Monday, March 30

Book Review Thirteen Moons

Title: Thirteen Moons

Author: Charles Frazier

Pages: 420

Summary: Charles Frazier’s Thirteen Moons is the story of one man’s remarkable life, spanning a century of relentless change. At the age of twelve, an orphan named Will Cooper is given a horse, a key, and a map and I sent on a journey through the wilderness to the edge of the Cherokee Nation the uncharted white space on the map. Will is a bound boy, obligated to run a remote Indian trading post. As he fulfills is lonesome duty, Will finds a father in Bear, a Cherokee chief, and is adopted by him and his people, developing relationships that ultimately forge Will’s character. All the while, his love for Claire the enigmatic and captivating charge of the volatile and powerful Featherstone, will forever rule Will’s heart.

In a distant voice filled with both humour and yearning, Will tells of a life long search for his home, the hunger for fortune and adventure, the rebuilding of a trampled culture, and above all an enduring pursuit of passion. As he comes to realize “When all else is lost and gone forever, there is yearning. One of the few welcome lessons age teaches is that only desire trumps time.

Will Copper, in the hands of Charles Frazier, is a man devoted to a place and its people, to a woman and to a way of life, all of which seem forever just beyond his reach. Thirteen Moons takes us from the uncharted wilderness of an unspoiled continent to the urban clamor of a raw Washington City of the nineteenth century and gives way to the telephones, automobiles and encroaching rails of the twentieth. Steeped in history, rich in insight and filled with moments of sudden beauty, Thirteen Moons is an unforgettable work of fiction by an American master

My Rating: 8.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Another example of a beautiful and flowing style of writing. Charles Frazier has done a splendid job at creating a story and painting a picture of the culture, the wilderness and events in the book. I really enjoyed this book, Wills story gripped me at times, both sad and happy. He had a some what lonely life, but he constantly worked for everything and had a never give up way of thinking, I enjoyed his character. It wasn’t one I fell in love with, but he is a character that sticks with you.
The realism to the characters Frazier brought in. The friendships, triumphs, and deaths of the characters were well written and moving at times. I really felt bad for Will when his Horse died. A “friend” he had since boyhood. It sounds a little corny, but if/when you read the book you’ll understand.
I’m not sure how historically accurate the novel is, I’ve read in other reviews it’s loosely based on real events and real people, but regardless of accuracy I enjoyed the book a lot. I liked the glimpses into the lives and culture, of a culture, that has pretty much been whipped out from today’s society, and I think I’ll read more books close to this books genre and theme.
The only issue I have with the book is sometimes the book did drag out a bit more than I would have liked it. But it’s fairly minor, the elegant writing style will make you keep reading if anything else.

Would I recommend it to read: Absolutely! It’s a great story, and the author has an amazing talent. At least give it a try. Some who don’t like descriptiveness wouldn’t like the book much, but I think a lot of readers can take something out of this, because it has such a variety in themes, and pieces of a story (writing style, characterisation, events etc) that cover a wide spectrum of readers. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see this on a future 1001 list to read before you die or similar.

What to read next: I've heard good things about his other novel, Cold Mountain. Also the stone Diaries has the similarities in the story of a person's life.

Challenges:
100+ Challenge, Support Your Library Challenge, A - Z Challenge,
Dewey's Book Challenge, New Author Challenge, Spring Reading Challenge

Dewey's Review of Thirteen Moons

Sunday, March 29

Library Loot


Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Alessandra that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!


This was a busy week for me and my local library, and I REALLY! Had to use restraint not to get more books out, in fact I made myself leave three books there that I wanted to get when I went there on Friday to pick up a hold. This is also my first Library Loot, I've been meaning to participate, but have been so busy.....

