I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
Buy: I, Robot on Amazon
I picked this book up out of my pile of books waiting to be read on a whim. I remembered vaguely watching a Will Smith movie by the same name and thought, hm.. this could be a fun, easy read. Boy was I wrong.
It was fun! That I will say. Easy however, it was not. This book really made me think.
First of all, this is a story about robots and their effect on the futuristic world (which in itself is pretty funny considering it begins in 1996 and the things being written about have yet to come to pass). But that description is of the story at its most basic.
The first story being told in the book gripped me. The love a child has for a non-speaking robot nanny. But it didn’t set the stage well for the story that followed after – not to say I didn’t enjoy it, I just.. went into the book after that opening expecting something different. What I got was a harsh jolt of reality, a lot of science and multiple brain-teasing puzzles. Once I got over the initial shock I began to really enjoy myself, but had to stop several times to digest what I was reading and think it over.
This book is told in a very journalistic style, which makes sense as the stories being told are being told to someone asking questions about them. It’s not a warm, fuzzy feel-good type of story. It’s cold and harsh at points and it fully lays open the flaws of humanity. Being human means despite good intentions, you can bring destruction in every sort of form, from physical to mental to spiritual. And the scenarios in this book really took me to those places and made me think hard.
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Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Amazon: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
I was somewhat amused but still disappointed by Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Instead of being laugh-out-loud funny I found myself feeling bad for Greg, the middle-schooler the book is about.
My nephew laughed many times, however, while reading this book. He “got it” apparently and I didn’t. He saw the humor in the pranks that were pulled and mistakes Greg was constantly making. All I saw was a kid who couldn’t stand doing homework, wanted to play video games all the time and caused a general amount of trouble. But, it was funny in parks, I will grant it that.
They are making a movie of the novel and I’ve no doubt it’ll be a huge hit. I don’t think they’ll have to work hard to make it better than the book though – wish I could say I loved it but I just didn’t.
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Tithing: Test Me in This by Douglas Leblanc
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I received this book from BookSneeze (formerly Thomas Nelson Publishers) and was hoping that, while this isn’t my usual type of book, it would interesting enough to hold my attention.
This is a small book and I was grateful for that. While the stories were, at moments, interesting on the whole I felt a little out of my league throughout the book. And I almost felt ashamed at times because I’ve been a Christian my entire life and still had no clue what references to people, ideas and places meant. It’s not a book that is easy to read or one that can be easily read in one sitting.
I did take some good insights away from reading this book, however. But mostly it was reinforcement from what I’ve been taught. I remember a sermon I listened to a while back that spoke on tithing and how God uses us as a funnel to give. The wider you open the funnel the more He blesses you with the resources to give. I remember being inspired by the story and there were several places in this book I was reminded of it.
I was definitely challenged to open myself up more – I just wish it would have been a bit more personal of a writing style instead of reading a documentary type book about the act of tithing.
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Wow, what a week this has been. We had a visitor that.. hm, let’s just say it’s not the normal way our weekends go (thank goodness!). Thankfully it was relatively uneventful and I got to spend a lot of time out and about.
Unfortunately I did not get a lot of reading done. Why? … Let’s take a minute to talk about George Eliot shall we? First of all, I’ve heard her books praised as being “Austenesque” and wondered what exactly I was missing out by not reading them. Coming off a fairly recent read of Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady I felt equipped to tackle Middlemarch. I was woefully unprepared.
I’m barely touching 300 pages into this novel, folks. I pick up my Kindle and it puts me to sleep within the first few pages. I can follow the story just fine, it’s just.. there are pages upon pages upon pages of descriptions, politics, ways of thinking and very subtle dialogue that have me going crazy! And I’m an Austen lover! And I loved Portrait of a Lady (a book which took me five days to read, and I’m approaching seven so far with Middlemarch!).
So what do you suggest? I want to read this book, I’m desperate to know the story. Flailing last night I loaded up the BBC Mini-Series by the same name and I fell asleep within the first 15 minutes! Help me here – tell me what I’m missing. Please don’t tell me to quit, I don’t want to! What do you do to motivate yourself to push through the mire and find the story you just know is hiding there?
That being said, here are my regularly scheduled highlights of the week. ( haha! )
- I’m doing a Giveaway of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver! This is a hot ARC folks, as Allison from Allison’s Book Marks pointed out in the comments. You can find the discussion on it here.
- Only one day left to enter my giveaway for The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo!
- I feel horrible, but I’ve yet to get my last Giveaway out to Sheila from One Person’s Journey through a World of Books. I can claim a good reason though, Sheila! I’ve had quite the nasty kidney attack this week but am on the road to recovery and hope to make it to the post office in the morning. It’s coming, I promise!
- I picked up Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough on a recommendation from my friendly B&N employees. Looking forward to getting an opportunity to read it!
