Wednesday, January 9, 2013

on some rambles.

hello my little cherubs. i have been quite sick the past two weeks, particularly dealing with a bad cough, which is the story of my life whenever i get a cold, hence the no posting. last night brian told me he's looking forward to going out in public with me again, so that's kind of what i'm dealing with over here. i thought i'd talk a little about books today, since that's all i got going for me these days.
i figured i'd go with my most controversial review first. before we begin - yes, read this book, ok? however, unlike a lot of other people, i was just kind of "meh" about the book. i don't know if it was a bit too hyped or if i have a touch of a psychopath in me, but i found it very easy to know what was coming next in the book and saw the ending coming from like five miles away. maybe six. i will say this though - the author has done an amazing job of crafting a very detailed and layered story. in the last, say, thirty pages of the book though, it was almost like she was exhausted from how meticulous she had been up to that point, or thought readers would be tired from following every twist and turn, and before you knew it - bada bing, bada boom, it ended. and i just found the ending to be a little too  contrived, neat, and, like i said, at least for me, a big yawn-fest since i knew it was going to happen. it's hard to go into detail on this one since i don't want to give anything away, but these are just my two cents. but i do think you should read it. and i do think i may have a tiny psychopath living in me. hopefully none of y'all ever wrong me! i kid, i kid. (or am i?) 
the other book i have read during my time of illness is the book thief. i very much enjoy reading about history, and historical fiction falls into the same boat. i found this to be one of the most innovative books i've read in a long time, as the story is told to us by a narrator, and that narrator is death. it takes place in nazi germany during WW2 and tells the story of a young german girl and her family. the book has been on my mind since i finished it, and i expect it to stay with me for a long time. it encourages thoughts on humanity, friendship, love and, of course, death. there are also some parts of the book i just can't seem to shake and that keep going through my mind. it really is a book that stays with you. i highly recommend this.
lastly, to keep the depressing streak going, i want to highlight a book that i haven't read recently, but that i classify as my favorite book. it's been about five years since i read it, and i think i'm going to re-read it this year. the genocide in rwanda happened when i was too young to really know it was going on, and as i got older and realized i knew nothing about it and it seemed to be an important historical event i should know about, so i got this book. the first part of the book is, quite honestly, horrifying ad graphic, but when is genocide not? this book tells the story of what happened in rwanda and the world's efforts to eventually stop it, and while it's an incredibly compelling read, to be honest it left me hopeless about many things. humanity, africa, the UN, charity, religion. i hope to read it again this year and garner another perspective. but i bring this book up because NO ONE has read it and i really want to talk to someone about it. so if someone could read it and then give me a call, i'd really appreciate it.

finally - please leave a book recommendation in the comments! i may have to continue my shut-in life this weekend.

18 comments:

  1. We read The Book Thief in my book club! I also enjoyed it (overall) for the reasons you listed above, but, with such heavy, dark content, I felt, at times, it was difficult to trudge through (at 600 pages). Did you know it's being made into a movie? Looking forward to that! Thanks for the other recommendations. xo.

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    1. i had no idea! that's exciting, as i think it could translate to the screen in an interesting way. excited to see how they do it! i agree, it's a lot for 600 pages - it can be a lot to handle.

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  2. I'm so sorry you've been sick! I hope your cough goes away soon so that Brian can take you out without embarrassment :)

    Gone Girl - I read it and also did not think it lived up to its hype. I thought it was a little predictable, but until it ended I was a little creeped out just thinking about all of it ha! It was creatively written and everything was thought through, which I appreciated, but in the end it did seem like she just kind of gave up and wrapped it up too quickly.

    The Book Thief - I started reading this once and then never finished it. Death being the narrator weirded me out and I just couldn't get into it. But I've heard nothing but amazing things about it so I think I should pick it up again!

    We Wish... - I read this (or at least parts of it) for one of my classes in college about genocide (talk about a depressing class!). I know it was really thought-provoking and I felt like I learned a lot, but I think I've forgotten it. Once I re-read it we should discuss it :)

    As for my book recommendations, I'm working on a post sharing my favorite reads from last year! And now I will end THE longest comment ever.

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    1. gone girl - you're totally right, i forgot to add how creepy it was, too. i'm glad i'm not the only one who feels that way about the end! it just seemed to be too quick.

      the book thief - i totally know what you mean, i guess i just found it so intriguing and different from anything i had read before. but it took some adjusting to get used to. if you try it again and it doesn't click, oh well, but def give it a second try, it's so good.

      we wish - YES. please read it haha! and that class sounds fascinating (albeit, a little sad).

