Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book review time!

Yup, it's that time again. I like to read a lot, thus, I have a lot of reviews to post.  Don't want to read about books?  Wait a few days and I'll post something new.  Like to read about books?  Ask me about them cause I loves me some good reads!
 Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez:  It's an older book that has been on my Goodreads shelf for a long time just waiting to be selected.  Only one thing to say: blech.  It just didn't do it for me.  It was whiny and needy and painful to read.  Life's too short for bad books and this is one of them, people, so I stopped about 35 pages in.  Recommended for whiny babies who want to wallow in misery.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote:  This is another book that has been hanging around on my "to read" Goodreads shelf for a while.  Written in 1966, it's considered a classic.  It's about the murder of a family in rural Kansas in the 50's.  This book was banned for a short time in Savanna, Georgia, after a parent complained about sex, violence, and profanity.  It's funny to me to think that this book was banned given the content of books out there today.  My how things have changed!  The book was my personal recommendation to the book club I'm in.  To be honest, I found the information I googled about the back story of how the author wrote the book (including collaborating with his childhood friend, Harper Lee) and his interactions with the killers more interesting than the book itself.  However, the book was well received by the others in the book club so it was probably just me.  Recommended for those who want to feel more well-rounded, might go on Jeopardy some day, or need to be able to keep up in social situations where it's important to use literary terms like protagonist, antagonist, allusion, and genre.
 My Own Country by Abraham Verghese:  It's written by a doctor at the edge of treatment of the early AIDS epidemic in Tennessee in the 80's.  This had potential to be very interesting.  However, I found the doctor's writing style to be exceedingly verbose.  He could've trimmed at least half of this book away and it would've been twice as good.  Recommended for long layovers and people who enjoy listening to themselves talk.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini:  I started to watch this movie back when I had a subscription to Netflix and nothing else better to do.  I did not make it thru the entire movie because of thematic elements that I won't reveal here.  (Disclaimer:  I have a hard time watching disturbing scenes in movies.  Almost always, Hollywood feels the need to leave nothing to the imagination and goes to the point of being excessively vulgar and grotesque when a similar vibe could be achieved using more advanced techniques.  Less is more.  Just my own personal schtick...*jumps off soapbox*).  Beautifully written with elegant themes of guilt, class issues, forgiveness, love, hate, evil, and redemption.  Highly recommended.  The end.

Winning Balance by Shawn Johnson:  Little autobiography and inspirational story about her life while she was an elite gymnast and after.  I enjoyed it.  I liked that she didn't feel the need to hide her Christian religion.  She told behind the scenes stories from the Olympics and cutesie stories about her love life.  Most interesting to me was how she practiced a fraction of the time the other gymnasts did and remained grounded (she even went to public school) despite her fame.  I doubt it's going to change your life in any way but it's a nice, quick read.  Recommended if you're an Olympics geek like me.
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh:  Another book on my "to read" shelf for a while.  I never got around to watching the movie when it came out like 20 years ago.  I never, never, never say this BUT I stopped reading about 25 pages in and told myself I would just watch the movie.  I'm typically a huge advocate of reading the book and then watching the movie.  However, this one is written in a heavy (like super duper heavy) Scottish dialogue that made me feel like I was reading a foreign language.  I was sounding out almost every word and it was just painful to read.   I enjoyed what I read but it took way too much time and effort to read those 25 pages.  Recommended for those who are on a waiting list for Rosetta Stone: Scottish edition.  Just read this book, it'll do the same thing.

Here's my current read.  I've read the other two novels she wrote but had held off on this one.  I'm not typically very into books about this subject matter.  Don't know what it is?  Read the book.

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