Friday, April 30, 2010

May's Book

I am so excited about this book and yes, Cali, it is a fun and really easy read. The book I've chosen is The Willoughby's by Lois Lowry.
In December I had the oppurtunity to volunteer at the Scholastic (you know, the people who put on bookfairs at schools) warehouse. I helped sell, stack, sticker, and pack books. The best part is that they pay you $10 an hour in books. When I wasn't busy I would wander the place looking at the rows and rows of books. I was drawn to this book many times (I liked the cover) and read the inside cover and thought it might be a fun read. On my last day I decided to get. It sat on our shelf until 2 weeks ago. I had finished both my April book club books and thought I'd give this little book a try.
I LOVED it. It has become one of my favorite books ever. It had me laughing (out loud) all the way through and I seriously could not put it down. I even began reading it out loud to Jacob.
It's a children's novel and although the humor's a little dark (parents trying to get rid of children, children trying to get rid of parents and in the midst of it all an odious nanny) I think you will enjoy it. It's only 174 pages including the glossary and bibliography, which you MUST read. They are every bit as funny and clever as the story.
So go find a copy and have a good laugh at The Willoughby's!

For more on the story check out this review and excerpt.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April Discussion

The discussion for The Ransom of Mercy Carter is now open!

I think I put most of my comments on this book in my introduction post, but Once again I must say that this book has it all for me. It is tragic and happy, romantic and depressing. I don't know how I feel all of those things at once, but somehow I do when I read this book. It made history real for me, and made me hungry to learn the history of my own country. I had never even heard of Deerfield until I read this book.

I hope you all enjoyed this book as much as I did, and learned something from it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Atlas Shrugged Discussion is Open

WOW!!!!!! This was a tough read. I am not used to thinking that much when I read. I don't use that much concentration and deep thinking in anything I do. I now know what they mean when they say someone is a "Shallow thinker". I put myself more in the "medium thinking common sense" class of people. Really, I mean Having all that explanatory introspection rolling around in your head had to hurt. No wonder she wrote it in a book, that way she didn't have to think about it all the time.

My advice to any daughters who haven't finished it...... Follow the example of your baby sister and read the cliff notes. I am sure you will get the whole story, the whole philosophy and all the psychology with out feeling like you are the dead horse being beat to death. I did read the whole book, but I confess that on about page 948 I realized she was repeating the same philosophies that she had stressed all through the book and listing each one 5 and 6 times, so I just started scanning the pages for highlights until the speech was finished (it starts on page 923 and goes to page 978 or there abouts). This one speech by John Galt covered more than 50 pages and by this time you are really anxious just to get on with the story.

Putting that aside, it is good to find John Galt and learn real meaning of that phrase. I won't be lost anymore when I hear references to this book, of which our society has many.

I understand her thinking and her point of view, and at times she seemed eerily prophetic. Talking about the press being completely compliant with the looters and not reporting the whole truth, or even any truth at that matter. The looters (Who are like our modern day president's czars) had all this unlimited power and didn't answer to congress or anyone. That was just sounding too familiar. And then anyone who was a 'producer' and could think seemed to be "Taxed to death" and constantly penalized for being someone who could produce, and all this was done for the "Good of the people". I pictured all the Union 'thugs' wearing yellow SEIU shirts because that is what they seem to do today.

Here is my opinion of the main Characters:
Eddie Willers - Too smart and loyal to have been given such a stupid ending.
Dagney - She was so smart, I am puzzled that she didn't choose freedom sooner. I don't think she is real though. No real woman who had a choice of those three guys would have chosen the one she did. (IMHO) She seemed to me like a person who could never really find Joy, only contentment. I really want both in my life.
Hank Rearden - This is one of the characters I really liked. His family's treatment of him was a microcosm of the main theme for this book, and they did to him what the government was doing not just to him but to the country. Too many of us could find our selves being taken advantage of like him if we don't educate ourselves and stand our ground. His "speech" to Dagney at Wyatt's house was really stupid and definitely not needed - if you know what I mean. The book and his Character didn't need it. I think he should have have given his family a dose of reality a lot sooner though.
Francisco dAnconia - I want him.
(Dagney didn't deserve him anyway)
James Taggart - If I ever meet anyone like him I should do humanity and himself a favor and just shoot him. What a waste of human flesh. Unfortunately I think he is a lot more like men in high places today than we would like to admit.
Robert Stadler - Wimp. It's scary to think they allowed him to teach the youth of the nation. ... O.. Maybe not.
Cuffy Meigs - Al Capone - only stupid. No wait, I meant to say Rahm Emmanual.
Hugh Askton - They don't really make teachers like this, do they. That would be nice.
All the Major Deserters (Wyatt, Midas, etc.) - To paraphrase John Wayne: They'll do.
Floyd Farris - Creepy, Snakelike reptile excrement is too nice a description for him. He probably would run the DNC today.
Ragnar Dannedkjold - Yeah, He can rescue me anytime!!!
A Handsome, strong, daring, blonde, smart, 'clean' Scandinavian Pirate? *sigh* That's the stuff dreams are made of.
John Galt - I really liked this guy until the episode in the tunnels under the Taggert Building. I mean, that kind of stupid thinking is the reason Ayn Rand didn't make it as a romance novelist (which was really what she wanted to be.... wink wink, nod nod.). A tryst on dusty dirty sandbags in a dirty tunnel while wearing an evening gown when hundreds of men are walking around? Sheese! You'd think she could have contacted Barbara Cartland or Joan Collins for advice on this part. Okay, okay, ..... He is a good guy, a genius and he really did save the world, but I still want the pirate and the playboy. Especially knowing they had the same political views and goals. :-)

