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Reviews Written by
Teddy (Richmond, BC)

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Glass Castle: A Memoir
Glass Castle: A Memoir
by Jeannette Walls
Edition: Audio CD
12 used & new from CDN$ 37.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Your "Normal" Dysfunctional Family, Sept. 23 2007
This review is from: Glass Castle: A Memoir (Audio CD)
Some people choose to be poor, that is the case of Jennette Wall's quirky parents. They brought up their children with very little parenting, going from one U.S. State to the other. They rarely provided food for the children. The children had to hunt for food in people's trash.

Ms. Wall told her story with much courage to fight her demons of her childhood. She wrote this story with memorable prose and thoughtfulness. However, I do wonder if she embellished it somewhat. It's a little too hard to believe that she remembered so many details from a very young age. Non the less, I did truly enjoy this book and recommend it to others.

Julia Gibson gave a fabulous performance narrating this book.

Annette Vallon: A Novel Of The French Revolution
Annette Vallon: A Novel Of The French Revolution
by James Tipton
Edition: Hardcover
17 used & new from CDN$ 0.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars History Comes Alive!, Sept. 23 2007
At the beginning of the novel, Annette Vallon said, "Be careful reader: my tousles started because I read novels. This sets the tone for the entire novel.

Annette Vallon grew up in France in polite society of wealth. With an independent and romantic streak, at the age of 16, during the French Revolution, she met an English man, William Wordsworth (yes, the poet). Against her mother's and polite society's wishes she became involved with him romantically. From there her life spiraled and changed forever.

Tipton tells the story with beautiful prose that leaps off every page. He makes the era in French history comes alive. This novel is being marketed toward fans of Sarah Dunant and Tracy Chevalier, and rightly so. In fact, I Tipton is a more detailed writer than Chevalier, which adds to the richness of Annette Vallon.

by Yevgeny Zamyatin
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
68 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Cautionary Tale, Sept. 3 2007
This review is from: We (Mass Market Paperback)
This futuristic novel written in 1921 by the Soviet Union's Yevgeny Zamyatin is said to be the inspiration for Brave New World and 1984. I see why that is. All three are scary in how bleak they predict the future to be.

I enjoyed this book, however I think Brave New World improved upon the writing style and story. I found "WE" a bit choppy and repetitive in places. I also found it hard to keep track of the characters because they were numbers as opposed to names. However, this was a deliberate devise used by Zamyatin to prove his point, and it worked well.

This is a good book to read for any fan of the dystopian genre.

The Boleyn Inheritance
The Boleyn Inheritance
by Philippa Gregory
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.36
78 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Sequel to The Other Boleyn Girl!, Sept. 3 2007
This review is from: The Boleyn Inheritance (Paperback)
Philippa Gregory does her magic again, in this sequel to The Other Boleyn Girl. Her writing makes history come alive as she entrances her readers to hang on every morsel.

I didn't enjoy this quite as much as The Other Boleyn Girl. I'm not quite sure why, however, I was a bit annoyed with one of the central characters Jane Boleyn. In The other Boleyn Girl, she was portrayed as a big gossip who couldn't and chose not to keep her month shut about the going on's in the castle. In The Boleyn Inheritance she kept secrets and acted more proper. This just didn't seem in character for her.

That said, I still highly recommend this sequel to Philippa Gregory fans!

The God of Small Things: A Novel
The God of Small Things: A Novel
by Arundhati Roy
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.79
41 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking Story with Humor, Aug. 19 2007
Set in late 1960's India, is the story of two twins Rahel and Estha and the family secrets that unfold.

Roy's richly textured prose sings! Her comic style and sense of humor were grand in this sorrowful story. While reading this novel, I felt like I was right there, looking in. Like a reality show with a camera. Sometimes the writing got a bit patchy in places, but overall, this is a very good book and I would recommend it.