- I have a blissfully uneventful weekend happening. Sunday on my afternoon out I plan to check out a Cuban-American restaurant I’ve been told about and relax in a coffee shop and HOPEFULLY finish Middlemarch.
So, to reiterate my question above: What do you do to motivate yourself to push through the mire and find the story you just know is hiding there?
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
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These are the kind of fairy tales I like to read. Fairy tales that contain wicked witches, beautiful stars, unicorns, magic, trees that speak, wizened wise old men, bitter family feuds and love.
This is the story of Tristran Thorn, yes. But first it begins with the story of his father and before that a mystery where the ending is clear, but the beginning is not. It’s a story based on the mythical village of Wall, where only a wall separates the land of man from the land of fairy.
This fairy tale is a little crude in places and not one for children to read. It’s an adult fairy tale with some adult themes in it. It is tastefully done and the imagery, as with all of Gaiman’s novels, leaps off the page. I read it quickly and couldn’t put the book down.
My first introduction to Wall and Tristran was through the movie, Stardust. I had no idea it was a book at the time, and when I picked up Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman to read and saw that he also had written Stardust I knew I had to read it. The book was much less violent than the movie in places, and more so in other places. I enjoyed the ending much more and love that the main character of Tristan made the choices that he did.
I highly recommend this to those fantasy lovers wanting a good fairy tale. This is beautifully written and a wonderful addition to my own personal library.
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Alyce at At Home with Books hosts this meme – and it’s one of my favorites. I actually had to think quite a bit about which book I wanted to talk about this week – which is unusual for me, because I always seem to have one that pops into mind. One of my favorite gifts I gave this last year for Christmas is a quirky little novel written in letters with an.. interesting twist.
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
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Description from GoodReads:
Ella Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on the fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina. Nollop was named after Nevin Nollop, author of the immortal pangram,* “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Now Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island’s Council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet as they fall from a memorial statue of Nevin Nollop. As the letters progressively drop from the statue they also disappear from the novel. The result is both a hilarious and moving story of one girl’s fight for freedom of expression, as well as a linguistic tour de force sure to delight word lovers everywhere.
*pangram: a sentence or phrase that includes all the letters of the alphabet
When I first picked up this book I knew several friends had enjoyed it. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it certainly surpassed any expectations I might have had.
As I read the book I became more and more engrossed in the amazement I felt that the author was able to write the book with the rules he had imposed upon himself. I will admit, for a few chapters I was so caught up in looking for mistakes I had a difficult time enjoying the story – but finally I just had to give in and trust and continue to read.
This is, overall, a story of censorship and how it can affect every day lives. It is done in such a quirky, fun fashion that the message can almost get lost, but it’s still there nonetheless.
This is in the top ten of books I recommend to people. It’s a book worth reading with an interesting message.
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This is an ARC Book I received from B&N First Look. I’m comfortable enough now with my notes on it that I am ready to put this up for a giveaway. You can find my review of this novel here. This giveaway will end on Monday, March 1, 2010.
Here are the rules:
Please leave a comment answering the following question: If you could relive yesterday, knowing that it was the last day you lived, what is one thing extra you would do?
Tweet about this giveaway and leave me a link for an extra entry.
Blog about this giveaway and leave me a link here for two extra entries.
Be a subscriber to this blog (either new or old) and let me know for two extra entries.
Please note that you must follow the rules of the giveaway to be entered.
(US and Canada only)
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic by Betty MacDonald
I enjoyed Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. I thought the book was cute, easy to read and the solutions, although out there (hello Radish Cure) were believable enough.
That said, I was disappointed in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic. I should have known by the title that this book would be different.
Instead of the cures outlined in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, in this book Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle resorts to magic to cure the naughty children. While some of it is amusing (tattle-tales), after a few chapters even my niece and nephew started to get bored. That made me sad – because, as I said, I really enjoyed Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.
Another thing I disliked, and this is more personal preference, but the 20 page chapters were really difficult to read in one sitting. The first book was perfect. I could read out loud for 20 minutes and complete a chapter before bedtime, but I was constantly having to split them up with this one.
If you want to introduce your children to Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, don’t bother with this book – get the first. It’s well worth your time.
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Sheila over at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books is hosting this meme! I want to invite you all to visit here there and check out the great blogs linking their posts.
Last week I read:
- Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods by Suzanne Collins
- Gregor and the Marks of Secret by Suzanne Collins
- Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins
- Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
- Goong, Palace Story, Vol 8 by So Hee Park
- The Devil Does Exist, Volumes 6-11 by Mitsuba Takanashi
I am currently reading:
- Middlemarch by George Eliot
This week I plan to read:
- Black by Ted Dekker
- Red by Ted Dekker
- White by Ted Dekker
- Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
- The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova