Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Voting Wednesday, Sept 29

Voting Wednesday

We're hosting weekly thing (I hate the word meme) called "Voting Wednesday" where we make a voting ballot for each Wednesday and invite y'all to voice your opinion on whatever book related (or unrelated, we're not making any promises) issue we happen to pick.

So, here's the rules:

You form an opinion taking sides in the issue voted upon.

You voice that opinion on the comments, either as a short reply or by a link to your blog where you can make a stand.

Easy, eh?

So, the question of this week is:

Buy or borrow?

In other words, do you prefer to buy the books you read, borrow from a friend or trust the selection at your local library? Do you buy books that you think or know you will be reading again later or do you just buy whatever you fancy at the moment? Please elaborate at will.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Teaser Tuesday, Sept 28

Teaser Tuesdays are a weekly book-themed meme, hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. The rules are as follows:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • Be careful of spoilers! Don't ruin the book to others by revealing important plot developments. (So the last words of a dying central character are probably not okay...)
  • Share the title and the author of the book as well, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can look up the book and add it to their TBR list.
Here's our teaser for this week:
That is why I've made up my mind: at the end of the school year, on the day I turn thirteen, the sixteenth of June, I will commit suicide. Careful now, I have no intention of making a big deal out of it, as if it were an act of bravery or defiance.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, p. 21

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Voting Wednesday, Sept 22

Voting Wednesday

We're hosting weekly thing (I hate the word meme) called "Voting Wednesday" where we make a voting ballot for each Wednesday and invite y'all to voice your opinion on whatever book related (or unrelated, we're not making any promises) issue we happen to pick.

So, here's the rules:

You form an opinion taking sides in the issue voted upon.

You voice that opinion on the comments, either as a short reply or by a link to your blog where you can make a stand.

Easy, eh?

So, the question of this week is:

Do you pick your books based on recommendations or by what suits your fancy at the store?

In other words, what makes you pick up a book and read it? Besides Madeline telling you to do so.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesday, Sept 21

Teaser Tuesdays are a weekly book-themed meme, hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. The rules are as follows:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • Be careful of spoilers! Don't ruin the book to others by revealing important plot developments. (So the last words of a dying central character are probably not okay...)
  • Share the title and the author of the book as well, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can look up the book and add it to their TBR list.
Here's our teaser for this week:
"In a typical election period that includes campaigns for the presidency, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, about $1 billion is spent per year - which sounds like a lot of money, unless you care to measure it against something seemingly less important than democratic elections. 
It is the same amount, for instance, that Americans spend every year on chewing gum."
Freakonomics - A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner, page 12

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Voting Wednesday, Sept 15

Voting Wednesday

We're hosting weekly thing (I hate the word meme) called "Voting Wednesday" where we make a voting ballot for each Wednesday and invite y'all to voice your opinion on whatever book related (or unrelated, we're not making any promises) issue we happen to pick.

So, here's the rules:

You form an opinion taking sides in the issue voted upon.

You voice that opinion on the comments, either as a short reply or by a link to your blog where you can make a stand.

Easy, eh?

So, the question of this week is:

Regarding paperbacks; creased spine and signs of reading and loving, or pristine condition?

In other words, how much of a book-condition nazi are you?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesday, Sept 14

Teaser Tuesdays are a weekly book-themed meme, hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. The rules are as follows:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • Be careful of spoilers! Don't ruin the book to others by revealing important plot developments. (So the last words of a dying central character are probably not okay...)
  • Share the title and the author of the book as well, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can look up the book and add it to their TBR list.
Here's our teaser for this week:
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.
" Whenever you feel like criticising anyone," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, page 7

Monday, September 13, 2010

Les Liaisons dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos

M:

Who knew that a novel written in the 18th century could be this intriguing? At first, when I saw that the novel was written in the form of a series of letters I was certain that boredom and inanimate plot was to follow. But, once again I was wrong, and quite happily so. The format (of letters) proved actually to be very effective way to carry on the plot quite speedily and interestingly. All the letters not contributing to the storyline behind them were "left out" (I also enjoyed the little remarks byt the "editor", they were a nice touch) and the story didn' t drag or focus on descriptions as it sometimes tends to do in historic novels.

I got carried away with the scheming of Valmont and Merteuil so much that I ended up wolfing down almost the entire thing in one afternoon. In my opinion it is quite rare to find classics that are this easy to read and was not expecting this at all so I was very pleasantly surprised by this piece. I did sometimes find the characters a bit, shall we say, over the top (I for one find it very hard to accept that someone would actually die of a broken heart...). I did however like the way they were presented; most of their attributes were not spelled out but the reader got a sense of what they're like through their style of writing and the nature of the character could be read in between the lines of the letters written by them.

