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08-06-2012
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^ Yeah, this thread is sort of forgotten. It's nice to know what people think of the books they read besides listing them. This way it's easier for other people to know what is worth reading or not. I'll try my best aswell to post here more often. But it turns out, I don't know how to review all books I read. Sometimes I am at a loss of words.

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08-06-2012
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wildswans.jpg

source: goodreads

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang [*****]

This is probably the best book I read this year till now, maybe in a close tie with Stolen Lives, the difference being that the first taught me something as permanent as history and the latter made me cry buckets and lose faith in humans. Seriously, if you want an easy to read introduction to the recent history of China, mainly what happened around the time of Mao’s dictatorship, and you happen to be bored by those thick History books, this is a good way to get yourself started. Just to have an idea, at school, I barely learned anything about Mao so when I watched chinese movies like Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, I used to get lost, wondering what the heck is going on? What in the world is Cultural Revolution? Why are they burning books? Turns out Cultural Revolution had nothing to do with culture at all. Anyways, this is not just history, this is indeed an endearing biography of three generations of strong chinese women and every event in their lives is contextualized in its social and political aspects, which makes it all the more fascinating. And if you’re looking for a biography on chinese people along the lines of Mao’s Last Dancer, this is the one. I can say that cause I read both, and Wild Swans outweighs the other by far. Well, to start off, MLD is much lighter, it’s a fairytale of someone who fought to overcome poverty, while WS criticizes with property the cause of that poverty, chinese communism, revealing that the best and worse of human nature can flourish in a cruel dictatorship despite the beautiful ideals it implies but fails to accomplish. I also feel most of chinese books revolve around the same situations, telling similar stories, so to make ends meet, just read this one and you’ve read pretty much most of them, lol.


Last edited by TanyaKiller; 08-06-2012 at 10:09 PM.
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09-06-2012
  123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TanyaKiller View Post
^ Yeah, this thread is sort of forgotten. It's nice to know what people think of the books they read besides listing them. This way it's easier for other people to know what is worth reading or not. I'll try my best aswell to post here more often. But it turns out, I don't know how to review all books I read. Sometimes I am at a loss of words.
I hear you! I'm going to try to make more of an effort too, but if you don't feel moved to review something there's certainly no pressure

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09-06-2012
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Reading Demetri Martin's This is a Book. He's a comedian who has been on the Daily Show, etc. I'm really into comedy and I have high hopes for comedian's works but this is just average at best. It's really not that funny. It's conceptual, and the different chapter concepts are interesting. Each chapter is a different 'conceptual' piece of comedy. But -- doesn't really make me laugh -- and I take comedy very seriously Haha.

In terms of comedians' books I have read this year, I rank them thusly:

Tina Fey's Bossypants -- I forget if I gave this a 4/5 or a 5/5
Mindy Kaling's Is Everybody Hanging out without me -- 4/5
Demetri Martin's This is a Book -- 2.5/5
Ellen Degeneres' Seriously I'm Kidding -- 1/5 Just not good at all, a waste of time.

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12-06-2012
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Not a very good review overall, just my 2 cents.

justice.jpg

source: us macmillan

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? by Michael J. Sandel [****]

The author goes through all these ethical issues from multiple points of view in a way that raises questions, allowing you to reflect and develop your own opinion. His voice is neutral,
he doesn't explicitly favour one opinion over another, which leaves the reader feeling lost at the beginning (so true!), but in a way he can find his own path to choose.
This is not a conventionally likeable book, not because of the theme, more bc of how it's written, it does drag a lot. It does take time getting used to but it's a worthwhile read.
I only noticed how hooked and interested I was in the discussion by the middle of its length and it only delved truly into me long after I ended it.
One day I just woke up and noticed so much of its content seemed somehow printed permanently in my brain and it helped me to begin to shape my views on so many polemical,
day-by-day life subjects like happiness, freedom, abortion, gay marriage, equality, meritocracy, etc... I'm sure it will help out many students of Psychology like me who dig ethics or
anyone who's interested in a type of philosophy that deals with more down-to-earth matters.

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17-06-2012
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Fifty Shades series by E L James: erotic but not in a cheap way, in a funny way. The books are humourous and also heartwarmingly romantic. A bit of Twilight I think.

The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin: Downton Abbey mix Rebecca. The writing style is a bit like Daphne du Maurier. Fantastic job and there's a bit of history about the Gilded Age.
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06-07-2012
  127
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^ Your first review actually leads me on to my question...

This isn't a review,so apologies for posting it in here,but...

Can somebody please explain to me all the hype surrounding '50 shades of grey'? It seems to have taken over the world. Every single one of my female work colleagues are reading it,apart from me. I have a vague understanding of what the substence of the book is,and have my own thoughts about why girls might be hooked by it,but was just wondering if any of you who have read it could explain it further for me

*I personally am not intending to read it,not my kind of thing at all. I'm mainly after an understanding of why it has become so popular.


Last edited by dumbfairy; 06-07-2012 at 12:33 PM.
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06-07-2012
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the 50 shades of grey series has numerous copy-editing errors in it, as well as grammatical mistakes.

the main character is supposed to be an american, however uses australian slang a lot.

also we are to believe the main character is a 20 something year old virgin.

the appeal of the book is that the christian gray character is a billionaire and buys the female main character luxury items.

