Sunday, July 28, 2013

Review: The Girl You Left Behind

The Girl You Left Behind
The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Binge reading can be dangerous. Getting wrapped up in stories, not wanting them to end, becoming too attached to characters and the events in a book. Reading itself is totally dangerous. Books leave deep impressions on the heart and soul.

Jojo Moyes, again you mess with my heart. Not as badly as in [b:Me Before You|12649718|Me Before You|Jojo Moyes||17763198] gosh but there are a hundred ways this book could have gone in that direction easily.

A story about war, about loss, about restitution and art. I can't think of things that go together more. Do yourself a favor and just read it.

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Review: The History of Love

The History of Love
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a beautiful book. A complicated, woven love story. Filled with lonely people who were unable to be with the ones they loved. It was just sad. Heartbreaking really. The main character Leo was able to escape the Nazis and more to America to be with the one he loved, but she had already found someone else. As the story unfolds- completely out of order- I kept getting so frustrated cause I had no idea what was going on. There's a seemingly unconnected little girl trying to play matchmaker to her mother, who finally ties back into Leo's story in the last 50 pages. It's a beautiful tragedy and I'm so glad Deirdre gave it to me, but it's also so unbelievably sad.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: The Silver Linings Playbook

The Silver Linings Playbook
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Love. I loved this book. I loved the movie but the book was so much more. A short book, a short chapters book. It was perfect. You really get inside Pat's head and it sounds real, true and honest. It was great.

After going through a traumatic experience with his wife, Pat ends up in a mental institution to recover. He loses years of his life forgetting what is too painful to remember. He suffers from severe depression, delusion and anger. The book is his perspective and few letters between him and another. The book chronicles his recovery once he leaves the mental institution and the difficulties it causes his family and himself.

Yah there's LOTS of football talk. As someone who HATES football it honestly didn't really bother me. It was interesting to see how fanatical people can be about sports. Even in my most outrageous love for my Spurs I'm not like that.

What I loved about this book was it's honesty. Recovery from a mental illness is not immediate, it can't all be solved by medication and it can't all be solved by therapy. I believe in therapy and abhor overmedicating but understand that some people need both. The book was painful to read at times, because someone who is suffering from delusions can talk themselves into anything at certain times, you'll make excuses and make bets with yourself. You'll tell yourself if you just change yourself it'll be better and so hearing Pat's mind as he had these arguments and wagers with himself was hard. Because once you're on the other side you know that's not how it works. You have to do the work. If you keep deluding yourself it wont happen. It took Pat 5+ months in this book plus the 3 years he was institutionalized but that's because he wouldn't do the work.

I loved this book. It was so good. I own the movie, it was one of the first movies I saw by myself when I moved to college station and I remember it meant a lot to me then. The book does now too.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Review: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazing. I've read a lot of nonfiction but I didn't know it could be like this. So storylike, so compelling, so captivating and shocking. The story of Chicago's world fair and the serial killer who emerged at the same time.

Another book I picked up because a book group was reading it. My fave Goodreads group "ladies and literature". It was about a week before the book discussion was about to start and everyone was complaining that it was too slow or they were afraid the murder chapters were going to be too gruesome. I love history and I tend to get really wrapped up in murder mysteries so why not! It was neither of those things to me.

I found the history fascinating, the architecture gave me such a clear image of this fair that took place almost a hundred years before I was born. The landscape was painted to clearly and the people became real to me.

"The knew he was a killer, but he was a charming killer." Man did this killer have confidence, that's what made it so scary. When was this going going to get caught? Why did people keep giving him loans and furniture? Why were there not regulations on buildings at the time?

I loved all the cameos by people who in the future will take cues from the fair- Disney, Frank L Baum, Frank Lloyd Wright! All the inventions we take for granted. This is history and yet so much of it is forgotten or unappreciated that it started somewhere.

I'm tempted to read one of his other books if they're all written like this, but like so many other author's I love I'll wait a bit and spread the wealth because if they're not as good it could sour my memory.

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Friday, July 5, 2013

My first duty as President...

I propose the day after the Fourth of July, when not falling on a Saturday or Sunday, to also be a holiday.  Or at the very least only a half day requirements.  (disclaimer: At employers discretion.)

I had a great Fourth of July in College Station! I spent the whole day with my boss and her family.  First we went to the Bush Library & Museum.  Here are a list of things I was reminded about 41 that we all know but probably forget:
  1. He was in WWII (seriously I always forget this)
  2. He and his son were in office 8 years apart! (it just seems so close together)
  3. His passion for cancer research and the Human Genome project comes from losing his first daughter to leukemia
  4. He has a million grandchildren
  5. He too is episcopal
Super cool things to see at his museum
  1. the Gulf war diorama (omg cool)
  2. the Situation Room (Soooo coool)
  3. Bush living room videos (omg Bar & Poppy- so much in love & hilarious together)
  4. WWII wing (cause duh)
  5. oh just go see everything
After the museum we chill'd ate yummy burgers and watched some patriotic A Good Day to Die Hard and A Few Good Men (had to wash the memory of A Good Day to Die Hard out of our brains).  Then we returned to the library to watch the fireworks.  The fireworks were so good! Super fun and a good 25 minutes worth.

All in all it was a great Fourth of July.  Had too much fun just relaxing but also getting to see a lot of great American history at the museum.  Next year the Fourth will be on a Friday I guess meaning I'll probably go home to San Antonio, but I'm sure this wont be my last 4th in College Station, just the first.