Sunday, April 17, 2016
This book is great! It is, literally, laugh-out-loud funny. The writing is neat, quick, fresh, and amusing - every phrase is well turned. And while it's strange to speak of characterization in a non-fiction book, the characterization of bother Mother and Dad (forgetting what they call him at the moment) Gilbreth is fantastic. I picked the book up expecting to just read a little, and then kept on reading most of Shabbos. Finished it this past Shabbos on Friday night. There are so many moments in there that I feel like have stuck in my consciousness without me even realizing where they are from. And quotes that make me smile every time I hear. It's classic.
It's also kind of fun reading about NJ now that I am a resident of this fine state :) Montclair, of course (I looked up Eagle Rock Way on google maps, it's still there), but even New Brunswick was mentioned once or twice. Also interesting to look up the Gilbreths on Wikipedia and follow them for a bit - not much info there, but the last one (Fred I think) just passed away a few months ago as it turns out.
Anyway, I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed this book and will definitely be handing it over to my kiddos when they are old enough to start appreciating it (maybe 5-6 years, that's all, iyH :)) So glad I picked this one up again, and I'm sure I'll follow it up with Belles on their Toes at some point.
(p.s. the pic is the original version that I read)
I'm taking this all a bit too far of course, but I'm just trying to pin down what was bothering me as I read the book - this feeling of, but that's not what you should be feeling right now, no, you should be feeling less/more annoyed etc. It really did get in the way of my enjoyment of the book.
So you didn't like the book, you'll ask? Well it was a GH. I'll put up with a lot from a GH - Still my world, still my girl :) But I'm not sure how soon I'll be picking this one up again.
It's interesting that this was her final novel - published posthumously I think. Perhaps it needed some refinement. Or perhaps it was GH getting crotchety in her old age, and passing it on to her characters :)
Sunday, April 10, 2016
This is Sharon Shinn fantasy romance, but light on the fantasy, heavier on the romance :) Takes place in a world that's quite close to say, Rennaissance Europe, not too much complicated magic or whatnot going on. I remember the first time I read it someone told me she gets together with the wrong guy, which cause me to root for the one I thought was the wrong guy... which, it turned out, *was* the wrong guy, since she got together with the one I had originally thought was the right guy! which kind of muddied my enjoyment for the first read, but made for a more satisfying second read (not that this is relevant to what's probably my 4th or 5th read but just funny. Same thing happened with Agatha Christie's The Man in the Brown Suit).
So anyway, on further readings, I noticed that despite the lack of a an impending war or great destruction to bring urgency to the plot (not atypical of Sharon Shinn), the book is somewhat serious in tone, and the romance is serious with it. It's also a bit interesting because of the youth of the protaganist during much of the book (are we supposed to root for a romance between a 14 year old and a 19 year old? it's a lot less weird by the time she's 18 :)) But that's all built in to my expectations from previous readings, so I didn't mind it too much. And it really is a beautiful romance - Kent's secret devotion coupled with his myriad wonderful qualities, oh my. And like I said, there isn't too much distraction from major plots about wars and such, which is a good thing in my book. Mostly castle intrigue, which I find more to my liking. So certainly enjoyed the book, in line with my expectations :)
Honestly, I read so little these days that I probably would enjoy anything, so who knows if these reviews are fair in any way... and who cares? :)
(also btw, let's pretend you are an avid reader of this blog, you will recall that I've reviewed this book at least once before, as I read it on my trip to Glacier back in 2012 :) can't remember if the time before that was when I was doing reviews)
This reading lived up to that - the romance was about as good as I remembered - not the most full of angst, pathos, glorious moments and whatnot, but some subtle-ish well done male POV and a good arc. The story outside of the romance is (other than being a retelling of Cinderalla) a well-constructed fantasy world that I enjoyed reading about. The book is a Newberry Honor book, and I think that's a deserved honor.
So like I said, too long ago for me to have much to say (not sure I would have had that much to say in any case), but I've always liked this book and I continue to like it. Probably won't pick it up for a few years so I can enjoy the novelty again when I do :)