katymelrose

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Criadas y Señoras: Tres mujeres a punto de dar un paso extraordinario, una historia con corazón y esperanza.

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This is definitely on my short list for favorite reads in 2010. Multiple perspectives of black maids and a rich white girl in the south during the Civil Rights Movement. Certainly a difficult and potentially dangerous undertaking, but I thought Stockett pulled it off beautifully. Her descriptions of the setting make me wish that, had I been there, I would have had the balls to do the right thing and not just continue with the status quo like so many did. I think she does a remarkable job describing the various relationships between friends and family with different ideas of what is right, employee/employer relationships, and most significantly (to me) the relationship between children and their caregivers. This book is the epitome of how the people and things we are raised with affect our development as adults...and I mean that as both a positive and negative.
Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest

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I think Beck's story is intriguing and almost fairy-tale-ish....but not in a bad way. It is because so much of his outlook on life changed based on that one incident, it wasn't a gradual change like life usually is. Because of my expectations, I wasn't sure I was going to be too terribly interested in the parts other than his experience on Everest after reading Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer and The Climb by Anatoli Boukreev, but I was interested. Beck tells his story with a self-deprecating sense of humor that makes the story easier to read than it would be without it. He doesn't glorify any of it and includes things that I would imagine would be very difficult to share with the world. This might finally end my consuming need for more information that Into Thin Air evoked.
Me Talk Pretty One Day

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I listened to this on audio book and I'm so glad I did. Sedaris reads some of the essays and others are excerpts from his stand-up routines. His reading voice is stoic which made me feel badly for laughing some of the time, but when it gets to the stand-up parts, Sedaris becomes lively and has a self-deprecating tone which creates an even more hilarious environment.Usually, I'm indifferent on whether I prefer to read or listen to specific books, but I can whole-heartedly say I'm very glad I listened to Me Talk Pretty One Day.
Sh*t My Dad Says

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So funny. I read this in one sitting at the pool and then gave it to my dad as a bathroom book. If you're sensitive to explicit language, then this probably isn't the book for you. I'm curious to see how the TV show is going to play out on network tv - seems like a better fit for something like FX.
The Glass Castle: A Memoir

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I'm not sure I got the full experience of this book because I read it at the pool. This is not a summer read. I think it should be read on the comfort of your couch/arm chair/in front of a fire place/anything while wrapped in a warm blanket. I knew it was not going to be a light read, but I was not expecting the almost non-chalant pain that Walls expresses through her writing. It was so depressing that at times I didn't want to keep reading, but I knew I needed to. I did not enjoy this book at all, but it was well-written and the story progressed well. Pretty much, it did everything it should, but was so sad I couldn't get past it. I think If I had read it during a less fun time of year, I would have appreciated it more and for that I increased this to 4 stars.
The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest

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Anatoli Boukreev's response to Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer about the events of the 1996 spring Everest expedition.Boukreev has some additional information that Krakauer couldn't have known (or didn't know, or, according to Boukreev, knew and ignored) that helps to shed some light on the events of May, 10 1996. Specifically, some of Boukreev's decisions and some of the issues that Mountain Madness was dealing with. It was definitely interesting to see the expedition from a guide's POV rather than a client's (see Into Thin Air).As other reviews have said, it is not as well written as Krakauer's story, and it doesn't provide as much information from other climbers and guides. It is primarily Boukreev's story of his successful rescues and the events that led to him being able to do them.Overall, it is a good companion to Into Thin Air, but I doubt it has much stand-alone value for anyone looking for the story of what happened. However, for someone looking for a rescue story as opposed to a tragic story, this would probably be a good place to start.
Schokolade für Soulmates

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short review: It's like The Babysitter's Club with vampires. Didn't like The Babysitter's Club when you were younger? probably won't like this.long review: wow, some of my friends told me to read this and I'm not really sure why. It was cheesy and preachy and blatantly tried to be educational.* The characters are not very well developed and the plot line (yes, only one) is a snoozefest. It feels like something ABC family will eventually turn into a tv show or made-for-tv movie. Of course, those can be fine as long as you aren't expecting anything with depth or intricacies and instead are prepared for something light and fluffy.I'll give Betrayed a shot because I think my expectations might be more accurate and to see if it gets any better, but no promises from me after that.* Specific examples: Cheesy - "'Yeah, like having poopie for brains,' I said..." Poopie? seriously?Preachy - "Of course there are girls who think its 'cool' to give guys head. Uh, they're wrong. Those of us with functioning brains know that its not cool to be used like that." The narrator (16 year old Zoey) has similar viewpoints on teen drinking, marijuana, kissing in not-quite-public, etc. It goes on and on about how wrong all of those things are and how anyone who partakes is a druggie or a slut or both. It's all displayed in a very black and white manor which I assume would alienate quite a bit of the teen readers over 14 or 15 and definitely alienated this 28 year old reader.Blatantly educational - "'...and her stuck-up flock of sycophants.'...'Sycophant - a servile flatterer.'" And the vocab lessons go on and on with one roughly every 75 pages or so. I do think that the House of Night version of vampires is kind of cool though. I will definitely give the authors some credit there. I like the fact that these vampires are neither turned nor born, but that its a kind of puberty-gone-wrong thing. It definitely makes this series stand out.
Songs of the Humpback Whale: A Novel in Five Voices

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Meh. That's the best I can come up with. I didn't like characters - not a single one. The jumping around through time is not particularly effective because it removes a lot of the suspense that could have been offered and the story, frankly, isn't quite good enough to make it work. There are some flashes of the type of writer Picoult will become though. Particularly at the end. Of course, there is no suspense to go along with it. Perhaps those people who enjoy reading the end of the book first will enjoy this more than I did.
Appaloosa

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Westerns really aren't my thing, but I do like Robert B. Parker and my parents both recommended Appaloosa. I listened to it on audiobook. I enjoyed it, but it didn't blow me away and doesn't make me want to read more westerns. It was just okay for me, but I'm definitely not the target audience and I would think that fans of westerns would appreciate it.
You'll Never Blue Ball in This Town Again: One Woman's Painfully Funny Quest to Give It Up

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She goes off on tangents...a lot. I think it adds to the humor though. I think she also picked some of her comments straight out of my head. It's funny, its light, it has some self-depricating humor mixed in with some self-congratulatory comments. If you enjoy Heather "Long Boobs" McDonald on the Chelsea Lately round table, then you'll likely enjoy this. It's not a must read, but its fun.
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