All posts by wham

The Hunger Games

I got this book

two days after it’s release and was don

e in less than one. This is definitely one of those books that you can read over and over and still not get bored. It’s like a whole new adventure every time.

I cant decide if I should label it a “girl book” or a “boy book” since the story seems to swing back and forth. There is a lot of weapons and fighting and at the same time plenty on romance and fashion.

This tale takes place sometime in the future. The world has gone through many changes, one of them being the fact that people are forced to kill each other for

entertainment. Two people from all the twelve districts are chosen to take part in a reality game show where only one person can survive.

The story unfolds through the eyes of Katniss Evergreen. She lives in district twelve, which happens to be the poorest and most looked down on district there is. Life is not so rosy here, jobs are hard to come by and so food is scarce. When Kantiss finds out that her small sister has been chosen to represent her district in this game, she quickly switches place with her and goes on instead of her.

The major slip for me in this book was that some scenes seem to have been pulled out of other books like Battle Royale and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? Suzanne’s style of writing however, pushes you to over see these faults. From the prose to the dialog, it all pulls you

in and makes you feel like you are actually there.

All in all, this is a very engaging book.

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Boys Are Stupid, Throw Rocks at Them!

Goldman, Goldman! I don’t think I have a seen a book that has got as many

negative reviews

as this one.

The author does not only manage to offend a really large group of people by his supposedly sexist comments and get himself accused of plagiarism since most of the images in the book are copied from somewhere else, but he also makes the list of the top 100 people who are screwing up America.

And yes, this is actually a real list including people like Jerry Springer and Richard Timmons. And Paris Hilton’s parents,

ha ha

just kidding about the parents.

So anyway, if you do drugstore get offended by sexist comments then this book is definitely a no no. However, if you don’t and you also have a great sense of humor, you might actually enjoy and laugh all through this book. It brings back the child in everyone with the fun illustrations and simplicity.

Just remember, no matter what, do not throw rocks at boys!

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One Day

I decided to check out this book after hearing and seeing quite a number of people ra

ving about it. Unfortunately I can’t really say I enjoyed it. If you like David Nicholls books then yes, you will most likely enjoy this one too. I felt it to be too depressing.

It is written almost as if it is a screen play. The dialogue is crisp and the scenes are described so vividly you can almost see them. Throughout the book, the author takes us back to this “one day”, July the 15th, through a period of twenty years, to look into the lives of the two characters, Emma and Dex. Starting in 1998 just after the two graduate from college, the story progresses, showing the different paths that they take in life and the changes in their relationship.

What I disliked most about this book is how the story just skips a whole year. It made me feel like I’ve just been uprooted and sent to a different place all together. I suppose it is meant to give you the feel


a year having passed and much having changed, but the feeling that I had to catch up and assume what I had missed in the course of that year was distracting for me. I feel that Nicholls should have included a summary or something

at the beginning of each new year. It’s certainly a clever premise to revisit the same day year after year, but I didn’t enjoy the way it was executed.

Also, I half expected there to be some romance. It’s what we all expect when we see a girl boy story. However, this would better be described as a look at the frustration of relationships. The harsh realities of life were quite accurate but almost too much of a downer. Certainly over four hundred pages with few glimmers of happiness gets difficult to continue to “enjoy” reading. I do give the author a lot of credit for his honest portrayal and perception but I can’t say I was moved by it, rather depressed.

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The Help

Ordinarily I would pass on a book about America in the south in the 50’s

and 60’s since I’ve already read

so much about this period I feel like there is nothing I’ve not seen. But a friend of mine recommended this book and I have to admit it did surprise me.

The story is about a young white woman in the early 1960s in Mississippi who becomes interested in the plight of the African / African America maids. She writes about their stories of mistreatment, abuse and heartbreaks while working in white family homes, all just before the civil rights revolution.

The main characters are very well developed. You will fall in love with all of them

over and over again. I laughed and cried with them as they told their stories.

This book takes you in so

much that you can almost see right through the pages into the lives of these people, or even smell the melted tar on the roads of Mississippi and feel the chilly morning right from your cozy chair.

All in all this is amazing story telling and it leaves you wanting to know more. More about the characters and their lives.

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The Passage

The passageIt has been a while since I’ve encountered a horror novel of

such magnitude

and scope, but Justin Cronin’s hefty tome “The Passage” seems poised to announce itself as the latest true “horror epic.” It’s about time too! Ambitious and thought-provoking, but filled with propulsive action and bloodshed, “The Passage” is the thinking person’s genre thrill ride. This massive book starts in the near future with a pretty unique combination of vampiric lore meshed with science gone awry. But Cronin, while nailing these explosive first chapters, has much more

up his sleeve. The expansive (and sometimes it seems the story will never end) plot resets several times until we have followed the confrontations to their inevitable conclusion many generations later.