All in all I found this to be a very enjoyable read, one that I might even be tempted to pick up again at some point. But then again I know ii would say: "D'uh, what did you expect?? Intrigue, seduction, evil plotting... this one's write up your alley!" And of course she would be absolutely right. *evil grin*

ii:

Okay, seriously? Death by broken heart? Seriously? And like can be interpreted with very little effort from my comments on the movie, I did not like the book. Or "not like" is really the wrong term. Let's say I did not enjoy it. That's better. The characters... I couldn't relate to any of them. I found them sleazy (Valmont), boring (Tourvel), annoyingly stupid (Cécile) or just annoying (Danceny). The only characters I had any positive feelings towards were Merteuil for her spunk and evilry (it's a word, trust me), and Madame de Rosemonde for her realism and c'est la vie attitude. She was cool.

But while I did find this a tedious book to read, especially the letters of the bag-of-hot-air Valmont, I have to applaud Laclos for creating very distinct voices for them all. It's a testament to his skill (if we're not buying this whole "these are actual letters" story) that I was able to hate the characters so much. Had they all been the same old same old, I would have been more "this book sucks" instead of "these characters are insipid and annoying".

I did enjoy Merteuil's scheming. She did it the classy way. Valmont's use of violence totally turned me against him, and I could not approve his behavior like I did Merteuil's. Merteuil played by some rules, she just outsmarted others. Valmont used violence against a weaker and defenseless opponent: the women. Merteuil said it herself very well in her letter (although in reply to something totally different): It's not to my taste and it's not my style. (Letter 159) I liked that quote.

In the end the pace picked up again, and while I was wondering why this was, I realized it was because the letters by Valmont were missing. Haha. This is one of those books that are tedious to read but kinda good when you look back on them. Weird, that...

From this one we gained 10 points for The 4 months challenge in category "Read a book set in France".

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Moviethon: Les Liaisons Dangereuses

One more was left on our list. The review of the book isn't up yet (blame ii, everyone always does anyways) but we watched the movie nontheless. So...
*scene: Madeline's livingroom, facial masks on and coffee on the way*

ii: Oh, so I'm starting again? Okay. Well, for one, I found the Valmont in the movie more violent and cruel (Note that I didn't use my favourite word evil, Valmont does not deserve evil.) than in the book. While his violence is mentioned in the book, the overall wibe, for me at least, was that of a sleazebag.

M: I think the movie to me was relatively the same as the book. Everyone were pretty much the way I imagined. It was an ok movie, probably I won't be watching it again but ok nonetheless. Pretty bland I guess 'cause I really don't have much to say...

ii: I have to say, I prefer the movie to the book. That's probably because with the movie I didn't have to suffer through so much of boring blabbering from the Volanges girl and the pious self-flaggelation from Tourvel, not to mention the insipid ramblings of Danceny. If it wasn't for the disturbingly excellent job by Malkovich I would watch the movie again. Merteuil was brilliant in both versions, however.


M: Glenn Close is always excellent (she does evil marvelously). I kinda have to say I liked the book more. Not that I would read the book again any time soon but for this type of piece I thought the book is better format. The houses and costumes were pretty spectacular though.

ii: Yeah, I'm totally inspired to redecorate now. I kid! So... we agree to disagree? Can we go eat now?

Okay, kids, the moviethon is over. I hope you had fun, we sure did. Did we learn something? Do we now have some sort of great summary and wise words to share? Probably not.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Moviethon: Atonement

*scene: Madeline's livingroom (who's surprised?!), food: delicious lasagna by Mads and green salad, wine: Italian, sorry, Sicilian red.

ii: Okay, so Atonement. The book both of us hated because of the ending. The book with 150 pages of foreshadowing. Well... I liked the movie! I don't know if it was because I had read the book and knew the backstory or because the movie was well made, but I really thought the movie told the story well. It didn't drag on too much, and it made the important points. And it made them beautifully.

