Wednesday, December 30, 2009
This Christmas, one of my sisters, Nikki, gave me a book titled Sisters by Hulton Getty. The book is probably not much bigger than the picture above and has 107 pages. It's not a lot to read but the content of it packs a punch. The book contains many quotes pertaining to relationships between sisters including beautiful vintage pictures.
I have plenty of favorite quotes in the book so I'll share some of them with you.
Your sister will be the first to criticize you, but if anyone else tries to, your sister will defend you until the end of the world. ~ Liselle Favier
A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. ~ Marion C. Garretty
Even when you are sixty, you are still six to your sister. ~ Pam Brown (So true! I'm 33, and sometimes, my sister still treats me like I'm three. Haha!)
She is your witness who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. ~ Barbara Alpert
The best thing about having a sister was that I always had a friend. ~ Cali Rae Turner (Love this!)
Having a sister means you'll never be left alone in life or left alone by your sister. ~ Felicity Martin
I could have read through the whole book in five minutes. It actually took me five days to finish. Each quote that I read made me cry because it was so touching.
This book is a definite keeper and something that will remain in my bookshelf or maybe in the drawer of my nightstand where it's easily accessible.
It is probably the best book a sister can give to another. The quotes describe the relationships (no matter how simple or complex) between sisters to a T. Having a sister, I believe, is a special and unique gift one should always treasure.
One my friends, Christy, was bewildered and she said, “I thought you enjoyed blogging.” I admitted to her that I did at first. I mean, sure. It was fun. I reviewed a book. I met some nice and interesting people and got the chance to talk to them about books.
After awhile though, I felt that I HAD to complete a book to review it. Well, sometimes, I didn’t like the book and didn’t want to review it. I’d feel guilty, and later on I felt that I HAD to blog about it whether I wanted to or not. That part of blogging wasn’t fun anymore. It became a chore.
Many bloggers post reviews everyday. I think that’s wonderful. I wish I can, but I simply can’t. There are priorities in real life that take precedence over my blog. I have a fulltime job as a medical technologist, and sometimes I have to work overtime due to a staff shortage. I also help take care of my elderly father. He’s the reason why I moved back home to Louisiana this year. I don’t and never will regret that decision. I also write part time, and I hope to become a published writer. For those of you who are curious how I did in the National Writing Novel Month, I didn’t reach the 50, 000 word quota. I was only able to complete 32, 620 words.
I know I shouldn’t have too much expectations of myself, which is hard since I’ve always been an overachiever. Just picture me as the girl with the thick glasses from school. Yeah, that was me. I realize that I’m no super woman. I can’t do everything, and I have to accept that.
I’m going to change my attitude for the new year. I’m not going to sacrifice quality over quantity. I’ll still read and review books although I’ll do it at my own pace. I’m not going to feel guilty because so and so finished 3 books in a week while I’m still struggling halfway through a book. I will also do my best to visit other blogs. Best of all, I’m going to have fun.
I look forward to a new year with a new outlook. I am excited to read new (and old books) and share my thoughts on them. I also can’t wait to see book reviews and recommendations from fellow bloggers.
Here’s to a great year! Happy 2010!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
And now...back to my writing...
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
The first one is I, Claudius by Robert Graves. This is Peter's (from KyusiReader) favorite book. Just by reading from an excerpt of the book blurb below, it really caught my attention:
Despised as weakling ad dismissed as an idiot because of his physical infirmities, Claudius survived the intrigues and poisonings that marked the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, and the mad Caligula to become the Emperor of Rome in 41 AD.
I love any book (fiction or non) that has anything to do with world history so this is right up my alley.
The second book shown is actually three books. They were all combined into one. It's the first three books of Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan. They are: A Living Nightmare, The Vampire's Assistant, and Tunnels of Blood. I just watched Cirque du Freak The Vampire's Assistant in the movies this past Friday. I was really intrigued by the storyline. It's about this teen named Darren who decides to go to the Cirque du Freak show with his best friend Steve. There they meet Mr. Crepsley, a vampire. When Steve falls into a coma after being bitten by a spider that Darren stole from Mr. Crespley, Darren goes to the vampire for help. Of course, they only way Mr. Crepsley helps him is if Darren agrees to become his assistant. There's more to it, but I don't want to say too much.
Written by Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God is the life story of Janie Crawford. Janie is a black woman who is very independent. She goes through three marriages, survives poverty and challenges while trying to find herself. I've heard so many good reviews on this so I am excited to read this.
