Sunday, September 30, 2012

Veronika Decides to Die Review

Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho**2 stars**
Paperback Edition
September 30, 2012

Not my favorite book by Coelho that I have read. I'm curious as to how much of the story is true, since he uses himself as a character and presents it as mostly truth. I thought the discussions regarding what "normal" is and who counts as being insane were really good. The rest of the book, however, just seemed to drag and I found it to be a little weird in spots. I was expecting a lot more from the book since I loved the other two books I read by him, and was disappointed. I definitely won't recommend this book as highly as I would The Devil and Miss Prym or The Alchemist.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Banned Books Week

Reprinted by permission of the American Library Association
It's that time of year again: Banned Books Week.  This week (September 30-October 6) is simply intended to raise awareness of recent book bans and challenges and the reasoning behind the majority of them.  If you would like more information about this week and about the books themselves, you can visit the ALA's website or the new Banned Books Week website.  Don't forget to check with local libraries and bookstores as many are hosting events specifically for this week.  Keep reading!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Boots My Mother Gave Me Review

The Boots My Mother Gave Me by Brooklyn James**2 stars**
September 22, 2012
Kindle Edition

I thought this book was well written and flowed fairly well from present to past narration.  The material was definitely different than what I am used to reading (the books deals primarily with childhood abuse but also deals with the impact of suicide on those left behind) but I wasn't bored or indifferent when reading.  Towards the end, I started to feel like the book would never end and I just wanted her to hurry up and do what I knew she was going to end up doing.  The drama was just starting to wear thin when the book wrapped up.  Overall, the book was okay.  There were quite a few scenes where a tad too much information was shared about her sex life, but easily skimmed and it fit okay with the story.  Probably wouldn't recommend unless you enjoy the more meditative books and ones that deal with some harsher issues through the use of fiction.

A Tale of 3 Witches Review

A Tale of 3 Witches by Christiana Miller**3 stars**
September 22, 2012
Kindle Edition

Way too short! I was just really getting into the story and remembering who all the characters were when I realize I was halfway through the short story. I wanted so much more of the zanny fun that Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead brought to the table and I was disappointed when that fun was limited to around 50 pages. I still really enjoyed the short and I am going to try to read Opal Fire to learn more of the new characters introduced in the book. Only disappointment was that it felt too rushed and I wasn't able to really enjoy it like I would have if it was full-length. But I liked it and would recommend for those who liked Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The River Between Review

The River Between by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o**3 stars**
September 17, 2012
Paperback Edition

I liked the different perspective on Livingstone's work in Africa. It steps back and shows how the tribes responded to the "invasion" of the white men and their Christianity. It follows a young man as he tries to reconcile Western Christianity with the customs of his tribe and seeks to unite his country again through education. This book is very well-written and almost poetic in its meaning and writing. It switched occasionally between two different people, but it was always easy to follow. The little "romance" in the book was absolutely beautiful and a wonderful addition to the story. I would recommend to readers who enjoy world lit and want to experience other cultures.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Heart of Darkness Review

Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad**2 stars**
September 7, 2012
Paperback Edition

Once I finished the book, I realized that I had actually read it before. It was just so completely unmemorable that I forgot. I honestly didn't see the point in the story unless it was to offer a critique on humanity. But even that seems a little stretched. I think this book is one of those that is famous simply because it makes very little sense so anyone can interpret it how they like. I didn't understand why I was being told a story about some person who went insane from being in the jungle too long and how his voice was so powerful. I guess it just wasn't for me. Not a bad book overall, but not something I would read again (unless I forget that I read it like the last time).

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September Reading

Since I am not going to be participating in any new challenges this month, I have decided to set my own challenge.  My goal is to read ten of the 1001 books, with five used for my Around the World challenge.  I have been slacking on both of these and need to get back on track.  As of now, my books to read are:

The War of the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa (Brasil)
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho (Slovenia)
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (India)
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
The River Between by Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Africa)
The Tree of Man by Patrick White (Australia)
Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace (Israel)