M: I know!! I was sold after five minutes when by then the movie had managed to tell the first 100 pages of the story! The book dragged the story on and on way too long, the movie succeeded in telling the story much more decidedly. And very beautifully I might add. The last scene with Robbie and Cecilia on the goregeous beach, happy and the music playing... what a beautiful way to end the movie! I still didn't like Briony's holy attitude of making it all better by writing a stupid story, but in the movie this part was not highlighted as much as in the book.

ii: That's so true. And the movie was very beautiful visually. But I agree abuot Briony's role. The whole problem of rewriting history through a story being sufficient act of atonement was missing in the movie. In the book Briony seemed more certain and set that her atonement was enough. In the movie, on the other hand, it was more along the lines of "this is the best I can do, and I hope it's at least something" instead of some miraculous salvation for her sins.

M: Exactly!! So hands down, the movie wins this match in the battle of books vs. movies. I do think they could've made the movie even more impressive by cutting some parts, like the part where the soldiers reached the beach, I do get why they kept the scenes taking place at the beach, but I think the movie could've done with out them as well.

ii: I think it was there to foreshadow, the big thing of the book, the destiny of Robbie. It made it easier to buy his death later on. So I guess it served a point, like everything else in the movie. I do love it when that happens. So yes, the movie wins hands down. And that's even before we consider The Dress. Of course, it could just be me being overly emotional because of the good food and the wine... It feels almost wrong to go dancing after what happened to Cecilia and Robbie, doesn't it?

M: Oh well, Briony made it all better with her story, right?! (I'm so not bitter about the ending...) So of course we can (and should) go dancing! So, no more tear provoking or boring movies today, we'll be back tomorrow with some more cutting edge analysis with Dangerous liaisons.

Moviethon: Midsummer Night's Dream

*scene: Mad's livingroom, still. Cheddar popcorn and facial masks. No wine, but we'll get to work on that.
For Midsummer Night's Dream we watched the 1999 version with Michelle Pfeiffer, Kevin Kline, Rupert Everett and others.

ii: Oh, gosh! They elaborated and ruined the whole thing! You don't elaborate on Shakespeare! Why? Why?!?
Other than that, well, it was a silly little comedy, so what do you expect? But they made it boring.

M: If it wasn't apparent from my constant crys of "when is this going to end??" and "I'm soooo bored!!", I thought the movie was incredbly boring. They should've shaved off 30-45 minutes, than it might've been tolerable. Kevin Kline was marvelous as Bottom/Ass though (tell me Shakespeare did that with the names on purpose?!).

ii: What? You weren't completely captivated by it? I never would have guessed! Seriously, though, I'm not too sure I liked Kline's take on Bottom (now that sounded dirty!). I didn't picture him quite so ... well, odious. I also didn't like Christian Bale, despite his rather shag-worthy physique. There's just something fundamentally wrong in the combination of Christian Bale and Shakesperean language. It's like ... me quoting the Stepford Wives Code of Conduct, and not in the mocking kind of way.

M: I thought Kevin was hilarious. The players were one of the highlights, but they managed to drag that thing on way too long as well, so they kinda spoiled that too. Oh well, there's one thing this movie is good for; it'll come in handy if you have to read the play but can't be bothered to, the movie is very true to the original play. Apart from the bicycles. I have no clue what the bicycles were doing there?! They served no purpose what so ever.

ii: The players were okay, I guess. I also liked the four lovers stuck in the wood all night. It's just that Shakespeare kind of wrote that complete, there was nothing left for interpretation or explanation (assuming you got the language) so none of the elaborations of the movie were needed. And I certainly didn't get the bicycles either! I think that based on our conclusive take on Shakespeare-in-movies (grand total of 1) we can say that Shakespeare is meant to be read, not watched. No?

M: Hear hear sisterfriend!! I vote for the book in this one! The movies are not doing too well in comparison... It'll be very interesting to see how are we going to like the next one since we both disliked the book! (Can you guess what it'll be??)

ii: Ah, yes. Does it count against the movie or the book if I dislike the movie for having a similar end to the book and thus ending in a completely crapola way?

Moviethon: Time Traveler's Wife

*scene: Madeline's livingroom, outfit: nighwear, beverage: coffee.*
Okay, so movie two is over. While Time Traveler's Wife wasn't on The List, it's something we've both read, and Madeline even wrote about it on the blog. So it totally qualifies.

M: Totally! And I really liked this one too. The movie had many beautiful scenes, the meadow in the sunlight, the first snow.. Very good interpretation of the book, but I have to still hand this one for the original, so this round goes for the books. ii?

ii: Well, for starters, I liked the book alright, but I thought the ending in the book felt like a cop-out. The author took the easy way out of the story of Henry and Claire, and the end half was just waiting for that ending. In the movie, however, you didn't get that feeling. It was more balanced in a way. I'm also positively surprised how cohesive they made the time-travel bits, you actually could follow the story.

