Monday, September 24, 2018

Book Reviews: 6 - 10 of 2018

My Brilliant Friend is the story of the young life of 2 friends growing up in Naples, Italy in the 1950s. The two girls become friends early on, but circumstances cause a slight separation - though they never fully lose touch. As the girls grow and mature, the narrator is able to stay in school and excel while her friend, Lila, stays at home in spite of how naturally intelligent she is. This book is part of a series and this part ends with Lila's marriage. The story was fine enough, but not really my thing. It was interesting to hear about life in the lower class areas of the time in Italy, but overall the story seemed to be missing something for me - I guess I don't really care for "series" style books. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Postcards From the Edge is probably where a lot of our stereotypes about drug rehab come from. The book is semi-autobiographical and goes over the time Carrie spent in a rehab center and the time immediately surrounding it in her life. The book touches slightly on what put her to this point, but it is also not lacking in punny quips. The standard rehab and __ anonymous meetings have not changed much since the 80s, so it is easy to relate if you've had any similar experiences. Overall the book was entertaining to read, if a little contrived at times. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

The Graveyard Book tells the story of Bod - full name Nobody Owens - a baby who is left in a graveyard and is raised by the residents ghosts there. The entire community of various aged ghosts bring Bod up and teach him what they know all while giving him protection from the man who killed his parents and who is looking to finish the job. Bod goes on many interesting adventures, culminating in learning how he came to be where he was and why. The book is extremely inventive - as one can always count on from Gaiman - and I very much enjoyed reading. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Gone With the Wind is the now classic tale of Scarlet O'Hara and her life during the American Civil War. The story hardly needs a recap from me, so I will just say that after being a life long fan of the film I am now just as much a fan of the book itself. The book gives so much more depth to Scarlet, helping you make sense of her shrewdness and willingness to do what is necessary to ensure her survival. The dialogue in the book truly is just like the movie, which made me appreciate the film even more. This was a wonderful read that I couldn't put down, and I highly recommend giving it a read. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is pretty amusing to say the least. A man from the late 1800s is transported into the time of King Arthur and uses his knowledge "modern technology" to make himself a "wizard" in the eyes of Arthur's court. He stays there for quite some time, establishing democracy, banks, production lines, and much more, essentially running the country for Arthur and helping through whatever calamity arises. The biggest focus of the book is showing Arthur the plight of the common peasant and doing away with slave labor in the kingdom. While I am a devout classics reader, I will admit that the language of this book took some time for me to get used to and really enjoy it. After you muscle through the first section, it becomes much easier to follow. Overall the story is funny and a great commentary on how Twain believed the world should be run. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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