I returned

Twilight - Stephanie Meyer
Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut

From previous visits I have:

Thirteen Moons - Charles Fraizer
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood - Rebecca Wells
Alls Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
The Diplomarts Wife - Pam Jenoff

I Checked out:

Of Mice and Men - John Stienbeck (90% sure I read this in high school, so it may be a re-read)
20 000 leagues under the Sea - Jules Verne
The Children of Hurin - J.R.R Tolkien edited by Christopher Tolkien
Half in Love - Justin Cartwright (the book that was on hold for me, the other three books were from be browsing, the online catalogue said the 20000 leagues was not there, but this is a paperback copy, so it may not be catalogued. The other two were also from browsing)

Also I checked out an Ebook on Saturday from the library's collection (I have a problem I know!)
Eclipse - Stephanie Meyer. I'm not a big ebook fan, but I want to finish the Twilight Saga, but I don't want to waste time waiting on the 3 - 4 month hold list. (I didn't like the first book much, but liked it enough to finish the saga.)/

Books I wanted but Left behind:
(Untill next visit at least, have about 100 pages left of thrieen moons, and of mice and men is very short so I should have both of those done by tonight. And I have the day off classes tomorrow, so maybe I'll be able to finish Divine Secrets.....)

Almost Moon - Alice Sebold
The Snow Flower and Secret Fan - Lisa See

Did I mention I LOVE MY LIBRARY? TPL 99 branches at my disposal and if you want a book the deliver it to the library that is less than a five minute walk from my house. This is a smaller library than most in the system, but its soo close! SOOO CLOSE!
Happy Reading!


Friday, March 27

Book Review: Slaughterhouse-Five

Title: Slaughterhouse-Five

Author: Kurt Vonnegut

Pages: 215

Summary: Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes 'unstuck in time' after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.
Slaughterhouse-Five is not only Vonnegut's most powerful book, it is also as important as any written since 1945. Like Catch-22, it fashions the author's experiences in the Second World War into an eloquent and deeply funny plea against butchery in the service of authority. Slaughterhouse-Five boasts the same imagination, humanity, and gleeful appreciation of the absurd found in Vonnegut's other works, but the book's basis in rock-hard, tragic fact gives it unique poignancy -- and humour. (Amazon.com description)

My Rating: 6/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This was a very odd, yet unique read for me, which is both good and bad. Good in that it was a little different then what I normally read, I’ve been branching out a lot this year, and this one of them. Also, I’ve been meaning to read Vonnegut for a while, so it got me into him, and I think I will read more of his work. The book its self wasn’t great, but it did keep me interested in it. I found the book to be disjointed at times, because the main character time travels a lot, the reader is pulled around to different parts in time, so it at times, makes it hard to focus on the different story lines. There are the aliens, the war, and other periods in his life, so sometimes you have to stop and re-think things you’ve read a little longer. Actually, the way it’s written sometimes reminded me of flipping through the channels on the television, and watching each channel for one or two minutes at a time. Is how the book felt. The overall effect left me with mixed feelings on how it was written, I think that is partially why my ratting is so low. Another aspect I liked was that it made you think about a lot of things, such as free will, why we make decisions and deep down in the writing, there’s the political anti-war message. Overall a good read, but it didn’t grip me like I expected it would, and the style of writing wasn’t what I though, but it might be just the way the book was written (as in the time travel aspect)

Would I recommend it to read: I think I’d recommend the book to select “audience” or style of reading. I think a lot of readers would get fed up with how disjointed/jumpy the text goes from time period to time period, but it’s a very different read, so if you like branching out, or like sci-fi its worth trying.

What to read next: The Time Machine-H.G. Wells (for the sci-fi/ time travel side) and Catch - 22 (Librarything recommendation).

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, 999 Challenge, 2009 Support Your Library Challenge,
A - Z Challenge, Decades Challenge, New Author Challenge,

Thursday, March 26

Book Review: Twilight

Title: Twilight

Author: Stephanie Meyer

Pages: 498

Summary: “About three things I was absolutely positive. First Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him- and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be- that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.”

