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My Reviews

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
 
Fun, Optimistic, Insightful
Couldn't connect with the main character

Even though I found the main character witty and I love a good mystery...I just could not connect with her and her life events. She was empowering in the sense that she created a life for herself in a place where women aren't even equal in the eyes of most...she was independent...empowered other women in her village...took a chance in belief of herself and her future...all of these attributes I admire in women and aspire to in myself...but for some reason I just did not find the story interesting.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
 
Informative, Adventurous, Interesting
Excellent story...

This book was not part of our book club read, but it comes with a high recommendation from me. (I have given it to many friends.)

Whether you believe Chris McCandless was an inexperienced fool or a brave pioneer this book is beautiful... Krakauer's formulaic writing style works very well within this story line (where it sort of fell flat and ostentatious in Under the Banner of Heaven) ...you can tell Krakauer identified with and cared for this human being he would never meet ...for McCandless' family and friends... so much so that Krakauer has continued to revise his theory regarding what actually killed McCandless.

Unfortunately the reality is that this book will probably be forgotten among the shelves of the libraries and replaced with the current best seller of the day...too bad because while there will always be human need for physical and personal exploration perhaps some wisdom could be gained by the traveler and a life spared...I can't help but wonder what McCandless might have accomplished with his intellect and tenacity had he been able to control his mental illness and redirect it towards humanity.


The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
 
Boring, Persuasive, Unconvincing
huuuuummmmmm

Not so sure about this one. I'm sort of caught between saying, "Yes, it is definitely worth the read" but "No, if you can't get past the hokey presentation."

I definitely buy into the 'power of positive thinking and attraction' schema but its not a 'secret.' We all know this...it's just some of us are better at incorporating it into our lives than others.

Of another worthy note is the individuals she interviews or who provide excerpts in the book ...I like this progression...almost like an epic of intellectual people progression...gives you access to individuals you've probably never heard of or knew anything about that are actually worth knowing...some annoying but some enlightening.

Read at your own risk.

Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
 
Inspiring, Interesting, Beautiful
My favorite Republican...

Again, not a book club book...but highly recommended by me.

A friend gave me this book; I had only known Helprin from his Bob Doyle campaign writing days...had no idea he was such a prolific and intelligent writer. I have since read anything and everything fiction that he has written. I believe he is underrated by our literary critics because of his politic's, but actually I think that is one of the reasons I am drawn to his work. I suppose too that I sit in this esoteric conflict with him as well...but my emotions always win because how bad can he really be if he is such a commander of words?

I think too that I allow this book love... or maybe I should say I allow the thought of love to be acceptable...that it is okay to love someone and it is ok for them to leave and it is okay to hold on to that love...that is not debilitating...does that make sense?!

Anyway, read it...

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