Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Year in Review

It's that time of year when we go over the best of 2011. I had made a vow to read more, but I haven't kept to my promise. There are a few gems I came across this year that captured my heart.

The Hunger Games Trilogy

I kept hearing about this trilogy and I even tried to read it in February, but was not in the appropriate head space. I borrowed the books from a friend and was instantly hooked. The love story is beautiful, but more than that is the frightening world that Collins creates. It's definite must-read.

Persuasion-Jane Austen

Persuasion was the one Jane Austen novel I hadn't read yet and I'm glad that I finally picked it up. Anne is very likeable and it fills me with the warm and fuzzies. Austen's wit is spot on as usual and its definitely a book that everyone should read.

The Help

I really loved this novel. The movie was good, but it lacked the emotional punch that the book could deliver. I loved how it portrayed such delicate issues of race with tenderness and subtlelty.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

My apologies

I'd like to apologize to all of my readers because I apparently suck at read-alongs. But, in my defense life got in the way especially school. I will be doing my review of each part starting next week. I promise.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Winter's Tale Read Along

Welcome to Week 1 of the Read-along for Mark Helprin's "Winter's Tale"

One thing that struck me while reading this first chapter was the writing style. This book is so beautifully written. I feel like Helprin's sentence structure is almost musical in its quality. It takes me back to the fairytales and the feeling I get when I read my favorite poem. He also creates beautiful imagery with the White horse in the backdrop of a city covered by snow. I also loved how he had the first chapter being told from the perspective of the horse. Yes, it's a little strange, but this is no Mr. Ed. It's like the horse sees the world much like we humans do. He is very aware of his surroundings and is as curious about what's going on as we are. This first chapter definately kept me engaged and interested.

Questions for my readers:

1. What was your favorite thing about the first chapter?
2. What images popped into your head as you read it?
3. What do you think of that final scene when Peter jumps on the horse's back and they escape together?

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Readalong-Winter's Tale

I'll be co-hosting my first read-along with a friend of mine. myfriendamy who introduced me to the world of book-blogging. We'll be reading the book, "Winter's Tale" by Mark Helprin. Each week we'll write up a summary/review and pose some questions for our followers. I hope everyone gets involved.

Read-along Schedule

November 7th
Part I--A White Horse Escapes-Beverly

November 14th 
The rest of Part I

November 21st
Part II

November 28th
Part III

December 5th
Part IV and Epilogue

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Memoirs are made of This

Book: Memoirs are made of this
Author: Swan Adamson

I picked this book up in the under 10$ bin at chapters a few weeks ago since I was looking for a light read to keep me company on the bus rid to and from class. I found that it was really good and finished it in less than a week. The book basically talks about Venus's Gilroy attempt to put her life together after 3 marriages and divorces before the age of 25. She gets the opportunity to work as an assistant to this crazy Editor of Aura magazine. This is a sort of Devil-Wears-Prada on crack. She spends most of the novel trying to just keep her head above water and figure out who she is. She has no real desire to become some maven of the fashion world nor does she aspire to do so. The most telling aspect of this novel is how the writer depicts how people in positions of power abuse those who work for them. She details the abuse she basically gets from her boss and how she is so willing to take it until one day she cracks and can't handle it anymore. Much of the plot is ludicrous and highly unlikely to occur, but its the perspective of the relatable heroine that makes it well worth the read.

On a Scale of 1-10, I give this a solid 7.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Banned Books

I was on twitter and came across a list of the most banned or challenged books from 2000-2009 and I was astonished. Amongst the titles on the list are Judy Bloom books. Judy Bloom? Who bans Judy Bloom? It literally made my jaw drop. So, as a personal challenge to myself, I will attempt to read and review at least 10 titles from the list.

I welcome my readers to join me in this challenge.

Banned Books

Friday, 9 September 2011

The Help

I was first encouraged to read this book by a friend of mine who usually does not like fiction, so I thought I would give it a try. As a woman of color I found it particularly difficult to slog through. Some of the depictions of how the black housemaids were treated made me want to cringe. In fact it did more than that, it made me revisit my activist and start up some sort of campaign. I had to remind myself that I wasn't in fact in the 1950s and that this was not my life. This book was very engaging because it made me feel on a visceral level.

It's not the sort of book that lectures to you about the human condition, but makes you feel it. It's what my american literature professor would call literature of experiential politics. By taking you on a journey through the eyes of a group of very different women, you are moved on emotional and political level. It's the sort of novel which in a different, less apathetic time would have moved people to action. the author takes on a political endeavor not by telling you what's wrong, but by showing you. The sad reality is that most people's view on how hired help should be treated hasn't evolved all that much. I made a trip to Ethiopia back in February and this book reminded me of how the maids were treated there. So, it's not just an issue of race, but one of class.
This a book written in a manner that can reach the masses and the author does so with humor and style that manages to get under your skin.

On a ten-point scale, I would definitely rate it an 8.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011


I decided to start this blog because I'm an avid reader and school teacher who has managed to bore her poor friends to death with her book talk. I believe that a true reader doesn't discriminate against genres. I love literature, but I'm also open to reading Young Adult fiction as well as many other genres. I'll begin with a review of the last book I read "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett.

Please feel free to leave comments and any suggestions on books I should review.