This was the second time I read “A Thousand Acres.” So many years had passed since the first time I read it, I didn’t remember many of the details of the story. But as the story enfolded, it all felt very familiar to me.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but the story is so sad. The book starts up slowly – the author spends much time building the setting, describing the characters, and does a great job describing the family dynamics. Around the midpoint of the book, everything starts falling apart for the families that are central to the story. It is compelling and heart breaking to see how the family’s carefully crafted façade begins to fall apart as the characters and family ties implode and eventually collapse.
That’s how I feel tonight after finishing “Breath” by Tim Winton. I didn’t actually read the book since I listened to the audio version of the book on my mp3 player, but, no matter, the story was profoundly shared, wonderfully told, beautifully written, and now I must sit and meditate on it. I may have to go read the printed version of the book to get another layer of Mr. Winton’s glorious style of spinning a story.
I read about 30% of the book before I was so bored with it I started skipping and skimming around, reading just enough to follow the storyline. Using that method I quickly scanned through to about the halfway point of the book and then decided I was done. I had read all I cared to read about the Bigtree family. Why waste any more time suffering through a book that I was not enjoying? I didn’t care about the characters and, try as I might, I couldn’t identify with any aspect of the story.
This book may appeal to a different reader, but it holds no appeal for me. I was invested enough in the story that I searched around the internet enough to find out how the story turns out. What I learned finally happens with the characters in this story was not very believable or satisfying so I’m glad I didn’t suffer through to the end of the book.
Now, on to the next book!
After reading about Amazon’s purchase of GoodReads I decided I needed to move my books out of GoodReads and close down my account there. I just don’t want Amazon.com to have such easy access to my reading preferences.
I looked around the internet for alternative websites, tried out a few of them, and then I landed on BookLikes.com. BookLikes is a fairly new website and it does not provide the same type of and level of functionality as GoodReads, but BookLikes is a refreshing change from GoodReads! My first impression of BookLikes was that it was a very beautiful and welcoming place to be. So far I have found the BookLikes staff to be very tuned into and responsive to their users’ needs and requests. BookLikes appears to be committed to keeping the site an independent oasis for book lovers and readers. I’m planning to settle in and see how things continue to evolve.
I’ve moved my books and reviews over to BookLikes and you can find me there at jujubean.booklikes.com. I’m still poking around, finding my way around the site, but now I’d like to invite my GoodReads friends and any of my other friends who love to read to join me over at BookLikes.com
If you are already a GoodReads member, it’s pretty easy to migrate your books and any reviews you’ve created over on GoodReads to BookLikes. To easily migrate your GoodReads data, just follow the steps I’ve documented below.
1. Export your GoodReads books and reviews to a csv file
Log into your GoodReads account, select “My Books”
Scroll down to the bottom of the bookshelves panel (on the left side of the screen) and select the “import/export” option (see red arrow in the screenshot below).
Select the “export to a csv file” option found in the right hand panel of the screen (see the red box in the screenshot below) and select the “save to file” option in the ensuing popup.
Now you are ready to move your data to BookLikes!
2. Sign up for your new BookLikes Account
If you haven’t already done so, go to the BookLikes.com website and click on the green “Request an invite” button. You’ll be prompted to enter your email address into a dialogue box and send a request to BookLikes. After a few minutes go check your email for the invitation link.
Now you can import the GoodReads csv file you just created into your new BookLikes account
3. Import your GoodReads books & reviews into your BookLikes Account
Log into your BookLikes account (if you aren’t already logged into it)
Click on the gears icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen to access your user settings (see red arrow in the screenshot below)
Click the Shelf Tab and then select the “Browse” button under the “Import books from GoodReads” heading. A file explorer box will open up to let you navigate to the place on your computer where the GoodReads.csv file is stored. After you select that file, select the green “Import” button.
BookLikes will add your request into their import queue, so you may have to wait several hours before your books show up on your BookLikes shelves. When I imported my GoodReads data into my BookLikes account, it took about 24 hours before I saw any books on my shelves.
Most members agreed that the numerous footnotes and the prolific use of Spanish words and terms throughout the book made reading the book very challenging. Most agreed that having a glossary of Spanish words and terms used in the book would have helped. All-in-all, the book club thought the book was worthwhile reading.
I, personally, found the book to be quite thought provoking. I finished the book with tears in my eyes and the characters in the book stayed with me for several days afterwards.
We meet again at 2:00 pm on Sunday, May 31 to discuss “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson. The location for the next meeting is still to be determined.
If you’d like to learn more about the Epilogue Book Club or join us to discuss the next book, please call me at 678.321.6526 or send me an email.
I had not heard of this book until I listened to a podcast (OnPoint with Tom Ashbrook) interview between Tom Ashbrook and the author, Douglas Blackmon. This book just won the Pulitzer Prize in non fiction (2009).
The interview was fascinating and I find the subject matter very interesting. This is an important book that I will make a point to read.
See Slavery by Another Name for more information.