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My Book Reviews

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Stranger in a Strange LandStranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once I started this book, I really looked forward to any free moment I had to pick it up again. This book really makes you think. About relationships, about the roles men and women play in society, about religion and god, about life on other planets, about our own senses and control we have over our bodies, about sex and what sexual relationships mean. It pretty much covered it all, mostly through the eyes of a very wise older man, and indirectly through a man who was not considered entirely human. There was an entire section in the middle about the “church” and a particular sect of religion that I thought started to bore me, but once I kept going I saw how this fed into the rest of the book and I would actually like to go back and read those parts over again sometime. The author’s style is descriptive in a way that sneaks up on you…meaning that, even if you’re not actively reading the book, you’ll find yourself picturing certain very vivid scenes and reworking them in your mind. Sometimes, when you read them for the first time, they’re a bit too shiny and bright, so I think our minds need a bit of time to soften the edges and then we’re allowed to go back and think them over again. I haven’t read too many authors that have caused that same reaction in me. And I think I like it! You’ll find yourself rooting for two people in this book for very different reasons, and you won’t be disappointed. My only gripe, if I was forced to find one, is that I would have liked to spend some more time seeing the Man from Mars in action.

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A Barn in New England: Making a Home on Three AcresA Barn in New England: Making a Home on Three Acres by Joseph Monninger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Best book ever.

I’m on my 5th (?) reading.

Nuff said.

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Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital NativesBorn Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives by John Gorham Palfrey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ll start with 3 stars and see how it goes.

I haven’t started yet but I’m very excited to read this book!

Okay, now I have started it and didn’t finish it yet. It wasn’t exactly what I had hoped. It was more about all of our personal “profiles” in life and how they’ve changed from face-to-face profiles to digital profiles and how much information people can find out about us online. And, how we can’t go back and erase things we’ve done digitally. Still interesting but not what I was looking for.

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The Truth About Children and Divorce: Dealing with the Emotions So You and Your Children Can ThriveThe Truth About Children and Divorce: Dealing with the Emotions So You and Your Children Can Thrive by Robert Emery
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is probably why I can’t finish a book these days. I’m reading too many at one time! I have like 4 books I’m “in the middle of”. Well, as the title states, this book is kinda important and therefore I’m fitting it in whenever I can. I’m about 2/3 through. It’s very informative and will help any couple going through a divorce or even if you’re just considering it. Good tips on how to break the news to your children, etc. I’m happy to say that even though I got this book AFTER we told Jack our news, we had done some of the steps exactly right. Maybe there is a shred of common sense between us after all. I suggest having this book in your arsenal, and then picking up some children’s books that discuss going through a divorce. They really helped.

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Appetites: Why Women WantAppetites: Why Women Want by Caroline Knapp

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(newest)
Done! Okay this was totally worth it. A solid chock full read, but totally worth the extra time needed to get through all the details. I would recommend it still for every female out there.
(newer)
Almost done! This is a very thorough, very in-depth, very language heavy read. It is still amazing, but it is not a light quick read. It’s a bit intense, but so is the subject matter. It discusses the female appetite with regards to food, sex, relationships and general happiness in our own skin. It talks about society, culture, our own brains, and why these things affect our reasoning and our ability to let ourselves fully enjoy life. The sidebar is that the author was anorexic for quite some time and it shows how she eventually grew out of her deadly dance with food and life.
(older)
Only just begun, but hooked after the intro and Chapter 1. A must read for all females.

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Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and BackHeaven Is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Authentic account of a little boy’s journey up to heaven. Rings true, and is a very fast read. It will definitely get you thinking.

The father’s translations of each of the little boy’s stories of heaven might sometimes feel a bit contrived, but that is probably because he is a pastor and basically lives this stuff in his weekly sermons. I gave him a pass on that account.

I read it in about 2 or 3 days, so that says something.

Last Places: A Journey in the NorthLast Places: A Journey in the North by Lawrence Millman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(newer)
I’m having trouble burning through this one like I’ve done with so many other travel/adventure books. I’m not sure what the problem is. It’s a humorous book, so perhaps the style of writing is not engaging me fully. I’ll keep going with it. Therefore I lowered it to 2 stars. I’m probably a third of the way through it.
(older)
Liking it so far. If Annie Dillard can give it such high praise, I figured it must be something special, therefore I bumped it up to 3 stars. Humorous writing about some of the most un-Godly spots on the face of the earth. Very quirky local characters make constant appearances. Millman makes even the most desolate places seem alive. However, I have still not finished this book a few months later. Unlike me. If I like a book I race through it. Soooo, I’m undecided.