In the firs book of the Twilight saga internationally bestselling author Stephanie Meyer introduces Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, a pair of star-crossed lovers whose forbidden relationships ripens against the backdrop of a small-town suspicion and a mysterious coven of vampires. This is a love story with a bite.

My Rating: 5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Going into this book, I knew chances of me loving it or evening liking it a lot were slim. I read reviews, both good and bad and with the knowledge I have of the books, I knew I’d agree more with the bad reviews, but I read the book anyways for two reasons. One was because the hype it has received and I wanted to know why. Even great best selling books, don’t receive the hype and the fandom this book has received, and I really needed to find out why. The second reason is, the last time a book series was this hyped was Harry Potter, which at first I refused to read, on the bases it was for children/young adults, but eventually I did read it, loved it and had to take the foot out of my mouth, so I decided to give the book a chance.

Well I didn’t love it, but I didn’t want to throw the book across the room, or burn it either. Which is good thing, but the book for me was “just ok.” I really don’t understand the hype it has received, or the good reviews, for starters who ever edited the book, for both grammatical and content, should be fired. Seriously, the amount of times the same thing was mentioned over and over, got annoying really fast. I get Bella and Edward are in love, but seriously how many times do I have to hear “I love/like/can’t be without you Edward” and his reply “I’m dangerous/me too/ you smell good”. That happened about every other page. We get it, she loves him, he’s reluctant, he thinks she smells good, MOVE ON! My copy wasn’t as bad for the grammatical or other similar errors, but it’s a later/movie-tie-in I got from the library, so maybe they figured it out. But once in a while I saw a typo. Characterization was alright, but not fantastic and I really do not understand how Bella managed to get her self to the ripe age of seventeen. Because she nearly dies every time she moves. I’m a klutz and have tripped on my face a lot. But that’s nothing compared to her. I also don’t get the fascination with Edward, he’s a seventeen year old albino vampire, and exactly how is that sexy?

Writing was mediocre, which again brings me to the question why is this so famous? The story was alright enough for me to read to the end, and I will finish the series, although I’m in no big hurry to, but it isn’t that great of a book, in fact it’s just an okay book, whose series I’ll finish at some point. Maybe it will help me understand why it’s so famous, but I know how it ends. I called how it ends, without reading any one of the books or having any knowledge of any of the books. And I was 99% right except for one detail, but that’s about it. But, the book is no way worth the hype, it a book about a romance, with a vampire, which an okay plot to back it up.

Would I recommend it to read: If you’re a 14 - 17 year old girl, yes. I think most would like it, there is probably a lot of girls who could relate to Bella. And it’s a very “chick-lit-romance”. For adults, or older readers, I’m not sure. If you are looking for a mindless read and like vampire stories, give it a try. But other than that, maybe don’t waste your time, it isn’t this amazing read, that hype it’s received is very overrated.

What to read next: The rest of the series (Eclipse, New Moon, Breaking Dawn I think that’s the order…..I know breaking dawn is the last one…..) If you’re an adult and like vampire stories, maybe Anne Rice is the way to go. She’s been on my shelf for a while. For more young adult stories, I’m at a loss, I’m not an expert on it or anything, and I shy away from them, because I tend to dislike the moaning and groaning of angsty teen/young adult stories.(Sorry YAs, but I can only take so much melancholy my life is so horrible, I hate high school etc.)

Challenges 1st in Series Challenge, 100+ Challenge, 999 Challenge, Support Your Library Challenge, A - Z Challenge, New Author Challenge, Spring Reading Challenge,


Sunday, March 22

Book Review: Orlando

Title: Orlando

Author: Virginia Woolf

Pages: 162

Summary: Virginia Woolf’s close friend, Vita Sacville-West, was the model for the androgynous hero of Orlando. The deliberately fanciful story spans a period from the late 16th to the 20th centuries and takes the hero, Orlando, from bring a handsome boy of 16, through encounters with Elizabeth I to a love affair with a Muscovite princess; from Ambassador Extraordinary to encounters, now as Lady Orlando, with Pope, Addision and Swift and childbirth.

