Tag Archives: adult

In Cold Blood

In Cold Bloodby Truman Capote

Finally got a chance to read this. Excellent beyond belief. No wonder it is such a famous book. Capote is not only a great sentence crafter, he is also so skilled in putting together the whole picture bit by bit with just the right amount of tension as each chapter progresses and as each section of the book falls into place. There is the “cold blood” chilling-ness permeating the book, of course, but there is also so much that is entirely human about each person’s tale. We wonder about these murderers and what went wrong in their lives and in their brains and in their hearts. I feel both a deep sorrow and a real emotional detachment – two highly opposite sensations and yet they co-exist the entire time as I read the book. I’d credit the author for giving a most unusual reading experience.

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Watchmen

WatchmenAuthor: Alan Moore, illus. by Dave Gibbons
Rating:
Reading Level: YA, Adult

Publisher: DC Comic
Edition:
Paperback, 1987

It took me a long time to finish this seemingly slim volume. I took in every word, every image, and every reference as slowly as I could manage. Not that the story is too complex, but its form does demand some attention and appreciation: the interwoven stories of the masked vigilantes and the embedded graphic novel of the Black Freighter (or the Pirate story as my students refer to it) and the various texts of the story-within-the story by one of the side characters and all the other para-“documents.”

I enjoyed all the double-descriptors: words and phrases that convey the meaning for one scene but also aptly describe the situations of another scene. Moore employed this technique through out the novel — it did not get tired for me, just amusing.

The final two “chapters,” however, seem to rely too much on Adrian’s explanation of his whole back story and his reasons behind all the plans and schemes, slowing down the momentum and diminishing the thrilling mystery part of the whole tale. I wish Moore had figured out a more active and exciting way for the exposing of Adrian and his plot.

I also must say that I think the filmmakers did a fantastic job translating the novel into the movie. The only real gripe I have is in the odd casting of Adrian’s role — instead of an athletic superhero, the actor seems fragile and without the kind of commanding presence that this role demands. The movie ends differently from the book — having gotten rid of the entire side story of the vanishing artists, novelists, and scientists with their creation of the “alien being” that devastates half of New York City — but by putting the blame on Dr. Manhattan, the film has added another layer of emotional burden onto a major character and I have to applaud that particular line of changes. And, may I say that I absolutely ADORE Rorschach in the movie — his scenes are most memorable and the actor’s skillful portrayal of this tragic hero is impeccable!

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Swords: An Artist’s Devotion

Swords: An Artist's DevotionAuthor: Ben Boos
Rating:
Reading Level: for all readers

Pages: 96
Publisher: Candlewick
Edition: Hardcover, 2008

I couldn’t believe my eyes, flipping through page after page of beautifully rendered swords from many time periods and many cultures, how visually perfect this book is! No matter whom I showed this book to (HS students, MS kids, other adults) – the reaction was the same: an astounded delight at this Feast of the Artistry of Beautiful and Elegant Swords. I’m glad the inclusion of Asian and African swords and their histories (although would have like a more balanced proportion in treatment…)

This makes a great holiday gift for any child who enjoys this topic. The general and specific notes on various types, their usages, their histories, and those who used such and such swords are easy to read and absorb. But one definitely doesn’t need to read all the text to enjoy the book.

I am so happy of this book’s existence!

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Schooled

Author: Anisha Lakhani
Reading Level: HS/Adults

SchooledI read this after hearing lots and reading quite a few reviews about the book, so I am not entirely sure about my reactions – how much was my enjoyment and annoyance colored by these preset expectations? And how much of my secret pleasure and overt disgust came from my having known the author and has been working in the school that this fiction is supposed to be based on? So read on, those of you who are curious to know my opinions about the book, with caution and many grains of salt!

First, I was surprised how the book does not really feature many recognizable students and faculty from the school, nor does it develop the school as a setting fully. In fact, most teachers do not even enter the story. It’s as if this fictional K-12 school has but 50 students and they all go to the 7th grade and there are only half a dozen teachers who come into contact with the protagonist and the children. In short, the setting of the school is not quite fleshed out or rich, and the supporting characters are not 3-dimensional, either. A few incidents or coincidences are probably not identifiable by those who are not intimately connected to the school, either. So much, so much of the story is extremely exaggerated: the characters complete caricatures, and the whole world distorted with the kind of hyper-reality one can only find in Gossip Girls and Sex in the City. (Of course also in the highly manipulated Real Housewives “reality” shows…)

This brings me to say to those who seem to think that this is a truthful portrayal of the Manhattan Private Schools/Ivy League Feeders world, “You are absolutely wrong.” This is fluffy fiction and no more than that.

