A Thousand Acres

10497927_1018611118168012_5721471738888668886_oStarStarStarStarStar

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.

Pulitzer Prize Winning Novels: Current Reading List

049 MiddlesexI started reading Pulitzer Prize winning novels in April 2009, with a goal of reading all of the winning novels.  I am working my way through the list, reading a Pulitzer Prize winner about every 4 to 6 weeks. Let me know if you’ve like to join me!

I’m Currently Reading: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I plan to finish it by 11/15/2015.

Continue reading Pulitzer Prize Winning Novels: Current Reading List

Pulitzer Prize Winning Novels: Books I’ve Read So Far

18052I started reading Pulitzer Prize winning novels in April 2009. I read a novel every four to six weeks.

Click this link to find out the book I am currently reading and to see the list of books that I’ll be reading in the next several months.

View a quick pictorial summary of the Pulitzer Prize winning books I’ve read over the years after the break.

Continue reading Pulitzer Prize Winning Novels: Books I’ve Read So Far

Breath, by Tim Winton

BreathHave you ever finished a book that was so beautifully written that all you could do afterwards is just sit and meditate for a while to let the story settle down into your soul?

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.

Swamplandia! was a bust (for me, anyway)

SwamplandiaSometimes it just makes sense to cut bait and move on!

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!

The Golden Compass

Golden CompassI decided to read The Golden Compass after seeing a sign at a local car repair shop that warned parents about letting their kids read this book….How ridiculous!

The Golden Compass is a great read, full of imagination, interesting characters and with a compelling plot. I especially appreciate that the heroine of the story is a little girl (versus a little boy – boys always seem to have all the fun in these kinds of stories). I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, the other books in this collection.

World Without End

World Without End

“World Without End” by Ken Follett has been on my reading list ever since it was published (October 2007).  I read Ken Follett’s earlier book, “The Pillars of the Earth,” more than a decade ago and I enjoyed that book too.

I got the electronic version of the book several months ago, and I decided it was time to give it a read.  I started the book last week and am about half way through it.  I expected it to be a good read, but I did not expect it to be such a fabulous read – probably the best book I’ve read in years!  I just wish I knew someone who was reading it too so I could talk about it with someone who is as captivated with the story as I am. 

Continue reading World Without End

Secrets of Learning a Foreign Language

Secrets of Learning a Foreign LanguageI listened to this book when I was gearing up to study the Dutch language in preparation for a trip to The Netherlands. I checked out the audio version of this book from the library.

The book has several great hints and techniques about how to approach learning a new language. I thought it was pretty good and I’ll probably check it out again and listen to it again.