POST READ-A-THON REVIEWS HERE!!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2002
POST READ-A-THON REVIEWS HERE!!!!
46
Mon, 06-18-2012 - 12:29am

Until we get our read-a-thon reviews folders, please post all your reviews in this thread, and remember to number them starting with #1.

Thanks!


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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2008
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 4:11pm

#16. My Wonderful World of Slapstick by Buster Keaton 282 pages 7/23/12 pub 1960

I first read this sweet, inspiring, at once modern and anachronistic autobiography in about 1974. It was delightful to imagine I was hanging out with Buster Keaton and he was telling the stories. He was a great filmmaker and is a wonderful raconteur. If you’re thinking of reading this and you haven’t watched a Buster Keaton, Roscoe Arbuckle or Charlie Chaplin movie you should first watch some movies. He, they, are all about the movies. The book is mostly joyful, but it’s no “Spite Marriage,” “Playhouse,” “Sherlock Jr.”, or “The General.”

“Down through the years my face has been called a sour puss, a dead pan, a frozen face, The Great Stone Face, and, believe it or not, “a tragic mask.” On the other hand that kindly critic, the late James Agee, described me face as ranking ‘almost with Lincoln’s as an early American archetype. It was haunting, handsome, almost beautiful.’ I can’t imagine what the great rail splitter’s reaction would have been to this, though I sure was pleased.” (11)

“In those free- and- easy days we all had fun making comedies. We worked hard. We stayed with the story all of the way. In the old days all of us – Chaplin, Lloyd, Harry Langdon, and myself—worked with our writers from the day they started on a story. We checked on the scenery, the cast, the location—often going on trips with the unit manager to pick these out ourselves and make sure they were suitable. We directed our own pictures, making up our own gags as we went along, saw the rushes, supervised the cutting, went to the sneak previews.” (112)

Julia

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2008
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 4:16pm

#17. Tallgrass by Susan Dallas 305 pages 7/24/12 pub 2007

Set in a Colorado beet farming community that gets a Japanese internment camp, this is To Kill a Mockingbird nearly scene for scene.

It’s told by Rennie, a young girl. Her father is a forceful man who has given up fighting, but goes against many in the town by hiring Japanese- Americans to help him on the farm. There’s a mean low- class family who threaten Rennie’s family. The neighbor ladies make cakes for each other, even during the war, with sugar rationing. Rennie, her Mom (there’s a difference with TKaM, Rennie has a powerful strong Mom) and Dad stop a mob by calling them by name. There’s two rapes and a rape- murder in this where To Kill a Mockingbird had only the rape accusation, which was plenty damaging to Tom Robinson. That said, I found this unputdownable, though it has flat characters and is predictable.

I read this for a library discussion group; I wonder if it will be as obvious to other library patrons. I’ve read so many TKaM- related books over the last two years. My favorite is Erskine’s Mockingbird.

Julia

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2008
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 8:19pm
# 6  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
...Gillian Flynn’s latest novel of psychological suspense will confound anyone trying to keep up with her quicksilver mind and diabolical rules of play. Not that there’s anything underhanded about her intentions: she promises to deliver an account of the troubled marriage of Nick and Amy Dunne, who alternate as narrators, and so she does. The trickery is in the devilish way she tells their story.
 
This is one of my favorite books that I've read this year. It is a roller coaster of a ride. I didn't want to spoil the book with too much information. I would recommend not reading too many reviews, even the inside cover will spoil some of the twists and turns.
Kathie

 Kathie

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2000
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 12:03am

# 9: Stone Spring by Stephen Baxter

From the inside front cover:

Ten thousand years ago, a vast, fertile plain linked the British Isles to Europe. Home to a tribe of simple hunter-gatherers, Northland teems with nature’s bounty, but is also subject to its whims.

Fourteen-year-old Ana calls Northland home, but her world is changing. The air is warming, the ice is melting, and the seas are rising. One day Ana meets a traveler from a fat-distant city called Jericho – a town that is protected by a wall. And she starts to imagine the impossible…

So begins a colossal engineering project that will take decades: the building of a wall that stretches for hundreds of miles – a wall that becomes an act of defiance against the implacable forces of nature, and an act of devotion as the bones of the dead are added to it.

A wall that will change the geography of the world, And its history…

*************************************************************************************************************************************

This is a saga of several generations and several cultures from different areas of the Mesolithic earth. As with other novels by Baxter, a great deal of scientific evidence has inspired much of the background (and is cited in the Afterward). Because this is a work of fiction, some of the cultures and practices are the result of speculation of what could have existed, and how people of that time might have behaved.. Some of the premises in the plot were difficult to accept, and character development was often weak, but this novel held my interest for the most part, and left me wanting to read the second, and probably  the third,  books in this alternate-history trilogy.

