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March 2009 Book Challenge - Page 2

post #21 of 229
such a wide variety of books on this thread. for now, subbing.
post #22 of 229
Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Someone on here had this book on their list and it intrigued me so I got it. I am glad I did because I got sucked into the story. The main character, Alice, is a revered professor of psychology at Harvard University who is diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer's. The author is familiar with the disease and that clearly comes through in her writing. I felt like I was experiencing the loss of memory and disorientation that Alice right along with Alice. There are parts of the story that will haunt me for a long time.
post #23 of 229
11. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
12. Small Wonder
post #24 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenifer76 View Post
Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Someone on here had this book on their list and it intrigued me so I got it. I am glad I did because I got sucked into the story. The main character, Alice, is a revered professor of psychology at Harvard University who is diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer's. The author is familiar with the disease and that clearly comes through in her writing. I felt like I was experiencing the loss of memory and disorientation that Alice right along with Alice. There are parts of the story that will haunt me for a long time.
I'm still waiting for that one thanks to Bufomander's internet interruption. :
post #25 of 229
Snozzberry,

Sorry I didn't respond sooner -- I've been swamped and am just now making into March . . . Anyway, about John Green's Paper Towns. I was an advance reviewer for the book--you can read my review here on Amazon. I'd love to know if you agree with any of my points . . . or not. Obviously, I was way in the minority on my review.
post #26 of 229
Not getting too far reading-wise this month. Besides having two papers due today for school and proofreading the layout of my new cookbook (it looks awesome--hooray!) I've had three false starts on books that just couldn't hold my interest. Into a good one now though so I'll be back soon . . .
post #27 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaliki_kila View Post

22. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Katsa is one of the rare people born with a Grace - a magical and unexplainable talent. She believes she has a Killing Grace, but later learns the true meaning of her Grace and uses it for good purposes. I usually like this genre, but I just wasn't that into this book for some reason.
oh crap! im about 1/2 way through this right now and didnt realize her Grace wasnt killing. while im glad, i am probably only a few pages from learning that. its sooo hard, i know, to review a book w/o giving anything away but drats! lol!

i didnt think i would be into the book (for the first 100 pages or so) but find myself liking it right now.
post #28 of 229
Human Capital by Stephen Amidon.

It's a bit of a soap opera, but very engaging, fast-paced and well written. Themes include teen angst, corporate greed, infidelity and evading the law, without giving the plot away. I just read a review of his most recent novel, Security, and that led me to this book. After reading it, I still want to read Security, so that says something about how much I like the author.
post #29 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by PassionateWriter View Post
oh crap! im about 1/2 way through this right now and didnt realize her Grace wasnt killing. while im glad, i am probably only a few pages from learning that. its sooo hard, i know, to review a book w/o giving anything away but drats! lol!

i didnt think i would be into the book (for the first 100 pages or so) but find myself liking it right now.
Her Grace is still killing, just has an added dimension to it
post #30 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by friendtoall View Post

The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus (audio) by Margaret Atwood
I really enjoy books that are a different take on a well-known story. I thought this was well researched and thought out, and highly entertaining. It retells the story of Odysseus but from the view of his wife, Penelope. The reading was great - it was more like listening to someone tell the story than read it.
Oh, I enjoyed this book too. I cant decide if I like Margaret Atwood books or not. They are SO dark, sometimes, I just get the blues when I read them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bufomander View Post
#30 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

I liked this. DH started it and didn't finish -- but he said he knows it was well written, he just doesn't like epistolary novels. I do. One of my favorite parts was when one of the characters said something like "what we call cheek and Americans call can-do spirit.". But yeah, I liked it. I used to be a real letter writer and I like to ponder what stories can be told by reading correspondence.
Wasn't it a fun book? I liked it too.


NCD, your thread titles are cracking me up
post #31 of 229
Tomato Girl by Jayne Pupek

Despite the goofy title, this was actually quite a heavy and disturbing book. About a family where the mom is emotionally disturbed. The dad starts having an affair with the "tomato girl" (an epileptic teenager who grows and sells tomatoes and has a sexually abusive father). Anyway, the preteen aged daughter is torn between loyalty to her sick mother and cheating father. Then when he abandons the family all together, she is left alone to deal with her worsening mother. This was a good book -- but like I said, disturbing.
post #32 of 229
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathe View Post
Tomato Girl by Jayne Pupek

Despite the goofy title, this was actually quite a heavy and disturbing book. About a family where the mom is emotionally disturbed. The dad starts having an affair with the "tomato girl" (an epileptic teenager who grows and sells tomatoes and has a sexually abusive father). Anyway, the preteen aged daughter is torn between loyalty to her sick mother and cheating father. Then when he abandons the family all together, she is left alone to deal with her worsening mother. This was a good book -- but like I said, disturbing.
Yikes!
post #33 of 229
The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch (audio)

Quote:
Jim Lynch’s first novel tells the story of Miles O’Malley, a thirteen-year-old boy who knows more than the local marine biologist about the teeming life in the mud flats of Puget Sound. His discovery of a giant squid, a creature never before found on the shores of North America, prompts a rush of media attention. When he discovers other non-native sea life and anomalies in the sea and tidal pools, he becomes an object of local fascination.
I always find commenting on books I listen to harder than ones I read. I think I have a detachment to the story when I listen to it. This was part of my local library's "One Book, One County" program. There was some preoccupation with sex in the book but I think it was authentic to the character and his age. As a Mom of a young boy, I just don't want to think about it though, LOL. All in all, a good read.
post #34 of 229
The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

an Armenian American goes to Istanbul and meets her stepdad's family. she confronts people about the Armenian genocide of 1915. it is a politically brave book. and there are moments with beautiful, evocative descriptions of street life. but...for me it felt too artful and contrived. and the characters were not compelling enough for me. i don't know what was missing exactly, but i could not really care about them. maybe she was telling me too much of the wrong things, instead of letting me climb into the characters' eyes. i wanted to like it, really, i did.

