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May. 15th, 2007 | 07:22 pm
posted by: morgian_le_faye in isbn_045

Title: Wit
Author: Margaret Edson
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Rating: A
Summary: Dr. Vivian Bearing, professor of English, is dying of cancer. As with the poetry she studies and teaches, she approaches her illness with an analytical mind. As the cancer takes over her body, the reader sees her change from being completely in control of herself to becoming a real person. Through the entire play, she experiences flashbacks, mainly of her teaching Donne's Holy Sonnets.
Thoughts: This is a very short play, 85 pages and approximately an hour to read. We read in for AP Literature last year, and I brought it down for school for procrastination purposes. Probably the most difficult part of the play are the Holy Sonnets. However, if you read up on those and analyze the two or three Viviane, it is quite rewarding. It gives some insight on Viviane herself.

(x-posted to isbn_045 and books_au)

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Book Review

Feb. 1st, 2007 | 11:53 am
posted by: morgian_le_faye in isbn_045

Title: Little Women
Author: Louisa May Alcott
Genre: Historical Fiction
Summary: This story revolves around the four March sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. Through their eyes, we learn about the trials of being a somewhat impoverished family in the Civil War era. We learn their life ambitions and watch them grow and develop over a span of about a decade.
Review/Thoughts: I found this to be a very human book. Alcott captures the spirit of every character in her novel. I left the book feeling as though I had met with all those people, played with them, talked with them. Because Alcott weaves her excellent character development into the story, it was so much more emotional during such episodes as when Beth fell ill with scarlet fever or when Laurie proposed to Jo. The strength that shone through the family in their hardships was impressive especially when you compare their hardships to the tribulations that can pull families apart today.
Jo is, and always will be my absolute favorite character of this novel. (My next favorite is Beth.) The bond between those two was so special. I love Jo's independent strong, yet still tender nature. Marmee as well conducted a strong and loving character who I believe is the archetype mother.

Bah, I'm not great at reviewing books. Hopefully, I'll get better over time.

(x-posted to other book communities)

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Book Review

Jan. 2nd, 2007 | 08:22 pm
posted by: morgian_le_faye in isbn_045

Title: The Prestige
Author: Christopher Priest
Genre: Fiction
Summary: The grandchildren of two rival magicians attempt to find out why there is a huge rift between their families.
Thoughts/Review: I have to say, I enjoyed the movie better. The book was good in it's own right, but the movie was much "neater". I was unhappy with the way Priest handled Angier and I felt like Borden was not explained quite well. I found my suspension of disbelief was strained much more while reading the book much more than it was in the movie. The writing style was all right, but if you are not familiar with British terms, watch out. It took me three pages to remember that torch means flashlight! This is a book where you will want to flip back between the different characters' stories, or even take notes. Don't read it at night or other times when you are not fully concentrating as you will miss something.
I found the subject matter very interesting, but as I said before, I was not quite happy with the writing style.

(x-posted to morgian_le_faye, books_au, isbn_045)

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New Community

Nov. 29th, 2006 | 07:36 pm
posted by: anon85 in isbn_045

I'm not really sure if this is allowed...if not then I'm sorry and please feel free to delete this. But I've just started up a new community :) If you love reading and books then feel free to come over and check it out! You'll be able to meet new friends and other people who enjoy reading and books. Feel free to post about your favourite books, favourite authors or genres, about a book that you've just finished reading, maybe a movie that's been based on a book that you've read, reviews...anything to do with books/reading! It's called books_au so come on over and check it out :)

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The Last Kingdom

Oct. 22nd, 2006 | 09:26 pm
posted by: em220 in isbn_045

Title: The Last Kingdom
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Genre: Historical Fiction
I Rate: A-
Brief Review:
I read this book for my monthly book club and was a little nervous.  I don't usually read historical fiction, fearing that I will not relate or that it will be slow and boring.  This book, however, is well-written, plot driven and reads like a movie (in the best way possible). 

The Last Kingdom tells the story of the Danes conquering the 4 Kingdoms of England.  The first three fall easily to Danish rule, while the last kingdom, lead by Alfred the Great, attempts to drive the Danes away.  While the protagonist, young Uhtred of Babbenburg, is a fictional character, almost all of the other characters actually lived and fought at this time. 

The story is told by Uhtred, but as this is the first book of a larger series, it is his older self telling the story.  The book opens when Uhtred is 10 years old.  He gets captured by the Danes and taken in by Ragner the Fearless.  As he watches the English fight the Danes, Uhtred struggles to figure out where his loyalties lie -- with his country or with his new "family" of Danes.  As he watches the English fight the Danes, Uhtred struggles to understand if his loyalty should be to his new family of Danes, or to his country.  The pace of the book works really well, as does the seamless integration of a child's observations along with the wisdom of the grown up Uhtred. 

Because this is the first book of a longer story -- and because it is told by the adult Uhtred -- we get hints of what ultimately happens to characters, but just enough to keep us interested beyond the last chapter of The Last Kingdom.  That said, though, the book does come to a nice conclusion, the narrative is wrapped up at a logical place leaving the reader satisfied with the story and still hungering for more.   Bernard Cornwell is a joy to read.  I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!