M: Yes, it was really well thought out movie and some of the changes they had made actually fit the story really well, some even better than the original versions in the book. But I still have to say I preferred the book, to me, it was just so much more real, the movie was a little too fairy tale and everything's gonna be alright for my taste.

ii: Yeah, it was a tad glossed-over-happy-Hollywood. So I guess I prefered the book for the actual story, the movie for the pace and the movie for... well, hello! Eric Bana! *drool*

M: Haha, I knew there'd be something we can agree on, let it be Eric Bana's abs then! (You can't go wrong with that choice....mmm...ok, focus Mads, focus!) I think there's no better way to end this discussion then agreeing on Eric Bana's hotness.

ii: ooh... Eric Bana...
Next movie is... we don't know yet, we'll see. It'll be a surprise for us all. Isn't that fun??

Moviethon: Revolutionary Road

Scene: Madeleine's livingroom, one bottle of red wine and several pounds of cheese later we have succesfully managed to watch one movie! 

ii: Hmm... movie no. 1, Revolutionary Road. Maybe not the best one to start with after the slightly crappy day Madeline had, but oh well. Logic, the old fashioned way, has never been a strong suit of ours. And I for one I'm glad we started with this, I liked it!

M: Well, it was very true to the book, except I liked that they had made April's part bigger. We have debated this time and again but I just didn't get her point of view at all from the book (apart from the very ending). So, I'm going to be so bold to say that movies 1 - books 0! *horrified gasps*

ii: *gets wine down the wrong pipe* What?? No! It was a good mmovie and I liked it and all, but really? Better than the book? No no no. The movie showed the emptines April and Frank felt very well, but it just didn't have the feeling of desperation the book had. You didn't get the intensity of the book. Of course, I admit, that could be because watching the movie we knew how it was going to end all along. When reading the book there was still hope for the Wheelers. You know?

M: Well d'uh, I didn't like the book... Didn't take much for the movie to win... Anyways, I suggest we're just gonna agree to disagree on this one and focus on the wine. At least we agreed on that, the wine is (...was...) excellent!!

ii: Well, the wine better be good, with how long it took me to pick it! Do you know, I'm afraid I'm getting snobish about my wine... odd that. But yes, the wine was good, and so was the movie. And of course, Kate is always amazing. Love her.

M: Yes, Kate was lovely, swell I might even say. And Leo didn't suck either, even though it is hard to imagine him as an adult who would actually have kids.

ii: True. As much as I liked Departed, I spent that movie drooling over Matt Damon. So for me, Leo is still that baby-faced teen idol from Titanic. It was odd seing him all grown up. But he is a spectacular actor. Are we ready for the next one now? Next movie, that is, not the next wine...

M: Oh, I'm more than ready for the next wine. What?? Movie? Ok I guess... So next up Time Traveler's Wife. And some more wine.

ii: I though we agreed to postpone the movie till tomorrow morning. We can't start drinking before noon! It's the rule!

M: *pouts* Ok, fine. But I demand we go out tomorrow and buy some sparkling wine.

ii: Oh, like that's a sacrifice! Can we also be mean to people?

M: We are always mean to people. It's the rule! Hmm.. it looks like we might've strayed from the actual point, oh ever so slightly, so I think it's about time we dig in to that apple pie waiting on the counter and let all the nice people keep the rest of their sanity and not force them to read any more of our ramblings.

ii: Us? Off topic? Never! Ooh... apple pie! Bye!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

A while back (ok, so it was already in July...) I posted a teaser from the Time traveler's wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I had then just started the book. Many of you loved the book, other's just couldn't really get into it. I can see why it might not be everyone's cup of tea but this girl sure loved her cup and ordered seconds.

For some odd reason for which I have no explanation what so ever, I had managed to get the impression that the book is something similar to the Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy. I have absolutely no idea why on earth did I get that impression. But I really thought I was going to be reading something lighthearted and comic where the character's might end up in some embarrasing situations but would be saved in the nick of time. Well, as all of you who have already read the book know, the book actually is quite dark in many places and time traveling is not all fun and games (as I wrongly expected). Due to the misconception the book's true character took me a bit by surprise and made me like it more than I would've if I'd actually bothered reading the blurb and a few reviews before I got started. I do think that book's that surprise you are often the best ones.

ii had commented that she preferred the first part over the second. I have to say that even though the second part was a lot darker and sadder it was the second part that made me really love the book. (Confession: I cried through the last pages.) The horrible weight Henry had to bear of knowing how and when the end will come was heart breaking. And Clare's struggle to get pregnant, dreading the moment when it would all fail again. It was just so gut wrenchingly sad and tragic. I guess the book suited my foul fall mood quite perfectly...

