Whatcha reading?

Whatcha reading?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Minds of Billy Milligan By: Daniel Keyes

Fascinating book. I was awed by the fact that one of his 24 personalities was right handed, two were siblings, one had dyslexia and all have different physical descriptions and speech patterns. It would not only be confusing to keep track of what each personality does and acts, but to keep up the charade for any amount of time would be exhausting, so I completely believe the character when he claims to have different personalities. There is also the evidence that his family could sense the changes when he was a small child. My heart went out to him, and anyone who has to live with such a condition on top of the event which caused the dramatic self preservation technique. I was floored by the difference in Billy's pictures, which were credited to different personalities and that he was able to live a somewhat functional life being controlled by such different conflicting uhm...minds.

My Life in France by: Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme

A very fun book. Made me want to get her cookbook and give it an attempt. She made the most of life and seemed like such a fun person. A good book to put into perspective how much work she put into her dreams to accomplish them not only for herself, but her two girlfriends as well. She had such an interesting and busy life, cooking school in France, her husband tried for communism, and appeared to have such a dynamic personality. An inspirational and motivating book.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Catching Fire By: Suzanne Collins

A sequel to Hunger Games, this book did not disappoint and may have been even better than the first. I could have read for another 1,000 pages and am searching for the last book in the trilogy now. The book starts a year after the hunger games and is entertaining and unpredictable. I want her to write more books, she is better than Stephenie Meyer in my humble opinion.

The BFG By: Roald Dahl

I was inspired to read something of Dahl's after reading Mountains Beyond Mountians (since Farmer had dated his daughter Ophelia). The BFG was dedicated to his daughter Olivia, who died when she was seven years old from measles encephalitis (twenty years before the book)
I can see the book being a hit with children since Dahl uses a bunch of funny made up words and it is a happy fairytale where kids do heroic things, like save the Queen.

Madame Dread By: Kathie Klarreich

A journalist who lived in Haiti before, during and after the political strife between 1980's- 2006? interesting to hear from the perspective of someone who wasn't raised there, but became a local. She went from having confidence in Aristide to watching him become a murderous dictator like the others. The story ends on a positive note for her life getting back on track, but depressing since Haiti is still dangerous and going through constant upheavals. It makes the reader realize how posh our life is when we had to decide what to get at Starbucks and they are fighting for their lives.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

61 Hours By: Lee Child

Is it sad that the most memorable thing from this novel was the line "He was the first in his family to own a Boeing"? It was a great book as far as detective novels, that line just amused me and was an insight to the author's dry sense of humor. The protagonist finds himself assisting the small town authorities in solving a few cases after his ride breaks down. Halfway through the book you figure out who "done it" but have to wait until the end for the motive. I enjoyed the book because it was very realistic, things did not go as planned and good people were...
Amusing sort of McGyver story, with the hint of romance.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Small Island By: Andrea Levy

Very interesting and a hard to put down book about World War II from a different perspective. The reader learns to distaste almost everyone in the book. One feels awful for the protagonists. Their desperation for something more in their life, finding discrimination they didn't know existed in a place they dreamed about as a type of Eden. It was heartbreaking to see them not only give up their home and friends to a loveless marriage and move to the mother land, but also how they were misinterpreted. People assumed their shock was ignorance and treated them as children and idiots, when they were actually portraying those attributes. theough the bbook you realize the story is not just about two people but four and all are dynamic characters. Amazing ending, the whole story is centered around the theme of coming full circle, in a heartbreaking way. The characters started their life thinking they were escaping their upbringing, only to find another set of troubles in which no one is happy with the way their lives turn out. It shows how war changes people and the importance of forgiveness.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Missing Mark By: Julie Kramer

Author of Stalking Susan, I liked this book even more than her first. Very upbeat, witty and enjoyable and I hope she is working on more! News anchor Riley Spartz gets involved in another murder mystery, but completely different from her first story. A very clever and fun read.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Gregor and The Marks of Secret By: Suzanne Collins

