Monthly Archives: October 2008

1984

Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Finished: October 30
Pages: 267
Publisher: Signet Classics
Publish Year: 1950
ISBN: 0451516753

A futuristic tale of what the world is like in 1984 with Big Brother watching and people getting arrested for just thinking something bad and/or going against Big Brother.

After finishing it made me very glad that I was not born in the 1984 represented in this book, where children were often taken from their parents and raised in a group home to think pure and live a pure and unquestioning lifestyle to a very extreme sense.

The idea that “Big Brother” decides that books and newspapers need to be changed based their beliefs seems so unreal but very futuristic. That with a click of a button history changes to the point where people don’t even remember what day it is or what even really happened in the history books before they were changed. Dictionaries were wittled down to a handful of words that could be used to describe everything, therefore elimitating all elements of impure thoughts and deeds from peoples minds because there is just no word for it.

It’s always interesting reading futuristic stories and seeing how different the world really is. In movie form, this would be 2001: A Space Odyssey. While “newspeak” now isn’t how Orwell describes, we still have our own form. Like one review on Amazon says, we have our own version of shorthand with texting abreviations like LOL, L8R, etc. It is nearly the same thing and transforming kids using it, changing their form of dictionary into one that is not recognizable to the older generations.

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Water for Elephants

Title: Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen
Finished: October 30
Pages: 335
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Publish Year: 2006
ISBN: 1565124995

What led you to pick up this book? There has been a lot of hype it seems and a lot of people talking about it. I figured it was about time to pick it up. Plus the title is extra intriguing.

Plot summary: Jacob, on his track to becoming a veterinarian and join his father’s practice, when tragedy strikes his family, leaving him alone to pick up the pieces. In a moment of panic, Jacob runs away and ends up joining the circus as the vet, falling in love with a performer and the animals. But, behind the scenes is nothing like he expected and  soon Jacob is in the midst of chaos, trying to figure out what he really wants and what he should do, though fearful of the consequences.

What did you like most about the book? I thought it was amazing, pretty much everything. The description and storyline go hand in hand and not once was I unsure of what I was shown. Even the most graphic scenes were done tastefully and careful, unoffensive.

What did you think of the ending? Perfect ending. Not too rushed or forced. Even from the beginning you could see where the story was going and that there would be no real mystery of secret but just this dramatic piece of work that leads you through a poignant time in one mans life.

Do you recommend this book? If you use a rating system, what’s your rating? I’d give it 5 stars and recommend it to anyone. Easy read as well.

 

 

Other Reviews:
Should Be Reading
Jules’ Book Reviews

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BTT – Conditioning

btt button

Mariel suggested this week’s question.

Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

I’m pretty good about keeping my books in great shape, especially classics or those that are bought brand new or have some sort of special meaning. Recently I have bought or traded older and used books so  they already have their share of wear. On paperbacks, I don’t care much for a bend in the spine, and I used to dog-ear pages but have since stopped because if they outside can’t be pretty then I want the inside to be. I have purchased a number of bookmarks which are more effective and less likely for the page to get lost. What other people do with their books is their choice. I’m not here to judge. :)

I don’t expect my books to stay new. That’s the great part, is the more worn they look the more you know they are loved and read. Some I find are nearly indestructible, others are fragile and even starting to fall apart. A large quantity of books I own are easily replaceable if something was to happen, but even seeing them bent and bruised makes me think they’ve lived a good life.


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What’s on Your Nightstand?

This is my first time participating in this little activity but it sounds fun.

I’m not organized enough to have a picture ready this time but I’ll remember it for the future.

I’m currently reading A is for Alibi and Water For Elephants at home. Online I have been slowly reading 1984. As two of these are library books I hope to have them finished within the next week so they can be returned.

For the coming month:

  • The Lake House by James Patterson
  • B is for Burglar by Sue Grafton
  • Harry Potter and  the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

While I’m sure I can read more than that in one month, there is a holiday and I may get distracted.