 

Roberta 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2001
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 12:27pm

Suzan's Read A thon

#3.   Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo

This is a new author for me and I really enjoyed the book. (not for the faint hearted though).  I liked it so much that I ordered the next two books in the series.  

Here's the blip:

In the sleepy rural town of Painters Mill, Ohio, the Amish and “English” residents have lived side by side for two centuries. But sixteen years ago, a series of brutal murders shattered the peaceful farming community. In the aftermath of the violence, the town was left with a sense of fragility, a loss of innocence. Kate Burkholder, a young Amish girl, survived the terror of the Slaughterhouse Killer but came away from its brutality with the realization that she no longer belonged with the Amish.Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as Chief of Police. Her Amish roots and big city law enforcement background make her the perfect candidate. She’s certain she’s come to terms with her past—until the first body is discovered in a snowy field. Kate vows to stop the killer before he strikes again. But to do so, she must betray both her family and her Amish past—and expose a dark secret that could destroy her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2008
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 8:52pm

#18. Keep Your Eye on the Kid: The Early Years of Buster Keaton by Catherine Brighton 33 pages 7/25/12 pub 2008

For a children’s book—or is it?—this packs a lot of Keaton facts. I love the over (and under) the transom panels, which continue, or can change the subject of the main panels. Now I want to find out: does this continue? It really should!

Julia

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2008
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 8:54pm

19. Buster Keaton Remembered by Eleanor Keaton and Jeffrey Vance 238 pages 7/26/12 pub 2001

A combination oversize coffee table book, photography archive, and biography, which includes how Buster made his pork pie hats. Beautiful, beautiful photographs; stills made while making the movies, from the studios, from the Keaton family. And, a list of every television show he was on and all those minor movies he appeared in and for which he wrote gags; making it easy to look them up on You Tube.

Julia

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2008
Sat, 07-28-2012 - 2:37pm

#20. Blind Faith by Ellen Wittlinger 280 pages 7/27/12 pub 2006

Liz’s beloved grandmother Bunny has died, and her Mom isn’t dealing with it at all well. She can’t get out of bed, or get dressed, much less eat or make a meal. Then she finds a Spiritualist church, where they claim to be able to communicate with the dead. Liz doesn’t buy it, but her Dad is furious with her Mom over it, and leaves her. And Nathan and Courtney move into mean old Mrs. Crosby’s house across the street. She’s their grandmother and their mom is dying of leukemia.

Liz and her family have no religion, I get that, but I could wish someone she knew had some religion, some faith, to turn to when her mother goes off the deep end. I enjoyed this book more while I was reading it. Now that I think about it, it doesn’t hold together as well as Wittlinger’s other novels.

Julia

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2008
Sat, 07-28-2012 - 2:41pm

#21. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: a Play in two Acts by Dale Wasserman from the novel by Ken Kesey 85 pages 7/28/12 pub 1971  

Revived in 2001, this play is still intense—to read. To watch, I am sure, it is electric. Can we find an incandescent Randle P. McMurphy, a silent but not and huge Chief Bowden, a smiling, pleasant, evil Nurse Ratched? Gene Wilder played Billy Bibbit in Kirk Douglas’ 1963 production and Danny DeVito played Martini in 1971, so these parts are all important too.

Julia

(The summer always has me reading several plays. I'm on the Board of a community theater and we read every play that we considering doing. Our schedule for next year is set at our August meeting.) 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2008
Wed, 08-01-2012 - 1:37pm

#7 Gone Missing by Linda Castillo

Library Journal Review

 

Police chief Kate Burkholder (Breaking Silence) returns in this gripping tale of Amish Rumspringa, the time given to teens to sow their wild oats before committing to a religious life as one of the Plain People. Burkholder's Amish upbringing gives her some insight into how to deal with the Amish when several of their teenagers go missing. Her investigation is complicated when a body is found because the Amish do not allow photographs or have phones. The only bright spot is that Burkholder gets to work with state agent John Tomasetti again, and their relationship deepens. When Kate's favorite niece vanishes as well, the case becomes personal, and the unsettling ending leaves the door open for more books in the series. Verdict This is a fast-paced thrill ride through the always fascinating Amish country of Ohio.

I love this series and this book was no exception. I was hooked from the first sentence- "Becca had always known that her life would end in tragedy." I also find the information about the Amish culture very interesting.

Kathie

 Kathie

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