the many Milan Kundera references in the novel have me putting a re-read of The Book of Laughter and Forgetting on my list.
post #35 of 229
friendtoall, tell me more about that Odysseus/Penelope retelling. That intrigues me.
post #36 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenifer76 View Post
Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Someone on here had this book on their list and it intrigued me so I got it. I am glad I did because I got sucked into the story. The main character, Alice, is a revered professor of psychology at Harvard University who is diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer's. The author is familiar with the disease and that clearly comes through in her writing. I felt like I was experiencing the loss of memory and disorientation that Alice right along with Alice. There are parts of the story that will haunt me for a long time.
Oh good, I'm so glad you liked it -- now I feel a little more at ease with gushingly recommending it to people without being nervous that I just have sucky judgment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cathe View Post
I'm still waiting for that one thanks to Bufomander's internet interruption. :


Quote:
Originally Posted by cathe View Post
Not getting too far reading-wise this month. Besides having two papers due today for school and proofreading the layout of my new cookbook (it looks awesome--hooray!) I've had three false starts on books that just couldn't hold my interest. Into a good one now though so I'll be back soon . . .
Yippee on the awesomeness, Cathe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaliki_kila View Post
22. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Katsa is one of the rare people born with a Grace - a magical and unexplainable talent. She believes she has a Killing Grace, but later learns the true meaning of her Grace and uses it for good purposes. I usually like this genre, but I just wasn't that into this book for some reason.
Uh Oh. I have that one out from the library -- maybe I'll just send it back instead...

Did I tell you all that for Lent I'm not putting books on hold at the library.

#31 Hands of My Father: A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents, and the Language of Love by Myron Uhlberg
A memoir -- okay -- I was interested in how there are accents even in sign language.
post #37 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bufomander View Post
O

Did I tell you all that for Lent I'm not putting books on hold at the library.
Now that's what I call a sacrifice!
post #38 of 229
Blood Memory, Iles
Quote:
Forensic odontologist Cat Ferry, an expert on teeth and the damage they can inflict, is called in by the New Orleans PD to explain the bite marks found on the bodies. Cat, the alcoholic granddaughter of Dr. William Kirkland, owner of the sprawling Malmaison estate and the richest, most powerful man in Natchez, has solved previous murders with her married detective lover, Sean Regan. This time, though, she's pregnant with Sean's baby, and this plus the discovery of old bloody footprints hidden in the carpet fibers of her Malmaison childhood bedroom threaten to plummet her into the depression that's plagued her since she was 15. She thinks one footprint might be hers, made on the night her father died of an ill-explained gunshot wound. Iles weaves in dark strains of child sexual abuse and the resulting repressed memories as Cat searches for the serial killer and for answers about her father's death. This overlong novel lacks the scintillating originality that made Iles's last outing so memorable, but he ties up all the loose ends in an exciting climax.
The backdrop of Mississippi and New Orleans is a backdrop for this tale of abuse and memory, lost and regained. The forensic dentistry also adds an interesting, different twist to what could have been a typical mystery story.

A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hosseni
Quote:
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years — from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding — that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives — the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness — are inextricable from the history playing out around them.
[audio] I was almost afraid to start the last few chapters, I was so filled with dread for what was going to happen. This story truly involves you in the lives of the two central characters, whose lives are bound up with Afghani politics in a way they could not foresee. Tragic, beautiful.

#1 Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, #2 Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, #3 Autobiography of God, #4 The Ghost Orchid, #5 The Poe Shadow, #6 Knit One Kill Two, #7 Citizen Girl, #8 The Fourth Bear, #9 The Third Secret, #10 Change of Heart, #11 Guardian Angels, #12 The Gore, #13 The Undomestic Goddess, #14 From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil T. Frankweiler, #15 Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, #16 Blood Memory, #17 A Thousand Splendid Suns
post #39 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraBoo View Post
friendtoall, tell me more about that Odysseus/Penelope retelling. That intrigues me.
Summary: In Homer's account in The Odyssey, Penelope, wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy is portrayed as the quintessential faithful wife, her story a salutary lesson through the ages. Left alone for twenty years when Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan war after the abduction of Helen, Penelope manages, in the face of scandalous rumours, to maintain the kingdom of Ithaca, bring up her wayward son, and keep over a hundred suitors at bay, simultaneously. When Odysseus finally comes home after enduring hardships, overcoming monsters and sleeping with goddesses, he kills her suitors and, curiously, twelve of her maids. In a splendid contemporary twist to the ancient story, Margaret Atwood has chosen to give the telling of it to Penelope and to her twelve hanged Maids, asking: "What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?" In Atwood's dazzling, playful retelling, the story becomes as wise and compassionate as it is haunting, and as wildly entertaining as it is disturbing.
post #40 of 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by kangamitroo View Post
The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

an Armenian American goes to Istanbul and meets her stepdad's family. she confronts people about the Armenian genocide of 1915. it is a politically brave book. and there are moments with beautiful, evocative descriptions of street life. but...for me it felt too artful and contrived. and the characters were not compelling enough for me. i don't know what was missing exactly, but i could not really care about them. maybe she was telling me too much of the wrong things, instead of letting me climb into the characters' eyes. i wanted to like it, really, i did.

the many Milan Kundera references in the novel have me putting a re-read of The Book of Laughter and Forgetting on my list.
I felt pretty much the same about this book. I really wanted to like it too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bufomander View Post

Did I tell you all that for Lent I'm not putting books on hold at the library.
Oh, that's a good idea! I might actually finish a few books around here if I did that.
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