Ayn Rand is right on with what we need to do if ever our government gets totally out of control like this one did. I want to find a place to make my own Galt's Gulch, and I will "SHRUG".

P.S. Just a question - Why is it all these people know how to fly airplanes?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Movie Review: New Moon

Also known as "The movie that bites... like a vampire." While the Twilight move was not everything I had hoped or expected, it was still entertaining and held my attention. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the what I've named the worst movie I've seen this year, in the first 20 minutes I was seriously considering doing some homework instead. While the blame goes to lots of people, directors, editors, producers, I'm mostly going to pick on the actors. Kristen Stewart's portrayal of Bella Swan is pitiful. If she has more than one facial expression or vocal inflection, she hid them well. Plus, I'm having trouble remembering where in the novel it talked about Bella have dreams about going into labor. Robert Pattinson's pained facial expressions easily grew old and began to be even more painful to watch. The Cullens, with the exception of Carlisle, suck (and I don't just mean blood). Edward makes a comment in one of the books "I'm still a man". He didn't prove that statement any in New Moon. His pathetic whimperings about taking his own life if Bella should die are nothing short of pitiful. We do see a semi-manly show of courage when he attempts to protect Bella from the volturi, but as Hillary pointed out, he loses all semblance of masculinity (with no hope of getting it back) when we see him frolicking through the forest with Bella at his side. The only thing missing was a unicorn or other woodland creatures.
Then we come to the movie's only saving graces: werewolves and the volturi. Taylor Lautner proves himself as an actor when he breaks your heart with a single glance (and he's just hot). The books definitely made me Team Edward, but the movies have converted me (and probably every female with eyes) to Team Jacob. The wolf boys are perfect and make the descriptions in the book actually come alive on screen. Likewise the volturi are fabulously cast and acted. Dakota Fanning, in a performance very different from her usual role, is a fantastic embodiment of the cruel and cynical Jane. Also Michael Sheen was an excellent choice for Aro. The volturi are creepy, cool, and everything I expected.
I can't say that this is the worst film adaptation of a book ever because to be fair I would have to admit that the book itself was rather lame and my least favorite of the Twilight Saga. With endless chapters devoted to Bella's depressive heartache and Jacob's pointless infatuation, I'd recommend reading a synopsis.
For closing all I can say is "Go Team Mick St. John!"
Posted by Skye

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April's Book

I don't know when the Atlas shrugged review is, but since it is officially April, I thought that I would give you the book for this month so those of you ready to move on can do so. The book for this month is The Ransom of Mercy Carter, by Caroline B Cooney.

When I read a good book, a lot of the time the characters become real to me, I get easily attached and sometimes wish they were real. This is the one book where I got attached to the characters and didn't want them to be real, because I didn't want anyone to go through what they did. Sadly it was the one book where the characters were actual people.

This book is about the hostages taken by the Mohawk Indians in the 1704 Deerfield Massachusetts massacre, during the French and Indian war. The main story line is based from the point of view of Mercy Carter a 12 year old girl with several younger siblings. She is one of the few hostages that little is known about. Though her conversations and thought processes may be fictional she was a real person as was almost everyone mentioned in the book. The historical details of the trek to Canada are very accurate, as are the details of the massacre, and even some of the other peoples attitudes are accurate.

I always liked history and have been interested in it, but history books aren't as good to me as novels because they lack story, and historically based Novels aren't as good as history books because they lack accuracy. But this book was a perfect mix for me, It was the first thing I ever saw or read that made me realize the reality of history, that it was actual people that suffered not just a list of names in a text book.

This is a good book, a look into a part of history that isn't very well known. It is an invigorating fast read that I think you all will enjoy. You can find the book in the juvenile section at the library or Barnes & Noble. I hope you enjoy it. Good reading everybody.
-Hillary