Monday, March 15, 2010

Firefly Lane

By: Kristin Hannah 4/5

   The story of friendship. I had picked out this book to read with my best friend. I wanted us to reconnect over a good novel long distance through email. Unfortunately we have not connected as we both have been super busy.

       This is a 479 page book, and I managed to not be able to put it down. This fiction of two girlfriends that in the 1970s are in different social worlds come together in unlikely circumstances. They of course swear to be BFFs forever and ever, and manage to follow each other all the way through college. Like many BFF novels, you know what the issues are going to be between girlfriends, and those are of course boys! The cool sexy one, gets what she wants, unloved and left by her mother Tully is always the center of attention and the life of the party. Kate, coming from a loving supporting catholic family, finds her time during college dating many guys but her main love was books. Then real life starts and one finds true love and they go on through the trails of friendship and life. The ending is surprising and the reader should be prepared for tissues.

     This is a fast read, that many women and girls could identify with a character. Whether you are Ms. Popularity, Tully, or Wallflower Kate, or a grandmother, or a struggling teen, there is a heroine personality in all of the female characters. I though I first I identified with Tully, as her past and her emotions, though I find myself identifying with Kate and her struggles with her friendship of her BFF. I find her same battles and feeling wronged by someone who is very introverted. In the end, maturity takes over and love is the winner!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Moonstone

By: Wilkie Collins 2.5/5

The Short Version:

First I was disappointed by this book for many reasons. First and foremost it was long, so long, especially after having read “The Woman in White”.  I also had this book as an audio book  and it was downloaded off of which is a non-profit with many readers. One reader didn’t speak English so she couldn’t read and kept stumbling on the words, another reader, possibly the same one, had cars and horns in the background recording. Having this in the background is very distracting considering the book was taking place in 1848!

The book dragged on and on and for a change of pace, dragged on some more. There where a thousand different characters. This is how I characterize them:
-Beteridge – Grumpy self concerned old man, that looks down on women as silly and frivolous. He is the narrator for the better part of the story.
-Ms. Cluck who apparently is a hag, ugly, and only concerned with her crazy notions of religion, which is what she preoccupies herself and her time with. She is so unwilling to back down she forces religion and her religion down the throats of main characters.
-Rosanna is apparently homely conniving thief, who can’t get it in her head where her place in the house is…. She is crestfallen to the point of obsession over a man who could car more for a paint brush than her as a human being.
-Franklin Blake is obsessed with Rachel, the Miss of the house, and would do anything like a puppy dog in love for her.
-Rachel, the Miss of the house who always gets her way no matter what, isn’t amazingly pretty but dresses well so it gives her status. She can’t seem to know what it is she wants and has the “fickle mind” that Beteridge accuses women of.
-Gottfried Applewhite is a smooth talker, and a pimp who is  pretender of philanthropic needs. He is the pimp of today that weasels his way into matters of importance.
-Sgt. Cuff the main policeman is self absorbed and knows he is a legend.  

And the list goes on with many many characters that are added and their histories and lives talked about for what purpose. The story is the story of an object, the Moonstone, and its travel. Who stole it and how? It is sad to say you won’t find out until the antepenultimate chapter when you have been taken up and down with pages and pages of narrative from all these different characters. Mr. Collins could have made the book more fun had he got to the point. There was too much going on. Maybe being in the 21st Century, I wouldn’t understand a book like this, whose suspense is built throughout weeks as the story is published a few pages at a time. I am a person who likes immediate satisfaction.  Though my biggest grudge against this book is why its considered A CLASSIC?!?!  Does have to be written a bajillion years ago to make it be important? And conclusively what was so important about this book? The building of characters… no thanks. I prefer our good adventure novels of today’s time! 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Three Cups of Tea

By: Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin    5/5++++

   I don’t even know how to start my review on this magnificent book! It was so nice and pleasant to read such great book where it shows grassroots organizations are the way to go!
   Who would have thought such a change can be made by one man, who found compassion from people all around the world? Who would have thought that compassion can be found in the most horrifying situations and shows that human nature will always care for its children? I loved this story of Greg Mortenson and his journey to change the way we fight terrorism. The book took you on a wonderful journey into the lives or ordinary village life in rural Pakistan and then Afghanistan, where people speak different, look different but in the end have the same compassion for youth and children as it exists anywhere!
  I think this book makes you understand a culture from a different angel, other than all Muslims are terrorists, you can sympathize with those people. Like every religion, everyone has fundamentalists and anything that is way over the top, like religion, a craze, a fashion, isn’t going to be good. Those we are afraid of, like those in the villages Dr. Greg visited, are the same people we are all afraid of. They are beyond normalcy or beyond any thoughts of decent human behavior! We can not as Americans class everyone into those people. Like people in other parts of the world classify Americans as heartless, arrogant, bastards and that is not true of all of us.
  I do think that everyone needs to read this book. You get such a deep understanding of the needs of these people, their culture and their fundamental way of life that it would be silly not to take these into account when dealing with them.

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