Comment Catch Up – Week of July 27, 2014


Van Gogh Starry Night Drawing | Wikimedia Commons | Public Domain Mark 1.0

Van Gogh Starry Night Drawing | Wikimedia Commons | Public Domain Mark 1.0

I present the 2nd Edition of a new-ish feature which offers me the chance to respond to some of my Stellar Visitors’ remarks.

Sunday, July 27, 2014 – 78th Edition of The Sunday Post

sherry fundin @ fundinmental said “I love Jance and Devil’s Claw looks great. Happy reading”

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “I’ve enjoyed Jance’s J.P. Beaumont and Joanna Brady series. Devil’s Claw was great!”

Amber @ Young Adult Indulgences said “The Lovely Bones has been on my reading list since the (I know, I know) movie came out. 🙂 I never manage to obtain it to read it though. *sigh*

Oh my gosh, you haven’t finished The Fault In Our Stars? Have you seen the movie or are you a “I want to read the book first” people? I’m like that. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for The Hunger Games. 😦

I wish I had checked out these Sunday Post blog posts before submitting my own. I keep looking at other ones and going “Aw man, I should have added that!”. In regards to your blog, it’s the “TBF” list. I definitely need to start adding that to mine.

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: ” 1) I’m hoping to have a couple of posts about The Lovely Bones go live soon. I’ve found both the book and movie to be polarizing among readers and viewers alike. I can’t wait to read the comments! 2) Yes, I’ve been waiting my turn on the library request list for The Fault in Our Stars and am thankful a friend took pity on me. 🙂 I hope to read the book before I see the movie – even if that means watching it at home in a few months. Sadly, I read The Hunger Games a few years ago and whenever I see the movies, I’m checking the action against the wikis. 3) I’m looking forward to checking out your Sunday Post blogs; I think of them as a “State of a Blog” or “The News You Missed.”

KimbaCaffeinated @ the Caffeinated Book Reviewer said “I like Blackstock and I really need to try Conversion. Have a fabulous week my friend!”

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “1) I picked up Blackstock from my church’s library for the Summer Reading Program (SRP). Even though I didn’t make the deadline for the SRP, I still plan to finish the book. Also, I imagine I’ll continue reading Blackstock’s Restoration series. 2) Katherine Howe’s The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane is one of my favorite reads in recent years and I anticipate the same with her Conversion. Happy August, my friend!

Fiza @ I’ll read till i drop said “I can’t believe it either, I have no idea where the weeks went.
Didn’t know I was a stellar….anything, thanks for the shoutout 😀

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “Of course you’re a Stellar Visitor! 😉 Thanks so much for visiting Jorie’s Reads!

Monday, July 28, 2014 – Books Before Movies! 

Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library said “Other than Gone Girl I wasn’t aware of any of these! Of course I’m not a huge movie person so that doesn’t mean anything. Wild has been on my TBR list for awhile and I’d be interested to see that as a movie. Plus, I like Reese Witherspoon. I’m not sure I want to see Tess in movie form! The book was wonderful and awful. I don’t think I want to see it played out in front of me. If they do a bad job it will be dreadful but if they do a good job it will be excruciating to watch!

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “I read The Giver and Macbeth but nothing else on this list. Maybe I can lay my hands on Gone Girl and Wild before the movies hit theaters. I read Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley and approach her other works with trepidation. I also find Hardy daunting. Time will tell, though! “

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 – Top Ten Most Popular Authors on Jorie’s Bookshelf

ChrissiReads @ Chrissi Reads said “What a great list! 🙂 My sister would have Stephen King on hers, she loves him!”

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “Thank you! I like King’s blend of horror and SciFi.”

Anna @ herding cats & burning soup said “Very nice. I’ve only got Shakespeare from the group and I think one from Brown.”

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “I’ve got to have Shakespeare! Also, Sandra Brown’s dialogue and local color give her a permanent spot on my bookshelf – real or virtual. “

Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library said “Interesting list! There’s several authors that I’m not familiar with and several that are on my list of authors that it’s past time I try. Stephen King heads that list! I’d love to reread Shakespeare. It’s been since high school since I read MacBeth but I loved it then. I wonder what I would get out of it now.”

Starry Night Elf’s Reply: “1) I think King is underrated. While I prefer his less bloody prose, I think he’s got serious talent and I’m sure he would make an intriguing guest at the dinner table. 2) I haven’t read all of Shakespeare’s works but I’ve marveled each time I’ve studied and/or watched his plays.”

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.

To read more, click on the Add to Goodreads button below

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Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved (Bloggerversary Challenge)


What I Loved: A Novel

What I Loved: A Novel by Siri Hustvedt | Jorie’s Store @ Amazon

Title: What I Loved: A Novel
Author: Siri Hustvedt
ISBN: 9780312421199
Length: 370 pages
Publication Date: 2003
Publisher: Picador
Genre: Psychological Fiction
Source: Harris County Public Library

Bloggerversary Giveaway

Goodreads

Reasons for Reading: As I perused the 1001 Books list for a 2000s book,  I noticed Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved and posted this book as an option for my annual challenge. Since What I Loved was less than four hundred pages, I felt reading it wouldn’t take me long.  Hustvedt’s book received the majority of votes and I requested it from Harris County Public Library (HCPL).

