Friday, August 24, 2007

Some Brief Reviews

Here are some brief reviews. I am way behind in writing and since I am never ever going to catch up, I have decided instead to steal Melody's format. I am also stealing her cute little frog picture. I may steal her haircut next.

Possibilities for summer reading are up first:

Killing Yourself to Live by Chuck Klosterman - Boy, he loves the sound of his own thoughts. Good thing they are pretty interesting. Here the Sex,Drugs and Cocoa Puffs author travels across America to the sites of great rock and roll tragedies while meditating on his relationships with women, music and the meaning of life in a completely self-involved and hilarious way. 9/10

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles - Amy, a spoiled girl who has been raised by her single mom, spends the summer in Israel with the birth father she never knew. She is irritating, but she gets better and the story is fun and interesting. 6/10

Into the Wild
by Jon Krakauer - "A young man from a will-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness...Four months later his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter..." Find out what happens before, after and in between those two sentences. Absolutely gripping - and I can barely stand nature! 10/10

Teen Idol by Meg Cabot - Okay, Meg Cabot writes a book about as often as I wash my kitchen floor (every other month whether it needs it or not) - but she is still awfully good at it. In this one a nice, responsible girl finds herself in charge of the hottest movie star in America who is attending her high school in disguise to prepare for a movie role. 7/10

Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink, Ph.D. - When someone has to put their degree on the cover of their book I wonder about their motives. Wansink does it to highlight the fact that he is a researcher, not a medical doctor. This fascinating book is all about the research on the hidden cues that determine how people eat. The silly illustrations are the only reason it isn't getting a 10, but a person has to have standards. 9/10

Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst - After The Dogs of Babel (one of the best books ever!) I thought I would be disappointed - but not to worry. Parkhurst is still amazing. This is the story of a mother and daughter with a shocking secret who are taking part in a round-the-world reality show. The relationship between them is painfully true and the stories of the secondary characters are just as gripping. 10/10

And now books I read for fun:

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
by Joan Aiken - I first read this in elementary school and I loved it! I volunteered to read it for the Briscoe summer reading and reading it again, I realize that it is a lot more sophisticated than I remember. It is the age-old story of little girls vs. evil governesses. Simply brilliant. 10/10

Water for Elephants
by Sara Gruen - An elderly man remembers his years as a circus vet during the depression, complete with unrequited love, doomed carnies and a paranoid schizophrenic boss. 9/10

Evening by Susan Minot - This beautiful and moving depiction of the end of life was HARD! I loved it, though. Ann is dying of cancer. Her memories become more vivid than her reality and she is continually drawn to a weekend in Maine where she threw herself into love in a way she never could again. 9/10

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