Orlando is a brilliantly perceptive and delicious fantasy containing many valuable historical insights and is a joy to read.

My Rating: 8/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Orlando is a story I wouldn’t have expected from Virginia Woolf. It’s so different then what I’ve experienced from her other works, because it’s such an unusual story. But it’s unusual in a good way, and even if the story isn’t as strong as I’d like it to have been, the elegant, poetic and flowing words that came off the pages made up for it. The story was a “biography” of the character Orlando, who half way through the story, turns from male to female. The narrator addresses the reader a lot, which added something different to the book, and there was a bit of humour through out the novel, as the narrator adds a bit of their own opinion in. And at times, it seemed like Woolf, was adding a bit of satire or her own strong opinions on the way society acted and presented it’s self throughout the centuries, Orlando lived through (16th - 20th), but that could have been just me.

The poetic writing, is what really made the story, it is just a beautiful poetic story, where paragraph after paragraph is filled with an elegant style of writing, which has made Woolf famous. She truly has an ability to write with exceptional, poetic style, that traps you into her novels.

Would I recommend it to read: Differently. This is a classic story, for all fans of classics, unique novels, or fans of elegant style of writing. Anyone who enjoys any of theses would like the book, and any fan of Woolf or other similar authors, would also like it to read. Even if you don’t give it a try anyways, you won’t be disappointed.

What to read next: Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse

Challenges: 1% Well Read Challenge, 100+ Challenge, 999 Challenge, RYOB Challenge,


Monday, March 16

Book Review: The Gathering

Title: The Gathering

Author: Anne Enright

Pages: 261

Summary: A dazzling writer of international statue, Anne Enright is one of Irelands most singular voices. Now she delivers The Gathering a moving evocative portrait of a large Irish family haunted by the past.
The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan are gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam, drowned in the sea. His sister, Veronica, collects the body and keeps the dead man company, guarding the secret she shares with him - something that happened in their grandmother’s house in the winter of 1968. As Enright traces the line betrayal and redemption through three generations, she shows how memories warp and secrets fester. As in all Enright’s work, her distinctive intelligence twists the world a fraction, and gives it back to us in a new and unforgettable light.

My Rating: 6.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: The writing style of this book has this beautiful, lyrical poetic flow to it, that captures the reader from the start, Enright has done an amazing job at capturing the emotions and creating such real aspects of it, that pour out of the page. Her ability to show the level of grief of the family, the level of emotion, the level of their characteristics is amazing. Unfortunately, the protagonist is one, which I really disliked, she had her reasons for being the way she is, and she is very grief ridden, but the way she acts, her way of thinking just becomes so very un-likeable, it ruins the story at time, despite the wonderful style of writing. I don’t know much more to what I could say, the author has done an amazing job at capturing the Irish sprit, and at capturing the emotions in grief, family secrets, and the emotions of life in general, but I found the one character and her attitude, just ruined the story for me. I liked finding out more about the family, but the main character Veronica was a character that I couldn’t connect to or liked enough to like the story more. Again, a fantastic and beautiful flow and style of writing, truly stunning.

Would I recommend it to read:I would recommend this book. I think a lot would appreciate this style of writing, few modern authors can achieve this and the story is a good story, it’s just not what I expected from the characters. But others may be able to connect to Veronica more than I can. Either way, it’s worth reading, just a warning that the main character can be slightly frustrating and un-likeable at times.

What to read next: I'd try another book by Enright, and on Library Things Recommendations it says: On Chelsi Beach - Ian McEwan and The Sea - John Banville, to name a couple.

