Thursday, January 26, 2012

Book Review

The Fountainhead. Wow. This book. The only thing I can say is that it's my new best silver book friend. (The gold of course being Catcher in the Rye, I can't replace you totally Holden). I loved this book. It's a classic, and it's got a whole heaping philosophy behind it: Objectivism (which I don't believe in 100% because you really can't unless you are an atheist). But the story alone is worth the read, all philosophy put aside. It's a long read, so I only recommend it if you can stomach big books. I really did like a majority of the message behind it though: self-respect, ideals, knowing yourself, not living to prove yourself to others, etc. Ayn Rand has a wonderful prologue at the beginning of the copy I had, and I loved this quote from her: "The purpose of my writing is the projection of an ideal man. It is not the philosophical enlightenment of my readers. I write and read for the sake of the story: Would I want to meet these characters and observe these events in real life? Is this story an experience worth living through for its own sake? Is the pleasure of contemplating these characters an end in itself?" The answer for all these questions to me is "yes indeed" and I give it an 11. It made me self-reflect and I enjoy that about any book. It was made into a movie decades ago, which I have not watched, but it is on my dresser. I hear it's no good, but I will watch it anyway. I would just like to state for the record if it's ever remade, the characters should be cast as follows
Howard: Ryan Gosling (can't think of anyone red haired to fit the bill)
Dominique: Charlize Theron
Peter: Vincent Kartheiser (he practically is this guy on Mad Men already)
Gail: Ted Turner or John Slattery
Ellsworth: Stanley Tucci
Catherine: Elisabeth Moss (can you tell I was thinking of Mad Men a lot? Probably because of NYC but not really the same era)
Does anyone else cast a book while they read it? I do with every single one.
I got a lot of quotes from this book, but this review is already long enough so I'll stop here.

Century. Ok this next one might not count because it's more of a coffee table book with pictures but there are words explaining a lot of the pictures and I read a lot of them. The story behind this book is that I bought it for a Dirty Santa gift for my very first office Christmas party at Chateau in 2005. I got sick and didn't end up going but I kept the gift. I've browsed through it before but I actually went from cover to cover this time in order. It's a cube shaped book with over like 900 various pictures from around the world depicting moments in history of the last century. Many are very depressing shots of war and poverty, but they aren't all sad. It did make me realize how little I know about world history and I would pause a lot and research certain events on the Wikipedia. I'm sure I've learned a lot about other countries way back in school but I just didn't keep it in my long term memory bank. And who are we kidding....does anyone need that info unless they are on jeopardy or playing Trivial Pursuit? I won't rate this because that's weird to rate a picture book.

The Language of Flowers is the book club pick for this month and I really enjoyed it. The book unfolds the mysteries of a girl who grew up in foster care homes and is now struggling as an 18 year old emancipated "adult". She gets a job at a flower shop and recalls the lessons she learned from one of her foster mothers about the Victorian meanings behind flowers. Usually in a book like this that has 3 running themes (her childhood, her present, and the language of flowers) I find myself only interested in one aspect, but I actually liked all 3 and found them to blend well together in this story. I give it a 7.5

The Ghost at the Table was given to me awhile ago by a lady at church who also likes to read and I finally got around to reading it. It mainly centers around a family who is getting together for the first time in a very long time at Thanksgiving and the drama of the past that comes up. Unlike the last book review, I was not interested in the main character's past or present as much as the random info about Mark Twain that kept coming up because of the protagonist's ongoing research of his family for a book she's writing. Totally off subject but I kind of want to read about him and see his house. The thing I did like about the book was the theme of how unaware we can be of ourselves at times and how our memories can play tricks on us and at times ruin relationships. (I don't know why the letter "O" on the cover art of this book is red? Anyone have any ideas?) I wasn't a huge fan though, I give it a 5.

What are you reading? I've got a few good ones lined up....but I don't want to spoil the surprise for you!


kmom said...

I finished reading THE SPACE BETWEEN US by Thrity Umrigar. Did you loan me that book or some other that I need to return? I just started reading A TRICK OF THE LIGHT by Louise Penny.

Anonymous said...

I just finished State Of Wonder by Ann Patchett. I enjoyed it but the end was very abrupt. It seemed like she just got tired of the story and wanted to get it over with. Now I'm gonna reread the Big Gap series by Trigiani (reference Carries blog).

Mom aka Gma

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