Saturday, November 11, 2017
It was a tougher read than I was expecting. The author frequently weaves in historical figures and events into the story which made her story seem more realistic. The parts I enjoyed most were when she would use the aforementioned historical figures and events in a way to show that these real-life historical characters' motives were driven by pursuit of an ancient, magical chess set and historical events were caused by those involved in pursuing this chess set. Nine times out of ten it worked and made her unbelievable story about a magical chess set seem more believable. One times out of ten another introduction of a famous figure's involvement with the magical chess set came across as a bit too absurd and over the top. But most of the time it flowed within the story and felt natural. Also, I think I would have enjoyed the book even more if I knew more about the French Revolution, Napoleon, and some of the other historical figures and events referenced because I would have been more aware of the creative ways in which she played with history.
Monday, September 4, 2017
It was a nice book. I enjoyed seeing the two crabby, misbehaved youngsters change their attitudes and improve themselves. They sure do worship pulling weeds. I must say that the last chapter is really quite beautiful. It's a happy book and I was glad to enjoy reading it with my young 'uns.
There's good quotes to share I am sure but this book is currently in Mallory's room and she is sound asleep for the night.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
He is at his best when he ties different scriptures together to make his point. He did an excellent job demonstrating dozens of ways in which the scriptures prove that Jehovah of the Old Testament is Christ. The book did seem to go a little long and go beyond the scope of the book by discussing quite a bit about Christ's mortal ministry rather than just focusing on his premortal ministry and prophecies about his eventual birth and mission. But it was a good book and I am glad that I read it.
I could probably find some good quotes but it's late and nothing immediately jumps to my recollection as a quote that I must share. So my whims dictate that there shall be no quotes shared.
Sunday, June 4, 2017
I liked this one, probably a little bit more than the first one. The mystery plot in the first one was better and more interesting, but the first one also had a pretty boring sub-plot and the girl on which the books are titled ended up being more unlikable in the first one than she is in the second one. The plot in this second book makes her a much more sympathetic character.
The story methodically develops and progresses (sometimes a little too slowly or with too much repetition) up until the exciting conclusion. Some of the stuff that happens seems a little too far-fetched, especially at the end, almost as though Larsson realized that the book was dragging on too long and he had to hurry up and get to the conclusion, but it's certainly entertaining and I enjoyed reading this novel (even though Larsson periodically goes into way too much detail about mundane things, like listing off every single item that the girl purchases during her day long shopping trip).
Hopefully I'll finish off the series by reading the third book soon, but I will probably mix in a few books before I eventually get to it. And then, true to form, never actually get to it and fail to finish the series like I do with all series' that I attempt.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
This is my third McEwan. Here are my rankings of his books:
1. Atonement (really good)
2. Saturday (average)
3. Amsterdam (below average)
I wonder if I'll ever read a McEwan book again. Probably not anytime soon. Maybe once it has been long enough that I have forgotten how terrible the ending was in this book.
Saturday, February 4, 2017
I finished reading this book tonight. It is my first Henry James book. I don't think I disliked it as much as Mark Twain appears to dislike it, but I certainly didn't like it. I think I made the mistake of picking Henry James' worst book as my introduction to him. I'm not sure how this one received the "Classic" distinction from Barnes & Noble.
The book started out good and really set the stage for a fine novel. All the pieces were there. A staunch feminist and her staunch anti-feminist, male cousin have an interesting and humorous first encounter. He invites himself to a feminist gathering where they both become mesmerized by a feminist speaker. This setup, along with James' detailed writing, seemed like the perfect recipe for an enjoyable book. Unfortunately, he really dropped the ball and wasted the opportunity. He abandons the male cousin character for far too long and does not really capitalize on the relationship between the cousins that could have led to many great scenes of awkwardness, tension and humor. Also, the anti-feminist guy very easily woos the feminist speaker and does so by brashly and unapologetically voicing his offensive and mocking opinions directly to her. Somehow this isn't a huge turn-off for her despite her own personal convictions. I don't know, just seemed super unrealistic.
The two other things that I really didn't like about the book: (1) Longest paragraphs ever. Seriously. Paragraphs often went longer than two full pages without a break. It's exhausting to read a giant two-page paragraph of a story that is increasingly losing your interest only to turn over the next page and see another giant un-ending paragraph; (2) James would have comments in parentheses in the middle of tons of his sentences. It was awkward how often he did it and it seemed to really interfere with the flow.
I'll still give Henry James a chance by reading some of his other stuff. Hopefully I won't allow this book to prejudice me against him for too long.