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JulieM

JulieM

Currently reading

The 5th Wave
Rick Yancey
14
Peter Clines
The Light Between Oceans: A Novel
M.L. Stedman
The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It
Kelly McGonigal
Clockwork Princess
Cassandra Clare
The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness
Simon Wiesenthal
Love Medicine
Louise Erdrich
Love Medicine: Newly Revised Edition
Louise Erdrich

Firefly Beach

Firefly Beach - Luanne Rice After listening and loving The Hobbit I picked up the Modern Scholar Series Rings, Swords and Monsters which is a series of lectures on fantasy literature by Michael Drout, a professor at Wheaton College. My original plan was just to listen to the one or 2 lectures about The Hobbit. I found that I could not put this down. If you are a fan of fantasy fiction, he covers many of the great authors of the genre - Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Ursula LeGuin, Terry Brooks, and more. His lectures were interspersed with background history, wonderful excerpts that he reads as well as the best audio narrator, and some great analysis. It was enjoyable and I learned so much. I would highly recommend this to fantasy fans.

The Wonderful O

The Wonderful O - James Thurber Clever short story about a villain seeking treasure in a kingdom. The villain lost his mother when she got stuck in a boat's porthole and since then, he has a hatred for the letter 'O'. He bans everything that contains the letter, so that music is limited to zithers, cymbals, and guitars since horns, violas an oboes are forbidden. Fun illustrations combined with Thurber's clever wit make this a quick shrt bk t read.

Into the Woods

Into the Woods - Lyn Gardner, Mini Grey Cute fairytale-with-a-twist story. A bit of the Pied Piper, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Sleeping Beauty mixed together, told with a Lemony Snicket style.

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen - Catherine Gilbert Murdock, Natalie Moore This is a great coming of age book about a teenage girl growing up on a dairy farm. Perfect story for girls who are smart and tough and not afraid to show boys that they can compete with them on any level(Rachel - I-like-to-swim-in-ponds-filled-with-ice and Becky Long Arm - you know I'm talking about you).

A Crooked Kind of Perfect

A Crooked Kind of Perfect - Linda Urban, Taj Alexandra Ricci I chose this one to inspire my sone Michael to practice the piano. The book was great... but he is now playing the trumpet!

The Prestige

The Prestige - Christopher Priest, Simon Vance Very intriguing mystery. And the ending...Wow! Simon Vance does it again with a fabulous narration!

The Field: A story about the future

The Field: A Story about the Future - Lionel Goulet, Donni Richman I realized what a unique book this is when I tried to pick a genre category to file this book under. The Field has elements of sci-fi, mystery/suspense, philosophy, evolution, and even religion. The setting is the future and mankind has solved all the major problems in the world and life seems perfect. Where does man go next? This book was an easy fun read filled with plot twists, funny dialog, and a message that makes you contemplate what lies ahead.Nice job, Lionel!

Unaccustomed Earth

Unaccustomed earth - Jhumpa Lahiri, Sarita Choudhury, Ajay Naidu I have another book to add to my list of favorites. I just finished Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. A collection of short stories about Bengali immigrants - this book will touch your heart. Lahiri does a wonderful job in her portrayal of a wide cast of complex characters. As an American with immigrant parents, I can completely relate to the stories about children worrying that they can't achieve their parents' high expectations. 'What?? No PhD? How can we face our neighbors?' The narration of this audiobook is performed by Sarita Choudhury and Ajay Naidu. They are absolutely perfect and made this audiobook a joy from begining to end. 5 stars!

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel - Jamie Ford I would give this book 4 stars for the story and 2 stars for the narration. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a poignant story that takes place in Seattle during WWII and deals with the very difficult issue of the internment of Japanese-American citizens. This would make a wonderful bookclub selection. It touches on racism, love, filial piety and forgiveness. I really enjoyed the story - especially made me wonder what my Chinese parents must have experienced when they came to the US right after the war. But, I had a hard time with the audio narration. Feodor Chin does a wonderful job with the Asian accents, but I found his cadence a little slow and drawn out, especially during very serious parts of the book. The audiobook has received good reviews though so maybe it was just me. Anyone else listened to this one?

A Spot of Bother

A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon, Simon Vance Great narration by Simon Vance!

Gonzo Gizmos: Projects & Devices to Channel Your Inner Geek

Gonzo Gizmos: Projects & Devices to Channel Your Inner Geek - Simon Quellen Field I found this book on a list of best non-fiction books for children and young adults. What a fantastic book! If you have a child (or adult) that loves science, this book is a wonderful resource. Great science projects with very specific instructions and pictures are included and the best part, is the section 'Why does it do that?' which goes into the theory behind the experiments. My 10 year old son loves this book and reads it constantly. Can't wait to get the sequel...

The Pilgrims of Rayne (Pendragon)

The Pilgrims of Rayne - D.J. MacHale Great Young Adult Fantasy - but with an ending like that you just have to pick up the sequel...

Incredibly Clever...and Incredibly Annoying

Ulysses - James Joyce

If I had to use 2 words to describe James Joyce's Ulysses it would be clever and annoying.  Joyce is clearly a talented writer.  His mastery of words and characters puts him in the upper echelon of writers.  I don't know if he was bored with the every day task of sitting down and writing a good novel, but Ulysses seems like an odd conglameration of writing styles created with the intention of making it unreadable to all but the an elite group of English majors.  There is one episode which describes a woman who has been in labor for over 2 days.  That is painful enough to read about, but the episode is written comparing the gestation of a human fetus with the development of the English language.  Huh?  The chapter starts in Old English (think of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales) and then gradually develops into a more modern and readable form.  Was there a purpose to this?  Not sure, but it certainly made reading that chapter a challenge!  Another episode is written in the form of a catechism exercise.  There are a set of questions followed by answers.  So rather than hearing directly what happens in the story, we are gradually able to piece together the plot by hearing a set of questions and answers. 

 

But, there were some chapters that were beautifully written (like Molly's soliloquoy!)  I can definitely understand the appeal that this book has over people who are absolute zealots about this book.  I did listen to the Teaching Company's course, Joyce's Ulysses by Professor Heffernan as I read this book.  The course is excellent!  It definitely gave me a perspective and background info that I would never have understood reading this book on my own.  Overall, I'm glad I finished it - not sure if I'll ever do something like this again though!  And not sure what to rate this book...  For overall readability or story telling, I would say 1 star at best.  But for sheer chutzpah or creativity, I might even say 5 stars.  Definitely unforgettable.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide, #1) - Stephen Fry, Douglas Adams After listening to some pretty serious books, I picked up this one looking for some good laughs and witty humor. No disappointments here! I really enjoyed Stephen Fry's narration. Known as the 'other' Harry Potter narrator, I have never listened to any of his books. This was extremely well done and a great match for Douglas Adams' bizarre wit. A perfect 42!

Love That Dog CD

Love That Dog - Sharon Creech, Scott Wolf I noticed that my son Michael was crying as he was reading a book. I immediately was worried. But, as I looked at the cover I saw it was by Sharon Creech, an author who will make you both laugh and cry ... even in the same chapter! Love That Dog is a sweet story told through poems about a boy named Jack, and his dislike of poetry. For everyone who groans when they hear "Whose woods these are I think I know...", then this book is for you. It's very short, but worth the listen.

Ulysses Moore #1: The Door to Time

The Door To Time - Pierdomenico Baccalario, Iacopo Bruno, Laura Zuccotti, Leah Janeczko, Beth Dunfey Good children's fantasy series. Well written w/ spunky characters.