May 3, 2012

This blog is moving

I've been mulling completely leaving Blogger for Tumblr, and today I decided to do it. I think Tumblr is a lot easier for posting and editing. Please read/follow me at my new location:

March 26, 2012

The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides

I stopped reading a 900 page book I'm halfway through in order to read this one that came in through a library hold. This book was pretty great, you guys! I really enjoyed Eugenides' previous novel, "Middlesex", so I figured I would like this too. There was one point where I put it down and thought to myself, "I really don't like these people", but as it turned out, that was meant to be a turning point in the central couple's relationship.

The book takes place in the 80's, and is about recent Ivy League college grads Madeleine, who is from a privileged upbringing, her manic-depressive boyfriend Leonard, who comes from poorer stock, and Mitchell, a religious studies student who is in love with Madeleine and is trying to figure himself out spiritually. The book's title comes from Madeleine's scholarly love of Victorian novels and how their whole point is getting the heroine married off. I was completely satisfied by the ending. This is not a romance novel.

March 16, 2012

Book Warehouse Shutting Its Doors

Pretty much the only place I ever bought books from in person is going out of business. I don't buy a heck of a lot of books, preferring to borrow them from the library, but I always enjoyed Book Warehouse. They had good prices and were dog-friendly, meaning I could pop into the store on Davie St after a trip to the dog park. I was sad to hear the news this morning that they are stopping operations, especially on the heels of the news that one of my favourite restaurants, Refuel, is closing down as well.

March 6, 2012

The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson

I read this book on my husband's Kindle while on vacation last month. It all started because I packed a 900 page paperback for the trip, but it was too big to carry on the plane. The Kindle was just meant to tide me over, but the book was so good I couldn't stop. I finished it a little over halfway through the trip.

This is a story about the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, and about a serial killer who murdered quite a few people during said fair.  The two true stories are combined to make a fascinating read. The serial killer, Dr. H.H. Holmes, built a crazy hotel/castle with hidden rooms and a gas chamber. And the fair was extremely ambitious for the time. It seems so unrealistic that it ever got built.

Coincidentally, we had a layover at the Chicago airport, so I actually read part of this book in the city where it took place.

January 31, 2012

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

My boss gave me this book out of the blue one day. He said he was about to give it away, but he thought I might like it. When I finally got around to reading it, I was a bit put off by the "young adult" label it had. No one should be though. While I can see how it would be a good book to read in high school English classes, that doesn't mean it's not suited for an older audience. I read two of my all-time favourite books in high school English- Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird, I'm looking at you.

To summarize, this book about a young girl and her foster family in Germany during World War 2 was really good and I cried at the end. The End.

January 17, 2012

It Chooses You, by Miranda July

I love Miranda July, so I'm biased here. This book is almost a companion piece to her recent film "The Future". While she was stuck writing the end of the movie, she distracted herself by interviewing people who advertised things for sale in the Penny Saver. That project became this book, and through it she not only figured out what to do with her film, she found someone who became a large part of it.

This book is charming and gives some insight on her thinking behind "The Future", a film I found fascinating. It also gives some insight on the recently married July's heart. I find her way of thinking comforting.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns), by Mindy Kaling

This book was thoroughly delightful and I would like to be friends with Mindy Kaling. Her book is a fun memoir where she talks about how she got to where she is through hard work and being a good kid. I notice that she doesn't talk a lot about mooning over boys and only mentions someone who sounds like a serious boyfriend once, right at the end. I think this book would be a good influence for teenage girls. A very funny, light read that I identified with in several places. Would have been good to read on vacation.