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I gave this a hefty 5 stars. McCullough traces the history of Truman from the earliest settlers in Missouri - clear through to Truman in his later years. The historical & political background related to Missouri were fascinating. He presents Truman - his strengths as well as his flaws. We see him as he sees himself as well as others see him. This is not what you would call a short read - but well worth the effort.
Such a sad beautiful story! I don't usually read melancholic stories but somehow this book just draws me in. Frankly, I dislike all the characters in this but I love how each of their stories are being told by the author. There are various parts where I had to put the book down just because I can't handle the emotions being portrayed by the characters at that time. Yet strangely, every time I do that, the next moment I'll pick it up because I just have to know what happens next. Honestly, I'm actually surprised that these youngsters are so full of pessimism and most times helplessly succumb to their deepest, darkest emotions. I could never identify with either of them. When I was that age, life was just beginning and seemed so exciting. I can remember the nervousness of starting my first adult job, hanging out with friends to boast or complain about the current happenings in our lives and just enjoying everything as an adult at last. Yes, it's scary not to be a teenager anymore, the responsibilities on one's shoulder are now more daunting and most times, it's confusing trying to be an adult when the mind and heart is still a teenager but never once was I sad or depressed. So it amazes me that every character in this book is depressed - all of them are sad in their own unique way, at various levels. If I were to rate them, it wouldn't be from most favourite to the least but from the sad to the emotionally distraught that death is the only cure. Even for the most optimistic characters, Midori and Nagasawa, I can feel there's a layer of emotional pain that wraps around their so-called chest-beating statements. To these young individuals, Death is not an end to itself. To them, Death "... was not a decisive element that brought life to an end. There, death was but one of the elements comprising life" (p.360) .
I am a huge angel fan and Forbidden seemed right up my ally. I wanted to love Forbidden. I really did. But I just did not get into it like I would have liked. It was an entertaining and enjoyable story, but I had a few problems with it. The main problem that I had with this book were the characters. While watching Claire with her friends was fun at times, most of the time she was very immature. One thing that I really do not like in my heroines is immaturity. And Alec. I wanted so much to be romanced by him. And while he had his moments, he was just not my favorite part of the book. Another thing that I didn't like was Alec and Claire's relationship. While it wasn't insta-love, the two were very inf actuated with each other, becoming way to dependent of the other. There were parts of Forbidden that I did like. I loved the idea and the story and the world. It was very interesting and I loved learning about this world of angels. And while the books was a little slow at times, it was very enjoyable. Overall, while Forbidden isn't my favorite angel book, there was still an enjoyable quality to it.
Ahhhh...Michael Pollan, how do I love thee? I can't possibly recommend any of Pollan's books with enough emphasis. He has good ideas, a clear and pleasant writing style, is thought provoking, funny, and real. He really want to draw you into his book, making it into less of a one-sided thing -- he writes/you read -- and more into a conversation of thoughts. At least that is my interpretation and the feeling I come away with after one of his excellent books. Second Nature is one of his older works (1991). He uses his experiences in his garden, his experiments, triumphs, failures, projects, and musings to look at the Garden as the intersection of Nature and Culture. He makes such a good case that I felt proud and righteous thinking of all the hard work we do on our small plot of land to garden it. I learned a lot about gardening basics. I learned more about American attitudes to gardens, lawns, and nature. It was awesome. The chapter "The Idea of a Garden" (chapter 10) should be required reading for each and every environmentalist and/or eco-terrorist. And it should be required reading for you too. Really, anyone who loves the land, has turned a spade of compost, sighed over a seed catalog, or simply had a small flower on the windowsill of a cramped apartment should read this book. It has the potential to change the way you look at the 'natural' and 'cultivated' gardens of the world -- including your own.
Wow. I might be rating this a little higher than I would otherwise, but I finished it the same day I read a couple comics that were, frankly, a bit shit. The other writer (who shall remain nameless) is quite well respected, but compared to Naoki Urasawa (and Tezuka of course) they really have a lot to learn about telling an engaging story.
In this historical picture book, the author tells the story of a town that worked together to put their little town on the map by making the biggest cheese ever! It starts out with the towns people finding out that Abraham Lincoln was serving another towns cheese at the White House. Well, the towns people could just not have it, because their town made the best cheese! Working together the town devises a plan to make the biggest wheel of cheese this town and any other has ever seen. The ending to their plan takes them to the White House to serve it to the President. Can they do it? The author does a wonderful job of taking real events in history and putting them together with playful illustrations. There is a comical characteristic to the people's faces and movements in their bodies. At the end of the story, the author gives some factual information so the reader can connect this text with the actual facts.
I thought I had reviewed this already? OK last one. Colin Wilson is an amazing thinker and this book is about his early somewhat bohemian years. Needing money. Needing sex. Needing a reason to live. And I think then he wrote about it and became famous. I actually haven't read any of his real books. He autographed this for me and that was pretty cool considering I'd worked here for like two weeks at the time. He has great style and a vast mind.
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