Wednesday, February 26, 2014
I enjoy this world of witches, daemons, vampires and humans. I like the world that Harkness creates, and the attention to details. I was a bit worried I would find Matthew a bit overbearing again, but Diana certainly asserted herself more effectively in this tome.
I like that Diana and Matthew escape through time and land in Elizabethan England. What a time to have lived in! This was a great read and I am (im)patiently waiting for Book 3.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
I enjoy the fast-paced thrill ride that is a Jack Reacher story. Since I have read the series out of order, I enjoy picking up the backstory as I have been going along, and learning more about what makes Reacher, Reacher. Reading one of these books for me is liking watching a summer blockbuster movie. Entertaining, but not entirely intellectually stimulating.
After the last few reads, this was a nice break from using my brain, and a good choice during a really busy, intense period at work.
Friday, February 14, 2014
The writing isn't terrible, and it hard some great opening lines, but it just didn't do it for me. In a sense, the writing style reminded me of Dennis Lehane (Mystic River)… whom I also had a hard time getting in to.
I found the story interesting enough, it just didn't move fast enough, and I found I didn't care enough about the lead characters. You knew the parents in this story were not well matched, would rob a bank, and one would commit suicide in jail. The sister doesn't really appear to have a great outcome in life, and the narrator will eventually lose themselves in education.
So on I have moved. Between this and a few of the other books I have read lately, I figured I would just make a break for some totally escapist literature and I grabbed a Lee Child novel as predictable, entertaining, light fodder. It is delivering a fast-paced, not all that intellectually stimulating novel. In light of the week I just had at work, a perfect choice.
I have a month until I return to my old position at work. I will admit to having an open mind about going back, and not being very excited, but I really don't know that to expect. It will be really interesting to watch how things unfold in the coming months. I was aiming to complete a job today, and it did get done, but it was a bit of a battle. Time. Processes taking their time. Correcting errors and adjusting figures. Very interesting, very time consuming. In the end, very worth getting it done. There is nothing like the satisfaction of completing a hard task. It is strange this isn't my problem anymore in a month. I will miss the different demands on me, and learning so much.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
I kind of struggled through this one. There are some poetic moments, and some really moving passages, but I really struggle with short stories. This novel is about Olive Kitteridge, and she is the protagonist in a few of these stories, but this novel contains 12 short stories that paint a picture of Olive, and not always from her perspective.
It is compelling, and I did want to finish it. At times some of the stories were unsatisfying because I wanted more. I like sweeping epic novels, and this wasn't that. It does have a bittersweet story to tell, and it is an interesting way to reveal a character through their own words, and the impressions of others. Yes, it is a decent read. Am I screaming "read this" from the rooftops, nope. I would say that Olive may stick with me for a while just as a character, and how we learn about ourselves as we age (not always flattering what we come to realize about ourselves). It is also important to pay attention to the little moments we take for granted, and our relationships with others. I was happy to finish this one last night so I could move on to the next book.
Speaking of books, my oldest is taking a further leap in to reading and he is loving Geronimo Stilton right now. He is reading on his own! He is also totally into his current book, and I love seeing him that engaged. As well, at his after school program, the boys are all learning how to make friendship bracelets with their fingers or forks and loving it. How cool is that?
Monday, January 27, 2014
I will start by saying that I really enjoy Moore's writing. They are like no other books that I have ever read. I would also say that I think he is very well versed in esoteric and arcane knowledge, with a fair bit of awareness about all different types of religions. It would be easy to say that he is completely irreverent, or sacrilegious, but I don't think he is. I think his books are highly intelligent, completely offbeat, peopled with wildly crazy and unique characters, and make me belly laugh.
You could describe this book as having dark humour. It starts off with death, and is all about death. Yet, this doesn't even begin to describe what this book is all about. There is a little sex thrown in, a few hellhounds, celtic devils, a few good guys and the squirrel people. Yet, this book is also uplifting, and you think thoughts you would never imagine without having read this book. This all takes place in the city of two bridges (San Fran).
I find that I stray away from providing a summary of the novels that I read. I more want to capture the impression of what I am left with after I have turned the last page. As the pages turned when I read this one, they started turning faster as I wanted to see how things would turn out. It is one that will stick with me.
Moore's writing is refreshing, different, and genuinely funny. Both books I have read by him have caught me off guard. I will seek out more. If you are curious, check out his website. If you are looking for a book that is just a little bit different, a little bit edgy, that will make you laugh out when you least expect it - give it a try.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Every now and then, someone comes along that makes you feel really proud to be a Canadian. I can think of a few offhand. I think about Terry Fox, David Suzuki, Leonard Cohen, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, the 2010 Men's and Women's Olympic Hockey Teams… I could dwindle down in to politicians, musicians, actors and poets… but it does get you to stop for a moment and think about what national (or even local) folks you look up to, or can make you feel nationalistic pride. I remember going to the Calgary Stampede in 2000, and feeling proud of being Canadian when I watched the opening ceremonies. Having never crossed the Rockies before, it was a big deal to embrace these folks as "also Canadian". I am really glad I asked (and received) this book for Christmas. This is a book I want to read with my kids. I will read with my kids. What an inspiring man. Hadfield quietly celebrates life, and in the process I think has inspired the world and helped many of us reconnect with space.
Reading this book, I felt the urge to start to underline passages. Not only does Hadfield make his experiences accessible to everyone, he describes his experiences and overall philosophy with a gentle grace, that has left me with nothing but respect for him as a person. There are lessons within how he has lived his life, and with the joy he embraces the moments. There are lessons within his drive, and even in the negative elements that he had to focus on to become an astronaut, which truly weren't negatives.
This is an inspiring read. Pick up a copy, and celebrate a truly fabulous Canadian.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
This is a story about three sisters, and how they resolve their own idenity crises while their mother suffers through breast cancer.
It was a good book, and the title takes it's name from MacBeth's three witches - the original Weird Sisters. I found the narrative voice to be a little irritating at times and hard to grasp and there were a few passages I had to reread to make sure I had the true gist of what was happening.
This book was also about growing up in a small town, can't waiting to bust out, and that what happens when you leave and return as an adult, or for one sister, when you are fearful of leaving. You add in the layer of post secondary life/town/career, and well, it was a book I could relate too. Although I moved around a lot as a kid, I do consider myself from a small town. It was a big deal when as a family, we chose to move back (for me) to this small town. I grappled with was I ready and willing to embrace this community again, in my adult self. Two years later, I have come to terms with this, and I am grateful for our community and the place we are creating for ourselves. I see things in our community I was oblivious to when I was younger and itching to get away.