I don’t think there is even a need to defend my school since there is so little resemblance in SCHOOLED to the actual school — including the physical descriptions and the ways teaching and learning are accomplished throughout the years. Suffice to say that I have encountered scores of most brilliant human beings: readers, writers, thinkers, activists, artists, mathematicians, scientists, all kinds of people — both from its faculty pool and the student body, to feel privileged and proud to be part of this incredible institution.

The biggest weakness of the book, to my eyes, is how bland the writing is… with few exceptions where the lines are actually funny or effective, such as, “The world could be coming to an end and my mother would still find a way to offer a cookie with the gas mask.” and “It was an all-purpose word, something of a Swiss Army knife capable of replacing all sorts of words, such as do, write, create, and especially finish.” The rest of the book is filled with lines with little crafting or “polishing”. Just a few examples here:

page 124: Anna wonders “if Shakespeare would be … delighted that his work was the cause of such delight to a group of… seventh-graders.”
page 126: “The last comment was like a wound in my heart.”
page 131: “And I was an air traffic controller trying to control fifteen little planes all trying to land at one time.”

To compound the problem of such thin prose is the poor editing. Missing punctuation marks, continuity errors, and misused words, such as “My ears were ringing. And when did faux mitzvah enter everyone’s vocabulary accept mine?” ACCEPT? And this is supposedly written/narrated by an Ivy-Leaguer who studied English in college and teaches English to 7th graders.

The one saving grace is that the readers do not admire Anna (oh, maybe a little bit toward the end of the story when she suddenly has a courageous enlightment moment), and that adds some flavor to the tale of a small fry lost in the world of greasy glitz.

And chatting online with a High School student might shed more light on our views over this book:

Edited for clarity:

fairrosa: Yup… I guess… closer to truth. Nothing is TRUE in this book, though. And it’s so hyper-reality that anyone thinks this has anything to do with reality is delusional themselves, I think.
student: You overestimate that, I think
fairrosa: overestimate how?
student: I think you overestimate how attuned the average reader is to Dalton
fairrosa: Definitely — that’s why I definitely need to write about how this is NOT the reality. But I did like the book enough… it’s better than some other trashy novels, for sure.
student: Wha? O.o
fairrosa: All the flaws aside, Anna Taggert is a main character that does not put on a holier-than-thou air, nor is she pretending to be anything but a corrupted small fry lost in a glitzy world, even though in reality, I have yet to encounter any such real-life teacher.
fairrosa: That’s my last paragraph…now.. do you think my analysis fair?? any other issues with the review?
student: Doesn’t put on a holier-than-thou air? I really don’t think you read this book XD
fairrosa: please let me know if I can post it as is?
student: It’s an okay-written review, it’s just wrong. It didn’t bother you that characters spent the whole time hitting on her? That, somehow, nothing was ever actually her fault?
fairrosa: Hey.. .Anna Taggert is portrayed as a silly, money grabbing, totally lost person. There is nothing there to show that she is better than anyone else…
Everything is her choice — she decided that she needed MONEY … she failed to plan lessons — she is stupid…The character is NOT portrayed as a GOOD person. Did you read the book?
fairrosa: One does not read the book and says to oneself that Anna Tagger is SUCH A GOOD person. Does one?
stuent: No, but she thinks she is!
fairrosa: But the READER knows that she is stupid, spoiled, greedy…etc. and the AUTHOR writes in that way…
fairrosa: she curses. she envies. she receives bribes. she cheats
student: Mmm, yes. But do you really think the point of the book is that she’s bad, or that she was a good person placed in a bad system?
fairrosa: I think she was WEAK… maybe Bad/Good is not a great way to describe her or anyone else.
fairrosa: I think she did not really have moral fibers… of course, the world around her doesn’t seem to have morals either…
student: She’s portrayed as a nice girl corrupted by an evil world. Yes?
fairrosa: Nah… I don’t think she’s portrayed as a “nice girl” ever — her motive of being a teacher is so that she would be LOVED by her students…So, I never got the sense that the protagonist is supposed to be a GOOD person.
student: Not that she would really teach or change students’ lives.
student: That’s absolutely false.
fairrosa: Did you find any of the book funny?
student: no.
fairrosa: Or are you just completely incensed?
fairrosa: Do you think it’s because you’re too close to it? Too protective of our school?
student: I think I might have been okay with it – or at least, not hated it – had it been marketed differently, had it not billed itself as that “look at what a 5-figure tuition really gets you”
fairrosa: Fair.

