Wednesday, January 7, 2015

RGRC Book #12 - The Awakening

"The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised, exhausted, fluttering back to earth.”"
― Kate Chopin, The Awakening

Review copied from Goodreads (1/7/15):

I have to admit, I thought this book would be more shocking or scandalous than it turned out to be. It's just a story of a woman who gets the Seven Year Itch and falls into a depression over it. It's funny, I've been reading a lot of books lately about unhappy marriages and/or affairs. It seems like the overwhelming moral of the story is that you would be happier just chugging along in your marriage than blowing up your life over a lover (or lovers) and having that fall to pieces anyway (as it inevitably does). In any case, it was an OK book. Two and a half stars.

Friday, January 2, 2015

RGRC Book #147 - Lady Chatterley's Lover

"A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it."
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

Review copied from Goodreads (1/1/15):

A friend of mine saw me reading this book and asked me what it was about, and I said simply, "sex."  Which is mostly true, but that's not the whole story.  The book is about sex for love, sex for money, sex for power, sex for duty, even sex as a bodily function.  This book is also about class relations, marital relations, familial relations, and the practical and lunatic things people will do in the pursuit of love and happiness.  A surprisingly timeless story of the trapped housewife trope, I definitely recommend it as one of those books to read before you die; it will make you think critically about love and politics and social norms.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

RGRC Book #4 - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

"The true magic of this broken world lay in the ability of the things it contained to vanish, to become so thoroughly lost, that they might never have existed in the first place."
― Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Review copied from Goodreads (12/30/14):

I absolutely loved this book. For what it's worth, I listened to it on Audible, and I liked the narrator, so that helped. But whether I had listened to it or read it on paper, I'm positive that it still would have made its way onto my favorites shelf. Kavalier & Clay is about so much more than just comic books. The subtle (and not-so-subtle) undertones and side plots are every bit as developed and interesting as the primary plot. The relationships between the characters - friends, family, lovers - are so very well-written and real that you can almost feel what they feel.

It takes an excellent writer (Chabon) to produce a story about an excellent writer (Clay). I see why this book won a Pulitzer. It is definitely a feat to get through it, but if you take your time and read it through, it is absolutely worth it. Five stars.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

RGRC Book #72 - Ella Minnow Pea

"Love one another, push the perimeter of this glorious language. Lastly, please show proper courtesy; open not your neighbor's mail."
― Mark Dunn, Ella Minnow Pea

Review copied from Goodreads:

This book was OK. Kind of cute, actually. It's about a fictional island nation where a statue is erected to the man who is credited with inventing the sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." As the glue that holds the letters of the sentence to the statue begins to loosen, tiles begin to fall off and break. As they do, the island high council bans their use, until only LMNOP remain. The story is told in a series of letters passed back and forth between characters. It is funny to watch the letters fall out of the novel, though it does get a little difficult to read (understandably) at a point. Three stars.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

RGRC Book #127 - How the Grinch Stole Christmas

"Christmas doesn't come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more...."
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

I am not even going to attempt a review.  Everyone knows the story, be it from the book, the cartoon, or the live action movie.  Suffice it to say, I love it.  The Grinch is a Christmas staple.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

RGRC Book #61 - The Devil in the White City

I read this book as the very first book selection for my beloved Ladies Book Club, or LBC as it is affectionately known.  I gave it a four-star review, and it has actually grown on me with time and distance.  I have copied my review from Goodreads below.

"Great murderers, like great men in other walks of activity, have blue eyes."
― Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America

Review copied from Goodreads:

This book had a REALLY slow start, but it's worth sticking with it! I agree with other reviewers who say that it's easy to forget that this is a work of NON-fiction. It is a truly interesting book, especially at the end, though it is profoundly sad in a way. I would recommend it to anyone who likes non-fiction, history, true crime, or just something different.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

RGRC Book #53 - The Da Vinci Code

"Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire."
― Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code

I read The Da Vinci Code my senior year of high school, and I wrote a rather lengthy entry about it in this blog.  Rather than attempt to write a new review, I simply direct you to that one: