Monday, February 28, 2011

Nickel and Dimed

So once upon a time, I moved away to Boston and I helped form a new book club here but unfortunately this was the book that got picked for this last month, Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich. No. I really shouldn't be so negative, and I really am excited to see if any of you have read this book and what your thoughts are because the actual book club meeting we had on this book was good and was actually much more enjoyable for me than reading the actual book, so I am anxious to hear the thoughts of you who may have read this book.

Anyway, basically this lady goes "undercover" to live the life of those who have to get by earning minimum wages. Which is a cool idea, except for there were so many unrealistic/invalid parts of her "experiment" that it kind of made me crazy. For one, she only ever stayed in a place for a month, and I just have a hard time thinking that she was really able to develop how it would be to live there and work for a place in only 30 days because I know how I am with my own jobs and that in the first 30 days you are still just kind of figuring stuff out and barely making connections with people, etc. And she did try to recognize some of these limitations of her experience, but still. It bugged.

Also, I couldn't really determine what the purpose of the book was. I thought that it was going to be a call to action or something like that, but it definitely wasn't and so I turned to it possibly being "informational" but I don't really feel that it was that either, because the information seemed inaccurate. Anyway, sorry to be Negative Nancy about this book. Let's just say I give it 1.5 or 2 out of 5 stars.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blue Castle online


Once upon a time, last year, I found the full text of the Anne of Green Gables books online. I read Anne of Ingleside, Anne's House of Dreams, and Anne of Windy Poplars all during some down times at work. Or WHILE I worked, open on one side of my screen, with my work on the other.

Anyway, I decided to read The Blue Castle, and thought I might be able to find it too. And I did.

If any of you are interested, here it is.

So anyway.

I started Three Cups of Tea, but for some reason was not feeling compelled by it, and I think it's because I'm still feeling sort of serious after reading Unbroken. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED Unbroken, and I think every one of you should read it, but there are some really sad things in it. I read So Brave, Young, and Handsome next, and my intentions were to alternate between fiction and non, but I guess I needed something lighter first before continuing on my Three Cups of Tea journey. So anyway. I'm diving into that now.

Also, I echo what Kate said about The Blue Castle. It's just a cute, innocent story. And it's not LIKE Anne of Green Gables, in that the story is completely different, but it has the same feel to it. All the Anne books make me want to be just like Anne, and this book made me want to be more like Valancy, and definitely made me want to live where she does. It's magical there.

So yeah. Read it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Blue Castle

From a suggestion a long time ago from my friend Casidy, I finally read The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. And I am so glad that I did. It was so cute. The main character is Valancy, a 29 year-old girl who is STILL SINGLE. Dun dun dun. Anyway, it was interesting to me that this book covered that, because I don't know, I guess I figure that it is just a recent phenomenon that people aren't getting married at the age of 20.

Anyway, the book is cute. It is an easy read. It surprised me that it was written my L.M. Montgomery because I don't know, I guess it is just weird for me to read anything written by her that isn't about Anne of Green Gables or Prince Edward Island, but I really liked the book.

Cute love story. 3.5 out of 5 stars. And I don't give it 3.5 because I didn't like it, I really did, and I think everyone should read it, but unlike most of the other books I post about that I am begging you to go and read it TODAY, this one you should definitely read, but it could be number 3 or 4 on your list.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Middle school book club success! I'm always happy to read books that have received the Scott O'Dell book award, I feel like you can't go wrong. This is a good young adult fiction book about slavery during the Revolutionary War. It was an interesting take, because usually you don't learn about those two things together, slavery goes with the Civil War. I also liked it because as a slave, the main character heard a lot from both sides of the conflict and really neither side truly supported what she really needed in life- freedom. I believe it's the first book in a series, and I liked it well enough to hopefully read the next one(s).

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Unbroken, finished

I finished reading Unbroken today. And now I can tell you that I love it even more.

Honestly, every chapter of this book made me grateful for the incredibly luxurious life that I live, and for the fact that I am not living through a terrible war. It was SO, so good.

And I just know you will all love Louie Zamperini. He is so real to me now. Well, he's a real guy, so that makes sense, but she does such a good job of just bringing him to life through the book, and making him so lovable. Although I don't think it's too hard to make him lovable. They actually quote his brother in the book as saying no one who has ever met Louie didn't love him.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you all again that you should read it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I don't know if this is cheating or not, since I'm not even done with the book, but I just need to rave about Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand.

Laura Hillenbrand is the author of Seabiscuit, and while this has nothing to do with the book, it's an interesting sidenote--she has chronic fatigue disorder. Which, if you're like me, always seems sort of fake, but I read an amazing article about her and how she didn't leave her house for like 2 years because she was so tired, and it takes her an entire day just to write a few emails or write a few pages of a book. And both Seabiscuit and this book are about animals or people who are moving fast, so I think it's really interesting that she is so physically afflicted.

Anyway. Unbroken is about Louie Zamperini, who was an Olympic runner and WWII veteran. I am only a little more than halfway through this book, and it is already one of the most incredible books I've ever read.

I guess Laura Hillenbrand heard about Louie when she was researching Seabiscuit, because their names always showed up together in the Sports section. SO she decided to write a book about him.

It talks about his early life as a kid and teenager, and you will just fall in love with him, he's very mischievous and always running away from people so he wouldn't get in trouble. Eventually he channeled that into running REALLY fast, and broke every record in southern California, and went to the 1936 Olympics, where he did things like meet Hitler and steal a Nazi flag.

Then the war starts, he's in the Navy, and I don't want to give away too much, but his experiences are unbelievable and horrifying. He is adrift in the Pacific on a raft for over a month with no supplies, captured by the Japanese and struggles daily through a hellish POW camp, and . . . I'm not sure what happens next. That's where I am in the book. It is so, SO good. (And I know I always say that so I probably can't be trusted, but truly, this book is incredible.)

I just can't even believe what the human body, and more amazingly, the human spirit can endure. I have been shocked and amazed and completely inspired by nearly every chapter in this book. When I finish I'll let you know how even more amazed I am at this man.