RoomRoom by Emma Donoghue
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I got this book because of the horrific subject matter…Mom kidnapped and held in a room for years. Mom gives birth to a child in Room and he lives there for 5 years. His name is Jack. I left my Jack on Cape Cod with his Dad for a few days. Being a bit depressed I thought this was the perfect book to cheer me up!! Thick sarcasm in case you hadn’t noticed.

I literally could NOT put this book down. Started it yesterday, finished it today. It will resonate with mothers for sure, but also with anyone that can recognize the close relationship between a child and parent under the most horrible of circumstances. No spoilers here, go read it for yourself, but make sure you have quite a few free hours because you won’t want to stop reading until the last page.

The Russian Affair: A NovelThe Russian Affair: A Novel by Michael Wallner
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

(NEWER) Before I left for vacation I noticed that this book was due at the library. Rather than bring it along and pay the small late fee, I chose to return it. I guess that’s saying something about it. It was okay as it went along…Anna, the main character had an affair with a member of the Russian Ministry. Her husband knew about it and chose to ignore it. She then was approached by some individuals to relay information to them on this Ministry dude. She became a spy. Sounds interesting but it sort of just moved along at a regular pace. Anna was an interesting character, but it lacked any spark. The part where her husband gets stationed in some remote part of Russia was a bit more exciting, but it was only one chapter. We couldn’t really get to know him very well. So, maybe I would have finished it if it wasn’t overdue, ha ha, but I wasn’t dying to read this each night. It started to feel like a bit of a chore.

(OLDER) I just started this book in what I will call my “Russian Series” in preparation for my trip to Moscow in October. So far, this book is pretty good, but I’m not very far into it. I like the main character so far, but I’m only on page 65 and they’re still setting up the plot and the rest of the characters. Some of the Russian names are a bit confusing and I had to flip back once or twice, but I keep reaching for the book when I have down time (hahahahaha) so that’s a good sign.

Sharp ObjectsSharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Finished!

I actually liked it a lot…good detail, some suspense, characters are fleshed out pretty well. Sort of a shallow story overall, but if it got a good review from the master, Stephen King himself, then it’s okay in my book.

Totally didn’t mean that as a pun.

Bella TuscanyBella Tuscany by Frances Mayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Frances Mayes doesn’t disappoint. I’ve never been to Italy, and now I can hardly stand another year without visiting Tuscany and all of the other beautiful spots in Italy that she describes in such painfully clear detail. You can actually taste the food as you read this book. Yum!

Finally finished!

Yay. It was a very good read, perfect for Summer… and I hope to see more from Mayes.

Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown (Crown Journeys)Land’s End: A Walk in Provincetown by Michael Cunningham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Basically, this is my new “Summer” read. I have a “Fall” read, that I read each Fall, which I will be writing about … you got it… this Fall!

This is a really beautiful, descriptive and poetic account of one man’s time spent visiting and living in Provincetown, Mass. Having spent many vacations there myself, I thoroughly enjoyed his take on the local townspeople, the view on tourists, the gay and year-round population, and mostly the beauty and ease with which Cunningham describes one of the most evocative locales on earth.

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never SeenBorn to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you like to run, maybe want to run at some point in the future, or even if you think running is a waste of time…basically if you’re human… you will completely enjoy this book on how humans have evolved to be long-distance runners. And, more specifically, how our footwear, and minimalization of, will greatly enhance your running performance. This book is the one reason I even thought to enter Tough Mudder.

4 responses

  1. You started it!
    If you write your reviews on Goodreads you can copy the code from there for the wordpress blog. When I write a new one, I copy the code, go to My Book Reviews page and paste it at the top in the HTML editor. There might be a more high-tech way to do it, but that works for me!

    May 12, 2011 at 12:29 am

    • Yay! I actually studied (stalked?) your blog with the review section and painfully figured it out. haha. But then it just clicked and I did exactly as you suggested. So going forward I will review and paste the code. Easy! Thanks for the great idea. Now I just have to find time to actually uh review? 🙂

      May 12, 2011 at 8:40 am

  2. I have three reviews waiting over there, unfinished. I can’t think of a single coherent thought. I think I might just say, “Hated it” “Meh” or “Super Awesome!” Wouldn’t that be helpful?

    May 12, 2011 at 11:21 am

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