Friday, February 1, 2019

Winter Reading Review

One of my dance instructors, Kyle Limon regularly brings a book to class to share. He is either reading it or has finished it. He gives us a quick explanation of what it's about or why he's reading it. Towards the end of the year he talked about how good reading is for you and for dancers how it can help you improve your retention (for choreography).

I was just beginning to enjoy books a little more frequently either in audio or traditional format, but it was a little inspiration to get back to it.

Here is what I've read so far this winter.



Beneath a Scarlet Sky: Honestly I love the story and the adventure. I was really intrigued how this story came to be. Here's a reference. There is a bunch of other stuff out there about this title too. I don't mean to be a snob and yuck someone else's yum, but as much as I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the writing was a bit flat for me. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't exactly prose. Does this make sense?

Britt-Marie Was Here: I was so charmed by a Man Called Ove (thank you reading knitters!) that I wanted to read something else by the author. I loved his ability to turn out a quirky character that could be both annoying and self sabotaging but good enough in their own way that you were cheering for them. This one incorporated a mature woman going through a pivotal transition in her life and soccer. Well ... seemed like the one for me. It was entertaining and enjoyable. However it felt familiar even with the new characters and setting and I love a Man Called Ove and I can't help but compare. If you were to choose go with a Man Called Ove, but this is good too, just um, not as good.

The Alienist: A historical fiction of the development of early forensics and it featured a strong woman in a time where it's hard to imagine such independence. I had been meaning to read this for a while but I actually watched the TNT series before I read the book. I liked the series enough to seek the source material and see if it matched up. I have to say I knew the series took liberties and I was a little sad that they felt the need to modify some of the characters but I understand that they like to add side plots and complexity and consolidate other things for the sake of visual story telling. Cary Fukunaga wrote 2 of the episodes and was an Executive Producer on the series and I like his work so I may be a bit biased.

This is a dark story and not for the squeamish. The most vulnerable are hurt in this story and you really need to be able to get past that in order to appreciate that it is a look into how life experiences shape human behavior and character and how they can manifest in horrible violence.

This was my favorite of that photographed stack.

Meanwhile I finished this last weekend:



I know what you're thinking ... Ellen, really, MORE serial killer stories? Look it's actually somewhat humorous and it's really good story telling. It's more about the relationship between sisters and how family experiences drive the dynamics of a family no matter what age you and your siblings are. You know how people will talk about their youngest sibling or their youngest child and call them the baby and how the baby has always needed help or has always been the most affectionate etc? Generally it's because the family has always treated them as if they are the baby and often helped or offered to help without the baby even asking. Not to say these people aren't their own capable independent people, but in the FAMILY they are the baby because they've always been babied not because they are the youngest. (True confession, I'm the eldest.)

Hmm, I'm reading that back and I'm still not making a decent point. But I'm leaving it because there's a point in there somewhere that you might be able to suss out and win a prize for.

Anyways I really enjoyed it. I think I read about it in the Times. There is a reason it gets a lot of buzz. Really enjoyed it and am recommending it constantly.

Have a good weekend folks. Use it to enjoy yourself the best way you know how. Be good -- even to your big and little siblings that may or may not deserve it. Remember when all else fails blame bad parenting. These books are giving me a complex.

30 comments:

  1. Great reviews! I've been on a serial killer kick myself. Ever since I read I'll Be Gone in the Dark I've been all about the murder. I wonder what that says about me?

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    1. Thanks Araignee. I haven't read I'll be Gone in the Dark. I will have to put it on the list. As far as liking the darker stuff, what can I say, there is something different for everyone and it's always interesting to see what you like when you expose yourself to different things. Sometimes you know you're not going to like it, sometimes you don't.

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  2. Thanks for the list. I've read two other Brackman novels, and while they were interesting, they didn't come close to matching my love for Ove.

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    1. Ahh you understand very well, how I feel my friend. I just gave the book to my good friend, Clare. I told her if she liked it then she would really like Ove. hehe.

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  3. Will give Britt-Marie a go. I listened to A Man Called Ove and liked it. But then, I too, like a bit of good prose. Nancy

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    1. Such a nice story. It pulled the heartstrings good.

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  4. I liked the Britt-Marie book, it made you understand her so much more but like you said nothing can compare to A Man Called OVe.

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  5. Beneath a Scarlet Sky came up in my First Reads-
    I've been enjoying a good fantasy read in the series A Throne for Sisters.

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    1. I will have to look into A Throne for Sisters. I haven't read any fantasy in a while. I did like Beneath a Scarlet Sky it just wasn't ALL that.

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  6. I was so excited to tell Al to read Sister seriel and she just listened to it and Loved it!

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    1. Yay!! I don't need anyone to like exactly what I like, but it's so fun when they do!

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  7. Fun to see your book list. Our Book club just read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, next up is Astoria.

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    1. Ah yes I believe I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn when I was younger but I cannot remember it, excellent excuse to pick it up. Astoria looks intriguing is it historical fiction or non fiction?

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  8. I love to see what other people are reading. I shall look out for a couple of these. Enjoy the rest of the weekend Ellen. CJ xx

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    1. Thank you CJ. I'm grateful to everyone else for all their shares. Wishing you the best.

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  9. Thanks for the book reviews! I always appreciate them. I read The Alienist years ago and remember liking it. My Sister has been getting good reviews, so I'll put that one on my list.

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    1. It's surprised me how many people The Alienist has stuck with considering how dark it is. To not just remember it but to have liked it is a good sign. I hope you get a chance to read My Sister and enjoy that too.

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  10. I thought britt marie was better than Ove! I love how we all get something different out of the same books :)

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    1. LOL That's so funny! But I did like it! It is a good story and it's got good heart. I was just so taken with Ove.

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  11. I have been reading more as well. It was wonderful hearing your reviews of the books you have read. Britt Marie is on my "to read" list.

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    1. It's nice to read more again. It's not good for my sleeping surprisingly, but the world seems a little brighter even when reading the darker stories. It's like I've learned more adjectives to see the world in again. Does that make sense?

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  13. I agree with your thoughts on Brit Marie. My favorite by this author is Bear Town. Can not wait to read the sequel!

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    1. Ohh! Good to know! Thanks for coming by and sharing, Sheila! :)

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  14. That's an interesting point your dance teacher made. I'm so envious of your class; the nearest one would be in San Jose and that's like driving from Japantown all the way out to Colma Target. I can't do that at night. BTW, you are fabulous in your dance class.

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  15. I love reading your honest & fun reviews! I read the Alienist a long time ago & had to leave the lights on at night for a very long time after finishing it. Good book but was very disturbing. I haven't watched the series yet but will have to check it out.

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  16. شركة تنظيف منازل بالجبيل افضل شركة خدمات منزلية بالجبيل نظافة شاملة مع التعقيم والتلميع وابادة الحشرات شركة تنظيف بالجبيل شركة المثالية هي افضل شركة نظافة بالجبيل والمنطقة الشرقية تقدم لعملائها افضل جودة وارخص الاسعار بالاضافة الي تقديم الخدمات من خلال عمالة مدربة وذات خبرة كبيرة بمجالات التنظيف ومكافحة الحشرات , فلا تتردد في الاتصال بشركة تنظيف بالجبيل للحصول علي كل ما هو مميز ولضمان الحصول علي منزل امن نظيف راقي خالي من المواد الضارة والميكروبات

    شركة تنظيف منازل بالجبيل
    شركة تنظيف بالجبيل

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