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melissawiebe1

Melissa Wiebe's Blogs

Love reading and things associated with books.

Currently reading

Under the Wide and Starry Sky
Nancy Horan
The Word Exchange
Alena Graedon
The Invention of Wings: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)
Sue Monk Kidd
The Lady And The Unicorn
Tracy Chevalier
Bittersweet
Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Mrs. Hemingway
Naomi Wood
Flight Behavior
Barbara Kingsolver
The Woman in White
Wilkie Collins, Matthew Sweet
Possession
A.S. Byatt
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas, Robin Buss
Princess Elizabeth's Spy - Susan Elia MacNeal

I quite enjoyed this read, even though it took me a little longer to read this book than I would have liked (I had other books to complete at the time. which meant that I had to set aside this book).  While it wasn't a book that won't exactly blow one's mind, it definitely did its job and is a example of what I would expect from what is coined as a cozy mystery.  In otherwords, it does its job and doesn't try to be something that its not.  And its the sort of book that one could easily read in a few days and even if you had to put it down for a bit, it wouldn't be hard to pick up the book where you left off.

Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/07/princess-elizabeths-spy-susan-elia.html
The Orenda - Joseph Boyden
I felt that the book was disjointed and while for the most part I could tell who main speaker was, there were times that I was unable to.
 
There was also the problem that I couldn't tell what point in time the chapter was, even though it was clear that time passed in the novel, mainly due to the age of Snow Falls.  While it was a read that I did get entranced with, I really couldn't figure out exactly time period I was moving through (but after doing a search, I realize that it takes place during the mid-17th century, but it would have been nice to have a context for the book).
 
That being said, the author does create a lyrical picture of Huronia (yes, I also found that out too during my search to find out the period of the book and by end of the book, I was definitely engrossed in the book.
Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/07/the-orenda-joseph-boyden.html
The Whole Golden World - Kristina Riggle
While for the most part, I liked book, there were times that I didn't and felt that three narrators, Morgan, Dinah, and Rain, were from time to time fairly self-centered and it seemed that their only concern was for their own reputation and well-being, no matter what the costs were to those around them, mainly the male characters in their lives.  This seemed to be especially to be true of Dinah, who seemed to not realize that her lack of involvement in her children's lives made them act out in ways that, at least to her, contrary to the way that she perceived them to be; she thought of them to be angels and as though they were innocent of any sort of wrong doing, no matter what happened.
 
It also felt like that this sort of book would be perfect to show as a movie on Lifetime.
Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/04/the-whole-golden-world-kristina-riggle.html
Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge - Lindy Woodhead

 If I wasn't for the TV series airing on PBS, I probably wouldn't have picked up the book, as I hadn't heard of the book prior to the series.  While the book is an interesting look at the life of Henry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridges, the author seems to get bogged down in the sort of details that most people wouldn't be interested in, including myself, especially those about the financials, which made me bored to tears.  As you can probably tell, I was more interested in his personal life, but I guess since that his personal life was intertwined with that of the store, one couldn't exactly ignore the business side of his life.

Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/04/shopping-seduction-mr-selfridge-lindy.html
Twelve Years A Slave (An African American Heritage Book) - Solomon Northup

After watching the movie, I thought that I would give this  a try and it would be interesting to see how much of the book was used in the movie (and from what I can recall, the movie was pretty accurate to what was written in the book).  Maybe it wwas the visual nature of the movie, but I honestly felt that the book was tad dull and lacked the emotional depth that the movie had.

It also felt like somebody was telling another person what they felt about a particular event and not as engrossing as maybe hearing it from the person talk about the events; it felt like I was reading the transcript of a really amazing speech after seeing the video recording of the same speech online or in person.

Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/04/twelve-years-slave-solomon-northup.html
The Interestings: A Novel - Meg Wolitzer

 I first heard about this book either through the Bookrageous or through Books on the Nightstand, but I pretty sure I heard about the book through both at some point, and then heard about the book through the New York Times Book Review Podcast, which convinced me that I really did need to read the book and that it did appeal to me.