Another one of those cute stories for young readers. Different from Collin's other book I read " The Hunger Games" which seemed to be cross gender, Gregor, which is a series, is most definitely for boys. There are scorpions, bats, mice, rats, adventure, and heroism, not to mention a budding star crossed romance. The entire book lead up to an "impending battle", with mention after mention of prophesies (boys must like that type of thing) to Gregor raising his sword and..oops, story is over forcing the reader to get the next book. I still enjoyed it for its genre and found it both original and clever.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Well Witched By: Frances Hardinge

For ages 8-12, a cute story about what might happen if you steal coins from a fountain. The take is a little different from 3oh3's music video "starstruck". It was fitting for children, but I kept finding my over age twelve self going...huh? So in the end, a very fitting read, liked her book The Lost Conspiracy much better.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mountains Beyond Mountains By: Tracy Kidder

Interesting read from a true humanitarian. He is so humble in his work and adds things like "A girl arrived by donkey ambulance" "working against sorcery" making the reader stop and realize in what poverty stricken areas he is practicing. Farmer's childhood was very reminiscent of "Glass Castles" by Jeannette Walls, although not as traumatizing. OK I guess the only similarity is the non-mainstream parents, but I found it intriguing never-the-less. I unfortunately had never heard about Farmer prior to picking up this book by chance, but what an amazing person. I was amused that he dated Roald Dahl's daughter, which makes me want to do more research there as well. Not only did Farmer change the way TB was treated but also lead the way to medicating Peru, Haiti, and Russia. Though I understand treatment in confined areas, I was still amused that inmates were treated before actively contributing citizens. It was also interesting to learn that Cuba has more doctors per capita than any other country in the world and about 500 of them worked gratis in Haiti.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Second Bend in the River By: Ann Rinaldi

A cute children's story about Tecumseh and Rebecca Galloway. Follow along with the ideas in "A Sorrow in our Heart" by Allan Eckert, which she used as a reference. Very quick read giving insight into why Galloway refused marriage.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Three Weissmans of Westport By: Cathleen Schine

One of those clever "coming full circle" books that you know will have a happy ending, I just wasn't expecting it to end like it did! A cute, heartwarming read about a couple in their seventies who get a divorce and how if affects their lives and the lives of their grown family.I enjoyed how the author developed the characters without spending a lot of time on exact characteristics. It was very natural getting to know them, not forced.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Sorrow In Our Hearts By: Allan W. Eckert

A very impressive and thoroughly researched novel about Tecumseh. Interestingly enough he was born when a comet passed through the sky, which is how he got his name "the panther passing across". They believed the great panther spirit was seeking a place to sleep. The tale was that every night this happened somewhere although it was rarely witnessed. Then his little brothers (triplets) were born which was also unusual for the tribe.interestingly enough the brother that would end up ruining everything Tecumseh worked towards was also rude and ill mannered as a child and Tecumseh was the only one who could tolerate him, so he was extra kind to him. It was interesting to learn more about Simon Kent, Daniel Boone, and other frontiersmen from a different angle where they are just people and not seen as heroes. It's devastating reading a novel, where you feel more " in the moment" (opposed to a historical reference) how the natives were tossed about. It is hard to fathom how many tribes are now extinct and not having any rights- they signed peace treaty after peace treaty where they did not benefit at all. They were relocated time and time again and it was surprising anyone survived with the difference in weaponry. Tecumseh was truly an amazing man, I thought his creation of the sacred sticks was an amazing idea.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner By: Stephenie Meyer

This is a story developing a character that was mentioned in the Twilight series, though I don't remember the character AT ALL. Still an interesting read, but lacked the elements of the twilight series where you needed to finish the book to find out what happened. Unfortunately I kept putting the book down and coming back to it simply because it bothered me that I didn't remember this character. Very short read where everything comes together in the last few pages.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Hunger Games By: Suzanne Collins

Very clever and interesting novel. Collins was able to pull me into the story like Stephanie Meyer's novels. Set in the future, it is believable and frightening. Very reminiscent of Stephen King's Running Man, where people are pitted against each other purely for entertainment, but a teen version. This story was the first of a trilogy, and she has also written another chronicle series about Gregory. I have reserved them all at the library since I was into the story and NEED to know how it ends.