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Quote of the day

I’m listening to Toole’s A Confederacy of Duncies and have many occasions to chuckle or even laugh out loud — although the many comical situations are also profoundly sad. Here’s a quote for the day to show Toole’s genius in characterization without getting into tedious details:

Miss Trixie was never perfectly vertical; she and the floor always met at an angle of less than ninety degrees.

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Come Lady Death

Author: Peter S. Beagle
Rating:
Reading Level: Young Adult/Adult


Edition: Podcast/Podcastle, 2008

This is the first podcastle episode, released on April 1st, 2008. Read by Paul S. Jenkins. It’s a delightfully dark piece that has a very Victorian undertone but it was first published in 1963. Just a fun “listening.” It makes me really want to produce my own podcast stories — not read by me, but produced and directed by me. That will be much fun. Wouldn’t it?

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The Metamor City Podcast

Creator: Chris Lester
Listening Level: Older YA and Adults

Edition: 2007/2008 Audio Podcast

I have been listening to this Sci-Fan podcast for the past few weeks… catching up their early episodes from late 2007 and approaching this year’s newer productions. Every story happens in Metamor City — a futuristic sci-fi setting with magical creatures and fantasy elements. Fairies, demi-gods, mages ride on super-motorbike like vehicles and fight each other with not only magic but modern weaponry. The main ingredients of the stories I’ve listened to so far are violence, magic, sex, and humor: both light and dark. It’s definitely entertaining.

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Behind the Rules

Author: Stephanie Burgis
Rating:
Listening Level: Adult / YA


Publisher: ESCAPEPOD.ORG
Edition: Podcast

I have been following stories on EscapePod for a while now and have decided to at least mark the days that I’ve listened to an episode. This one is interesting, light, exploring the idea of cloning, with a couple of instances of strong language (I would NOT have given it an R rating as the podcaster Steve Eley had rated it.)

Direct Link to the Story

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A Scanner Darkly

Author: Philip Dick
Rating:
Reading Level: Adult


Publisher: Random House Audio
Edition: Text: 1977; Audio Book, read by Paul Giamatti, 2006

Loved the enigmatic plot line and shared the despair of the main characters in such bleak circumstances. Giamatti’s more than competent rendition of the text added to the appeal. I usually only listen to audio books when washing dishes or doing chores, but this one I had to listen on my iPod in bed and on the bus… couldn’t stop, especially during the latter half of the story. There are also many moments of absurdity that are both laughable and pitifully so. Really glad that I got to know this story — and now am wondering, “How on EARTH could they make this fairly introspective novel into a movie?” But, then, Blade Runner (based on Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep) was made and successfully so, although it is true that the book and the movie are quite different, both powerful in their own ways.

It was nice to finally understand the meaning of the title, too!

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Stranger in A Strange Land

Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Rating:
Reading Level: Adult

Pages: 438
Publisher: Ace Books, Penguin Putnam (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, original)
Edition: 1987 (1961)

I found this “most famous science fiction ever written” quite a disappointing read: the style is stale; the tone is preachy, the world view and solution of the human condition is simplistic, and the “science” is shaky at its best, although it was a ground-breaking work of its time.

Just because this story features a “Man from Mars” does not excuse its lack of scientific explanation of the telepathic power and the super-human abilities of Michael and eventually those humans that he has taught. And since there is so much talking and telling, emotionally I was never invested or drawn into the characters and their experiences. This is also such a product of its time – a reactionary social commentary against the puritanical social norms of the 50s America. Although I am not sure that many comments do not apply today, the tale as a whole feels very outdated.

Although Heinlein allows his male characters and the narrative voice to sometimes praise the female characters in their resourcefulness and their intelligence, a slight hint of male-dominance and superiority courses under the surface throughout the story: the fact that the true heroes of the story are Michael and Jubal and although the women are given important roles, they are never truly in the decision-making positions speaks volumes. And I am unsure why all the mothers show constant scorn against their own children when the “message” is for them to all love each other equally and without bias. To reduce the human condition and complexity to one singular solution, disregarding the forces of artistic (music, literature, art, etc.) or other human achievements and needs seems so narrow-minded to make me unhappy! (Jubal couldn’t find a single book to read in the NEST… my goodness!)

