Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Bright Forever

Okay.. so I am way behind here... a lot has been going on in the last few months... including getting married! Now that it's all over... time to get back to reading. Oh... and I got a Kindle.... which.... oh, man. I must say I love!

Anyhow, The Bright Forever.

You know, I don't even really have a lot to say here. I didn't really like this book. I kind of figured out what was going to happen... and in the end I was right. I was kind of hoping I wasn't right, but I was. That was disappointing. The writing was okay, but I couldn't sympathize with any of the characters. I didn't like any of them... but yet I finished the book even though I didn't want to. Maybe I wasn't supposed to like the characters? I am not really sure.

This book slightly reminded me of The Lovely Bones... which I didn't like.....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Kid

I was so excited for this book. I hate to say I was disappointed, but I was, slightly. I was so excited because I absolutely LOVED Push. (I still do!) It is one of my favorite books. I was even more excited when I heard Sapphire was coming to Minneapolis. I made the mistake of not finishing the book before I went to hear her speak. She was AMAZING, but it kind of ruined the rest of the book for me. I had read about 3/4 of the book and after I heard her speak I didn't really have any desire to finish reading it. She gave away the ending and that was that for me. J.J. was a strange character to me. I don't think I really liked him. I wasn't really rooting for him. He wasn't a nice guy -- he was messed up and proceeded to mess up other people. I was also so sad that Precious was killed off in the first page! I loved her so much from Push and I wanted her to succeed. Yes, this book had it's redeeming qualities, but I did not nearly enjoy it as much as Push.

The Darkest Child

This book was similar in the vein of The Help, but much more raw and gritty. This book has scenes in that I will never forget. They were shocking and harsh. The characters all had a lot of depth to them. They grew and they changed. I enjoy books about this period in American history. This was a great addition to it. It was really well written and I would love to read anything else that Delores Phillips has to offer

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Girls of Riyadh

This book was pretty much fluff, even though I admit it kept me entertained. It was pretty much chick-lit about Saudi women. On the back it says, "Imagine Sex and the City if the city in question were Riyadh," and that is exactly what this book was. I admit, I am a fan of Sex and the City, so I could even picture of which of the four women in the book compared to the characters in Sex in the City. Again, not much too this book -- but it kept me entertained until the end.

Half and Life -- Darin Strauss

The book packed a powerful punch being so short. A lot of people spend time thinking about the actual victim in a tragedy like this, along with the family. This book turned it around and focused on the survivor turned victim of the tragedy. It's quite powerful really to think and see the other side of the coin. The one incident utterly and completely changed the life of Darin Strauss. From that day on a day didn't pass when Celine, a person her hardly knew before that day. He hid this fact from the world very well, but it was eating at him every single day. It's funny to think how many people are walking around out there with something similar eating at them that they think no one else would be able to understand. The sad thing is, that just isn't true. People are living with tragedies just like this, or illness that changed their lives, even though now it seems that there is nothing wrong with them. I am sure this book will help many people cope and hopefully encourage them to find someone else out there to talk to about it.

The Zigzag Way

This book was interesting. I absolutely love the style of writing. It was vivid and really beautiful. It had a magical realism touch to it, which I loved. The story on the other hand seemed to mirror it's title. It zig-zagged all over the place. I understand what the author was getting at, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if the story just focused on one set of characters instead of the three. Or, if the book was longer had more time to focus on the characters. There was a lot of depth for the characters in such a short bit of text! But I could have kept on reading about each of them long after the story stopped. I was particularly intrigued by the character of Dona Vera. I loved her! I wish there was a whole book just based on her.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Night -- Elie Wiesel

It's taken me a few days to digest this book. I have been meaning to read this for sometime and I finally sat down and read it in one sitting. I couldn't put it down. Stunning and upsetting all in one. I know other people have probably said this before, but one of the most powerful books about the Holocaust that I have read. This one is going to sit with me for a long time. I am now interested in reading this follow up called All Rivers Run to the Sea to see what his life was like after the war.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nomad -- Ayaan Hirsi Ali

I have mixed feeling about Hirsi Ali and this book. I really enjoyed Infidel and it was eye opening. This book on the other hand, I feel like was her recaping Infidel and then adding in all her opinions on Muslims and how they should change or other countries should change. I agree with a few things she states in this book, but on the other hand I don't agree in many aspects. I work with Muslims on daily basis and I see many of the things she refers too, but I have also met many men and women who were able to assimilate just fine. Though she brings up many very interesting points, sometime I cannot relate to her way of thinking.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

What a stunning book. I absolutely loved this one. I work with refugees and immigrants on a daily basis and this one really hit home. I always knew that the medical systems was very difficult for them to navigate, but this book pointed out many things that had never crossed my mind. One thing I particularly liked was how the doctors vulnerability really showed through. I think so many people think that doctors just know everything and can work magic, but this book shows that this isn't the case. I was also interested in the history of the Hmong. Fadiman really did an amazing job with this book.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Middle of Everywhere

I really thought I was going to like this book. We read it for my book club at work and honestly this book did nothing for me. I didn't quite understand who exactly she was.... she kept saying that she was a "cultural broker" but never really explained what that meant. I thought the stories were good -- but the book it's self was all over the place... I didn't like the way it was laid out and how it jumped around. I guess this book also might be more insightful for someone who doesn't work with refugees on a daily basis. I pretty much knew everything she was writing about. I might share this book with someone who has never had the experience of knowing a refugee personally.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Fine Balance

I read this for my first book club. I have been meaning to read it the time came. What a dynamic book! Despite it being depressing -- I love this book. The characters were pitch perfect. I love how everything came around full circle. I was emotionally invested in this book and really felt the ups and downs! Wow! A fine balance between hope and despair. Of life and death... just beautiful.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Help

I loved everything about this book! I had been putting it off and now I am so happy I read it. It's one of those books I was having dreams about... couldn't stop thinking about. The story was fantastic and so were the characters. I even loved what Stockett had to say at the end of the book about her own childhood.

I still find it hard to imagine that this was going on not that long ago.... wow! How much has changed... yet... how much hasn't changed! This book made me happy and sad all at the same time. But mostly hopeful.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Don't Get Too Comfortable

I didn't really understand this book. The stories were amusing enough -- but didn't get how they all really connected. Maybe they weren't supposed too... and in that case, I didn't really like the book. I might be missing something, but who is this David Rakoff person and why did he get to try/do all these crazy things? I don't know... I was pretty bored by this, actually....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

As I Lay Dying

So -- it's a new year. I only read 22 books last year. I must do better this year. I have also decided to read all of Oprah's book club books. To top it off, I have also vowed to read more classes. So -- I chose a book that goes into both categories.

I have only read one other book by Faulkner, "A Light in August" and I remember I kind of liked it. So I thought why not read more Faulkner?

This book started off alright. I liked trying to figure out who all the characters were and how they were related. I like Faulkner's style -- but then.... it just started to drag. These characters were awful! I couldn't believe how self-centered they were! This was their mother! Urgh.. I just started to hate them all more and more. I finished it, but barely. I like the style -- but not the characters.