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The Lovely Bones

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Wow. Effing wow. A novel narrated from heaven by a deceased teenager is a premise that could easily be trite or sappy or just flat-out awful. But The Lovely Bones is none of these things. Warm, funny, sentimental but not in an over-the-top fashion, just wonderful in every way.
The Red Pony

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Sometimes, when a book's title mentions ponies, one might think of The Saddle Club or rich white girls in knee-high boots. A middle-school girl's horse obsession might come to mind. This is not one of those books. Steinbeck wrote about the common man, the everyday person who experiences an exceptionally ordinary life- although this sort of life might seem foreign to us in 2013. This can be a difficult book, especially for those of us who grew up far away from the farms that produce our food. Steinbeck doesn't pull any punches when describing any of the unpleasant aspects of farm life, and he doesn't shy away from death. Steinbeck treats death as a part of life, not a separate event, as we tend to do now. Remember that this is really more of a handful of short stories that happen to feature the same basic characters. It is not a novel, and it's not composed of chapters. Thankfully, the edition I have mentions this in the blurb on the back, otherwise I might have been pretty confused. This book doesn't have much of a climax, nor does it have a resolution, really, or a moral, or a "point." It's a few stories that are each a peek into a world where life is going on as usual. I found it to be beautifully written, describing the beauty one can find in the mundane, if one only bothers to look. It's not an easy read, because life is not, nor has it ever been, easy- except for a select lucky few. The average family, especially a family who lived during the time period this story is set in, doesn't live a cushy existence, and they are the people Steinbeck wrote about.
Ladrona de libros, La

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Wow. It took me forever to read this book. Not because of any fault in the writing or the plot, but because the story is so sad and awful that I had to take a break now and then. This is one of the few books that I couldn't read straight through (or nearly straight through). I think it'll stick with me for life. The writing is gorgeous, and the novel is well-structured and unfolds beautifully. I feel like I know Liesel, Max, and Papa. I mourned when they cried. Their hurts made my heart ache, too. It's narrated by Death, which is interesting- the fact that Death tells the story puts it in a different light. Read it. It's good.
Backyard Ballistics: Build Potato Cannons, Paper Match Rockets, Cincinnati Fire Kites, Tennis Ball Mortars, and More Dynamite Devices

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This book rules. I am a grown-ass woman and I'll be doing some of these experiments. I don't have kids. It just sounds like fun.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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A favorite book of mine. I love the silly and the surreal, and this satisfies. It will be a permanent fixture on my shelf for life, and read to my own children someday.
Mother Night

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One of my favorite books of all-time, and probably my favorite Vonnegut creation. I haven't read them all yet, but I think I like this one the best of those I have read.
Because I’m Small Now and You Love Me

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A book about one's child could easily become a vanity project, quite easily. A book about one's child could come off as "1,000 Reasons My Kid Is Way Better Than Your Kid," but London's "Because I'm Small Now and You Love Me" is absolutely adorable and sweet, without a hint of bragging. It's written very conversationally, like a collection of stories told by a group of moms sharing lunch. It's funny, and it reminds me of many of the small children I've known. I found myself reading aloud to my husband some of the silly stories recounted in "Because I'm Small." I liked it very much.
Princesses Don't Get Fat

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This was a really cute story. I wasn't sure if I'd like it at first, but I was soon drawn into the story and wanting to see what happened. A definite page-turner, and a book I'll probably buy for my niece when it's released officially. She would like it, I know. I love the happy ending, and I love that it doesn't feel forced. The story is completely natural and progresses well. I think many young ladies can identify with the Princess. A story like this would have been comforting to me when I was younger. Nicely written, will most definitely recommend.
1984

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My first foray into dystopian fiction. Classic literature, and for good reason. Great book, excellent writing.
Aesop's Fables

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Dad used to read these to us when we were children.
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