I did like the approach that time traveling was considered as a disease instead of something fun and science fictiony (what I expected from the book). It was something potentially very dangerous and at the least inconvenient, that Henry had to learn to live with. Like a terminal illness, the bad parts of it grew and grew as he became older and he had to learn to accept that it would all come to an end at some point. To me, this way of looking at it was far more interesting than making it into something funny and enviable. Many people think that it would be nice to visit some of the moments in your past or know what's going to happen in the future. In this book the good parts were there, but it also showed the other side of the winning lottery ticket. All the hours Clare would wait for Henry to return, the awkward moments of appearing somewhere not knowing where and when you are, getting beat up, freezing in the cold, seeing your loved ones die over and over again, the burden of knowing and not being able to do anything about it. Made me think how lucky we are in not knowing.

So if you're in a mood for something not too heavy, yet somewhat sad but beautiful, this one's for you. No y'all go ahead and let me know what you thought of the book!

Voting Wednesday, Sept 8

Voting Wednesday

We're hosting weekly thing (I hate the word meme) called "Voting Wednesday" where we make a voting ballot for each Wednesday and invite y'all to voice your opinion on whatever book related (or unrelated, we're not making any promises) issue we happen to pick.

So, here's the rules:

You form an opinion taking sides in the issue voted upon.

You voice that opinion on the comments, either as a short reply or by a link to your blog where you can make a stand.

Easy, eh?

So, the question of this week is related to the Moviethon of the upcoming weekend:

Do you like watching movies based on books you've read?

Is it movie or book first? And does it matter if you liked the book or not? Please elaborate at will.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesday, Sept 7

Teaser Tuesdays are a weekly book-themed meme, hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. The rules are as follows:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • Be careful of spoilers! Don't ruin the book to others by revealing important plot developments. (So the last words of a dying central character are probably not okay...)
  • Share the title and the author of the book as well, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can look up the book and add it to their TBR list.
Here's our teaser for this week:
"Part of me wished swift vengeance, wanted my father to turn into the man he could never have been - a man violent in rage. That's what you see in movies, that's what happens in the book people read. An everyman takes a gun or a knife and stalk the murderer of his family; he does a Bronson on them and everyone cheers."
The Lovely Bones by Alice Seabold, p. 65

Moviethon heads up!

Just to remind y'all, The First-Ever Annual Amazingly Pretty and Somewhat Literary Moviethon is nearing.

September 10-12th is the scheduled time, and the idea is to watch as many movies based on books you've read as possible.

Madeline and ii will be watching Revolutionary Road, Atonement and Time Travelers Wife, for starters. And writing reviews here on the blog. And drinking champagne and red wine. And writing some more reviews. So join in the fun! Bring your own wine, though, we ain't shipping.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

M:

This is one of those books that people will wither love or hate. The book is full of book references (actual references like it was a thesis ) and it's very wordy (I counted one sentence that was 11 lines long). So most likely it's not everyone's cup of tea. I for one happened to love it.

I didn't know anything about the book, I didn't even read the back cover, so I had no idea if it was going to be a romance, detective story, comedy or something else. To be honest, after finishing it I'm still not sure, I guess a mixture of all of the above? I don't even really care. Exactly because I couldn't guess at all where the story was going to go, I was sucked into it and couldn't put the book down.

The pains of being a teenager were mixed with the "whodunnit" parts very smoothly. The protagonist, Blue, lived through the heartbreak, awkwardness and the rebelliousness that goes with being a teenager, all the while being also mature enough to not being annoying (as, let's face it, most teenagers are). Her relationship with the Bluebloods, especially what happened after the camping trip, was described very well. It was realistic, this is the way teenagers act, the group mentality takes over and there'll always be someone left out. The book also had a lot of dry and evil humour, exactly the kind that I appreciate. So, even though maybe the "whodunnit" parts were not that easy to accept, the novel as a whole was a very good read. And the ending didn't let me down. In these types of books where the tension builds up during the story, the ending usually falls flat and leaves a sour taste in ones mouth. Luckily, not in this one.

