Friday, September 30, 2011

The Hours By Michael Cunningham

Since I read Mrs Dalloway a few weeks ago I decided it was time to read The Hours. I wasn't sure I was going to like it but I really enjoyed it.
The Hours is the story of three women-Virginia Woolf, Clarrisa Vaughn, and Laura Brown. Virginia is recovering and writing Mrs Dalloway. Clarrisa is getting ready to throw a party for her friend, Richard, a poet who is receiving an award. Laura is a pregnant stay at home mom who is reading Mrs Dalloway. The story is quite simple. Each woman is going through her day, interacting with spouses, friends, and neighbors. Each woman lives a quiet life but they all have this inner turmoil, this longing for something else. It's quite beautiful how each story unfolds and each woman is revealed.
I have never seen the movie but I want to now that I finished the book. It's an elegant story and an enjoyable read.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The BFG by Roald Dahl

The BFG by Roald Dahl
Illustrated by Quentin Blake

Book Description: Sophie, a little orphan girl, is captured by a giant. Not just any giant, but the Big Friendly Giant, which is very fortunate for her. He does NOT eat human beans like the other giants that live near him. Together they come up with a plan that involves the Queen of England to stop the other nine giants from eating humans.

My Take: LOVED it! Great story that keeps you wondering. What I liked the best was the wonderful words that Mr. Dahl makes up for the giant to speak. They are just fun to pronounce and hear out loud. Definitely, a good book to read out loud to your children or a classroom! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just Left of Imagination Avenue: #YAScramble!! "Want to get away? Powerful Settings...

Just Left of Imagination Avenue: #YAScramble!! "Want to get away? Powerful Settings...: (what a cool 50th post this makes!) #YASCRAMBLE GUYS! Here's what you do: 1) Visit the first blog (based on list below). 2) Read the gues...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire A. Nivola

Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire A. Nivola 
Fun picture book about the story of Wangari Maathai, first woman from Africa to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. As a child she remembers her home in Kenya with many farms and villages where people ate the food they grew. She was able to attend college in the US, where she studied biology in hopes to return to Kenya with her new knowledge. In those five years, though, Kenya had changed dramatically. The trees had been cut down for more plantation fields, which led to various problems. Wangari Maathai taught the women to grow trees from seeds.  This turned out to be the best thing for the people of Kenya.

My thoughts:
I thought the book was really good for younger children to learn about a person out making a difference in her home country. The pictures are colorful. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

whoops, further updates

Upon perusal of my list, I realize I have also finished the following and forgotten to blog about them:

TROPIC OF CANCER, Henry Miller (blech, basically)

BAD BEHAVIOR, Mary Gaitskill (liked it ok; got me reading more short stories; didn't totally fall in love)

WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT LOVE, Raymond Carver (again, enjoyed; more short stories please; revealed Gordon Lish editorial style to me, which has been very educational)

CHARMING BILLY, Alice McDermott (lovely writing, but I found it a bit inaccessible)

THE SUN ALSO RISES, Ernest Hemingway (yep, definitely a fan)

THE WIND-UP BIRD CHRONICLES, Haruki Murakami (glad I've got a Murakami under my belt now, but I just don't think I'm a fan of his)

I also started Charles Dickens's DAVID COPPERFIELD, but kind of put it aside after 30% (on Kindle). I'm just starting Edward P Jones's THE KNOWN WORLD now.

Wahoo. Almost halfway through.

ENDER'S GAME, by Orson Scott Card

Yay! After a long hiatus (uh, someone fell into an epic fantasy binge-reading hole), I'm making Gaps progress again. Here's my review for Ender's Game. I'd love to discuss with anyone else who's read it.


I've been wanting to read this book for ages. I read a review somewhere and it sounded so cute. Grandpa, a dog and pancakes starts all this. Grandpa is fixing pancakes and the dog comes running through the room, upsetting Grandpa. The pancake fly's through the air and lands on his head. Later that night, at bedtime, Grandpa tells them a tall tale about Chewandswallow. It doesn't rain or snow, it comes down as food. But one day the weather gets really strange and starts sending enormous amounts of food and the food is larger. All the people make a boat out of the peanut butter sandwiches and sail away to another town.
This book has some wonderful drawings done by Ron Barriett. Children would love this book as it's full of imagination. If you have children you should read this book to them. It wonderful!

My full review at Just Books.