Bellevue, WA, United States | Member Since 2007
First, listening to Tom read the book was divine...there's a reason he was so pleasant on the news for all those years.
The book does come across in conversation form of Brokaw's experiences and insights on America and how where we've been has gotten us where we've gotten. In a very grandfatherly way, he offers advice to Americans of all generations about how we can improve ourselves, our country and our world. I agreed with most of what he said and so found myself often thinking, "preach it!" as he talked about the need for service, living within our means and escaping the curse of materialism.
I was skeptical entering into this book. Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love" was an amazing read for me, and then I found "Committed" to be a near torturous experience that I was thrilled to finish. It was with that mixed mindset that I began "The Signature of all Things."
Gilbert's writing is poetic and lyrical. She paints word pictures that I only dream about being able to write. She provides some complex, interesting characters, and others that are flat and predictable.
Generally, I liked the book, but I certainly don't rave about it or recommend that you run right out and get the book. I listened to it and Juliet Stevenson's narration was impeccable. I think part of the reason I give the book three stars, rather than two, is the narration.
For me, the flaw of this book was in Gilbert trying to tell too many stories. Much of the book focused on Alma, so why was there SO much back story to include botanists and adventurers who were lightly connected to her father as a young man? Cutting the early part of the book would not impact the overall story. There are also other characters--Retta, Prudence, Hannika and even Ambrose who flitter in, and then out. Their impact on the story was minor, one-note and predictable.
If you are interested, sure, read the book. Better yet, listen to it. Stevenson's narration is outstanding.
The book started a little slow, but definitely picked up throughout, with a very interesting ending. Think "The Great Gatsby" meets "Gone Girl."
I enjoyed this story, told over two different time periods, about the girl in a painting (circa 1917) and what happens with the painting (modern day). In the audio version the narration is done quite well, with excellent French, English, German and American accents.
I enjoyed Ivey's story about a show child who enters the lives of a lonely childless couple who are homesteading in the Alaskan wilderness in the early 1900s. What happens when your life is filled with disappointment, and then is suddenly graced with surprise fulfillment? How do you reach out to others when you generally protect your emotions? How do you let something precious go? These questions are explored in Ivey’s touching story. Curl up in a blanket by the fire and enjoy the read.
I was inspired to read this book after seeing the ho-hum movie based on this book. The book is far better, and you learn the real stories behind the movie fictionalization.
Edsel provides a thorough description of the actions of the Monuments Men in northern Europe, where they were before the war, what motivated them, and their triumphs and tragedies during and after the war. I every much enjoyed the overarching story, but found the details sometimes bogged down the story telling.
I had the option of listening to the abridged version of this book, and chose to do the unabridged. If you are interested in the story, I might recommend the abridged version, although I have not listened that version, as my hope is that some of the copious details are left out, leaving you with a broader picture of the actions of the men and women who went to great lengths to save art during WWII. A heartfelt thanks to all of them.
I wanted to really love this book because of what I knew of Malala from the news, but for me, the book just fell short. The first half of the book provided a great deal of background information on Pakistan, including political, geographic and religious histories. While some of this was necessary, and for some readers, essential, I found that it was too involved and cumbersome. For me the book improved when it finally got around to telling Malala's story, which is captivating. May she, and others like her, continue to make strides in our world to bring about equality in education.
Brain on Fire is the personal and excruciating story of Cahalan's health demise through psychosis and catatonia, through diagnosis and back to health. Cahalan researched her story extensively, as she has few accurate memories of her time in the hospital. The story is gripping and inspiring and I am grateful she has shared her story.
Well that was a ho-hum 38 minutes of my life. The promise of our love of Downton Abbey explored just didn't happen and in the end, it was a lot of rambling about nothing. Watch Downton, love the Queen and ignore the book.
Girl with Glasses is just ok. Not bad, just ok. Parts of it rang true in my life as both a GWG and when the story took place; it sounds like we are about the same age. Generally I was more intrigued by the era than the chronicles of her glasses.
Generally I liked the book at the author's story of being more intentional in seeking out happiness in her life. I listned to the book, which the author narrates, and in this case, I think another narrator would have been a better choice. As I listned to the book I was challenged, encouraged, and sometimes even discouraged by Rubin's experiences, and sometimes all at the same time. While I appreciate all that she did, hearing her story created stress for me as I thought "how can I do it all?" I think that is part of her point, though: you can't do it all. Find what works for you.
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