The comparisons to Stephen King’s “The Stand” seem apt and, I believe, will be widespread. And in case anyone has a passing interest on where I fall on “The Stand,” I think it’s the best book of its type that I’ve ever read. Although the books are quite different in plotting and structure, thematically they share much. From the veritable destruction of the world as we know it, to the efforts to rebuild some semblance of a new world order, to the ultimate confrontation between good an evil replete with the requisite supernatural underpinnings–both books challenge ordinary citizens to rise to extraordinary levels to champion the human cause. In the right hands, these apocalyptic epics can be unforgettable–and I’ll just say that Cronin’s hands are quite capable.

Don’t misunderstand the King reference, however, “The Passage” stands as its own unique portrait of a ravaged future. It’s just that there are so few horror novels that set out to accomplish so much in storytelling. Cronin’s novel is gutsy, challenging and filled with high level drama of the first order. It’s not breezy or light entertainment, however. It’s a serious reading commitment for those looking for their gore mixed with a lot of substance. A real change-of-pace and a welcome new addition to the ranks of horror lore, “The Passage” has earned the title of “epic.”

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Sh*t My Dad Says

As you can probably tell from the title, the language in this book is very raw, so if you are offended by curse words, this book may not be for you.

Justin, the youngest viagra tabs of three sons, writes about some of the things his father says. Most of them seem a bit over the top when you read them out of context

but they never come across as glib or hate filled, just honest. In a society where almost everything offends someone, it

is very refreshing to find someone who is completely honest and transparent.

With fathers day just a few days away, this is a book I

would recommend. It’s a quick and easy read. It’s not just a bunch of hilarious quotes, it’s also a good, heartfelt story with family values and moral components intertwined.

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Say You're One Of Them

Say you're one of themSay You’re o

ne of them is a collection of five intriguing stories by Uwem Akpan, a Nigerian author. This book received rave reviews from the media and I think the cialis professional attention was well deserved.

What makes it stand out is that the author portrays what we would consider adult themes through the eyes of a child. The

five young narrators, in their innocence, are forced to face intricate situations where they have to deal with poverty, child prostitution, religious intolerance, human trafficking and genocide. These children are victims in a world they found themselves in, a world that they did not create. A world that is full of poverty, greed, ignorance and fear.

The five stories are set in Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Nigeria.

Akpan throws in some Swahili in the Kenyan story, a couple of words of Amharic for Ethiopia, Kinyarwanda into the Rwandan one, some French along with Pidgin English in one Nigerian story and a variety of uttering in the other, all which complement the narratives and give instant reality to the different characters.

In these stories there are no happy endings, which is mostly a reality for the people, both young and old, living in

these unimaginable circumstances. Readers, on the other hand, clearly see the evil at

play. By design, the book tugs your heartstrings; you pity the children, denounce the adults and deplore the circumstances.

The Invisible Bridge

The invisible bridge - julie orringer

p-image-36″ />World War II and the Holocaust have been covered so extensively in so many formats, and yet there are so many under represented stories.

This book takes up one of these side stories, the story of Jews in Hungary, that didn’t make the textbooks or documentaries. And unlike textbook or documentary coverage, it brings the day-to-day realities of the war to life and will touch you in the way, only a personal story can.

Obviously this is historical fiction, which is different from a primary source, but the writing is authentic and either very well researched or edited by a very knowledgeable historian. So many historical fiction books lose credibility on

historic slips, but this book never does. When a new radio is described, it is Bakelite, not plastic. The words painted vivid pictures that had me craving croissants in Paris and Paprika and Potato dumplings in Hungary.

But the power of this book is that it will make you appreciate your warm bed, your clean sheets and each meal and trip to the grocery store by portraying what it was like when all these things were unavailable. It has been hard to get all of these deprivations out of my head since I finished the book. I have read remarkably few books that describe the hunger of those living in Europe as eloquently as this book.

It did take me a while to get into this book. 600 pages is pretty intimidating and it is dense in Jewish and

Hungarian names, but after 100 pages I was hooked and drag along. The writing is immensely readable and I felt a connection to the characters (enough so that I have to admit I flipped to the back to make sure at least someone made it through.) The book culminated in a marathon session when I just couldn’t put it down. It’s a powerful book that is high on my annual recommendation list., ,