I did enjoy Jubal Harshaw’s brazen honesty and fearless loyalty.

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Fragile Things: Short Fiction and Wonders

Author: Neil Gaiman
Rating:
Reading Level: HS/Adult

Pages: 355
Publisher: William Morrow
Edition: Hardcover, 2006

This book is such a treasure — from the cover design to the very interesting, informative introduction, to each of the 30+ stories and poems. It is odd to think of this book with such fondness and deep, comforting satisfaction when most of the stories are unsettling, dark, often with unrestrained gore and tragic situations. I wanted to write my reaction to each of the story… but simply didn’t have time. Here are some of my favorite pieces. The short summary is just so I won’t forget what the stories are about…

October in the Chair
(the little boy running away, meeting a little ghost boy…)
Forbidden Brides of the Facelss Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire
(meta-fiction of a young writer, living in a world of fantasy and trying to write his own “realistic fiction”)
Bitter Grounds
(a “zombie” like traveler, assuming another’s identity…)
Other People
(very short and philosophical piece of demons in hell)
Harlequin Valentine
(tricking and being tricked — do not lightly give away your heart — pinning it on the door, with blood dripping..)
The Problem of Susan
(what happens to Susan after the Last Battle from the Narnia books…)
Instructions (poem)
(instructions to one who finds herself trapped inside a fairy tell)
My Life (poem)
(tall-tale goth and funny)
Feeders and Eaters
(a really creepy cannibal story)
Goliath
(a possible story from the world of the movie Matrix)
The Day the Saucers Came (poem)
(humorous accumulative love letter)
Sunbird
(what happens when you have eaten all the rare and precious foodstuff – and not so-foodstuff – in the world)

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A Feast for Crows

Author: George R.R. Martin
Rating:
Reading Level: Adult

Pages:
Publisher:
Edition:

This is definitely not as well written or plotted as the previous ones in the Song of Ice and Fire sequence. However, it was fun to read about the other parts of the world Martin created — to know what Oldtown and Bravossi feel and smell like is fine.

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A Storm of Swords

Author: George R.R. Martin
Rating:
Reading Level: Adult

3rd book in Song of Ice and Fire. Still amazing. Actually.. it is even more amazing than the second one. Certain scenes of bloodshed is engraved in my brain now…

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A Clash of Kings

Author: George R.R. Martin
Rating:
Reading Level: Adult

Second book in the Song of Ice and Fire cycle. Oh, my, God! It is as exciting and surprising as the first one. I was trapped in the world of Westero and the outer regions, fascinated by the host of characters and the complex storyline.

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A Game of Thrones

Author: George R.R. Martin
Rating:
Reading Level: Adult

Pages: 864
Publisher: Spectra
Edition: Paperback, 1996

Thoroughly engrossing — full of gorey war and killing details… but the characters are so well drawn that it rings completely true. The twists and turns of the plotline, especially toward the end of this 800+-page book, kept me so emotionally involved and pumped that I am quite ready to go on to the next book — almost 1,000 pages long. It is soap-opera-esque, but with all the right forumulae for a successful one! I guess I truly crossed a threshold here with the reading of this book — officially I am now a genuine fantasy reader who is not daunted by the length of the book, only annoyed if the book is poorly presented!

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Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Author: Douglass Adams
Rating:
Reading Level: Middle School to Adult

This wacky science ficition story is read so amazingly well by Stephen Fry! I thoroughly enjoyed the listening experience. Now I must go on with the rest of the series! Of course, I can see that maybe some of the slapstick jokes can get a bit tiring after being repeated a few more times than absolutely necessary. Fortunately it is a short tale. I don’t think I could have withstood the funny blasts much longer!

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Me Talk Pretty One Day

Author: David Sedaris
Rating:
Reading Level: High School and Adult

Edition: Audiobook, read by the author

This one, read by Sedaris, too, was thoroughly enjoyable. Witty, at times bitter, and other times revelational, it presents the modern American life’s many quirky sides. (Of course, it’s such life viewed via a very strange mind indeed.)

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The Fountainhead

Author: Ayn Rand
Rating:
Reading Level:


Edition: Audio Book

After hours of listening, I am now finally done with this famous work. So many of my friends read this when they were younger and told me how this book “changed their lives.” At this stage of my life, I definitely did not feel that the ideology or situations presented in the work have that much impact on my life as a whole. It is a gripping story with completely unforgettable characters, for sure.

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July 2005 Reads

Howl’s Moving Castle
by Diana Wynne Jones

fantasy, highly recommended  (4th-7th)

I saw the Miyazaki animated feature film based on this favorite of mine and in between two viewings, I was compelled to quickly re-read Howl. I HAD to re-read it to affirm for myself that Jones’ tone is completely different from that of Miyazaki’s. I much prefer the book’s world… into which I would not mind falling — but I will AVOID the movie’s world at all cost…

Although both book and movie are finely crafted and powerful in their own ways… for some reason, I think the less overtly “anti-war” approach (in the book) commands a depth of human conflicts and the internal struggles of “darkness vs. light” that the movie did not seem to be able to convey convincingly.

So much wise humor, so much gentle and yet deep probing of the human hearts was lost in the movie version.


Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (HP VI)
by J.K. Rowling

fantasy, series, highly recommended (4th-6th)

Definitely one of the better volumes of the series. It is more tightly written, moves at a neck-breaking pace, draws this reader in and pins her down! There are even a couple of surprising elements/scenes. It has been a fun ride! Although many people say that this one is much DARKER than the rest, I still feel that there is quite a bit of hope and levity. Maybe because I like dark tales and this does not strike me as those that really get into the characters’ psyche in a disturbing way — those tales by Poe or Hawthorn… for example. It does not “disturb” my sense of security. It’s a very imaginative and well thought out yarn. I am pleased!


Saiyuki (vols. 5 – 8)
by Kazuya Minekura

fantasy, manga, graphic narrative, translation (7th and up)

The series remains explosive, intriguing, and GORGEOUS!!! Must keep on reading them….


The Story of the Treasure Seekers
by E. Nesbit

fantasy, classic (3rd-5th)

Umm… I could not finish this book… it got tedious after the first 6 or so chapters. I know that it would have been a really fun book for me as a child… but it seems so dated — the sensibilities just don’t ring true any more. (And I LOVE nostalgic stories.)


Namesake
by Jhumpa Lahiri

realistic fiction, adult

I found the events too mundane and the telling too tedious toward the end of the story… too many vignettes and descriptive passages. I also found having the death of the father inserted into the story is a tad gratuitous. Over all, it was somewhat enjoyable and intriguing, but not awe-inspiring.


The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus Trilogy I)
by Jonathan Stroud

fantasy, recommended (5th and up)

This proves that as a reader, I am not entirely consistent… I tried reading this title a year ago and found myself irritated by the tone of the narrative voice of one of the main characters, namely Bartimaeus. This time around, I had more leisure and more patience. Now this story becomes both fascinating, solid, and Bartimaeus has become an endearing character, albeit a conceited one! I can now see why The Amulet of Samarkand is a favorite of so many of my students. I applaud their taste! I must say that as fantasy world-building goes, this story is really successful: it follows impeccable logic and is rich with historical and mythical information. Now I look forward to reading the sequel!


First Boy (galley)
by Gary D. Schmidt

mystery (5th-7th)

There is simply too much concentration on cows and farm businesses to keep my interest up! It MOVES SO SLOWLY… and the pay off was not that great at the end. The sense of suspense is done well but unfortunately I just did not care enough about the characters to be emotionally invested in the outcome of all the “mysteries.” And… the events are both predictable and too coincidental to make this a first (or even second) rate mystery. Too bad…


W Juliet (vols. 1 – 4)
by Emura

realistic fiction, gender bender, manga, graphic narrative, translation (5th-7th)

This gender-bender manga is a lot of fun to read. I enjoyed the relationship between the main characters (the tender love affair is very touching) but found that it drags on a bit — which is common in serialization… one year of their time together is prolonged into FOUR volumes… and I just want a little more and faster development of their predicament… and I want to know exactly what HAPPENS at the end… but alas, that will take maybe another 3 years!


Saiyuki (vols. 1 – 4)
by Kazuya Minekura

fantasy, manga, graphic narrative, translation (7th and up)

This manga series has one of the best artworks in the field… Amazing hair-dos, of course; great personalities — you can actually tell each character apart without having to memorize their hairstyles or clothing! The storyline is pretty wacked but that is not surprising, being Manga. There is solid emotional development for each of the 4 main characters and enough of a coherent storyline that I would recommend this to readers new to this genre/form. Of course, there is a lot of gore (and slight sexual references) that it is not for the very young or faint of heart!


