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More Six Word Reviews

April 2, 2008

Chasing the FlameBefore I get to the reviews, I have to mention the goodness of bloggers! Yesterday, I checked the mailbox and found a surprise book waiting for me: I mentioned earlier that Katrina of Stone Soup offered to buy me a book. Well, I e-mailed her back three books I’ve had my eye on and told her to surprise me. Lo and behold, she bought me the most expensive one: a shiny, brand-new hardcover with gloriously silky pages (the publishers did a great job on this one) and that never-been opened crispness and smell.  In case you can’t tell by the picture, it’s Chasing the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the World by Samantha Power.  I saw it in B&N down in San Antonio and was almost salivating: I love Samantha Power (she also wrote the Pulitzer-Prize Winning A Problem From Hell: American in the Age of Genocide), and I’ve been very curious about Sergio Vieira de Mello since I read about his death in Assassin’s Gate (he died when insurrgents in Baghdad blew up the UN building in 2003). I haven’t started reading it yet (because I know I won’t stop, so I’m waiting until I finish How to Read Like a Professor -another book I have from the kindness of a blogger, in this case Andi), but I did flip through it, and while it deals with a very important subject matter, for now I have just one observation: Vieira definitely lived up the ‘Brazilians are hot’ stereotype. There are pictures in the middle of the book, and one of them is him as a young man, shirtless and grinning. Yowza-if I can find a copy of it online, I will.

Also, you may have noticed I’m in the middle of reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I was scared of it at first, but now I’m loving it! I just wrote up a rrrreeeaallllyyyy long post (even by my standards) on all of my impressions from the ‘Fantine’ section (the first 300 pages). I noticed a bunch of connections between the social questions Hugo’s writing about and modern society, so I think it’d be a great discussion if other people want to join in. Hint, hint: go on over to the reading group blog and scroll down to ‘Thoughts on Fantine’ (because my titles are always so creative). Or just go read it if you happen to be craving one of my ridiculously long posts on a book.

Because these reviews today are the opposite of ridiculously long! In my desperate attempt to try to get caught up w/ all the books I read in March and couldn’t blog about, I realised I had to prioritize. So my very favourites, that I haven’t seen reviews on other blogs, are going to get the all-star single post treatment. Others are going to have to be content with a couple of paragraphs in a combination post. And some are getting the ‘six word’ treatment, which I also used last month. This doesn’t reflect whether or not I loved them, so much as whether or not other blogs have reviewed them. I gave Wodehose and Wallace five stars, and Borchet four. :)
Carry On, Jeeves by PG Wodehose: intelligent British butler + thoughtless young gentleman = hilarity. (See Danielle’s Sunday Short Story post for more)
Free For All by Don Borchet: librarian discusses funny and tragic patrons (See Iliana’s review for more-speaking of which, thanks again Iliana!)
The Watermelon King by David Wallace: stunning, distinctly Southern, modern fairy tale (see Nymeth’s review, which caused me to mooch it in the first place; I agree with her-it’s one my favourites of the year!)
Cat’s Eye by Maragaret Atwood: exploration of girls, their psyches, and the women they become (that was more than six words, but since it was a challenge book, I feel that’s ok! See this list of all the reviews by people doing the My Year of Reading Dangerously Challenge)
Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks: celebrates music’s profound effect on humans (See Ted’s two posts on it, which helped convince me to pick it up at the library)

Oh, I almost forgot-April’s Estella’s Revenge is great-so go read it! Now I’m coveting A Bottle in the Gaza Sea and The Year of Living Biblically.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2008 3:51 pm

    I wonder if you are aware that when you post “around” a photo that some of your words disappear under your pictures at the right side of the screen? I miss reading all you posted. It may be my monitor, but I don’t have a slkde bar along the bottom so I can scroll to the right and get your entire dialogue. I do enjoy your reviews very much.

  2. April 2, 2008 6:32 pm

    ER lives to make you covet! LOL My freakin’ wishlist grows every month when all the great reviews come in.

    Great reviews! Maybe I’ll starting writing approximately six worders.

  3. April 3, 2008 3:54 am

    Les Mis was one of my favorite books ever. I read it in the fourth grade, and for years I was haunted by the memory of this one book whose title I couldn’t remember. About three years ago, my son sang in a high school production of the Broadway show, and I read the book — to discover it was the one I’d been searching for for years. And yep, I still totally love it.

