As a NH resident and hiker, I've known about this book for awhile. I decided to download it because of its local interest, though I confess I had low expectations. I was surprisingly pleased. It is a fabulous book! While the book is, in part, like most "pet books" (a genre I usually avoid), it is also a book about a lost man who finds himself though the care and caring of one amazing animal. It is also about the power of community--how people come together to help, whether it is his readers in Newburyport MA, the hiking community, or Atticus-lovers from around the country. The author also writes much of his troubled relationship with his father and how, in his quest with Atticus, he comes to grips with his dad, and realizes that so much of what is important in his life he got from his father. The book is read by the author--and generally he does a good job. There are a few places where his Boston accent comes through pretty heavy, but, in my opinion, it lends to the story. Again, as a local author, his success with his book has been a news item in NH. My understanding is that it is in the Top 10 for New England Independent Book Publishers and has been selected for the local One Book/One Valley community read. If you liked "Marlie and Me," you will love "Following Atticus."
I think Timothy Egan is a great writer and have enjoyed a number of his other books -- particularly Short Nights. Like his other books, I found this one covered a fascinating, little known era of American history, the dust bowl drama of the 1930s, but found it covered the same ground way too long (think 100 pages of listening about dust storms) without the same drama or depth of his more recent works. It's an interesting book, but I was glad to be finished with it.
The Son provides an entertaining, long-arc view of Texas; it is a family drama that covers 150+ years in a fast paced, well researched way. The family's generations takes a bit of figuring out (wonder if there's a family tree printed in book?), but becomes clearer as book progresses.
This is a great book and I was sad when it was done. I've read most of Cormac McCarthy, including his trilogy. This is almost as well written, with its share of frontier harshness.
I bought this book on sale. While I'm glad I read it, it felt very dated. While the story seems relevant given today's news of cyber-spying, I don't think this book really helped shed much light on news of today. I think it does a much better job of shedding light on pre-WWII Germany/rise of Hitler/Russia communism-era. I think Orwell is a fabulous writer, but I'd take Animal Farm and Burmese Days over this hands down.
I read this as a fan of TTW, not expecting much... after all, it was a book about women and I am a guy. Within minutes, I was drawn in deeply. Ms. Williams shares what it means to be a daughter, a woman, a wife, a child of LDS upbringing, a writer, a birder in a way that is magical. Her writing, as always, is lyrical and thoughtful--improved on this audio version by her own reading. I plan to buy copies of this book for the women in my life for mothers day.
While I enjoyed this book, it wasn't real moving for me. The plot arc was fairly conventional, even predictable. The characters somewhat typical, with none being truly lovable. The book is read by a few readers--some good, others less so.
While I don't read a lot of "war" books, I have to say that this book was one of the most compelling books I have read in a long time. It is grisly, lyrical, timely, ancient, and so moving. I practically read it in one sitting (it's not too long). It's also really well read--really almost "acted", so well read. But the writing is what counts: it is a stunning book. I will get a copy of the book out of the library, as there are parts of the book that I want to reread, just for the shear beauty of the words and wisdom of what they say. I've read many of the NYT 2012 top ten and in my opinion, this is by far the best so far.
There's an element of mysticism, the characters are well developed, if a bit formulaic
She's a good reader
While I found the book a bit tedious at times, it moves along fairly well and ends nicely. It's a great story about the power of children, about being childless, and about a couple who believes in the power of love, despite the odds. A sweet, simple book... not a literary great, but enjoyable.
I bought the book out of interest of the food and locale, being a New Englander. While it's an enjoyable book, and the food descriptions are quite nice, it's only a so-so story. It's a pretty conventional, highly predictable, love story. That being said, it's short, well-read, and pleasant--just not great literature. A good summer read, particularly if on the Cape or Martha's Vinyard.
I thought this was a good book--well written, well read--but it was written back in the 90s. So much has changed in China in that time, as well as world politics, that I found it very outdated. Also, there's really very little about the Yangtze itself.
If I were doing over, I'd skip it and look for something more current.
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