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All reviews - Books (25)

The Gardens of Kyoto: A Novel

Posted : 14 years, 1 month ago on 9 July 2008 09:25 (A review of The Gardens of Kyoto: A Novel)

I had mixed feelings on this book, some parts were very good and intriguing and some tended to ramble and lose me. This kept me reading because I hoped it would all come together at some point but it never really did for me. In the end I just felt frustrated and disappointed. It did not help that the main character narrating the story seemed so disconnected from the events she was revisiting in her life that it seemed as exciting as hearing about someone else's grocery list.

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Started good but fizzled out

Posted : 14 years, 4 months ago on 13 April 2008 07:35 (A review of A Million Little Pieces)

I admit I picked this up because I was curious about all the controversy/scandal it caused in the media when it came out. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about myself. At first I was liking the book and while there were a few things that seemed far fetched they weren't so much so that I didn't stay interested. After awhile though it started to seem repetitive and not just the phrases he said, but how many pages can one read about vomiting before they get downright annoyed? The main character started to grate on my nerves while the story ran on but I think the secondary characters were good, I was much more interested in them than James. When It came to rating the book I was stuck between it was ok (5) or I didn't like it (4), I went with the 4 because by the end I was skimming through most of James' story and dialog, just wanting to hear the other characters' stories and dialog. I think had the author written the book (and published it) as a work of fiction and not tried to make it into a memoir focused on him, it may have been a better first novel, as it was it came across not only as far fetched, but as juvenile and narcissistic.

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Jacob's Ladder: A Story of Virginia Duri

Posted : 14 years, 4 months ago on 10 April 2008 02:42 (A review of Jacob's Ladder:)

I really wanted to like this book, the cover compared it to Gone With the Wind and Cold Mountain, both of which I liked very much. But the characters were very bland, stereotypical and unlikable, the dialog was flat, and the interactions of the characters left a lot for you to guess at, sometimes they were just down right confusing, characters that were supposedly driven by great passion one moment, didn't care at all the next. They did things that made no sense, or were not in their established character and the author felt no need to explain why. He also tried to show the complex relationship between the slaves and the planters, how dependent and intertwined they each were with the other, but he failed to make it clear or put the needed emotion into it.

Most of the descriptive writing was focused on the graphic, gory details of the war, the battles, the field hospitals, the living conditions of the southerners. I think the author wanted to paint a vivid picture of just how gruesome the Civil War really was but he needed to make you care about the characters first to do that well and he just didn't.

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Another halloween fave

Posted : 15 years, 3 months ago on 17 May 2007 04:08 (A review of The Hallo-wiener)

The Hallo-wiener by Dav Pilkey, a very cute story about an embarrassed wiener dog that gets a cute hotdog bun costume from his well meaning Mom for Halloween.

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One of my favorite halloween reads

Posted : 15 years, 3 months ago on 17 May 2007 04:06 (A review of Room on the Broom)

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson with pictures by Azel Scheffler, a great story to read aloud with wonderful illustrations of a witch and the friends she meets.

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So, so story

Posted : 15 years, 3 months ago on 17 May 2007 04:02 (A review of The Stone Diaries)

I didn't find this book to be all that good. I thought it was a boring, depressing story with bland characters. While it did have some beautiful phrases and would be highly quotable they were not enough to save me from the ho-hum feeling the book gave me. The cover lead me to believe that Daisy tells her story but I didn't feel that I was getting much from her.

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Could have been better

Posted : 15 years, 3 months ago on 17 May 2007 04:00 (A review of Into the Wild)

I felt that the story could have been laid out better, it was an interesting subject and I liked Krakauer's Under The Banner of Heaven. Into the Wild seemed to jump around, which made it hard to follow and it dragged in other spots which made me want to skim through. Krakauer mentions that he had originally done a magazine article on the story that drew a lot of response and his own interest to investigate further and I felt like that's what this book was, an over inflated magazine article.

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A very moving family saga

Posted : 15 years, 3 months ago on 17 May 2007 03:58 (A review of Roots (Dell Book))

To say this book is sad or tragic is an understatement, it deals with the history of slavery in the US and paints a horrific picture of what the experience was like for Kunta Kinte, starting with his life in a small African village and following through several generations of his family as they struggle through many years of oppression and brutality. I think it did a good job of portraying the relationships between the plantation owners and the slaves, the conflict of some owners that tried to be religious and decent and yet own another person was especially done well. The fear that dominated these relationships of both owners and slaves was also very realistically put forth.

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I really didn't like this book

Posted : 15 years, 3 months ago on 17 May 2007 03:56 (A review of Surfacing)

I understand what was trying to be done with the book and I really loved a few sentences, very quote worthy but this book really didn't do it for me. I was left with a flat, confused, possibly irritated feeling. This is the only Atwood book I've not really liked.

First off, I don't feel that the blurb from the cover comes even close to describing the story. It was not at all like a detective novel nor thrilling. I don't think I've ever read a more misleading blurb.

*Warning* The next might be a spoiler.

I think it did a good job in showing the decline of her emotional and mental state and it felt like it was really building up to something but then the end came too quickly and nothing, there was not any wholeness in the end or if that was what happened then it was all wrong. I can buy that fast of a decline but the recovery would of not came so quickly.

The next disappointment was with the secondary characters, none of them behaved in an expected or ordinary manner. I kept thinking I'd ditch people too, if this was what I was given to deal with, but also that they would not of acted that way, they would not of left her there.

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Thunderstruck? maybe not but still good

Posted : 15 years, 3 months ago on 17 May 2007 03:51 (A review of Thunderstruck)

I thought this book was interesting, although not quite as gripping as his Devil In The White City (which I loved). They were both written in the same style and I thought both were well done. I may have just had too high of an expectation for Thunderstruck and while it came very close to meeting it, I wanted just a tad more from it.

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