Finally there's Tana French's The Likeness. Detective Cassie Maddox investigates a murder of a young woman who turns out to be Cassie's double. The victim's name is Alexandra Madison, an alias that Cassie once used when she was undercover. Whew. Talk about weird. Still, weird stories are enough to get my interest.
Well, that's it for now...until the next loot...
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I decided to blog about the new e-reader that Barnes and Noble just launched. It's called the Nook. I think they could've have come with a better name, but oh well. I guess it's kind of cute in a weird way. PC Magazine released an article about the Nook. You can also learn more about the Nook at the Barnes and Noble website. You can also pre-order it. The Nook will also be available in November at the Barnes and Noble bookstore.
Am I excited that my favorite bookstore in the whole wide world is finally releasing their own e-reader? Well, yes, in a way. I wish them luck in taking on the e-book competition with Kindle 2, which everyone of my friends, but me, seems to have. Still, when I got my email from Barnes and Noble this morning, I didn't jump up and say, "Oh, boy! Let me pre-order that Nook right now!"
There are times when I wish I have an e-reader. The truth is I'm a little apprehensive shelling out $259 plus tax for something I might end up rarely using. I'm really not a gadget geek like brother who likes to buy the latest and the greatest mp3 player or laptop out there.
Even though I think that I can put that $259 to a better use, like say a monthly car payment, I do wonder if it will be worth it economically in the long run. I have read in some people's blog that if they like the e-book they bought through their e-reader, they will still buy the real book. That's fine. I just don't see any sense spending $14.95 (if it's a paperback) or $24.95 (if it's a hardback.)
I'm not trying to be an anti e-reader here, but I guess I need to be convinced a little bit more. And for those of you who have an e-reader (or e-readers), I have some questions. How often do you use your e-reader? Do you think that it was worth buying it in the long run? Has it saved you money?
I'd love to hear from you.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Pub. Date: September 2000
Rating: 4 out 5
Summary: Toru Watanabe is a college student who is in love with Naoko. He and Naoko are bound together by a tragedy - the suicide of Kizuki, Naoko's boyfriend and Toru's best friend. While Naoko slips into severe depression, Toru tries to live his life and meets Midori - a lively, young woman who is a classmate of Toru. They become friends, and he starts developing feelings for her. He soon becomes torn between the Naoko and Midori. Will he choose someone from his past or someone who can be with him in his future?
Review: What an incredible story! I really enjoyed this. Some books take awhile before I find out what the conflict is. Not so with Norwegian Wood. At the very first chapter, I learn that Toru is in love with Naoko yet he can't be with her.
Both Toru and Naoko have a common friend from high school - Kizuki. After he committed suicide, both Toru and Naoko tried to go on with their lives. Toru enrolls at a university in Tokyo and so does Naoko. By doing so, they hope to escape their past and their memories of Kazuki. Each of them cope with their loss their own way.
At first, I thought that Toru was headed in the wrong direction. Well, actually, I didn't agree with his coping mechanism, which was drinking and sleeping with a variety of girls. But I suppose he was living his life like he knows how. Then there's Naoko who eventually decides to seek help with her problems. I thought this was the best way...but the problem was Naoko needed far more help. The cause of her depression was far beyond her boyfriend's suicide.
In the midst of Toru going through grief and depression, he meets Midori. Although sometimes she annoyed me, and she did the craziest things, I actually liked her. Let's just say that Midori gave color to Toru's bleak world. She's like the jalapeno to his nachos. I was really quite entertained by her, and she made me laugh.
Perhaps that's why Toru is drawn to her. Heck, Toru even admitted to himself that he was more fascinated watching Midori than watching a porn film. If that ain't love, then I don't know what is. (Well, I say that for the sake of Toru's point of view.) At the same time, he really can't leave Naoko. Sometimes I got frustrated by him not being able to choose, but in the end I understood that he had to settle things with his past before he could go on with his future.
There were many things I liked about this book. Even at the beginning of the book, I really felt the emotions. Seriously, I almost cried just reading page 9 because of the foreshadowing.
Of course, it really seemed like another love story on the surface. It was more than that. It's a story about living and dying. It's about about grieving and coping. It's about knowing the difference between surviving and truly living by enjoying life.
Recommendation: If you are in the mood to read something with angst, then I would recommend Norwegian Wood.
