Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Reading Round Up: October 2009

Here are the books I read and quick reviews:

1. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder
- Richard Louv

This book gave me a lot to think about in terms of how much freedom I give my children to roam outdoors and the difference between my childhood and theirs (for better or for worse). It was very interesting - but also a lot of political push that made the last part of the book go downhill for me.

2. Dracula
- Bram Stoker

Great Halloween read! And it was so interesting to compare this with other vampire stories I've read (esp Twilight). It's funny to me how each vampire story has it's own variation on how vampires work, i.e. in Dracula, the people get their blood sucked a little over time, then become vampires after they die.
Anyway, it was a bit more gory than I would usually prefer, but I had to add it to my "have-to-read-at-least-once-in-a-lifetime" list.

3. The Promise
- Chaim Potok

Very good - but I liked The Chosen and My Name is Asher Lev better.

4. Troubling a Star
- Madeleine L'Engle

This was so different than other L'Engle books I've read. It's an adventure mystery! Good - but not my favorite L'Engle book.

5. Olive Kitteridge
- Elizabeth Strout

I didn't really care for this very much. I found it too disjointed and kind of blah. But I know a lot of other people really liked it.

6. Stuart Little
- E.B. White

okay, stick to the movie on this one. Stupid book.

7. Out of the Wild
- Sarah Beth Durst

The sequel to Into the Wild. A lot of fun and a good read! But if I had to choose, I would say I liked the first one better.

8. The Disapparation of James
- Anne Ursu

I really liked this one. Sometimes I like to judge a book by how much it affects me as I read it. If it feels real and "true" to me. If it gets to the core of emotions, or if it pricks something in me and makes me feel intensely, then I tend to like it. And that's what this one did for me. It was sort of heart-wrenching, as it is about the disappearance of a small boy and what the family (parents and little sister) go through afterwards in the search for him (fiction, of course) - so it may be too much for some. But I liked it.

9. A River Runs Through It and Other Stories
- Norman Maclean

I liked A River Runs Through It, but not so much the other stories. I was a little disappointed - I expected it somehow to be deeper or more detailed than the movie. But the movie is pretty true to the book. And I actually think I liked the movie more for all the beautiful scenery - it's not adequately described in the book. Or it didn't give me quite the same longing for living on a country river somewhere as the movie did.

But anyway - that's what I've been reading. How about you?!?


Anonymous said...

sigh.. i could give you a list of all the books i've started in the last few years, heheh. if i think really hard maybe i can think of something i actually finished.. hm.. nope, nothing's coming to mind.

horrible, i know. i really don't get with as busy as you are how you have time to *gasp* read!

but i read your blog tho, does that count for something? ;)


Colleen said...

I read "A River Runs Through It" in college and LOVED it. I didn't love the movie, so I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. :)

I just finished "The Thirteenth Tale" for the second time. I love that book. But I'm pretty easy to please.

Kristen said...

Did you see the movie or read the book first for A River Runs Through It?

Just curious. :)

heather b. said...

I have to agree to disagree with you too, on Stuart Little. I've never seen the movie, probably never will, but I'm having trouble believing that a cheesy digitized mouse action adventure movie could compete with a classic piece of children's literature. How could you not like that book??

Anyway, good for you for reading so much. :)

Kristen said...

Maybe I've just been in a bad mood and giving bad reviews to everything. :)

The problem I had with Stuart Little was that I expected the story to be at least the same as the movie and it was nothing at all the same. Practically the only similarities between the book and the movie are that they are about a mouse named Stuart. And for some reason, cheesy or not, I just really preferred the story of the movie (which I had seen first).

The adopted mouse, the betraying cat, the issues with the brother, the mix-up with the "real" mouse parents. The movie just seemed to have more of a plot and I think it made for a better story. But that's just my opinion.

Of course you are all free to disagree with me. I don't mind a bit.
And I read enough I figure we can always find common ground in books somewhere, right? Right. :)

bonitinha said...

Kristen, I'm with you on Stuart Little. What the heck? That book was so weird. I thought our copy was defective when I first read it because all of a sudden there was no more writing, but there hadn't been any kind of resolution to what little plot there was. I haven't seen the movie, so I'm not even comparing it to anything else... it was just very unsatisfactory.

Jennifer said...

I totally agree about Stuart Little, very unsatisfying. Yuck. I wanted to at least feel a little of the same emotions that I had with the movie, but I was left wondering why in the world any child would want to read it.

I've been mostly reading my kids books. It's been a slow month for me as far as literature.

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