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Two Reviews

Sep. 30th, 2006 | 03:13 pm
posted by: morgian_le_faye in isbn_045

I have two reviews from the summer that I didn't get to post originally. Note, there are no pictures because I do not have the books down at school with me.

Review 1:
Book: Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Author: Thomas Hardy
Genre: Historical Fiction
I-Rate: C
Thoughts/Review: I personally did not enjoy this book very much. I found the characters to be rather whiny and stupid. I felt as though they did not take control of their lives at all and I found them to be hypocritical. Angel especially angered me with his hypocrisy. I found I did not feel anything for either Angel or Tess as hardships entered their lives. In fact, I felt more of a, you did this to yourselves type of attitude.
The only reason I do not give this book a d or lower is because it was well-written. Hardy uses plenty of imagery and the scenery was amazing. I found myself wondering why it was sunny out sometimes while listening to the narrator describe the rainy English countryside. (I listened to this on tape.)

Review 2:
Book: Chicken Soup for the College Soul : Inspiring and Humorous Stories About College
Compiler: Jack Canfield
Genre: Inspirational
I-Rate: A
Thoughts/Review: I picked this book up over the summer while shelving. As I was going to college in the fall, I figured it would be a good read. I found it very nice to read because it mentioned a lot of the things I was nervous about such as leaving home, dealing with a roommate, and more coursework to do. Like all the Chicken soup books, it dealt with the funny, lighter side of college as well as the dark and heavy side. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone going away to college. In fact, I would recommend a copy to keep at college with you. I wish I had a copy of it.

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(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2006 | 10:42 pm
posted by: paper_telescope in isbn_045

Re-activated, feel free to post review! Please be original and don't use online reviews :]

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Finding Alice: A Novel

Jul. 7th, 2006 | 01:05 am
posted by: channan in isbn_045

: Finding Alice
Author: Melody Carlson
genre: fiction (sometimes broadly classified as Christian fiction)
I-Rate: A
your thoughts/brief review:
Using the allegorical characters and imagery of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Carlson unfolds the tale of Alice Laxton, a smart, talented senior at Oregon's Portland State whose life is about to be irrevocably changed by the onset of full-blown schizophrenia. As Alice moves deeper into paranoid delusions, her alarmed mother attempts to have her "demons" cast out by the pastor at Salvation Center, the family's fundamentalist church, then takes her to a mental hospital. After rebelling against treatment, Alice escapes to the streets. She soon acquires a sickly cat, predictably named Cheshire. The "Cat Lady" Faye offers healing for the kitty, a temporary home for Alice and the keys to finding wholeness again-and possibly romance with her nephew,Simon. As Alice gropes toward mental healing, she also finds spiritual healing from her distorted view that schizophrenia is a punishment for her sins. The excellent choice of first-person narrative draws the reader into close identification with Alice, and her bizarre illusions and paranoia feel poignant and believable. The pacing slows a bit toward the end, and some of the scenes where Alice temporarily hooks upwith a group of hippies are reminiscent of Carlson's novel Looking for Cassandra Jane. But kudos to Carlson for tackling this disturbing topic in ways that should broaden an understanding of schizophrenia. (taken from the Barnes & Noble website).
Personally, I really enjoyed this book and read it over two nights time.  It was difficult to put down and when I did put it down I couldn't wait to get back to it.  It was easy to find myself being drawn into Alice's world and made me question some things around me.  A few intense moments actually had me thinking I could be schizophrenic too, lol.  A top-notch read, one of the best I've had in quite awhile. 

*Don't let the Christian fiction label make you shy away, this is in no way one of those mushy, inspirational, preachy type books.  It's labeled this way because the author has written other Christian titles.

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A Clock Without Hands by Guy Burt

Jul. 6th, 2006 | 10:45 pm
mood: contentcontent
posted by: pytmm in isbn_045

: A Clock Without Hands
Author: Guy Burt
Genre: Fiction
I-Rate: A-
Thoughts and Summary:  I've now read 3 different Guy Burt novels and loved them all.  They all leave you thinking about what you just read and don't spell everything out for you clearly allowing you to form your own ideas about what really happened.  A Clock Without Hands is a bit of a longer read than the previous two books The Hole and Sophie (which could be managed in a couple of hours.)  But it is definitely worth the time and attention.  The novel is basically about a man trying to make sense of his relationship with his two childhood friends and everything that happened between them in the past years.  The story jumps around in time and there are some moments that the reader can make sense of before the characters actually do.  But there are still some hidden little tid bits left until the end.  The relationship of the three friends is largely influenced by the one summer that they spent taking care of an injured man in an abandoned church (I am not going to give away any more than the book jacket does, I promise.)  But it's very intense, that summer, and other situations between these people that occur as they get older.  As a whole, you could consider this story quite tragic, it's not a happy, lighthearted kinda thing (none of Guy Burt's novels are) but at the same time, you do get a few fantastically innocent moments that are amusing and will probably make you smile.  

In any case, I strongly recommend this book along with the others written by Guy Burt.  They are part phsychologial thriller, part mystery, part drama and are quite exciting to read.

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