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, 999 Challenge, A - Z Challenge, New Author Challenge, RYOB Challenge


Saturday, March 14

Book Review: The Glimpses of the Moon

Title: The Glimpses of the Moon

Author: Edith Wharton

Pages: 297

Summary: In 1922, two years after publication of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton wrote a novel that was acclaimed by the New York Times and quickly became an international bestseller. Se in the 1920s, The Glimpses of the Moon details the romantic misadventures of Nick Lansing and Susy Branch, a couple with the right connections but not much in the way of funds. They devise a shrewd bargain: they’ll marry and spend a year or so sponging off their wealthy friends, honeymooning in their mansions and villas. As Susy explains, “We should really, in a way, help more than we should hamper each other. We both know the ropes so well; what one of us didn’t see the other might- in the way of opportunities, I mean. And then we should be a novelty as married people. We’re both rather unusually popular-why not be frank?-- and it’s such a blessing for dinner-givers to be able to count on a couple of whom neither one is a blank” The other part of the plan is that if either one of them meets someone who can advance them socially, they’re each free to dissolve the marriage. How their plan unfolds in a comedy of eros that will charm all fans of Wharton’s work. Out of print for deceases, The Glimpses of the Moon is a welcome addition to the literary achievement of our most enduring authors.

My Rating: 4.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I wish I could say this was a good book. After all, it’s a New York Time bestseller, the author has won awards in previous works, and it’s on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die List. So, it has a lot of things going for it. I wish I could say it lived up to its hype, but it didn’t. The book was boring, nothing happened, it was just a long over stretched story about a husband and wife, with rich friends who fall in love with someone else and decide to pursue these interests. There isn’t much to the story, just the day to day lives of couple and their friends. There rich friends. The book was boring, in fact, summary blurb on the back of the book explains the entire story, so you don’t need to read the book after that really. To some the book up, can be done in one word. Cliché. It’s your basic “love story which has some sort of trial in it. Then of course after this try it all ends happily ever after. I sort of gave a way the ending there, but you can easily guess what happens in the end to this couple who pursued their own interests and faced a trial in their path. Sigh, such great hype, the language/style of the story isn’t what I expected, I was expecting something more lyrical or beautiful style, from what the reviews said. I was expecting something great, what I got was something, not so great. Oh well you win some you lose some.

Would I recommend it to read: No, I don’t think I would, there are far better books you could read from the 1001 List of Books to read before you die, that would be better reads than this.

What to read next: I can’t say for sure, check out the 1001 Books to Read Before you Die List.

Challenges: 1% Well Read Challenge, 100+ Challenge, Support Your Library Challenge, A - Z Challenge, Casual Classics Challenge, New Author Challenge


Sunday, March 1

February Wrap Up!

Well, another month has passed where I read some good books, some great books, and some not so good, and although I didn’t reach my reading goal again this month, (I blame the only 28 days, and the busy week at school 3 assignments, in five days!). But, I did get some headway into my challenges, so it worked out well methinks. (Although I am about to start another challenge….I know! I know!)

Books Read

1 - The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
2 - Marley and Me: Life and Love With the Worlds Worst Dog - John Grogan
3 - The Time Machine - H.G. Wells
4 - Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
5 - Children of Men - P.D. James
6 - The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Challenges Worked on This Month

1st in a Series

- 1/12 books read. - 1 book read this month

100+ Challenge
- 12/100 books read
- 6 books read this month

2nd Canadian Challenge
- 3/13 books read
- 1 book read this month

999 Challenge
- 8/81 books read
- 4 books read this month

2009 Support Your Library Challenge
- 5/25 books read
- 4 books read this month

A - Z Challenge
- 9/52 books read
- 5 books read this month.

Casual Classics
-
3/4 books read
- 2 books read this month

New Authors Challenge
- 7/13 books read
- 5 books read this month

ROYB Month
-6/25 books read
- 2 books read this month.

Favourite book of the Month: Oryx and Crake
Least Favourite Book of the Month: Children of Men


Overall I’m happy with my progress, well not as happy as I would like to be, but because I’ve been so busy with school, I’ve been doing alright. I’m signing up for another challenge, sigh, but it’s a fun one. But at least, I can do a lot over overlapping. Not to mention, I should be able to finish Casual Classics and New Authors for March! So it all works out! Keep reading!