Friday, October 16, 2009
I do apologize for the quality of the picture. The first one is Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. (That's some name, don't you think?) I heard good things about it from Becky's Book Reviews. The next one is Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. Ever since I read After Dark, I became a Murakami fan. Then there's David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. I always wanted to read it. Finally, there's Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev. It's about a son who rebels against his father. I know. I know. There's nothing new about the plot, but this is set in 1862. In Russia, I might add. I think it will be an interesting novel.
What do you think of this haul? Have you read any of these books? What did you think about the story?
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Original Pub. Year: 1958
Pub. Date: October 2000
Translated by: Michael Emmerich
Rating: 4 out of 5
Summary: None really. This was a compilation of short stories written by Yasunari Kawabata.
Review: First Snow on Fuji was the third book I chose to read for the Japanese Literature Challenge 3 (or JLC 3 for short). To this day, I really have no idea how many books I will read for the JLC3. I'm having way too much fun! (Thanks, Ms. Bellezza!) I just might see how much I can complete until the deadline even though I had originally planned to read just one book.
Let's talk about First Snow on Fuji. I never heard of Mr. Kawabata until I decided to read this for the JLC3. My verdict: I liked it. I liked it a lot. I admit that as I write this review that I haven't even read The Boat Women, the last story (which is actually a play) in this collection. That's okay though because Mr. Kawabata had already won me over.
There were short stories that I enjoyed better than others: This Country, That Country; Nature; First Snow on Fuji; Silence; and Yumiura. Some were downright creepy like Silence, Chrysanthemum in the Rock, and Her Husband Didn't.
I noticed that there were recurring themes of cheating wives and husbands (or characters fantasizing about cheating) and life post World War II. Yet all the stories had one thing in common: beautiful and poetic words. The endings were abrupt and were left for the reader to make interpretations. That suits me fine since I like to use my imagination.
Recommendation: Mr. Kawabata used a lot of descriptive sceneries. I think that people who want their stories straight forward with solid endings might get frustrated. I would still recommend to those who enjoy stories with vivid imagery and ambiguous outcomes.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Giving a book as a present to someone who loves books can be very tricky, especially if that person has piles and piles of books in their possession. I have friends and family who love to read so it's always a problem for me to buy a book for them during birthdays and Christmas. I'm always wondering if they'll like the book; if they read the book, or if they already have it in their collection.
With my birthday coming up, I gave my mom a list of some books that I would like to have. I chose about four books from my overwhelming wish list. The four books were all classics since I wanted to expand my classic book collection after I finished the Classics Challenge 2009. I told her to choose one book from any of the four, and that way I can be at least surprised when I get my birthday present.
Want to see what I got?
I got all four! Needless to say, I was shocked and very pleased. I expected one or maybe two books, but she bought four instead! Then my mom apologized (Apologized!) that she didn't give me a hardback book. She wanted it special since it was my birthday. I assured her that wasn't necessary. I was very happy with what I got.
I love books, no matter what they look like - hardback, paperback, fat, skinny, tall, or short. I even buy used books, but I draw the line if I see some notes written on the side. I think writing notes in a novel (textbooks are okay) is a sacriledge. That's just me though since I'm anal. ;)
Before ending this post, I just want to say: Thanks, Mom. You really are the best, and I love you.
Hmmmm...now what am I going to read first?
From left to right: The Age of Innocence (Wharton), Nicholas Nickelby (Dickens), The Bostonians, and The Portrait of a Lady (Both by Henry James). In the back: my coffee mug, my clock, the base part of my lamp, and two other books I'm currently reading. I think I need a bigger nightstand.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pub. Date: April 2005
Rating: 4 out of 5
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pub. Date: March 2006
Rating: 4 out 5
Review: I'm going to be very honest here. I rarely read chick-lit books. And I do mean rarely. When my sister let me borrow four of her Emily Giffin books (Something Borrowed, Somehing Blue, Love the One You're, With, and Baby Proof), I hesitated. I kept the books in my shelf for months before I finally said, "What the heck."
I read Something Borrowed first. Trust me I was ready to cringe. Well, shock of all shocks! I loved it! The story started out with Rachel who ended up sleeping with ther best friend's fiancee, Dex. Rachel and Dex were ready to put the incident behind them, but due to the laws of attraction, they just can't!