I loved the ending. Dad didn't make a final appearance watching on a remote hill top his daughter's graduation, which I was half expecting to happen and it was very cleverly pointed out by the author that she knew everyone would expect it. Even though the storyline is quite out there in parts, in the ending there was a healthy dose of realism. All the loose ends were tied in a way that felt realistic. There was no grand finales, no teary farewells, no grand gestures or sudden declarations of love. There really wasn't even an ending, it was pretty much left for the reader to decide what really happened. Usually I hate those types of endings, I want to know "the facts", what "really" happened, who was right and wrong. But in this case, as in life, you don't know, it's left for you to decide who and what to believe in and in this case it was the right choice.

So ii, which category do you belong? The lovers or the haters?

ii:
I liked this one. For a moment there, towards the end, I got skeptical. But the very ending saved it. So I guess I'll join in the loving bandwagon.

I liked how you summed up the book, Madeline. I, probably also because I literally put the book down 15 seconds ago, can't really get a cohesive sentence to describe it. I liked the references, and I liked how, once Blue started experiencing life herself, she stopped using other peoples words and started using her own. You saw the references becomes fewer and further in between. Then, once life got to be almost too much for her, the references were back, she fell back on what she had read instead of what she felt.

Of course, the list maniac in me went over the "Core Curriculum" with a fictitious pencil and ticked off the books I've read, and making note of the ones I haven't yet. Based on the ones I had read, the titles did fit the chapters they were assigned to. And the final exam was a beauty. That's really how it is in real life: sooner or later we have to take stock and measure what we have learned about any particular aspect of our life. We just don't normally put them in writing. But they're true-or-false, multiple questions alright. And like in life, the answer to the essay is in the question.

So yeah, I liked this. Mads, you want to add something?

M:

I think that's about it. The verdict is in and we have deemed this book worthy of reading so of you go, happy reading everyone! ;)

For additional info, see the book's website.
A plot summary and a book review, together with author interview and book club discussion questions, can be found here.

We gained a whopping 20 points for The 4 Months challenge by counting this for the category "Read a book by an author born in July, August, September or October".

Saturday, September 4, 2010

One night stand with Dan Brown: The Lost Symbol

While I'm fully aware that we're lagging behind because of my lazy reading, I opted to take a moment off Les liaisons dangereuses and read one of the books I picked up last weeks Friday at The Night of the Book: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.

We're all allowed a one night stand then and now, right?

And really, that's what the book was. A fluffy, unhealthy episode of dwelling in your dark side and shallow desires. Kinda like an afternoon with a steamily hot Uruguayan footballer in a hotel room before returning to the real world. Only nowhere near so satisfying.

The Lost Symbol continued in the Robert Langdon series. And followed the formula of The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. Only, this time in Washington D.C. And the D.C. references, the history and the city itself was the best bit, the whole Masonic secret slash archaic wisdom slash supernatural rationality (oxymoron much??) was just so over the top that it was really difficult to read anything beyond bla bla bla into those bits.

I don't want to give the book away, especially since Madeline is borrowing my copy next week. But I'll tell you this: I, at the same time, didn't like the book and couldn't put it down. It was just so been-there-done-that from Brown, so similar to the previous books with Robert Langdon. (I quite liked Brown's Digital Fortress, after all, but that's because I'm weird and like math.) I guess we should take it as a sign of Brown maturing, that there was no hot young female in this book. The token hot chick was in her 50's or so, this time.

Shoe-wise, this was the tacky Jessica Simpson stiletto heel sandal you quite can't help liking, despite your better judgement. But, if you're looking for an entertaining fluffy one night stand, go ahead, go with Dan Brown!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

'Suite Francaise,' by Irène Némirovsky in NYT

I stumbled upon a story about the Irène Némirovsky book, "Suite Francaise", we read here at the blog earlier. I found it interesting, so I thought I'd share it with y'all.

'Suite Francaise,' by Irène Némirovsky - The New York Times Book Review - NYTimes.com

'Cause I'm that sweet.

Voting Wednesday

Voting Wednesday

We're starting a new weekly thing (I hate the word meme) called "Voting Wednesday". In short, we're making a voting ballot for each Wednesday and invite y'all to voice your opinion on whatever book related (or unrelated, we're not making any promises) issue we happen to pick.

So, here's the rules:

You form an opinion taking sides in the issue voted upon.

You voice that opinion on the comments, either as a short reply or by a link to your blog where you can make a stand.

Easy, eh?

So, the question of this week is very fundamental for book lovers:

Paperback or Hardcover?

Which do you prefer? Please elaborate at will.