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  3. Poor Colleen! I hope you feel better soon! Thanks for your book suggestions. I would love to be sick for a week and have time to read (I need to be careful what I wish for). I feel like I never make time for it anymore! The Book Thief has been on my list for a while and now I really, really want to read it.

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    1. haha yes - be careful! when you have time get started on the book thief, it's a good one.

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  4. So sorry you are sick! Lots of reading time is a nice silver lining at least.

    I've got Gone Girl on hold at the library. I want to see what all the hype is about.

    Just finished The Book Thief. Amazing. I burned through it really quickly on my train commute but had to save the end for home because I was a blubbering, sobbing mess. It is sad but very thought provoking. I'm not much of a history buff, but it made me want to learn more about WWII.

    I'm on the hunt for new books, so maybe I will give your last suggestion a shot. I might need a happy book in between Nazi Germany and Rwandan genocide though. I'm hoping to read Mindy Kaling's memoir next.

    Feel better soon!

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    1. oh gosh yes, read a happy and fun one in between the book thief and we wish...it would not be good to read those back to back. i'm glad you also liked the book thief, it's really a good one that i feel not a ton of people in our age group have read (and i think they'd like it a lot).

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  5. Oh man, I know how you feel - I hope you get well soon. I felt the same way that you did about Gone Girl - so much so that I didn't even bother reading the middle section and skipped to the end. If you like mysteries, try The Devotion of Suspect X. That's one of the better ones that I have read in awhile. It's pretty clever and also set in Japan

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    1. thank you for the recc!!! i love mysteries so i'm excited to check this out.

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  6. Welcome back! We missed you. Hope you keep feeling on the up and up.

    the only book I have read on your list is Gone Girl. I loved it because I couldn't put it down, but had a very similar reaction to the ending. Meh...

    Excited to read book thief this year! It is on my short list for sure.

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    1. right? the ending was a bit meh. i just wanted something...different.

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  7. HAy girlfriend!!!!!!!!! Missed ya much.

    Oh, goodie. Books!

    My thoughts on the first two (ones I have read)...

    Gone Girl was certainly entertaining for me. I did not know the ending, or guess it like you did, so I was actually very surprised. But also, I was like, WHAT THE F?! And I never swear so that's got to mean something. Right? I think I gave it 4 stars. Wasn't 5 for me, but it held my attention and was a true page turner, so I thought it deserved at least that from me.

    The Book Thief. Well, I think you know I'm in love with this one. I just thought it was so SMART. the perspective was what really did it for me. And the structure of the book. And the characters. And the story. GAH. And it made me cry huge ginormous tears. Which I LOVE in a book. So yes. It's a favorite for me! One I want every one to read so it can change other people's lives like it definitely changed mine.

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  8. One more thing.... Because you might be aware, but Elizabeth's post last week got me thinking that you might not realize it: did you know you have word verification on?

    You do.

    Just FYI!

    xo.

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    1. what?! nooooo - it never shows up when i leave a comment (maybe because it's my blog). i need to fix that.

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  9. Hope you feel better soon! Joe was super sick the day we traveled home for the holidays. =(

    I am adding that last book to my list right now and will be sure to let you know when I've read it...even if it takes years! Most recently I've been recommending The Fault in our Stars, but I think I was the last to read it. =) I know it got mixed reviews but I also really enjoyed The Casual Vacancy.

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  10. Good to have you back! Fingers crossed you feel back to your old self again and Brian can take you out on the town! Jordan got the dreaded man-flu over the weekend and given the way he was coughing and spluttering all over me in the night, it’s only a matter of time before I succumb to the lurgie too (so your book list came just in time). I’ve read a load of crap lately so I can’t help on the recommendation front but I am so glad to see you have read The Book Thief, it’s one of my favourite books! By miracle of miracle, I even got Jordan to read it (he’s not a reader) and we loved it! I have added the other 2 to my list!

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  11. I am going to go buy that last one tomorrow - I'm trying to read more thoughtful books and less Jodi Piccoult these days. Growing my BRAIN. I recently read State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and couldn't put it down - it's about these scientists studying a tribe in the Amazon where the women get pregnant/give birth into their 70s (fiction obvi) - there's lots of mystery and drama in there too!

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