At first, I didn't like what Rachel was doing even if her best friend Darcy was a selfish, self-centered witch. Then as I kept reading, I started to understand Rachel. In fact, I was able to relate to her...and later on, I was rooting for her. The book was so good that I picked up Something Blue immediately after finishing Something Borrowed.
Something Blue was all about Darcy. I never liked Darcy but I was interested in what was going to happen next. (There's a twist in the ending of Something Borrowed that I'm not going to tell you about because that's what made me pick up Something Blue next.)
In Something Blue, Darcy's pregnant. She's still the same mean woman from the first book. However, with a baby on the way, Darcy started to change. In the end, I actually started to (gasp!) like her.
Emily Griffin developed her characters very well. Both books were so entertaining that I ended up going to bed at 3 am the next morning. I just couldn't put them down.
Recommendation: Both books were fun to read. If you're a chick lit lover, you will definitely enjoy these.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Pub. Date: July 2008
Friday, September 18, 2009
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Pub. Date: March 2006
Rating: 5 out of 5
Summary: Kathy, Ruth and Tommy grew up in a boarding school called Hailsham in England. As an adult, Kathy became a carer and both Ruth and Tommy re-entered her life. Kathy remembers the bond they have shared and their life in Hailsham where they had been regarded as "special" by their guardians and teachers. This is a moving and unforgettble book about friendship, love, and betrayal.
Review: This was the first book I ever read by Mr. Ishiguro, and I loved it! Immediately, when I picked it up at the bookstore, I just had a good feeling about it. Based on the book blurb, I also knew that there was a little bit of a love story and a love triangle. I later discovered that I was right, but the love story here wasn't overbearing so I wasn't disappointed.
So what's this really all about? And what the heck is Hailsham anyway? Why are Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth "special?" Well, Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth are human clones. In Hailsham, they and other children clones are raised like "normal" children so that they can become organ donors. But not all of them become donors. Kathy (the narrator), for instance, becomes a carer - someone who takes care of the donors.
Actually, it isn't surprising for Kathy to become a carer. Even as children, Kathy has that type of personality where she takes care of everyone. It becomes a disadvantage though since she seems to forget her needs over everyone else's, even when it comes to her love for Tommy. I do like Kathy, but at the same time, she irritates me because she lets Ruth take advantage of her. Ruth is suppose to be Kathy's best friend, but because of her selfishness and insecurity, she does things to ruin their friendship and even Kathy's friendship with Tommy.
What else did I like about this book? Well, the writing, of course. I think Mr. Ishiguro is just wonderful. I have a favorite scene where Kathy and Tommy were in Norfolk, and Tommy bought this old tape that Kathy had lost when they were in Hailsham. The scene just touched me. There was also a line that Tommy said to Kathy. It's a little sad but here it is:
"I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the river moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold on to each other, holding on as hard as they can, but in the end, it's just too much. The current's too strong. They've got to let go, drift apart."
It was just beautiful. Sad, but beautiful.
Even though the ending left me disappointed, I gave this book my highest rating. I suppose it's the issue about cloning that made me wonder if it was right to give the clones hope to have a normal human life when their sole purpose was to become organ donors. It really made me think about what our society could be capable of. I guess that's why this book will stay with me.
Recommendation: Yes, I definitely recommend it to everyone. It was an eye-opener for me.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Pub. Date: June 2009
Rating: No rating
Summary: The Angel's Game is set during the early 1900's to 1930 in Barcelona, Spain. It is the story of David Martin, a famous writer who spins crime novels under a pseudonym while living in a mansion with a mysterious history. He later meets Andreas Corelli, a wealthy publisher from Paris, who offers him 100, 000 francs if David will write a book that will change peoples' minds and hearts. David takes the offer but later realizes he is getting more than he bargained for. What's even more intriguing is the former owner of the house, the late Diego Marlasca - a writer just like David. Diego's death also involves Andreas Corelli, and it seems that David's life mirrors Diego's. Will David be able to escape the clutches of Andreas or will he suffer the same fate as Diego?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Maybe it's me or I'm just used to the old one, but I'm not sure I'll stick to this one. I get bored easily so only time will tell if I will find another fall theme background.
Jules from Jules' Book Reviews gave me the Who :Heart's:You, Baby! Award. Basically, the rules of this award is to pass it on to fellow bloggers who awarded you in the past. So here they are:
1. Suzanne of Chick With Books
2. Yvette of True Crime Books
3. Shellie of Layers of Thought
Edit: I forgot to also add:
4. Book Dragon from A Dragon's Lair. For some reason, I thought I received only three awards. Anyway, I'm sorry, Book Dragon.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Publication Date: April, 2008
Ratings: 4 out of 5
Review: Strange things happen…after dark.