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06-07-2012
  129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dumbfairy View Post
^ Your first review actually leads me on to my question...

This isn't a review,so apologies for posting it in here,but...

Can somebody please explain to me all the hype surrounding '50 shades of grey'? It seems to have taken over the world. Every single one of my female work colleagues are reading it,apart from me. I have a vague understanding of what the substence of the book is,and have my own thoughts about why girls might be hooked by it,but was just wondering if any of you who have read it could explain it further for me

*I personally am not intending to read it,not my kind of thing at all. I'm mainly after an understanding of why it has become so popular.
It would be the worst book I've ever read, if i haven't read Breaking Dawn.
I think this book is a spit in the face of anyone that tried to have a book published.

I have my theory why it's so popular, it started as a Twilight fan fiction and his popular exactly because of the same reason Twilight is so popular with the "moms". No wonder they called Fifty Shades "mommy porn". It's disheartening to discover that after all this years of women fighting for the right to be assertive, the book that gets a huge segment of female the population going, still taps on the most juvenile of premisses. The heroine is weak, stupid and a virgin, and the prince charming is a millionaire that looks like a God. In reality he's just a manipulative creep with issues, but did i mentioned he looks like a God? When someone looks like a God in this type books they are not obsessive creeps, they are just intense and really really into you. And that's super flattering and manly. He even takes the time in his busy Schedule as a CEO that helps people in Africa to hit you. And that's amazing, because you see he's damaged, and dark, and you are so unsophisticated but he knows you are special, and the only one he will ever be able love.He will not even look twice at your super hot friend. Take that hot girls in High school.
You dated all the popular guys at school but in this book Christian Grey, the guy that is so good looking you have an orgasm just looking at him, and i mean literally, his obsessed with someone that is a projection of how i see myself. Because you always knew you were unique.
That's why in my view this book is popular , the sexual desires of a huge chunk of the female population did not progress from my 13 year old diary. Let's not even talk about the excretable writing style. This Tumblr might give you an idea.

http://50shadesofsuck.tumblr.com/


Last edited by Les_Sucettes; 06-07-2012 at 02:10 PM.
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07-07-2012
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^Thank you! I think the one word that I have always thought when I think of why people might read/enjoy this book is insecure. And the picture on that sight of "I vow never to let our sex life get so bad that you have to resort to poorly written twilight fan fiction to get off" sums it up for me! I'm still absolsutely never going to read it,thanks girls!

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28-07-2012
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Just finished "Other Voices, Other Rooms", by Truman Capote, and it was the best book I read over the past few months. It was really mysterious, the atmosphere is really gothic, we don't know what really is going on and the characters are all so special, so eccentric. It could be a Tim Burton movie. It was so beautifully written too, the descriptions are so accurate and pure, it's like a painting by Monet... I really recommend it, it's only 180 pages and it's really worth spending an afternoon reading it.

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28-07-2012
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For the Emily Giffin fans out there, I just whipped through Where We Belong in 4 days. I loved it. It definitely elicited emotional reactions from me. It was the very definition of a page-turner. It's rare that I make time to actually read when I'm not on the subway -- for this one I was just addicted.

4/5

I think Something Blue and Where We Belong are my favourites of hers.
Something Borrowed, Heart of the Matter were pretty good.
Baby Proof was decent I guess? Because I hardly remember.
I remembered hating Love the One You're With.

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30-07-2012
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I'm so sad I missed the "50 Shades of Grey" bashing party. I'll never read it myself, but my friend has, and we also spent an incredibly amusing night perusing the "50 Shades of Suck" tumblr.

Anyway, Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil is just amazing. I saw the film and loved it, but I see now why people are dissatisfied with it. It's hard for any film to live up to this masterpiece of a novel. It is part-travel guide, part-Southern Gothic tale, part-courtroom drama. The writer has a real flair for descriptions, and I was hooked from the very first line. Interestingly enough, the parts I enjoyed most were the descriptions of the Savannah landscape (it really is a love song to Savannah) and the historical context. The second best part of the book are the lively characters. They ARE the story. It really didn't take very capable hands when you have such eccentric, charismatic group of people. It would be really hard to mess them up. But yeah, I'd recommend this book, definitely.

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23-10-2012
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Not gonna post a very retailed review here as I can't afford that much of time but here is a short comment on the book, The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk.

Basically, it's a good read. It's a mix of Nabokov's Lolita (less "disgusting" though) and Anna Karenina (let's imagine the male character is 'Anna'). The writer gives an extremely description of the male character, Kemal's obsessive thoughts about the heroine, Fusun. While the whole thing is very beautifully-written and poetic, I find that part too lengthy. It would have been much better if the writer shorten that part a bit. As I got a bit frustrated reading the part where Kemal is trying to search for Fusun.

Anyway, I wish the ending was a happy one, but the sad ending is Aldo beautiful. I know it's weird but I was kinda touched by the love of Kemal has for Fusun. I got a little teary-eyed when the writer describes how much Kemal miss Fusun. It's crazy yet sad

I strongly recommend this book.
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23-10-2012
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^i have often thought i should read a Pamuk book. i dont know much about turkey. would i be lost without basic knowledge?

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