Friday, January 15, 2010

Reading Lolita in Tehran

Title: Reading Lolita in Tehran
Author: Azar Nafisi
Pages: 347
Genre: Memoir
Rating: 2.5/5

From the Back Cover:
Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a bold and inspired teacher named Azar Nafisi secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics. As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Tehran, fundamentalists seized hold of the universities, and a blind censor stifled artistic expression, the girls in Azar Nafisi's living room risked removing their veils and immersed themselves in the worlds of Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry James, and Vladimir Nabokov. In this extraordinary memoir, their stories become intertwined with the ones they are reading."

While I did not HATE this book, I found myself struggling to immerse myself into it. It did not flow easily for me. The first section talks about the secret meetings in the authors home, but then not again until the very end. The middle seemed to be a whole different story all together and I found myself forgetting the characters by the final section.

That being said, I found the words very informative, and really got to capture the novels discussed in a new way that I have never thought of before. I have never read anything by Henry James or Vladimir Nabokov, but maybe someday. Lolita sounds very intriguing to me. I also learned a lot about the Islamic Republic that I never knew before. (I understand that what is in the novel is the perception of the author and nothing else.)

I am glad that I read this novel because of the things I learned and the thoughts and feelings it inspired in me. Maybe I should rethink the rating to a little higher, but as of right now, I still feel glad to be done reading it. I don't like feeling like that at the end of a book.... Maybe that is just me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Book Thief

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Pages: 550
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 5/5

****Some facts about The Book Thief****
Historical Fiction
-Death as a Narrator
-Set in Nazi Germany during the 1930's-1940's
-Liesel Meminger steals her first novel at the Graveside of her brother

The Book Thief is a novel that will stay with you for a while. Once you are done reading, you will find yourself thinking about the words for a while. The story is a great one, and is a little different that most I have read. Yes, it is told by Death, and Deaths perception of war, but it also follows the life of a girl. No, she is not Jewish, she is German. You become more aware of how children lived during the Nazi regime, and the things they liked, disliked, the struggles, and the way of life for them during that time.

The story also focuses on the power of words. How they can affect each individual, and ultimately how they can influence a nation.

The book is beautifully written, with ease, and intrigue. You find yourself indulged in a rich story, and definitely love the characters involved. I finished the book with a lot to think about, and I know this story will stick with me for some time.

After some soul searching, I found my purpose...

I have been on some sort of hiatus. Not sure where all my motivation went, but I am glad I have found it again. I believe that I became a little overwhelmed with some reading challenges, and found myself reading some things that I just had no interest in.

I find that for myself, to keep me motivated, I need to be reading what piques my interest, and what fits my fancy. I learned that I am not a huge fan on memoirs, while I find them to be very informative, it feels like I am reading text books. I will try to minimize the number of them that I read. I am not a HUGE fan of *gasp* classics. While I find the stories good for the most part, I struggle with the language. Tess of the D'Urbervilles to name one. It takes me a long time to read, and I like to be able to sail through a book. It feels like I take more away from the novel if I don't have to read and re-read.

What I really love to read is Fiction. I love a good, rich, story. Historical Fiction I would say is my favorite. I love to read about WWII. If there are any of you that have some great ideas for me to read, please share!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Japanese Literature Challenge 3

Isn't that a beautiful picture? I couldn't deny myself this challenge, because I love Japanese Literature so much! Dolce Bellezza is hosting the challenge and for the official rules and time click here.
I only have two books on my list thus far, but I hope to have more to follow.
1. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
2. Eat, Sleep, Sit by Kaoru Nonomura

R.I.P. Challenge IV

Yay! I have been looking forward to this challenge for some time now. To see the official rules and to sign up, click on the link here.
For this particular challenge, I am joining in on Peril the First. I will be reading four books. They are as follows:

1. Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

2. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

3. The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe

4. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Firefly Lane

Title: Firefly Lane
Author: Kristin Hannah
Pages: 479
Genre: Fiction, Chick-Lit
Rating: 4/5

I know, I know! I have been totally MIA lately, and have been lacking in the review department. I have been reading though. I read the whole Twilight series, which I have chosen NOT to review.

I have been really sick and tired and BUSY, but now that my energy is back, I am back in the full swing of things, and ready to be reviewing the books that I have read, and need to get my butt in gear to reach my 100 books in 2009 reading goal! I am no where near that!

Now to the review:

Firefly Lane follows the lives of two girls, Tully and Kate, who meet while in eighth-grade. They could not be more opposite. Tully lives with her grandmother most of the time, but occasionally, she lives with her flaky mother, Cloud, who is a hippie and cares more about drugs than her own daughter. Kate is an introvert, who is a little socially awkward, and lives with her perfectly normal family. They meet when Tully moves in across the street from Kate. The friendship starts off by happenstance, but they quickly develop a trust in each other.

Through the 70's until present day, we follow Tully and Kate through their lives struggles and triumphs. Marriages and relationships, and everything in between.

The story is very endearing and reminded me of the relationship between my best friend and myself. I cried like a baby, but I am sure it is the influx of hormones in my body right now, but I loved the book. I recommend this book especially when one can relate to a close relationship like having a lifelong best friend.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Review: Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Title: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Author: Thomas Hardy
Genre: Tragedy/Fiction/Classic
Rating: 4/5

Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Where to start? Tess is a classic novel written by Thomas Hardy in 1891. The story is set in England where Tess Durbeyfield and her family are living a simple life, until one day her father discovers that they are of a noble name D'Urberville. Tess goes to live with the D'Urbervilles to help out and claim some of the benefits of this noble name. The son of the Mrs, D'Urberville, Alec, loves Tess. After some unfortunate events, Tess moves back home for a few years.

Tess finds that she can no longer just stay at home, so she finds herself working as a dairy maid and meets the love of her life, Angle Clare. They eventually get married but quickly stumble along quite a few road blocks.

I can not say anymore. You must read this book. It is full of love, turmoil, heartache, and surprise in ways you would never think. I loved this book. I have to admit that the words were a little difficult for me at first, as I was unfamiliar with English Classic Literature, but once you get in the groove, you cannot put this down. READ IT!!!


I apoligize for a somewhat lame review. I really have no idea how to review this book in a way that does it any justice. I promise you this will become a favorite if you just read it!~