After Dark was the first Japanese literature book I’ve read, and one of the two I had chosen for the Japanese Literature Challenge 3. The book blurb really didn’t say much. I felt like I was buying Chris Cleave’s Little Bee all over again. Yes, I was a little apprehensive since I was taking a risk of buying and reading a book that was out of my comfort level. But hey, wasn’t that part of the challenge?
Surprises of surprises, I loved this book! I finished it in one day. It was that good! The book had a way of pulling and holding my attention. Even after the book was finished, and I was done with reading, I felt like I wanted more. The ending was a little ambiguous, but that’s literature fiction for you.
And the writing! Oh, the writing! I absolutely loved how Murakami used simple words and brought the story to life through personification. It was remarkable! I even have a favorite quote in the book, and that’s the character Takahashi’s motto which was, “Walk slowly. Drink lots of water,” That’s the same meaning of the cliché, “Take it one day at a time.”
The main character in this story was Mari. At first, I didn’t know what to make of her. In other words, I didn’t know if I was going to like her since she seemed so cold and unfeeling. In fact, she wasn’t. She helped a total stranger who was in need, and she showed how much she really loved her sister Eri. I would say that Mari’s more guarded because perhaps she had such cold parents who didn’t pay much attention to her, and she had a sibling rivalry with Eri.
Sometimes I thought the book was a little creepy especially when I was reading the parts on Eri because it seemed like Murakami wanted readers to believe what was happening in the story was real, but later it seemed like a dream. Or was it? It was hard to distinguish, and it wasn’t revealed what really happened to Eri until towards the ending. The mood can be dark at times, but there’s humor sprinkled here and there.
Recommendation: I think this is a nice starter if you’ve never read any Japanese literature or if you’d like to try to read something new. I don’t think I would recommend it though if you’re looking for something light and heart-warming. It’s just not that type of book. This is still a good story even though it is depressing and eerie at the same time.
This is the cover of the first US edition of After Dark. (Source: Wikipedia)
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Yippeee! I didn't think I was going to finish the Classics Challenge this weekend but I did! After I joined this challenge, I thought I was going to regret being ambitious by choosing seven books. Actually, I almost did since there were books that were a little difficult to continue. I kept going though because the stories got better.
I was surprised at how much fun I had. Now that I'm done, I also have a new appreciation for these classics. To read my musings about this challenge, check out what I had to say here. To see the reviews of what I read in this challenge, go to my Classics Challenge 2009 page. I had to categorize the challenges I joined in different pages in order to keep track of how much progress I'm making in each challenge. Also, I'm kinda anal. Okay, I am anal.
Now it's time to turn my attention to the Japanese Literature Challenge 3 where I originally had one book to read, but I decided to have two instead. My copy of First Snow in Fuji hadn't arrived in the mail yet so I will start on After Dark. I'm so excited to read this book and tell you guys all about it so check back here for my review.
Pub. Date: January 2006
Rank: 5 out of 5
Review: I absolutely loved this book! Though Ten Boom’s writing style was first person narrative, it made me feel like I was sitting in front of her having coffee by the fireplace, listening to her wonderful tale. Her descriptions just drew me in, and I felt like I was right there in 1940’s Holland.
I flew through this book. I just marveled at the simplicity of her life before Holland was invaded by Nazi Germany. Towards the middle of the book, I felt so tense because I already knew something terrible was going to happen when Corrie and her family started hiding the Jews, but I kept reading.
What truly amazed me was Corrie’s and her sister Betsie’s undying faith, and their ability to forgive and to love their enemies no matter how things went from bad to worse. They remained spiritually strong and so was their belief in God even after they starved and suffered in the concentration camp in Germany.
The Hiding Place is a remarkable story of courage, strength, forgiveness, and hope. It will be forever in my collection. It is definitely one of the best books I have ever read.
Recommendation: This is a great book to read if you are looking for a World War II story or if you are looking for something inspiring.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Pub. Date: August 2004
First Publication Date: 1859
Rating: 5 out of 5
Summary: A Tale of Two Cities is set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. It is the story of the French peasants who suffered under the French aristocrats. England provided as a refuge for the oppressed French yet the social injustices towards the poor in England were no different. In the French Revolution, the aristocrats were brutalized by the revolutionaries who made them pay heavily for their lives.