    I’ve read several of Oliver Sachs books (though not Musicophilia), and they’ve all been fascinating!

    And I think Vieira is hot even in the cover photo, but maybe that’s just my age speaking. ;-)

    Thanks for the link!

  4. April 3, 2008 3:56 am

    I love your 6-word reviews. I’ll bet that’s harder to do than it seems! But I just have to ask, did you enjoy Musicophilia? That’s one my husband really wants, and I’ve been thinking about getting him.

  5. April 3, 2008 5:15 am

    Oh, Eva, I’m so jealous that you have read too much to even blog about it. I was a chapter into Stardust last night, loving it, when I woke up a half-hour later. Oh for the summer . . . when I will be class and committee free.

  6. tsunamibomb permalink
    April 3, 2008 5:53 am

    I love six word reviews! I think you’ve inspired me to make it my new review medium since I never seem to have time to write more than that at a time anyway ;)

  7. April 3, 2008 6:37 am

    That Free for All book is waiting at my library for me to pick it up. Looking forward to it.

  8. April 3, 2008 8:18 am

    I’m so glad that you are enjoying Les Misérables! I’m only about 200 pages in, but I hope to finish the Fantine section by the end of the weekend, so I’ll look forward to reading your thoughts then! Wasn’t the Wodehouse great fun?!

  9. April 3, 2008 11:24 am

    I first read Les Miserables when I was twelve and I have read it at least once a decade ever since (and I won’t say how how many decades!). It never gets old, never too familiar to pick up again, and—as you say—has relevance in changing times, especially these. And thanks for the link to the book club site. I’ll read along with you all.

    Deborah at Exuberant Reader

  10. April 3, 2008 2:25 pm

    I agree that Brazilians are hot, but I’m slightly biased :P

    Les Miserables intimidates me a bit, but it’s one of those classics I’d like to read someday. I’m going to check out your long post.

    yay for five star-ing Wallace! I need to get my hands on his latest novel, Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician. I have the feeling it will also become a favourite of mine.

    And I really should read some Wodehose!

  11. April 3, 2008 8:33 pm

    Martha, no I didn’t. I’m sorry-on mine there isn’t a problem. Does it happen with little pictures too? And thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    Andi, six worders are fun-every blogger should get some! ;)

    Katrina, wow-you read Les Mis in fourth grade? That’s awesome! Musicophilia was my second Sacks (is it Sachs? whoops); I just loved The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. And Vieira is definitely hot on the cover as well-it’s only that the pictures inside are even crazier!

    Debi, I did enjoy it. It got a tiny bit dull sometimes, but once I started alternating it with another book, I really liked it.

    TsunamiBomb, thanks for stopping by, and I hope you do do some six word reviews! Your blog isn’t linking through your name, but if you let me know the address, I’ll definitely look you up. :)

    Claire, thanks for commenting! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it!

    Danielle, Wodehouse was fun. :D I’m glad I’m enjoying Les Mis too-now my fear just seems silly.

    Deborah, great! I’m sure you’ll have very interesting insights, since it’s a reread for you.

    Nymeth, lmao @ the Brazilian comment! Before I opened Les Mis, I ws terrified of it, but it turns out it’s not so bad. I think it’s a pretty compulsive read, actually (I thought the same of W&P). And seriously-how is Daniel Wallace not a bestselling author?! Sometimes there’s no justice.

  12. April 7, 2008 9:57 am

    Glad you liked Wodehouse!

    Have you read any of his other stuff? I like Jeeves & Wooster, but Psmith is my absolute favourite, especially Leave It to Psmith.

  13. October 5, 2011 12:47 pm

    I’m glad you got around to the Sacks book. Thanks for the links!


  1. Twelve Word Reviews « Inciteful Mama
  2. Musicophilia « Just A (Reading) Fool
  3. Weekly Geeks 2: New policy adopted and how it’s working out « Just A (Reading) Fool
  4. Weekly Geeks 2: New policy adopted and how it’s working out « an unfinished person (in this unfinished universe)
  5. Assembling My Atheneum: Oliver Sacks « A Striped Armchair
  6. The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto (thoughts) « A Striped Armchair
  7. The Literary Horizon: Carry On, Jeeves « The Literary Omnivore

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