Posts Tagged ‘1.5 out of 5’

11th August
2011
written by Steph

I know that I am not the only one out there who has been blown away during a first encounter with an author, vowing to read everything he or she has written, only to then find that nothing else they have written measures up to that first book. And I'm not just saying that the other books that you've read have been good but just not quite up to par with that first dalliance, but rather books that are so not your speed that if they were your first impression of the author, you'd never read him again. For me, that’s been my experience with Douglas Coupland. He was an author I had written off without ever trying, only to finally read Generation A, which I then fell madly in love with. I followed that up with Microserfs last year, which I found really painful and did not really enjoy at all, and now we have Player One. Which I also did not enjoy, but this time it was to the extent that I actually could not even finish it. I frequently pick up books and read a bit of them only to put them down because I’m not in the mood and they’re not gelling at the moment. I don’t really consider these books to be abandoned because I don’t really consider myself to have started them, but I have to say that it’s exceedingly rare these days for me to pick up a book, read a good chunk of it and then set it aside because I just don’t want to finish reading it. But I found Player One so unengaging and lackluster that despite reading about 80 pages of it, when I threw it into my “purge pile” I heaved a huge sigh of relief. (more…)
21st June
2010
written by Steph

Fair warning to all of you: what is about to follow is likely to be a hugely controversial reaction to a novel that is well-loved by book bloggers the world over. And no, I’m not talking about the fact that it’s taken me so long to finally read The Shadow of the Wind, although that in itself is probably shocking enough. No, I must reveal – with all due respect to its champions - that I think The Shadow of the Wind is a fairly terrible book. How sad that I should have to type those words! After all, the premise seems so promising. One fateful eve, Daniel is brought to a mysterious archive by his father known simply as The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Daniel is told he may choose one book, and with his selection, he will promise that said book will never be without a home or a reader again. As if drawn by a power he cannot understand, Daniel selects a book entitled “The Shadow of the Wind” written by Julian Carax. Daniel feverishly devours the novel and soon makes it his mission to track down all other novels penned by Carax. Much to his dismay, he finds that Carax’s novels are no easy things to acquire, especially since someone has made it their mission to burn all of Carax’s books that remain in print. As Daniel works to unravel the mystery of Carax and the secrets of his past, he finds him swept up in a sinister and deadly game of cat-and-mouse, and we all know what curiosity does to cats… (more…)
24th February
2009
written by Steph
When it comes to "The Reader", don't let the reader be you!

When it comes to "The Reader", don't let the reader be you!

This movie season has been all about Kate Winslet, who starred in two films that were based on books.  Her appearance in The Reader had nothing to do with me picking up a copy (for 75 cents!) a while back, and by and large, it seems that the book community has been less interested in it than in the book that inspired her other film, Revolutionary Road.  Having read  The Reader, this is so much the better for people who like books.  I don’t care if Oprah selected this for her book club, I am going to tell you flat out that The Reader is a truly awful novel. (more…)
23rd January
2009
written by Steph
41xwagpe7l

As I revealed in my last bookish post, The Morning News's Tournament of Books books (heh) turned out to be quite difficult to borrow from my campus library.  Consequently, I turned to the local branch of the Nashville Public Library, and decided to raid their collection for whichever ToB contenders they had on hand (while placing holds on the other ones).  Thankfully, when we arrived at the library, the four books they claimed to have were easily located, which made the trip immensely more rewarding than my frigid foray into the campus library.  This is of course barring the little snafu in which we arrived at the library at 1 pm, under the impression that it opened at noon, when in fact it doesn’t open until 2 pm on Sundays.  But with that extra hour we just popped over to the Humane Association to play with puppies to while away the time, which is really just as good a use of our time… so it wasn’t really all that catastrophic.  Anyway, all of this backstory is really just leading up to the part where I even dutifully paid my overdue fines while at the library, which amounted to the exorbitant sum of 10¢.  Why do I share this?  Because the dude at the fines counter actually asked if I wanted a receipt for this transaction.  I hope he is required to ask that of everyone, but felt chagrinned for doing so.  Seriously, people.  I paid my fine with what looks like a Toronto bus token (but was worth far less than that), and he asks if I want documented proof of this. Aaaaanyway, back to the real topic at hand: books!  I was going to start the one book I had to borrow in large-text (it was the only copy they had available!), but it smelled really strongly of old-lady perfume and was making me feel nauseous just holding it, so I’m gonna hold off (heh) on that one for a while.  [As an aside, I think I’ve heard that you can put smelly books in plastic bags and place them in your freezer for a few days to destinkify them, but I might have just made this up.  Have any of you successfully dealt with this issue in the past?]  So, I wound up picking up A Partisan’s Daughter instead, perhaps in part because it was the shortest looking book in the stack.  And that’s how we got here. Have you noticed that I’ve kind of been dragging my feet when it comes to talking about the book? (more…)
5th December
2008
written by Steph
The Accidental

Yikes. There are evidently people out there who really liked this book. Those people are not me. These are people who probably love Virginia Woolf novels and Jackson Pollack paintings. (more…)
4th December
2008
written by Steph
We’ve been having a hard time sitting down and actually watching any of our Netflix rentals over the past month, so Tony and I vowed that we would sit down and at least attempt to watch one of the three movies that have been collecting dust in our apartment. To give you some perspective, we’ve had one of these movies since the last week of October… In the end, we picked Big Trouble, because at 1 hr and 20 minutes, it was the shortest of our options (during the week, I have a real problem watching anything that goes on for more than an hour). That being said, I think our general consensus was that Big Trouble goes on for about 1 hr and 20 minutes too long. (more…)