Thursday, October 8, 2015

Book Review #38

Today I am reviewing the book

Pride And Prejudice

This book was under the category: A Classic Romance

From Amazon:  "Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr and Mrs Bennet's five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr Darcy, have moved into their neighbourhood. While Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, Darcy has difficulty adapting to local society and repeatedly clashes with the second-eldest Bennet daughter, Elizabeth. "

I am probably one of that last people alive that has not read this book.  I am not a big fan of old literature (I know - for shame!).  To me it is boring, and I don't particularly like the style of writing, so I generally avoid them.  This one was.....okay.  I know, I know.  It is great literature and I should have loved it.  It was silly.  It is a comedy, yes, but so SILLY.   I am going to watch the movie, in hopes that it ties everything together.  I found myself skimming several parts where it just droned on and on with fluffy wording.

I don't know.  Don't count it out.  There were parts that I really enjoyed and read deeply.  It ended well, which helped a lot.

Stars: 3

Update:  Watched the movie.  The miniseries, really.  That changed my mind greatly.  It put the book into better perspective.  Is it still silly?  Of course.  But the movie was good.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book Review #37

The Book I am reviewing today is

The Dubliners

This was in the category: A Book More Than 100 years old

This was really a book of short stories.  It is an oral history of some of the people in Dublin Ireland.

There isn't really much to say about this book.  Except I didn't like it at all.  It was hard to read, and all of the stories ended without being "wrapped up" which I found annoying.  The stories were not interesting at all.  I am sure it is all me - I just don't think that James Joyce is for me.  I cannot recommend it, because I truly did not like it at all.  But someone who loves James Joyce might want to give it a try.  It isn't a very big book, so it wouldn't take long to tackle.

Stars: 1 1/2

Sunday, October 4, 2015


So Mat has been working very hard with his new job at Autism Speaks.  Being the new VP of Genomics Discovery has caused him to have to travel away from us quite a bit.  But he is making us proud with the work he is doing to further research for a cure for Autism.

This past week he was in NYC at an event at Tavern on the Green for the Full World Focus Event.  It was held around the UN meeting being in NYC at this time.  The wives of a lot of the presidents around the world were there as well as the founders of Autism Speaks.

Mat got to speak, and here is the link if you want to see what he had to say.  The video is quite long, but if you scroll to the 1 hour mark, you will see Mat talking

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Book Review #36

Next book I read was called

Sarah's Key

This book was under the category "Book Your Mom Loves"

This story is about the holocaust, and a little Jewish girl and her family.  The story takes place in Paris.  Her family is taken away by the French Police and taking to the concentration camps.  The other characters in the story are from the present time who are living in Paris.  The woman character is a writer for a local American newspaper and she is assigned a story of the 60th anniversary of the Jewish roundup at the Vel d'Hiv and she discovers the story of this young girl and her family.  And then their stories intertwine.

The "Key" part comes in because when the family is rounded up, Sarah locks her little brother into a hidden cupboard in the house to keep him safe.  She is sure they won't be gone long and she can come and let him out.  The truth is, that no one - except Sarah and one of her friends - ever returned from that concentration camp.

I really liked this book.  I have read several Holocaust books this year, and I had no idea about this round up in Paris.  Since we were recently there, I recognized several of the places they talked about in the book.  I wish I would have known before we visited so that we could pay our respects to those lives lost (I think it was over 14,000) from that small section of Paris.

I encourage you to read it.  It was the first story I have read this year that was told from a child's perspective (the main character is 10) of what was happening to her and her family.

Stars:  4

Friday, October 2, 2015

Book Review #35

The book I am reviewing today is:

Not What We Were Expecting

This was in the category:  "A Book Based on a True Story"

This was a story of a husband and wife who tried for over a decade to have a family.  Several attempts at in-vitro, child loss, and then finally adoption.  The story is full of one heart break after another as these two people try to have a child of their own.

I liked it okay.  I did feel for this couple.  They tried everything and they buried several children due to being born too early.  You could feel how much they longed for a baby.  The problems I had with it were mostly the writing (again I know this is a story being told by a non-writer, but she should have had some help) and some of the decisions they made.  But that is just my personal issues.  You will feel for these people if you read this book.

So - give it a try.  I really like true story books.

Rating:  3 Stars

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Book Review #34

The book review I am doing today is

The Bell Jar

This book was under the category:  "A Book Written By Someone Under 30"

This was a story of a young girl, Esther, in the 1950s who was interning at a junior editor for a NYC magazine.  She does the internship, and then finds out that a story she submitted to get into a special writing class has been rejected and that seems to be the beginning of her downfall.  She slowly has a mental breakdown and has to return to living with her mother after the internship instead of returning to school.  She attempts suicide and lands herself in a mental institution.  She has electroshock therapy while she is there and a friend of hers is also admitted.  Her friend ends up killing herself and this seems to turn something in Esther and help lead her to recovery.

I liked this book well enough.  It was a little confusing at times.  To me it seemed the Esther went from being perfectly fine to attempting suicide rather quickly.  But the overall book was well written.

The notes at the end of the book were the most helpful and understanding the book.  Sylvia Plath, the author, killed herself at a very young age.  Many people speculate that the story of Esther rivals Sylvia's own path with depression.  This is the only book she ever wrote.

Stars:  3 1/2

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Blood Moon

We are lucky to live in an area where we could see the moon so brightly the other night.  Arlington stayed up to watch the the eclipse.  Since it won't be back until 2033 - and she will be 30 (30!) years old by then, it was wonderful to watch together.