Monday, April 28, 2008

Harry Potter: Book 1

I read this book at least eight years ago, and now that I have the entire HP series!!! I am going to slowly re-read them all again. This is the first book and perhaps one of my favorites. Its not as long as the others, I like the new discovery of this whole new world and learning of it through Harry Potter's own bewilderment at all the new things that the wizarding world has to offer. Simply put, its a great book. The adverbs throw me off in her works, but as long as I ignore them, its just a great fun fantasy adventure!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Love Over Scotland- McCall

This book is a continuation of McCall's series of 44 Scotland Street and Espresso Tales but "Love over Scotland" is by far my favorite of the series. As in his other books in this series, we follow the lives of the residents of Edinburgh, Scotland. There is very little drama plot wise that happens, but we get to observe the life of certain residents and the small daily issues they face. Reading his books is almost like peeking into a drawn back curtain of a few homes and observing quiet simple life within. This book was the funniest by far with the most action I've seen. Essentially, just as Domenica sets off for anthropology, this book is a sort of study of the fictional people of 44 Scotland street, observing their behaviors and their motivations. By the time you are at book 3 of the series you really feel like you know the people, and you care about them and you root for them. I loved it and I hope he has more sequels to this wonderful series.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Into the Wild- Krauker

I read this book after watching the movie version of the true life of Chris McCandless a recent Emory graduate who burned his money, donated his trust fund and left home to hitchike two years through the country and ultimately ending up in Alaska living out of the bush and ultimately meeting his end there too.

I felt irritated by the movie. I felt it glamorized this kid. I also was not sure why I wanted to read the book as I had heard Krauker also tended to glamorize him as well. But there came a point in reading his story that it finally clicked and I understood why his story meant so much to many people.

Chris was a very well read and intelligent kid despite whatever mental illnesses he may or may nto have had. Much of his journey was inspired by literature such as Jack London, Tolstoy, Gogol. In some ways he set off to bring to life the ideals and values from the literary writings of those he admired.

Chris' story is a story of commitment to ones values regardless of its cost. While this is very dangerous, as a story, as an idea, this is a very interesting and compelling concept. Its sad that a real person died for a concept, but the story is truly fascinating.

I think Krauker told the story well, he also filled the book with his own stories and the stories of other adventurers... these I found a bit distracting and skipped most of them as my interest was more in McCandless' tale... still, its a good book and I enjoyed it.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Espresso Tales- Alexander McCall

Espresso Tales is the sequel to 44 Scotland Street. Initially I had checked out Espresso Tales before reading 44 Scotland Street and I found myself lost with the characters and the storylines and thus backtracked and read the original of the series.

If you are looking for a slow paced book with good writing I strongly suggest you check out this series though its quite important to begin with the first in the series to truly enjoy the storylines.

I liked Espresso Tales equally as much as 44 Scotland Street but for different reasons, I felt as though 44 Scotland Street built up the characters to make me care about them particularly the five year old boy Bertie who is being raised by an overbearing mother. I also enjoyed the mini mystery of 44 Scotland Street and the case of the missing portrait.

Espresso Tales does a bit more self reflection with some parts that really tugged at my heart such as "joy without sharing is a halved emotion just as sorrow without sharing is doubly painful" So true!

I liked the story, some parts I had to skip over such as Raeborn's memoir which I felt was neither here nor there (maybe I missed something). I also found Peter's nudist colony thing slightly pointless but maybe I'm not sure, maybe I'm missing something.