Atonement

Ever read a book and have serious dejavu? That happened to me with Atonement. I didn’t know it, but I have apparently watched at least part of the movie. When I got to the library scene, all of my senses started going off like “That’s Kiera Knightley and (SPOILER ALERT) the little girl is going to walk in on them…now!”

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I am not sure I’ve watched much more than that scene though, and without looking it up, I couldn’t tell you who any of the other actors are. So, apparently I need to rewatch!

This is maybe not the most exciting book in the world, but it has that quality literature factor. That “whatever it is” that makes teachers put it on lists for future progeny to read for generations. The writing was smooth and the characters were strong. I liked that we got multiple viewpoints since there was so much conflict going on. We saw the war from not only multiple perspectives, but also multiple timeframes–preparation, during the battles, and towards the end.

Atonement is one of those books that will live on for a long time. Love it or hate it, it is our generation’s literature.

 

Fulfill’s Boxall #81

At the Water’s Edge

Normally, I don’t review books that I don’t finish, but since I had a few loyal readers specially mention that they had At the Water’s Edge on their TBRs and wanted to hear what I thought about it…

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…I didn’t want to not give my opinion.

I’m sorry guys. I hated it. I couldn’t even make it to 25% before I had to stop. The dialogue is nothing but bickering, Nessie is barely a mention about a photo, and the WWII history is hardly even a background. It’s more over the top speakeasy drunkenness than anything else. And while sometimes that can be done really well…this one is not.

Sorry to let you down, but I knew you were waiting on this review.

 

Disclaimer:  NetGalley provided this ARC for an unbiased review.

 

Pearl Harbor: FDR Leads the Nation Into War

Are you guys tired of me whining about reading my husband’s books yet? Because I am. Why am I still torturing myself (and you)?

Yeah, I don’t know either.

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In all honesty, Steven Gillon’s account of Pearl Harbor wasn’t bad. It was quite informative. My version of the battle on December 7 comes from that Ben Affleck movie (mmmm Josh Hartnett. Whatever happened to him?). You don’t see much of the President’s side of things, but it makes FDR look like a stoic teddy bear. My teddy bear image of him is furthered by seeing him in Annie, wheeling across the lawn with Eleanor by his side.

Come to find out, he was NOTHING like either of those movie depictions. Turns out he was actually kind of a disloyal jackass.

Anyway, it was interesting to read everything that happened in the moments after the Japanese strike–how hard information was to get, how secretive everything was, how the President and his staff handled it all. The book was a little dry, it definitely wasn’t super exciting or action-filled, but it’s not meant to be. It also wasn’t very long–under 200 pages. This isn’t a full bio of FDR, just an in-depth look at the days surrounding the attack. It’s just long enough to really give you the nitty gritty of that piece of history.

Top 3 Favorites

These are not the usual three that I give when people ask for my three favorite books, but they rank pretty high. And, since I just picked them up on clearance at Half-Price this week, I’m anxious to reread them soon.

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Bel Canto was the first book by Ann Patchett that I read, and the beauty of the prose instantly attracted me to her work. I’m thinking about sneaking it in before I reread Game of Thrones now that I have it in my library.

If you love dogs, and haven’t read The Art of Racing in the Rain, what are you doing with your life? This is such a lovely book. You’ll definitely hug your furry friend much tighter after this.

Memoirs of a Geisha transports the reader to another culture, another time. Even in the cruelty of WWII, the magic of a geisha works on you, and everything is lovely for a little while. At least until the makeup is washed away.

These books are must reads in my opinion. Must owns, really. I was so glad to finally grab them for myself.

Summer at Tiffany

As a small town gal, I was completely mesmerized when my family went to The Big Apple my senior year. The buildings! The people! The noise!

I loved it. There was so much to see, so much to do. And of course, I had a list of food that I wanted to eat. I was constantly getting distracted by all of the little shops.

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I could never imagine picking up and moving there though, especially not with $30 to my name. Could you? That would be way too overwhelming. But Marjorie Jacobson Hart did it, 60 years ago. And now she’s written about it, in Summer at Tiffany. This is a terrific memoir of two young friends off to see the big city. It’s nothing fancy, like any Midwestern story should be. But you can just about see their eyes about popping out of their heads when they walk into Tiffany’s for the first time.

It won’t take you long to read this, but it’s a very cute book. Something to rest your brain on.

Slaughterhouse-Five

Ever have a book where at the end you just say, “Oh thank GOD that’s over!” Yep. That was this book. Seriously, can someone explain to me what I just read, because I have absolutely no idea. This might be as bad as James Joyce…except I was reading it for Book Club, so I had to finish it. And somehow discuss it. God help me.

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This is not going to be an intelligent review folks. Because I’m seriously confused.

There are two ways of thinking that I have for Billy:

1. The book is a Sci-Fi novel and he really did get abducted and really can time-travel around. However, if that’s the case, I think it’s horribly done. There are absolutely no transitions to guide the reader from the alien parts and back to WWII and then “present-day.” It just jumps all over the place. Give me a tesseract or something with which to make sense of the time-space continuum.

2. Billy has severe PTSD and has suffered a complete schizophrenic breakdown, in which the aliens are his way of dealing with the war. That would explain the lack of transitions, because there probably wouldn’t be any transitions in his world either.

Ok, that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I’m curious to see what ya’ll have to say about this one. I know this is a hugely popular novel…it just was not for me. Vonnegut and I do not speak the same language.