Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
1. The book that’s been on your shelves the longest:
I think this would have to be In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. I did an independent study on this book in like grade 10. It survived may moves that's for sure. Usually I purge my books in the case of a move just because if not all my boxes would be books. That being said this book has survived a lot. It's a classic and it introduces a new genre of writing. The story is grim but I just had to keep it.
2. A book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time, etc.):
Fall on Your Knees by Anne-Marie MacDonald makes me think of life in Cornwall. At the time I read this I was in grade 10 doing a book study. I was going through a lot of personal family issues and I have to say that this book really helped me keep my head straight during a lot of that. It made me realize that life could be much worse. I have been through some tough things and everytime I do I think of that book. I will also never forget my teacher's face in grade 10 English when I told him I was doing that book for a novel study. It's twists and complications were a little scandalous for a Catholic high school.
3. A book you acquired in some interesting way (gift, serendipity in a used bookstore, prize, etc.):
I'm not sure if I acquired any of my books in an unusual way. Mostly from the bookstore, the library or from friends. I remember the book that Derek, my bf, first got me. We were doing long distance at the time and I was constantly going back and forth from the Toronto to Ottawa and as a result spent many hours on the bus. So one night on our way to drop me off at the bus station yet again we were wandering Chapters with our Starbucks and Derek bought me Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood. I read it for the entire 5 hr drive home.
4. The most recent addition to your shelves:
Hmmmm... Well I recently got a few books in the mail from Barnes and Noble. They are as follows:
-Night by Elie Wiesel (audiobook)
-Shoe Addicts Anonymous by Beth Harbison
-Dracula by Bram Stoker
-A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
-Sweetheart by Chelsea Caine
5. A book that’s been with you to the most places:
Hmm... I'm not sure. I'm not much of a re-reader so that being said I would have to go with the same answer as question one. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote just because it's moved with me the most. From Cornwall, to my dad's in Ottawa, to my grandmother's in Ottawa, to my first place on my own in Ottawa, then off to Toronto (2 different places there), and then to Ottawa again. Like I said, I've moved a lot.
6. A bonus book that you want to talk about but doesn’t fit into the other questions:
Well, I think that this would have to be A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer. I had to read this book recently for a book club that I started. It was someone else's pick and I have to admit I am a judge a book by it's cover kind of girl. Based on the cover I wasn't really looking forward to reading this book at all. I put it off for a while and when it became apparent that I had to start reading it or it wouldn't be done in time I picked up the book and started reading it. Well it didn't take me very long to finish it because I became so immersed in what was happening. I ended up really enjoying the book. I have to say that this has opened my eyes to other books. I like to try new things now. I try not to limit myself to what I usually read and I try not to judge the book by it's cover although occasionally it still happens.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Summary (from publisher):
Heather Wells Rocks!
Or, at least, she did. That was before she left the pop-idol life behind after she gained a dress size or two -- and lost a boyfriend, a recording contract, and her life savings (when Mom took the money and ran off to Argentina). Now that the glamour and glory days of endless mall appearances are in the past, Heather's perfectly happy with her new size 12 shape (the average for the American woman!) and her new job as an assistant dorm director at one of New York's top colleges. That is, until the dead body of a female student from Heather's residence hall is discovered at the bottom of an elevator shaft.
The cops and the college president are ready to chalk the death off as an accident, the result of reckless youthful mischief. But Heather knows teenage girls . . . and girls do not elevator surf. Yet no one wants to listen -- not the police, her colleagues, or the P.I. who owns the brownstone where she lives -- even when more students start turning up dead in equally ordinary and subtly sinister ways. So Heather makes the decision to take on yet another new career: as spunky girl detective!
But her new job comes with few benefits, no cheering crowds, and lots of liabilities, some of them potentially fatal. And nothing ticks off a killer more than a portly ex-pop star who's sticking her nose where it doesn't belong . . .Review
This book was easy to read and entertaining for a couple days. I found Heather Mills character endearing; however at times I found her frustrating. She is desperately in love with her roommate but unwilling to ever tell him. While being terrified of telling a boy she loves him she's not afraid at all of a potential murderer. She dives head first into the murder mystery in the dorm- or, as we are never meant to forget as the term is annoyingly repeated throughout the book, residence hall. The book is typical of chick lit and the plot line is predictable. That being said, overall I did enjoy it. I was not expecting it to be literary genious and as a result I could enjoy the book. I do believe the Heather's character could have been developed more but I believe there are 2 other books in the series and I have a suspicion that over time the character development will occur. I give this book 3 stars.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Summary (from the publisher):
A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" which spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and raping women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers-among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears-through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation and a vivid evocation of the horrors of the twentieth century, Blindness has swept the reading public with its powerful portrayal of man''s worst appetites and weaknesses-and man''s ultimately exhilarating spirit. The stunningly powerful novel of man''s will to survive against all odds, by the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature.
What I think:
This book excellent. It takes a little while to get used to the writing style. The paragraphs don't seem to make much sense because the subject can change with the next sentence but overall it is a well written book. The book is thought provoking and it really shows how people act when they think no one can see them. It is amazing to think of how much trouble we would be in if everyone lost their sight. The book gives a very raw look at humanity and has us question how different we really are. Would we react any differently? The people in the book were of all different classes and cultures and in the end most of them reacted in the same way. After reading the book I watched the movie. I would have to say that the movie follows the book fairly closely. i would recommend both highly. I give it 5 stars
Summary (from the Publisher):
Stonewood Heights is the perfect place to raise children: it has the proverbial good schools, solid values and a healthy real estate market. It’s the kind of place where parents are involved in their children’s lives–coaching sports, driving carpool, taking an interest in their development at every level. The Abstinence Teacher focuses on two divorced parents who each play key roles in the lives of other people’s children: Ruth Ramsey is the human sexuality teacher at the local high school who believes that “pleasure is good, shame is bad, and knowledge is power.” Her younger daughter’s soccer coach is Tim Mason, a former stoner and rocker whose response to hitting rock bottom was to reach out and be saved. Tim is a member of The Tabernacle, the local evangelical Christian church that wants to take its message outside the doors of its own sanctuary, and sees a useful target in Ruth Ramsey. Adversaries in a small-town culture war, Ruth and Tim instinctively distrust one another. But when a controversy on the playing field forces the two of them to actually talk to each other, an uneasy friendship begins to develop.
I really enjoyed this book. I had read mixed reviews. I found the juxtaposition of fanatic religion and anti-religion to be interesting. While I tended to relate more to Ruth, a sex education teacher who is forced to adhere to a strict abstinence focused program, I at times was frustrated with how close minded she was. I enjoyed reading the parts about Ruth more than the parts about Tim. I found Tim to be bland and seemingly without much personality. I suppose that it might be on purpose to show how fanatic religion has taken over Tim's personality and he doesn't quite know who he is anymore. I just found it funny that both sides were evenly close minded. I grew up in a Catholic family, going to church every Sunday and going to Catholic school. While I do not follow organize religion anymore, I can see the value in it. This being said I think that people need to be less close minded to things. Ruth rejects all things religion and is upset when her daughters want to go to church. Tom's church believes in Christianity to the exclusion of all other things. There needs to be some kind of balance in life. Overall, this book is easy to read because the characters draw you in. That being said, I'm not sure if I find the ending believable. I won't spoil anything for anyone but the ending seems to be something to be expected but shouldn't happen. Overall, I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.