Sunday, July 13, 2014

Book Review

The Beach vacation gave me lots of time to catch up on my reading. I read while soaking up the sun but I also read LOTS in the car.

Gone with Wind. Well it took me like 3 months to finish but it was worth it. I loved this book. Scarlette O'Hara and Walter White have a lot in common. You love her and then you hate her. She's brave and tragic and flawed and human. I need to rewatch the movie now although I never liked it, maybe I'll have new appreciation for it in some way. I really enjoyed reading about the complexities of the South after Civil War: what it meant for freed slaves and what it meant to their former owners. It really is a work of historical fiction as much as it is a tragedy and love story. I give it a 9.5 and recommend it to anyone who is from Dixieland or that can read a book this long.

The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise was our book club pick for the month. It really did remind me of a British sitcom. And I don't watch a lot of Brit TV but even with my limited British cultural knowledge...this book was very British. That's not supposed to be some kind of positive or negative thing...just an observation. Now I sound racist. Lot of dry humor which is hard to accomplish in a book. Anyway, the characters weren't developed that great for me but I did love the quirkiness of the lost and found station. Do they really try and find the people whose important items are left on the subway? I learned some interesting facts about the Tower of London and Beefeaters, but overall I wasn't thrilled with this book. I give it a 6.5

While Mortals Sleep. Ah Vonnegut. He just seems like a distant eccentric uncle you have in your family with bits of wisdom in weird places that he pops off at a family reunion when he's had too much to drink. But he wrote those bits down into stories and I'm always glad he did. Half of these posthumous stories were great, half were alright. I enjoyed the forward by David Eggers. I think I've enjoyed everything I've ever read of his (except maybe Slapstick) and I also give this one an 8.

Wonderstruck. This is by the same author as the Hugo Cabret children's graphic novel that they turned into a movie. I enjoyed it and am sad I didn't read it before going to NYC this year or I would've added the World's Fair NYC panorama display in the Queens Museum to the "Must see" list. I guess it'll be there next time I go. I enjoy how this author combines some aspect of history to get kids interested in his stories. The pics are great and there's always a twist or merging of plots. Kind of hard to rate as it's a kids book but I give it 7. I thought we might could read it with Liv but it would've been over her head. When she's older though I will definitely be putting his book on the list!

Alexander and the Wonderful, Marvelous, Excellent, Terrific 90 Days. I think by the title you can guess who wrote this book (the children's book is coming out in a movie this year). I randomly grabbed this off the shelf at the library and thought it would be an interesting short memoir to read about the author who let her grown son (Alexander is a real person!) and 3 kids live with them while their house was being renovated. She offers bits of wisdom to parents of grown kids and shares the joys of being a grandmother. I enjoyed it although I probably wasn't the target audience. I do recommend it to grandmothers (Mom you really would like this) and I give it 7.

Chapter Books we've been reading with Liv
The Borrowers. Well I thought I had read this book but I think I've only read one in the sequel. Liv has seen the Secret World of Arriety, so she did have some foundation to build this imaginative world of little people on. She has lots of questions and every time I see a picture in the book I want to build a diorama world with Liv for the Borrowers in our house...but I also don't want her to get freaked out that they might really exist. We'll see if we build it. I liked the book although some of the phrases and words confused me. Maybe they are old British or Cockney...there I go again sounding racist!

Here is the picture of the author displayed in the book jacket. 

Mary, Mary, Mary. Did you pick this picture? Do you have a headache? Are you coming up with a good story and concentrating really hard? Are you hung over? Are you looking at a Borrower? (I thought it was an odd head shot. Especially when you google her name and can find plenty of other pictures to choose from. Whose call was this?)

What are you reading?
Rules of rating seen here.

1 comment:

Becky W said...

I am putting Wonder Struck on this list to read! Glad you made it through The Borrowers. I felt like Mary's picture the entire time I was reading it! Not reading much else these days since the last time I commented.

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