Friday, May 18, 2012

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can't say I enjoyed this book because it's like getting stabbed in the chest repeatedly, but it's also so good. The love in it is so tangible. And there's so much love. But life, for most people, is one huge tragedy after another, and this book is very realistic. It's a difficult read in that regard.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Beach at Night by Elena Ferrante

The Beach at NightThe Beach at Night by Elena Ferrante
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dark in a weird way. Very short.

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The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the RyeThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this as a kid for the first time and I was overly focused on the fact that I didn't like Holden Caulfield, and was grossed out by his poor interactions with girls and women. But as an adult appreciate the writing and the clear voice of the 16-year-old main character.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in AmericaNickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The thing that drove me crazy about this book is that she got mouthy with her employers and lazy at work. She's hardly the best representative of the poorest people.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Zone One by Colson Whitehead

Zone OneZone One by Colson Whitehead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fabulous scathing critique of all the preoccupations of society. Very nihilistic. I loved the main character and the way his challenges before and after the last day were presented. I felt like I could relate to him and his problems even though he's a very emotionally reserved character. I also loved Gary and Kaitlyn, and how they were awful and wonderful in their own ways. Some of the last 1/5th of the book was a little convoluted with the present day conversations of numerous characters that didn't play a central role.


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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember (Book of Ember, #1)The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was a good story, but a little slow for me. Based on the ending, I'm interested in what happens next in the series though, so I'll probably read the next one.

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An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L'Engle

An Acceptable Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #5)An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L'Engle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

You might try to read this after the fourth Wrinkle in Time book, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, but you should really read this after A House Like a Lotus (the O'Keefe series #3), which takes place chronologically right before An Acceptable Time and is somewhat necessary to understanding who Polly and Zach are. In a House Like a Lotus, Calvin and Meg are about 41 years old and have 7 children, of whom Polly is the oldest (16 years old). Polly goes on a trip to Athens during Spring session or maybe summer, where she meets a total creeper guy, Zachary, who is in his 20s.

An Acceptable Time takes place the following autumn, and it has a similar adventure as in A Swiftly Tilting Planet with the Christian themes of Many Waters. It's a pretty straight adventure story with no personal growth for any of the characters or anything else worth remarking upon. At the end, we are to believe that Zachary might experience personal growth but only after the book is over- we witness none of it.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

The Buddha in the AtticThe Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Strange in that it's written in the first person plural point of view so no individual story is fully developed, but it is still powerful and moving. It's the story of a group of Japanese immigrant women and the most heart-breaking parts for me revolve around the children. After the Japanese are sent to the relocation camps the story changes perspective to the apathetic Americans left behind. The sin of apathy is laid bare.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Moonraker by Ian Fleming

Moonraker (James Bond, #3)Moonraker by Ian Fleming
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the best of the first three James Bond books but only because the other two are so crazy, bad, racist, and sexist. (Casino Royale #1, Live and Let Die #2, and Moonraker #3) Moonraker is an okay Bond story though it's still far-fetched and somehow still boring in many parts.

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