TBTB (Throwback Thursday Books) – Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones


The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold | LibraryThing

I originally read Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones during Christmas break my senior year of college. The balance between the macabre and whimsy never left me. The distinct point of view (POV) struck me like not much else.

Some years later, I saw a nice, hardcover edition on the shelf among the Friends of Freeman book sale. Then, over Independence Day weekend 2014, I read this book again. Eventually, I checked out the film based on the book.

Reviews of book and the movie both may be coming soon. As this title seems polarizing, comments are most welcome! If you’ve read it, what did you think? If you’ve also seen the movie, what did you think of the interpretation? I’ve got some strong opinions about both.

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Dan Brown’s Inferno (Robert Langdon Series #4)


Jorie’s Store – Inferno (Robert Langdon #4) by Dan Brown

 
Title and Author(s):  Dan Brown’s Inferno (Robert Langdon #4)
Release Date: May 14, 2013

Publisher: Doubleday, First Edition 

ISBN: 978-0385537858
Pages: 480
Source: Harris County Public Library

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Reasons for Reading: I began reading Robert Langdon’s adventures when The Da Vinci Code hit the shelves of HCPL. Soon after I finished The Da Vinci Code, I read the first in the series, Angels and Demons. Since then, I’ve read these books in the order they were printed. While this is the fourth Robert Langdon, it’s my first to review on Jorie’s Reads by Starry Night Elf.

Summary: Tweedy Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon awakens from a horrendous nightmare and finds himself in a Florence hospital. Langdon can’t recall the last couple of days. Soon, Langdon finds himself being shot at by a woman wearing dark leather. Langdon and his doctor, Sienna Brooks, are on the run not only for their lives but also to save the world.

One Thing I Learned from reading : I found out about transhumanist  Fereidoun M. Esfandiary. For more info on him, check out this Wikipedia entry.

What I Liked: I liked the setting of Florence. While I’ve not crossed Florence off my leap list yet, my work at the Armstrong Browning Library fed my interest in the place. I’ve also know that many a writer has loved this place – Dante, Machiavelli, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the list goes on and on.

What I Disliked: The heroine, Sienna Brooks, wasn’t the most likable of heroines. I missed Katherine Solomon from The Lost Symbol. Also, this wasn’t my favorite Langdon book because of some rather spoiler-esque qualities.

RR - Yellow  Rainbow Rating: Yellow – Parental Guidance for Kids Under 13

Song: Liszt – Dante Symphony – 1. Inferno (1/3)

You might also like:

  • Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon Series (Angels and Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and The Lost Symbol)
  • Dante’s The Divine Comedy 
  • Barbara Wood’s The Prophetess 

For more on Dan Brown’s Inferno, check out the following sites:

Charles Webb’s The Graduate


The Graduate by Charles Webb | LibraryThing

* A 1001 Books Book

Webb, C. R., Brick, S., & Blackstone Audio (Firm). (2008). The graduate. Ashland, Or.: Blackstone Audio. 1433255456

The movie has pervaded American culture since its debut in 1967. Growing up in the 1990s, I remember listening to Simon and Garfunkel sing about Mrs. Robinson because my dad chose what music we listened to when we were driving. Like many other great movies, The Graduate was based on a book. Seeing that Houston Public Library owned the audiobook version, I requested it and was soon listening to this bildungsroman.

Brilliant but disillusioned Benjamin Braddock just graduated from some nice institution in New England and has returned home to Southern California. He’s discontented, unhappy, listless, seemingly aimless, not to mention whiny. His parents’ prodding just exacerbates the issue. Then, the wife of his father’s business partner, Mrs. Robinson, begins pressuring him into an adulterous affair. With nothing “better” to do, Benjamin finds himself meeting Mrs. Robinson in a hotel room. This is all fine and dandy until the Robinsons’ lovely daughter, Elaine comes home for a student holiday from Berkeley. Cuckolded Mr. Robinson urges Benjamin to date Elaine while Mrs. Robinson has other ideas. Then, Benjamin suddenly has something. . . rather someone, to live for beyond postgrad.

Once I recovered from my initial dislike of the petulant Benjamin, I enjoyed this morality play. Throughout most of it, I was purely disgusted by Mrs. Robinson and aggravated with the others “over thirty.” It amused me that the only characters with first names were the kiddos. . . just like school. I’d recommend this dark comedy to the mature reader.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel

Places : The East Coast, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara

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For more on Charles Webb’s The Graduate, check out the following sites:

Libba Bray’s Going Bovine


Bray, L. (2009). Going bovine. New York: Delacorte Press. 0385904118

Davies, E., & Bray, L. (2009). Going bovine. New York: Random House/Listening Library. 9780739385579

Yes, they say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. However, seeing the cow carrying a whimsical gnome drove me to check out the book from HCPL. Unfortunately, I had a stack of other books at the time and had to turn in the book. Later on, I checked out the audiobook and was quite pleased by Erik Davies’ narration.

Cameron John Smith seems to be a stereotypical sixteen year old boy living in Hidalgo, Tx – too smart to give a flip about anything. He’s an awkward underachiever who has rejected the world before it can reject him. He tries to get by without calling much attention to himself. Yet, his body seems to have lost control. Cameron sees weird things, too – a punk angel, fiery giants, etc.

By some odd twist of fate, Cameron has gotten Creutzfeldt Jakob’s Disease (commonly known as mad cow disease) from a burger eaten at his former place of employment, Buddha Burger (ironic, isn’t it?).  (A side note here for all of my former Natural World II classmates – thanks to Deadly Feasts, we know all about CJD and folks going bovine.) Cameron finds himself in the hospital bed by spring break, sometimes sharing a room with a hypochondriac dwarf classmate of his, Gonzo. That is when Dulcie, the punk angel addresses him and commissions him to save the world in exchange for a cure. Finding he has nothing left to lose, Cameron ventures forth with sidekick Gonzo.

Without revealing much more, I loved the parts involving Balder, the Norse god trapped in a garden gnome shell. Also, I can describe this novel with one of my favorite words – quixotic. Cameron goes on quests, has a sidekick, fights for the honor of Dulcie (Dulcenea), and tilts windmills.

The imagination and creativity of Bray impressed me greatly. Nonetheless, she carefully minded boundaries; leaving Don Quixote and Disney World as is.

One caveat: this is for older teens. Going Bovine deals in topics such as sex and sexuality as well as using profanity.

ALA | The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, given by YALSA

Four out of Five Pearls

Word Bank:

Places: The United States

For more on Libba Bray’s Going Bovine, please check out the following: