the people, the culture, the history, the food. Everything you would want to know. She did her research and brought forth this beautiful, beautiful memoir.

All of the things that happened to her in the book can be hard to imagine, as in, how could she be so luckily? But at the same time, isn't that the point? That these things did happen to her? That maybe karma was on her side? (or whatever you want to believe in?)

I thought this book was perfect in almost every way. While I was reading it I found myself with this calmness over me. I wanted to absorb the whole book and not rush through it. I actually didn't want it to end. I hope that maybe someday she was write more about what happened to her after this journey was over. Or maybe, it's better left unsaid.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Eat, Pray, Love

I am reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I am adoring this book. So much so, that I don't want it to end. I don't usually find myself dog-earing pages or underlining much when I read, but I have in this book. A lot. I read something in the book this morning that I had to make note of.

"Hindus see the universe in terms of karma, a process of constant circulation, which is to say that you don't really "end up" anywhere at the end of you life -- not in heave or hell -- but just get recycled back to the earth again in another from, in order to resolve whatever relationships or mistakes you left uncomplted last time. When you finally achieve perfection, you graduate out of the cycle entirely and melt into The Void. The notion of karma implied that heaven and hell are only to be found here on earth, where we have the capacity to create them, manufacturing either goodness or evil depending on our destinies and our characters."

And a bit later --

"This is the supreme lesson of karma -- take care of the problems now, or else you'll just have to suffer again later when you screw everything up the next time. And the repetition of suffering -- that's hell. Moving out of that endless repetition to a new level of understanding -- there's where you'll find heaven"

This struck such a huge chord in me, I am can't even explain it. It just makes so much sense I can bearly comprehend. I have never been much of a religious person and I doubt I ever will be, but this, I understand.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Burn Journals

I just finished The Burn Journals by Brenty Runyon. This book wasn't half bad. I am not sure I really liked the pace of the book. I mean, I read it quite freely, and I didn't have to think very hard, but felt like there could have been more.... It was written from the view point of a 14 year old, which was enlightening and annoying all at the same time. I was kind of hoping this book would be a little more, ah, intense? I am not really sure how to explain it. Runyon how ever is a very brave strong person. He never makes excuses for what he did to himself. He just keeps living. I liked that this book wasn't about "poor me" but it just told it like it was. That was inspiring. But, I also wonder how he was able to remember the details he did writing this book 10 years later. It makes some of it a bit hard to believe. Not that I don't believe he had those particular feelings, but some of the details I am sure were added or made up. I mean he was writing like a 14 year old when he was 24, you know? It made me a little leary. It is interesting to hear about how much time he spent in various hosptials and how long his recovery was, however. Being an adult, I wonder how much his treatment cost, being in the hospital for 10 months an all.. and nothing like that was mentioned at all. Anyhow, it kept my interest and it mildly interesting.

Next Up: Eat, Pray, Love.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Almond

My first book of 2008 finished!

I just read The Almomd by Nedjma.

Honestly, I am not sure what to make of this book. First, it took me a while to figure out where this story took place; (Turkey? I believe..). It was not what I expected. It was erotic and crude all at the same time. It was a nice change of pace from what I am used to. Nedjma is a fantastic story tell and I was happy to see a novel written about this subject from a Middle Eastern woman. Very liberating. I have to admit I stopped reading at about page 185 or so. It was getting a bit old. It didn't seem like it was really going anywhere... though I may have missed something. I did however like how the story was told; alternating between basically Bhadra's former life and her new life. I also enjoyed the story line with the aunt. I however got a little bored with Driss and the lesbians. It was just a bit much for me. Over all, it was a nice change of pace, but not the greatest thing I have ever read.

Next Up: The Burn Journals