And I wasn't disappointed with it at all.  While I felt that it took a bit of the story to actually get going, once the story did get going, I really got into the story.  What I really liked was the shift between the characters and how very different their narratives ended up being from each other and reflected their personalities well.  I also liked how they interacted with each other and was really surprised how involved I got with the various characters, especially with Jules.  In fact, I got so involved with the story that I found myself bawling as I finishing up the book.

I don't know why the book struck a chord with me in that manner, but while I didn't like it so much as to garner a higher rating, it was a book that probably will stay with me for a long time.

Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/04/the-interestings-meg-wolitzer.html
Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War - Jennifer Robson

Saw this book recommended on a blog somewhere (this may be a bit redundant, as most books I read come from blog recommendations) and it intrigued me.  Luckily for me, I was able to get a library copy fairly quickly and hence I was able to finish the book within fairly short order.

What appealed me to the book was the fact that it reminded a lot of the plot line of Downton Abbey and it also appealed to me in that it looked to be a fairly easy read and something that I could read in short order, which I was able to.

Now that I have had sometime to let the book soak in and my thoughts to be properly formulated, I was reminded of Sarah's Key, in that it was a book that I could easily put down for a period of time and pick up just as easily without missing too much of the storyline.

While the book was nothing too memorable, the writing was decent enough and I liked the characters, even if the book became a bit too cliched for my liking.

Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/04/somewhere-in-france-jennifer-robson.html
The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism - K.A. Yoshida, Naoki Higashida, David Mitchell

 I can't recall where I had first hear about this book, but wherever I saw it, it definitely piqued my interest.

At first I was quite impressed with the author's ability to express his thought and feelings in a fairly coherent manner, but as I moved on in the book I started to become skeptical of how much a 13 year-old would truly know about living with ASD (Austim Spectrum Disorder), especially since it is something that is so varied.  I also found that the voice of the author to be irritating at times, especially towards the end of the book.  I really was hoping for more, but was unable to find what I was hoping for and actually quit reading the book with one section left to complete.

Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/04/the-reason-that-i-jump-naoki-higashia.html
Labor Day: A Novel - Joyce Maynard

 First heard about the book in the lead-up to the movie being released this past winter and hence why I requested the book.  I haven't seen the movie, so I can't attest to how accurate the adaptation is as this isn't a review of the movie.  While the book was at least for me a decent read, it wasn't a read that was memorable for me.  I realize that this is clearly meant for readers that enjoy this sort of a read, not for those that like something that allows one to think more deeply.

The book is well written, but didn't satisfy me as a reader, in that while Ms. Maynard gives very vivid descriptions of one weekend (a memorable one at that) of a 13 year-old boy, the story falls flat, especially in the last third, where it seems as though she wanted to tie the story up into a nice package that clearly was aimed to those that like endings that aren't for the most part, ambiguous.  Personally I would have liked the story to end on an ambiguous note and let the reader to decide as to what the ending of the book was to be, rather than have the ending decided for me, unless of course I happen to love the book.

Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/04/labor-day-joyce-maynard.html
Labor Day: A Novel - Joyce Maynard

First heard about the book in the lead-up to the movie being released this past winter and hence why I requested the book.  I haven't seen the movie, so I can't attest to how accurate the adaptation is as this isn't a review of the movie.  While the book was at least for me a decent read, it wasn't a read that was memorable for me.  I realize that this is clearly meant for readers that enjoy this sort of a read, not for those that like something that allows one to think more deeply.

The book is well written, but didn't satisfy me as a reader, in that while Ms. Maynard gives very vivid descriptions of one weekend (a memorable one at that) of a 13 year-old boy, the story falls flat, especially in the last third, where it seems as though she wanted to tie the story up into a nice package that clearly was aimed to those that like endings that aren't for the most part, ambiguous.  Personally I would have liked the story to end on an ambiguous note and let the reader to decide as to what the ending of the book was to be, rather than have the ending decided for me, unless of course I happen to love the book.

Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/04/labor-day-joyce-maynard.html
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen, Marilyn Butler, Claire Lamont

I first read this book back in November when doing the Unputdownables readalong for this book.  And like I said my previous review of this book, this book needed a second reading to understand it better (I read it the first time for the sake of saying said I had read the book) and also to appreciate it more.  And as I was reading it this last time, I did enjoy the book more than I did the first time I had read it.  What also made the difference is that I wasn't really juggling too many books at the time and that by reading basically this book, I was able to focus on the book and really appreciate what this book for what it is.

While it isn't Austen's best work, I can definitely see elements of her other books in this book  The book showed elements of themes that Austen tends to focus with more depth than she did here.  She also showed her appreciation of literature and also how somebody can get so obsessed with a book that you think that you are living it.

Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/03/northanger-abbey-jane-austen.html
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen, Marilyn Butler, Claire Lamont

 I first read this book back in November when doing the Unputdownables readalong for this book.  And like I said my previous review of this book, this book needed a second reading to understand it better (I read it the first time for the sake of saying said I had read the book) and also to appreciate it more.  And as I was reading it this last time, I did enjoy the book more than I did the first time I had read it.  What also made the difference is that I wasn't really juggling too many books at the time and that by reading basically this book, I was able to focus on the book and really appreciate what this book for what it is.

While it isn't Austen's best work, I can definitely see elements of her other books in this book  The book showed elements of themes that Austen tends to focus with more depth than she did here.  She also showed her appreciation of literature and also how somebody can get so obsessed with a book that you think that you are living it.

Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/03/northanger-abbey-jane-austen.html
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen, Marilyn Butler, Claire Lamont

I first read this book back in November when doing the Unputdownables readalong for this book.  And like I said my previous review of this book, this book needed a second reading to understand it better (I read it the first time for the sake of saying said I had read the book) and also to appreciate it more.  And as I was reading it this last time, I did enjoy the book more than I did the first time I had read it.  What also made the difference is that I wasn't really juggling too many books at the time and that by reading basically this book, I was able to focus on the book and really appreciate what this book for what it is.

While it isn't Austen's best work, I can definitely see elements of her other books in this book  The book showed elements of themes that Austen tends to focus with more depth than she did here.  She also showed her appreciation of literature and also how somebody can get so obsessed with a book that you think that you are living it.

Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/03/northanger-abbey-jane-austen.html
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen - Lucy Knisley
 I can't recall how I had first heard about the book, but however I was able to hear about the book, I am glad I was able to find out about it.  It was a nice break from the heavier reading that I had been taking over the past month or so and really liked the illustrations that graced the book and particularly liked the recipes that ended each chapter.  
 
I had several favourite sections in the book.  My first favourite was the chapter on Junk food and how she craved it while on a trip with her dad.  I also enjoyed the sections on Mexico and Japan and her adventures there.  I also liked the one on when she and friend had some amazing croissants and how she tried to replicate them after coming back from that particular trip.
Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/03/relish-my-life-in-kitchen-lucy-knisley.html
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen - Lucy Knisley
 I can't recall how I had first heard about the book, but however I was able to hear about the book, I am glad I was able to find out about it.  It was a nice break from the heavier reading that I had been taking over the past month or so and really liked the illustrations that graced the book and particularly liked the recipes that ended each chapter.  
 
I had several favourite sections in the book.  My first favourite was the chapter on Junk food and how she craved it while on a trip with her dad.  I also enjoyed the sections on Mexico and Japan and her adventures there.  I also liked the one on when she and friend had some amazing croissants and how she tried to replicate them after coming back from that particular trip.
Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/03/relish-my-life-in-kitchen-lucy-knisley.html
The Luminaries - Eleanor Catton

 I had a bit of difficulty getting into this book, but I ended up actually enjoying the book.  I think if there had been a little bit more editing to the book (the first section should have been cut maybe by about 100 pages), I think that I may have enjoyed the book a little bit more than I did.  Overall, it is a pretty good read and once I was able to get more into the book, I was able to enjoy a little more than I had.  It is one of those books that the payoff comes later on in the book, as you are given so much information in the first section that I felt that there was too much to digest.

Source: http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/03/the-luminaries-eleanor-catton.html