Thursday, December 29, 2011

Unclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin Rooney Doland

Unclutter Your Life in One WeekUnclutter Your Life in One Week by Erin Rooney Doland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this when I read it in 2010, but it didn't help me get more organized in any kind of major or long-term way. Since then I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo and that made a huge change in my life.*So read that one instead.


*The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up didn't just change the way I organize my home, but it also changed the way I tackle problems generally. Als,o the section where I had to organize my books, increased my reading dramatically.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #2)Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The first time I read this book I hadn't encountered all the many mentions of it in our culture yet. Or if I had, I hadn't noticed yet. I've encountered many uses of the quote of the Queen telling Alice that in the Mirror Land you must keep running just to stay in the same place. I think once I encountered it as a physics analogy, and another time as a more pedestrian analogy.

This is also the origin of the famous poem Jabberwocky. That's probably a good enough reason to read the book.

The first time I read this book, I read it like any other children's book. On a second reading, it appears to be one puzzle-analogy after another with minimal uniting plot, ie. Alice is a pawn in a real-life chess game trying to become a queen.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It was okay. Mostly boring. Barely even an adventure story as one challenge was met, and not very surprising. I forced myself to finish it so I could say I did. But it was pretty clear it wasn't going to get any better pretty early on.

I never really got invested in any of the characters except maybe the grandfather, who had an interesting life story, and an interesting way of relating with his grandson.

[Small spoiler alert.] The only thing I liked about it was the concept of time loops but it wasn't used to any fun effect. In fact, at the end of the book, they just changed the rules of the time loops for no discernible reason.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I saw the movie many times before I read the book, and the movie is very similar. Reading the book was a bit more enjoyable though because you get more of Scrooge's internal world. It's such a feel-good treat.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle

A Swiftly Tilting Planet (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #3)A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wish I had written notes on what I thought of this book when I read it as a kid. I didn't so these are just my thoughts from my adult-rereading. It skips ahead about 10 years, and Charles Wallace is 15 now and Meg is married and pregnant. It seems a bit different than the others in that the challenge is overcome indirectly by altering the course of a family history in one place over time. This one has more legitimate time travel than the first two. However, the magical creature involved, a unicorn, is decidedly less cool than the multi-eyed dragon thing in A Wind in the Door (#2). The story is generally more adult and has a lot more structure. I recommend jotting down the family tree as you read though because the genealogy gets very confusing.

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