Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Beautiful Joe by Marshall Saunders

Beautiful Joe
My rating:  2.6

I read this book as a child and, unfortunately, I picked it to read again with my niece.  I forgot how long winded the author is and this was a struggle for both of us to finish.  In fact, were it not for her having to do a book report on it, I don't think I would have completed it.

The violence is very brutal and graphic and the rest of the book is very sugary sweet and long winded.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamed

My rating: 4.8

A young Pakistani, Changez, has Western yearnings, is educated at Princeton, employed by a top american valuation firm and falls in love with an American girl when 9/11 occurs.

This was a STRONG 4.8 for me.  Yes, parts of it made me uncomfortable but I enjoy a book that makes me think of other people's perspective, even if I don't agree with them.  I loved the author's approach of having the narrator tell the whole story and really enjoyed the voice of the narrator.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

My rating  4.2

This is about 16 yo Hazel with Stage IV thyroid cancer and hottie Augustus, who is in remission.  As others have said, some of this felt emotionally manipulative but, it was still an enjoyable read.
The Fault in Our Stars

I really l wish that John Green would learn how to write age appropriate characters instead of 17 yo's that talk like they are 50.  That was really hard to get past.  I was glad that Hazel wasn't Alaska and, despite being horridly pretentious, both Hazel and Gus were endearing characters and, as always, Green's writing is beautiful.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Paleo Diet for Athletes by Loren Cordain

The Paleo Diet for Athletes by Loren Cordain

My Rating: 5

The 5 stars is for rating of a diet book - which is completely different than rating a fiction book.  This was a well written book that gave me the information that I needed to understand how the Paleo Diet came about, why people believe it works and what you should eat and avoid.  It also has a lot of recipes at the back which, although I won't use, gave me ideas.  I really liked the generic ideas it gives you of how to order at various restaurants to stay on this diet.

My favorite part is that this isn't really a 'diet'.  Yes, you avoid sugars, wheat, dairy and primarily eat vegetables, fruit, fish and meats but, since you can have all you want, you are never hungry.  I also like that this isn't fanatical or extreme and you can even take days off.  Best of all I feel so much healthier following this.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Art Forger by Barbara Shapiro

The Art ForgerMy Rating:  4.6

On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art today worth over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, and Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there’s more to this crime than meets the eye.  This is a mystery with a dash of love story and it all revolves around the art world.  I loved the blend of fact and fiction as well as the language and learning of the art world.  All of the techniques of stripping the painting to the canvas, layering the painting, drying the glazes by baking them and so many other wonderful descriptions had me not only fascinated but, wishing that I painted.

 If the prose and characters were stronger, this could easily have been a 5 star book as it was such an enjoyable read

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

My rating:  4.4

I enjoyed this wonderful wild ride of a young boy who survives a ship going down and spends many months on a lifeboat.  I admit that the beginning and his quest into religions was a little tedious but, once I got past that, it was very enjoyable.  I am amazed that, instead of tedious, this author could make this book about almost the same subject for the entire book to be so delightful.  I am curious to know if the movie measures up.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Monsters of Templeton by Laura Groff

Product DetailsMy Rating:  3.7

It takes a talented author to pull of such a complex novel....Understanding the history of the town, flashbacks to the founder of a town and extremely complex and constantly changing family trees, a wonderful relationship between the daughter ,Willie, her hippie mother Vi and their friend Cassandra who is sick with lupis, the Running Buds and, if all of that isn't enough, throw in a dead monster in the town lake.  Although there were a few too many characters in the flashbacks for me, this was a wonderful novel where the author brought it all together in the end.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

My rating:  3.0
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
This mystery unfolds in an intriguing way, continually building the suspense and yet all the while, you feel that you know what is going on.  An enjoyable read.