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The Painted Girls
The Painted Girls
by Cathy Marie Buchanan
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.60
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars I, May 1 2014
This review is from: The Painted Girls (Paperback)
The book The Painted Girls is a good book. I would give it an 8/10. It is written in a very descriptive and matter of fact way. It seems to stay true to a historical context. I found Marie's character to have a profound depth to it. It was mentioned earlier on in the book of her intelligence and how her intelligence would get her no where seeing her social class. Marie at 14 yrs. old could read the Paris newspaper and not only understand what the articles were saying but also reflect and relate the information to her sister Antionette's boyfriend. Marie's emotional and intellectual sensitivity try to protect her sister, Antionette from the danger her boyfriend brings - but to no avail. Through a turn of events guilt is bestowed onto Marie and because of her intelligence and insight into her own feelings she just about completely loses her soul to despair and suffering. It is clear she loves her sisters Antionette and Charlotte. It is also clear how Degas exploited Marie through his artwork statue and instead of showing Marie's true virtuous nature of a serious dancer, Degas dissects her personality to be of the gutter. This symbolic gesture leads Marie closer to self-destruction, whereby Degas really is the artist whom lights the match to destroy Marie's true fragile and beautiful character.

Half-Blood Blues: A Novel
Half-Blood Blues: A Novel
by Esi Edugyan
Edition: Paperback
56 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A real Canadian novel - "Half-Blood Blues", Feb. 23 2012
"Half-Blood Blues" was a pretty good book. However, I found that the description on the inside sleeve did not really reflect the actual story. I thought this book was more about friendship, competition between rivals and confession. I also thought that this book was not really about 'blues,' nor 'jazz.' However I did like the books' cover and did find it appealing. I would have liked to have seen more factual information. For example, I would have preferred more German Street names, names of German musicians and perhaps more names of actual German cafes. I would also have liked to have read about more facts, more actual situations that took place in Germany when the book was set. I would have liked this book to have taught me something about the Black jazz movement in Germany in the times before World War II and perhaps after World War II. Instead, I found this story to be about people, with the backdrop Germany.The book was okay. I liked the fact that the author lives in the same city I do. Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia Canada. I also like the fact that she has parents from Ghana, is Black and considers herself to be a Canadian. While reading her novel, I can see that her education and university training are all Canadian. In a way she reflected Canada and Canadian writing in a very mainstream novel.

I found the feeling of the novel to be very sad. I thought the betrayals in the book to be very human - but very disheartening.

State Of Wonder
State Of Wonder
by Ann Patchett
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.87
41 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This book makes reference to Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness", Jan. 25 2012
This review is from: State Of Wonder (Paperback)
This book makes reference to Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." According to Joseph Conrad, there are three levels of darkness: [1] the darkness of Congo Wilderness [2] the darkness of the Belgiums' cruel treatment of the African natives [3] the unfathomable darkness within every human being for committing heinous acts of evil.

I would recommend that the reader think about how the above three points relate to the book "State of Wonder."

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State of Wonder by Ann Patchett was a good book. It was fun to read. The words, sentences and paragraphs were well-constructed. The whole book seemed to flow like an Amazon river that at times I would lose track of the plot. I enjoyed the sense of adventure in the story and I enjoyed Marina's character. I don't think she was overly ambitious, nor do I think she had a purpose in her life. Like the early years of Buster Keaton, I believe Marina's character embraced life rather then trying to control it. I believe the book to be mostly about Marina's character however there is no doubt that Ann Patchett did touch on some very modern 2011 issues.

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Elegance Of The Hedgehog
Elegance Of The Hedgehog
by Muriel Barbery
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.55
244 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elegance of the Hedgehog - 10 things I liked, Dec 23 2011
1. Easy book to read
2. I liked the different fonts
3. I liked how the title refers to the concierge
4. Liked the mention of Willem of Ockham - the Franciscan monk, philosopher and logician
5. Liked the universal themes of truth, beauty, absurdity, searching for meaning and the connection of love and friendship
6. Liked the haikus (three lines) and tankas (five lines)
7. Liked the table of contents
8. Liked the short sections and the space between entries
9. Liked the mention of "Le Corbusier" pg. 94
10. Liked the question: "If you were given the choice between Dutch painting and Italian painting, which would you rescue?" Pg. 225

Little Bee
Little Bee
by Chris Cleave
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.85
9 used & new from CDN$ 7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Like walking through a swamp", Nov. 21 2011
This review is from: Little Bee (Paperback)
1. "Little Bee" seemed a little more experience related - in comparison to books like "The Birth House" - which I found more rigid and academic
2. Pg. 78. A literary example of happiness. "Happiness - all of it is built on top of something that men want."
3. This book reminded me of "The Pearl" 1947 by Steinbeck
4. Constant theme of 'killing oneself' - and 'ways' of killing oneself
5. Good story structure from pages 1-78 - with two stories. One "Little Bee" and the other about the "O'Rourkes." It contributes to suspense. The want to get the two stories to join up
6. Very modern story
7. You can tell the author is speaking from experience from his youth in West Africa (the author lived as a youth in West Africa)
8. I can relate to the authors background of living in Africa because I lived in Malawi
9. I can relate to the 'accidental visiting of a British concentration camp' [Inspired by his childhood in West Africa and by an accidental visit to a British concentration camp[...]] - because in The Netherlands I accidentally went to visit a 'doorvoerkamp' - a link station transporting people to major concentration camps in WWII. It was called Westerbork. [...]
10. The book reminds me of the movie, The Constant Gardener, 2005 in the sense of the violence in Africa and the themes of 'good' versus 'evil.' Page 130-131
11. The descriptions of the tea plantations remind me of the tea plantations in Malawi that I witnessed
12. This book was very hard to read. It was like walking through a swamp. It is a sad and emotionally charged book. It is beautifully written though.

Games Mother Never Taught You
Games Mother Never Taught You
by Betty Lehan Harragan
Edition: Paperback
26 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

2.0 out of 5 stars "Work of discipline", Nov. 3 2011
The book "Games Mother Never Taught You" is a pretty good business book. It talks about how women are different then men in upbringing. It describes the fact that a corporation was developed by men - and for many centuries - was predominately run by men. I think that women are smart enough to catch on, what it means to work in a corporation and I think many women can make it to the top. I think if corporations played fairly by the rules and based their promotions on the merits of the employees that any corporation could be okay to work for.

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