Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Art of Racing in the Rain
by Garth Stein 5/5

Yes, its true another dog book, but not at all like “Marley and Me” which is what I expected. This book is about life, love and friendship (of course it is, its about a dog’s life). I guess I had no idea what to expect and I was splendidly surprised. Of course like any book about an animal and my emotions rolled, and I cried. Here are two of my favorite passages.

“The true hero is flawed. The true test of a champion is not whether he can triumph, but whether he can overcome obstacles-preferably of his own making-in order to triumph. A hero without a flaw is of no interest to an audience or to the universe, which, after all is based on conflict and opposition, the irresistible force meeting the unmovable object.”

“Inside each of us resides the truth, I began, the absolute truth. But sometimes the truth is hidden in a hall of mirrors. Sometimes we believe we are viewing the real thing, when in fact we are viewing a facsimile, a distortion.”

The story is written in the voice of the dog Enzo, of the life he shares with his humans Denny, Eve and Zoe their daughter.

There is a documentary on the belief of Mongolians, that dogs when they die they are reincarnated into the humans, and they are closer in fact to humans that monkeys which are dumb. What a waste of an opposable thumb.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Tender Bar
JR Moehringer 4.5/5

What can I say about “The Tender Bar”? Out of all the memoirs I read this was not my favorite, but it wasn’t bad either. Like many memoirs it’s the story of getting over the hump, over coming hardships; poverty, single parent households; education; etc. What I also enjoyed about the book (which is why it got a higher rating) was the idea of male presence and what effect it had on the author. Obviously the author felt so connected and obliged in a way to write this book about this bar. The title fits the book so well, a bar that has all the characteristics of being caring, kind and tender.

Like with any memoir, I think everyone can partially relate to the book one way or another. So “The Tender Bar” like others, there were many times you feel like the author is writing about your life. I certainly felt it when he discussed the hardships of school, love, money and more.This was a fast read, and it would have been faster had I had the time to actually read it.

The writing is easy and flowing, and the thoughts are well organized. It is easy to get caught up in the emotions the author is portraying. I recommend this even on a high school level. I don’t know much about the background of the author, but maybe that would be even more interesting to read! Great book! I will recommend it to others.