Goblin Wood
by Hilary Bell

fantasy, recommended (5th-7th)

Read this last year but for some reason didn’t record the experience. A solid fantasy from a solid author. I loved how all the characters are drawn with depth and complexity, loved the relationships between the humans and the goblins and between the main characters, and definitely loved the resolution that was not simple or predictable.


The Old Country
by Mordicai Gerstein

historical fiction, fantasy, magical story, highly recommended (4th-7th)

An odd and fascinating tale, with all the right fairy tale touches, and the mysterious ensemble of characters. Couldn’t quite figure out whether very young readers who have not much exposure to the history of the Jewish Holocaust will find this tale intriguing or puzzling… and for those who have been exposed to that part of history, will this tale be too “messagey” or enlightening? For this reader, it was satisfying enough, both as a fairy tale and social commentary. And of course, one does like a surprising ending!


Princess Academy
by Shannon Hale

fantasy, highly recommended (5th-7th)
Shannon Hall Goose Girl delivered again! I was a little put off by the cutsie looking cover.. thinking, oh, no, she sold out!! She’s doing a cute Princess Tale kind of thing… but, no, once again, the situations and the magic are subtle and the skillful presentation of the inter-personal relationships still holds mesmerizing power from this talented storyteller. Magic, boarding school story, romances, friendship, self-discovery, wit… this book has everything!


Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
by Suzanna Clarke

fantasy, alternative history, adult

OH MY GOD… this book is SOOOO good! I would have given it 10 stars if I allow myself to break the rating rules! What a strange mixture of the traditional British comic portrayal of class relations, a la Jane Austen, and the dark, supernatural musings of fine writers such as Hawthorne… One can slowly savor this long tale (782 pages with fine print and finer print for footnotes of which many are short stories in disguise…) and never wish to get out of that eerie world of 19th century alternative Britain. So imaginative and lyrical; so humorous and melancholy; so amazing! A book that stole my heart!


The Good Times are Killing Me
by Lynda Barry

mystery, YA (7th and up)

Barry is skilled in presenting the voices of the characters and capturing the senses of the places. However, there is somewhat a disconnect because of the episodic nature of the “story.” I can imagine how this works really well with music, as when it was first presented as a musical one woman play. Without the music, something is definitely lacking.


Day of Tears
by Julius Lester

historical fiction, highly recommended (5th and up)

I couldn’t quite make up my mind whether I enjoyed this or not. The subtitle of a “novel in dialogue” really threw me — because the “dialogues” are mostly monologues and there are plenty of descriptions of settings and musings of emotions to make this a successful “dialogue” novel. The voices are also not very distinct from person to person. That said, there are many many strong elements going for the novel.   One being the underlying story itself: it is powerful and I can see young readers taking this short tale to heart and understanding the theme and events deeply for its emotional impact.  Another is the strong and effective portrayal of many of the characters and their relationships.  And of course, the imagery of tears/rain, consistent throughout the story, reflecting the mood of the characters and the readers.

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May 2005 Reads

Fast Food Nation
by Eric Schlosser (Read by Rick Adamson)

recommended
nonfiction, Adult, audio book

Whether the writing is too bland or the reader too inappropriately dramatic, I couldn’t tell. But, this very famous and popular title of the last couple of years only delivered information… long passages of it devoted to documenting the people involved in the fast food industry… without satisfying my literary “appetite.” It also has a pretty strong and unhidden agenda that feels a bit heavy handed. I am still happy that I read/listened to it and that I was “informed.” Beyond that, there is not much more to say about it.


Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
by David Sedaris

highly recommended
humorous, nonfiction, memoir, Adult, audio book

Another audio book that is absolutely fantastic to listen to. Read by the author/public speaker with his signature nasal voice that is both sarcastic and completely sincere — incredibly cynical and yet touchingly innocent. The short autobiographical episodes are entertaining, enlightening, and memorable. Absolutely loved it!


Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini

recommended
realistic fiction, Adult, audio book

I listened to this brutal and brutally honest and beautiful book on my iPod, folding laundry or washing dishes… on the subway or falling asleep at night… It is read by the author and his accent and pronunciation of the Afghan words made the experience rich with layers. It was an unforgettable “event,” listening to it.


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