Beneath a Marble Sky
Beneath a Marble Sky
by John Shors
Edition: Paperback
47 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical Fiction at its Finest!, Aug. 19 2007
This review is from: Beneath a Marble Sky (Paperback)
This historical fiction is about the story behind the building of the Taj Mahal, which was built to honor Mughal Empress Mumtaz Maha. It's the saga of her family and is told by the central character Jahanara, the daughter of the Mughal emperor. It is a story of love, honor, and betrayal.

This book is exquisite! Shor's deftly colors each page with breathtaking prose and breaths live into the vivid characters! It tried to read slowly, to savor each word and image, but this book is hard to put down! John Shor's architecture of this book is beautiful and I highly recommend it!

A Far Country
A Far Country
by Daniel Mason
Edition: Audio CD
13 used & new from CDN$ 0.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as Good as The Piano Tuner, but Worthwhile, Aug. 6 2007
This review is from: A Far Country (Audio CD)
Since I loved the Piano Tuner, I couldn't wait to read Daniel Mason's new book A Far Country. It's a meditative story of class, migration, isolation, and poverty. Mason again writes in beautiful lyrical prose. This is a more simple story than Piano Tuner, but important in it's message. At times I found the story drag and a bit flat. We know it takes place in an undisclosed South American country, but we don't know for sure when it was. It was either in the present or near future, from what I could interpret; however I would have liked Mason to let us know. His ideas were great, just not as fully developed, as I would have liked.

That said, I found this novel worthwhile and look forward to seeing where Daniel Mason will take us next. If Amazon had given the option, I would rate this 3.5 stars, rather than 3.

Harper Lee's to Kill a Mocking Bird
Harper Lee's to Kill a Mocking Bird
by Harper Lee
Edition: Paperback
6 used & new from CDN$ 4.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, What a Classic!, July 10 2007
I've seen the movie several times and love it. However, I never read the book, until now.

Harper Lee engaged me from the first paragraph. Her characters come alive. The narrator is an eight-year-old girl named Scout. She tells the story of her small southern town during the depression and of her family. The father Atticus, was a lawyer, appointed to defend a black man for rape. I only hope that there are really fathers somewhere in real life that are like him! Yet, this was not a sappy book.

If you've seen the movie and enjoyed it, you need to read this book. There are so many little enjoyable snippets that were not in the movie. If you haven't seen the movie, nor read the book, treat yourself. I highly recommend this gem!

Far Pavilions
Far Pavilions
by M M Kaye
Edition: Paperback
66 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Historical Fiction, July 8 2007
This review is from: Far Pavilions (Paperback)
I bought this book a few years, but just got around to reading it now. I love the book Gone with the Wind, so when I saw the back cover that made a comparison of the two; I had to have it.

Well I don't really see much of a comparison to Gone With the Wind, I do see many shining merits of it's own. The budding romance was beautiful, but this book is great for both men and women. M.M. Kayes wrote a large tapestry of a book with believable characters that came alive. The descriptions of the landscapes were breath taking and the history was explosive.

It took me about 75 pages to get into this book, but the pay off for sticking with it was great. I highly recommend this book for any historical fiction lover interested in British occupied India and Afghanistan.

The Love Of A Good Woman
The Love Of A Good Woman
by Alice Munro
Edition: Paperback
43 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Stories from a Master, July 8 2007
I am not usually a fan of short fiction, so when my book club decided we would read The Love of a Good Woman, I was skeptical. Yes, I've heard really great things about Alice Munro, but I like a book I can really "sink my teeth into". Alice Munro has changed my opinion.

Now I know why Alice Munro has been called the master of short story. Her artistry shines with broad stroke of her pen. One of my complaints of short stories is that they often seem like they aren't complete. This book had 8 short stories, every one felt complete by the last page. Her characters were everyday people, each with their own issues to deal with. I often felt like I was listening in to people's houses and lives. The stories were deep and somewhat dark, but oh so meaningful and thought provoking.

Alice Munro has changed my opinion of short stories, at least her short stories. I will definitely be reading more of her.
I highly recommend this book for you or for a book club. Just beware that if your looking for a light funny read, these stories aren't for you.

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