Summary: Beginning in 1975 New York City, art historian Leo Hertzberg (narrator of the story) finds a painting which entrances him in a SoHo gallery. After buying the painting, he tracks down Bill Wechsler, the artist. Hertzberg and Wechsler build a great friendship spanning twenty-five years. Additionally, their wives, Erica and Lucille, respectively, fall pregnant. Hertzberg and Erica have Matthew while Wechsler and Lucille have Mark. Later, Wechsler becomes involved with his muse, Violet. The novel follows these relationships; their joys and losses.

One Thing I Learned from this book: I knew macular deg

What I Loved: The rich characterization brought these characters to life. I saw Bill Wechsler as well as Lucille and Violet. The clarity amazed me.

What I Loathed: Not in the stupid sense of this word; this book was dense. Normally, I can read roughly twenty pages in an evening. However, it took me that long to read a single paragraph. Yes, even the title provided hints of things to come in this novel. I spent the first part braced for the crash. When it happened, boy, did it!

RR - Orange

Rainbow Rating: Orange – Restricted from those under age 17 

 

Song: Paul Mauriat – Love is Blue (HQ)

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Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland


The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri | Jorie’s Store @ Amazon

 
Title and Author(s):  Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland
Release Date: September 24, 2013 

Publisher: Knopf 

ISBN: 978-0307265746
Pages: 352
Source: Shipment of Advanced Reader Copies (ARC) which arrived at Harris County Public Library 

Add Book to Goodreads

Reasons for Reading: Come on, this is Jhumpa Lahiri’s latest book! Check out my elation about getting my hands on the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC).

Summary: Subhash and Udayan Mitra are two brothers who grew up in Post-Partition Calcutta. Subhash, older by a mere fifteen months, and Udayan look alike. However, they’re very different people and have rather opposite destinies. In the 1960s, Udayan’s political fervor rises while Subhash seeks a scientific education in Rhode Island. In the midst of his studies, Subhash receives notice that Udayan was killed near their childhood home. Subhash returns to Calcutta to find the fractured Mitra family and Udayan’s widow, philosophy student Gauri haunted and stuck in those last moments of Udayan’s life. Subhash’s reaction and handling sets an extreme course for the lives Subhash, Gauri, and Mitra family.

One Thing I Learned from this book: Previously I’d heard of the Partition and of the Bengali people. However, I didn’t know much about the Partition of Bengal.

What I Liked: I was mesmerized by Lahiri’s writing style yet again. It’s as though she’s a Rembrandt of words! The way she understands her characters truly enthralls me. I was astonished by what a loving and caring man Subhash was. I’ve yet to visit India or Rhode Island but I have a clear idea of these settings.

What I Disliked: The story itself made me very weepy. I wanted to throttle characters. Most often, it was Gauri! However, Mr. and Mrs. Mitra weren’t my favorites, either. Also, it would’ve helped me if each section/chapter started with a date (at least the year) for when the action of the ensuing section took place.

RR - Orange

Rainbow Rating: Orange – Restricted from those under age 17 


Song:
The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby 

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Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes


Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult | LibraryThing

(Written on Monday, 14 January 2013)

Title and Author(s): Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Release Date: March 9, 2007
Publisher: Atria
ISBN: 0743496728 
Pages: 455
Source: Library

Reasons for Reading: I read My Sister’s Keeper several years ago. Later, I posted a review when I reread it before doing a book talk at a senior center. When Nineteen Minutes came out in 2007, I didn’t want to read about a school shooting. Yet, watching the continuous coverage of the Sandy Hook shootings, I realized the importance of understanding such situations. So, I requested the book via HCPL.

Summary: Sterling, New Hampshire is a sleepy little town where denizens settle so they can send their kids to good schools. Nothing of note really happens in Sterling until March 6, 2007. In nineteen minutes, bullied Sterling High School junior Peter Houghton hauls five guns into the high school and goes on a shooting spree. When Detective Patrick DuCharme apprehends Peter in the locker room, he finds jock Matt Royston dead but Royston’s girlfriend, Josie Cormier, stirring. Daughter of Madam Justice Alex Cormier, Josie recalls nothing. Picoult relates a tale of bullying, broken relationships, and a reeling town.

One Thing I Learned from reading Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes: Battered person syndrome is a physical and psychological condition that is classified as ICD-9 code 995.81.

What I Liked:  I liked that Picoult began with the date of March 6, 2007. This gave me an idea of the setting and attitudes to expect. Also, she fed into my preference of having a date stamp.

Also, I appreciate that Picoult deals with relevant events and offers likely reasons for characters’ motives. On the whole, this novel has believable, sympathetic characters.

While I’ve yet to read Change of Heart, The Pact, or Salem Falls, I liked that Picoult brought back characters Patrick Ducharme, Jordan McAfee, and Selena McAfee. This gives me hope that I might see friendly faces if I pick up other books by her.

What I Disliked: I did appreciate the time stamp of March 6, 2007. However, Picoult would toggle between the big event and chapters with titles along the lines of “Seventeen Years Earlier.” Couldn’t she have added “1990” to this?

Then, there was the sense that this book’s plot was “straight from the headlines.” I’d avoided this book dealing with school shootings for a long time, not wanting to be reminded of Columbine High School Massacre around the time Nineteen Minutes hit the bookshelves.

Additionally, I remember reading My Sister’s Keeper and found reading Nineteen Minutes like watching any M. Night Shyamalan movie after I’d seen The Sixth Sense. Thus, I tended to smell a rat early in the narrative. I won’t spoil the end but I wanted to know more about how certain characters were doing. Maybe I’ll see them in another Picoult work.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks – YouTube

Setting :  Sterling New Hampshire

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