Review: What an excellent book! After reading, I was really surprised how this became one of my favorite books. However, it didn’t seem that way in the beginning. It started out slow, and I felt that Charles Dickens can be overly descriptive in his scenes. This was his way of laying the groundwork of the story. It worked for me (and the story, of course) because I was hooked.
The story was more than just about the madness that led to the chaotic French Revolution. As I read on, I discovered that it was also about second chances. One of the characters who experienced this was Dr. Manette. He was released after being in jail for eighteen years. He was traumatized so severely that his mental state deteriorated. With the love and support he received from his daughter Lucie, he slowly recovered.
Charles Darnay started over with his life by denouncing his French aristocratic family. Like Dr. Manette, he moved England to leave his past behind.
I also came to love all the characters in this book, but I was mostly impressed with Sydney Carton. He became my favorite. He wasn’t perfect, but he, nonetheless, had a good heart. His love for Lucie was rivaled by Charles, the virtuous gentleman. Ah, to love someone you can’t have! I really felt for Sydney. That’s probably why I had a soft spot for him.
The description of how the poor and the prisoners were brutalized was gruesome. Honestly, I had second thoughts about continuing, but my curiosity got the best of me. I thought that perhaps Dickens felt that he had to write these horrific descriptions because he wanted the readers to understand why the revolutionaries were so angry and vengeful towards the aristocrats.
Even though some parts were gross, I got past it because the story was getting better, and I was eager to see how the ending was going to be. Still, I shivered when I read that women, men, young or old, peasant or not were “all red wine for La Guillotine….Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death; the last much easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!”
The ending was astonishing. I shouldn’t have been surprised because there had been some foreshadowing. I was equally shocked as the story revealed how and why Dr. Manette was jailed, why Charles Darnay never hesitated to denounce his family, and how Madame Defarge became such a vindictive, evil character. I was really sad at the ending. Yet, it had so many twists that I wasn’t disappointed with the whole book. There’s no doubt in my mind why this was one of the best classics ever written.
Recommendation: If you’re looking for a serious book with powerful themes, this is it. Be prepared though because some descriptions can be disturbing.
Friday, August 21, 2009
My pen and writing journal
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
One reading challenge done. One reading challenge to start.
I know I'm crazy to join another challenge, but I decided that this was just too good to pass! Belezza of Dolce Belezza is hosting the Japanese Literature Challenge 3. The requirement to this challenge is to read one work of Japanese origin. How could I pass that up?
The time frame of this challenge is from July 31, 2009 to January 30, 2010.
Need more information? Check it out!
In the past I have read and enjoyed Japanese manga. I thought joining this challenge would help me broaden my reading horizons, if there is such a thing. I've always been fascinated by Japanese culture so I think reading a Japanese literature would be wonderful. I think this is going to be fun, and I'm really excited to join.
As for my reading list challenge, I'm going to choose First Snow on Fuji by Yasunari Kawabata. It's a book of short stories. I'm thinking about choosing one more but we'll see. Schedule is tight these days.
So if you are a fan of Japanese literature or if you just want to try something new, come and join the challenge!
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: January 2005
First Publication Date: 1943
Ratings: 4 out of 5
Summary: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is the story of Francie Nolan, a thirteen year old growing up in Brooklyn at the turn of the century. It is also the story of her family struggling to get out of poverty.
Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was one of the books I chose to read in the Classical Challenge this year. The main character was Francie Nolan who dreamed of having a better life. As the oldest of the three children, she continued to study and work hard so she can become the first one in her family to go to college.
At first, I really didn’t know where the book was going. The beginning was fine, but towards the middle, my interest started to wane. Things began to pick up after a death in the family. The tragedy made the Nolan family closer, and it also made me feel closer to the characters. The author also included some humor towards the end, and the ending was really great. I felt that the author kind of let loose by then because the majority of the book was very serious.
Probably one of the most admirable characters in the book was Katie Nolan. As a wife of an alcoholic, she had to be the strength of the family. I really liked the part where Francie and Katie became close even after their misunderstandings.
Even though it took me awhile to warm up to this book, I consider this as a great read.
Recommendation: I recommend this if you like...
1. A coming of age story
2. A story of triumph even after heartaches and hardships
3. Historical fiction