This past month I read 24 pieces of work, including short stories, one poem, and multiple Shakespeare plays. Having the Fall Read-A-Thon helped immensely. Of those, my favorites were Wicked, Two For the Dough, and Journals. Most of my reviews have been posted here and can be accessed easily through the reading list link.

The two books in progress now, as stated before, I’m reading currently because they are library books but also ones I was very intrigued to start. I’ve never read any of the Alphabet Series and couldn’t resist another challenge. Pretty much all the books I have on my shelves I have probably bought myself. Occasionally I get books as gifts but not as of recent. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a borrowed book from my best friend. I have reserved it specifically as at home reading because the book is so large I don’t want to carry it around with me in my purse. I usually carry a couple small books around with me wherever I go.

I find I am more productive in my reading when I have more books going at once because I can rest on one subject and go another world. When I read one book, I seem to read slower. With multiple books I choose different genres or authors to give me variety.

See you next month.

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Weekly Geeks #22

This week, let’s dig into the archives of our fellow Weekly Geeks!

Step 1: Choose 3 Weekly Geeks, either from the Mr Linky below or from any of the Mr Linkies in any previous Weekly Geeks, and explore their archives. Try to choose at least one Weekly Geek you don’t know well.

Step 2: Looking through some of their oldest posts, find at least one that you really like from each of the three blogs.

Step 3: Write a post featuring these 3 bloggers, linking to the posts that you enjoyed, with a short blurb.

Step 4: Visit the WG #22 posts of two other Weekly Geeks from the Mr Linky below, and link to their posts at the bottom of yours.

Step 5: Come back and sign Mr Linky with the url to your specific WG #22 post, not just your general blog url.

I’ve already spent a lot of time going through blogs to come up with three that really jump out at me.

1. So Many Books, So Little Time: This is one blog I’ve been following for awhile. There isn’t just one post that stands out because I read it so much. But what I love is that I stay up with a lot of the new challenges as alisonwonderland participates in quite a lot of them. I really enjoy finding out what she’s reading and how they are all going. It’s a great motivator.

2. Puss Reboots: This is a new one for me. I found it in the WG#5 archive because it deals with other forms of storytelling. This blogger choose Film Studies which I find extremely interesting since I watched movies about as much or more than I read books. It was fun reading through the posts and seeing the comparisons between movies and books and examples used.

3. 1 More Chapter: Another blog I read on a regular basis. No post in particular stands out, but like #1, I love being updated on new challenges that are found by 3M and seeing how much we have in common with our reading.

Finally, here are a couple links to some of this weeks WG’s.

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Friends of the Library Book Sale (2)

I hit up my second book sale, which was successful but not quite as much so as  last weeks. Now I’m all covered until spring.

Here’s what I got:

  • Gone by Lisa Gardner
  • Gone With the Wind
  • The Eyre Affair
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife
  • Life of Pi
  • Wife for Hire by Janet Evanovich
  • S is for Silence by Sue Grafton
  • Echo Park by Michael Connelly
  • Lost Light by Michael Connely
  • Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
  • Plum Lovin’ by Janet Evanovich
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
  • Bleachers by John Grisham
  • Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

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BTT – Coupling

“Name a favorite literary couple and tell me why they are a favorite. If you cannot choose just one, that is okay too. Name as many as you like–sometimes narrowing down a list can be extremely difficult and painful. Or maybe that’s just me.”

It’s so hard to pick just one couple but the first once that came to mind that I love in the book just as much as I love on screen is Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice (and we’re talking Colin Firth Mr. Darcy). I loved the couple and their chemistry but immediate dislike for each other before I even read the book. Once I read the book it brought them even more alive to me.

Along those same lines, the relationship between Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy (based on Mr. Darcy) is the more comedic side of this amazing couple. I think they are great on paper and on screen.

And on a new note, since I’m not sure where it’s really going, after reading Two for the Dough but Janet Evanovich, I have to say I like the possibility of coupling between Stephanie and Morelli. I have a feeling eventually they were go running into each others arms, but for the time being I can dream.

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