Saturday, March 19, 2016

Sunday Salon - It's been a while...

It has been a while since I have posted a Salon posting, primarily it has come down to the fact that I have been busy with life and when I have had had time, I just haven't felt the urge to post or felt that what I had to post was worth posting.  It also doesn't help that I haven't been feeling like reading for a while. While I have picking my way through a number of books, I just haven't the compunction to pick up a book and read solidly read for large portions of time, except when I need to.

Most of my time has been spent binge watching TV shows and the odd movie on my computer.  I have managed to finish a book in the last little while and quite enjoyed it.  The book was called A Place like Alice, which a really good book and I would highly recommend the book.

I am also binge listening podcasts so that I can get space back on my iPod (I am down from about 9 days to about 7.6, which I am sure went down today after about 10 hours of podcast listening, some of which I sped through because the topic didn't interest me and the information was out of date) again.  

As to what I am reading currently, I am reading Mary Poppins and not just the main novel, but an omnibus of the four main novels (can't remember the other titles) and The Royal We, which I can say is totally addicting and seems to get me to read more just when I want to put the book down.

I am planning to read a little more tomorrow while watching a little March Madness action, but after watching three straight days, I need to do something else for a little bit (helps that the teams I am following, Duke and Gonzaga don't play tomorrow).  Maybe I'll post some more of the backlog of reviews that I have...

Friday, March 4, 2016

Girl Waits with Gun - Amy Stewart

Title: Girls Waits with Gun (Kopp Sisters #1)
Author: Amy Stewart
Pages: 416
Published: 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared.  (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: On a number of book podcasts that I listen to, I heard good things about this book and thought that I might like this book as well.

I did really like the fact that the book was based on a true story, but felt that the smaller story was drawn out more than it should have and was a little too much for me.  It seemed to drag in places and felt that if it were a little shorter, the book may have been more effective.

Bottom line: It was a nice enjoyable read and would recommend the book to those that need something a little fun to read or those that like historical fiction based on actual people and events.  Recommended.

Rating: 3/5

Tell the Wolves I'm Home - Carol Rifka Brunt

Title: Tell the Wolves I'm Home
Author: Carol Rifka Brunt
Pages: 360
Published: 2012
Genre: Fiction
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: 1987. There’s only one person who has ever truly understood fourteen-year-old June Elbus, and that’s her uncle, the renowned painter Finn Weiss. Shy at school and distant from her older sister, June can only be herself in Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, far too young, of a mysterious illness her mother can barely speak about, June’s world is turned upside down. But Finn’s death brings a surprise acquaintance into June’s life - someone who will help her to heal and to question what she thinks she knows about Finn, her family, and even her own heart.

At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I had heard quite a bit about this book over the last few years and had this one on my mind for quite a number of years.  And once I had finished the book, I really had quite enjoyed the book.  I liked how the author made Greta's feelings surrounding her uncle's death very realistic, as I felt that I could myself in Greta's shoes and could feel her reaction to her uncle's death quite different than how her sister and mom dealt with his death.

Bottom line: This probably was one of my more memorable books of 2015 and quite enjoyed the read.  I can't really express how I felt my book, as there was a lot of emotion that lay below the surface and didn't disappoint me as a reader and I would recommend the book to others that enjoy coming of age stories.  Highly recommended.

Rating: 4/5

A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson

Title: A Walk in the Woods
Author: Bill Bryson
Pages: 304
Published: 2002
Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir, travel
Edition: Paperback
Source: Library

Description:God only knows what possessed Bill Bryson, a reluctant adventurer if ever there was one, to undertake a gruelling hike along the world's longest continuous footpath—The Appalachian Trail.

The 2,000-plus-mile trail winds through 14 states, stretching along the east coast of the United States, from Georgia to Maine. It snakes through some of the wildest and most spectacular landscapes in North America, as well as through some of its most poverty-stricken and primitive backwoods areas.

With his offbeat sensibility, his eye for the absurd, and his laugh-out-loud sense of humour, Bryson recounts his confrontations with nature at its most uncompromising over his five-month journey. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I got this book due to advertisement for the movie starring Robert Redford and I admit that I did see the movie prior to reading the book.  I actually quite enjoyed both, but thought the book was a bit better.  I found the book to be funny and smart and endearing and felt that there were times that Bryson's little jaunts on the history on the Appalachain Trial, which at times felt to be a little too much at times, when I was more interested in his own journey, rather than the information about the Appalachian Trail, which was interesting at times, but got a little long at times.

Bottom line: Overall, it was a really enjoyable read and would recommend the book to fans of Bryson's books or similar travel books.  Highly recommended.

Rating: 4.25/5

When Courage Calls - Janette Oke

Title: When Courage Calls (Return to the Canadian West #1)
Author: Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan
Pages: 336
Published: 2014
Genre: Christian fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance
Edition: E-book
Source: Library

Description: When new schoolteacher Beth Thatcher is assigned a post in a remote mining community, her courage--and her heart--will be tested in unexpected ways. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: This was a palate cleanser of sorts for me and I quite enjoyed the book.  I normally try to avoid Christian fiction books, as I feel that they are too cookie cutter.  And even though this was a typical Christian fiction book, at least for the most part, there were aspects that were interesting.

But it ended up being a fairly typical Christian romance book, especially since most of the characters felt very stock to me and didn't really change that much.

Bottom line: While I felt that the book was adequate and it was nothing earth shattering for me, this would appeal to fans of Jannette Oke and those enjoy Christian romance books.  Recommended, but to a very specific group.

Rating: 2.25/5

The Odyssey - Homer

Title: The Odyssey
Author: Homer; edited by Robert Fagles; forward by Bernard Knox
Pages: 541
Published: 1997 (first published around 800 BC)
Genre: Classics, Epic Poetry
Edition: Paperback
Source: Personal

Description: If the Iliad is the world's greatest war epic, then the Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of everyman's journey though life. Odysseus' reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces, during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War, is at once a timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance.  (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I read this as a book club selection this past fall and honestly felt that book was okay, even though I could see what made this book this particular classic one of the greats.  I had taken a university English course with this text and The Orestia being our primary texts (it was a course on classic literature).  And having notes throughout various points in my copy really aided in helping me understand various sections in the book.

But it was a book that I would have not easily completed had it not been for the audiobook that I borrowed from the library, which was narrated by Sir Ian McKellan (Gandalf in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies) and really helped me understand the epic nature of the book.

Bottom line: Even though I probably won't read this book again, I got to appreciate the epic nature of The Odyssey and this book would appeal to those readers that enjoy reading Greek tragedies.  Recommended.

Rating: 3.25/5
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...