Thursday, October 4, 2012

An Equal Music- Vikram Seth

Holy wow. 

An Equal Music, by Vikram Seth, might be one of the few books I've ever read that has left me speechless. 
Like, this is going to be the shortest blog post ever, speechless. 

You do have to have at least some knowledge of music to appreciate this novel. Once you understand that, however, the descriptive prose is absolutely breathtaking. 

This novel is the story of Michael Holme, a violinist, and his long-lost girlfriend, Julia. They have not seen each other for ten years, and, when they finally meet again, Julia, has a husband, a son, and a secret. 

And it goes from there. 

I really can't say anything else about this. Maybe it's because I just finished it, and I need time to process. I probably should have waited a day or two to post, but, wow. It's just... if you have any inkling of musical anything, and you want a book that will take your breath away, READ THIS. NOW. 

Currently Reading: Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons- Lorna Landvik
Next On The List: A Time to Cast Away Stones- Elise Francis Miller


Friday, September 28, 2012

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams In English- Natasha Solomons

Hey, y'all! 

So, today we have Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English, by Natasha Solomons. 

What can I say about this book? 

It's kind of... adorable. In a fuzzy kitten kind of way. 

The plot follows Jack Rosenblum, a  Jewish German immigrant that flees to England at the outbreak of World War II. He brings with him his wife, Sadie, and his young daughter, Elizabeth. After moving to England, Jack becomes obsessed with fully integrating himself into British society and becoming a true Brit himself. He makes himself a list of requirements that must be fulfilled in order for him to meet this goal. The last item on the list is to become a member of a golf club. But, alas! Not a single club in London will admit poor Jack. He therefore settles upon the only logical solution: he must build a course himself. 

Naturally, mild hilarity ensues. 

This book is just cute, both in a funny kind of way, due to Jack's many eccentricities, and in a romantic, warm-fuzzy kind of way, due to his relationship with his wife Sadie, which has died over the years but rekindles over the course of the novel. 

This isn't a book to read if you're looking for something deep or thought-provoking or a real can't-wait-to-see-what-happens-next kind of read. But if you're in the mood for something light and fuzzy, this is one you should definitely pick up. 

That's all for now, folks! 

Currently reading: An Equal Music, by Vikram Seth 
Next on the list: Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, by Lorna Landvik


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children- Ransom Riggs

Hey there!

So, I'm really excited to talk about this book because HOLY COW WAS IT FANTASTIC.

First of all, if you haven't seen the trailer (yes, it has an actual video trailer), you can watch it here.

Now. This is the part where I rant. :)

One of the most interesting facets of this book is the fact that it has pictures. Yeah, that's right. Pictures. But we're not talking about a picture-book, at least not in the usual sense. See, in a picture-book, the story is written first, and then the pictures illustrate that story. In this case, the story is fashioned around a collection of strange and intriguing vintage photographs, which appear intermittently throughout the novel. According to the note from the author in the back of the book, these are all real photographs that have been altered only very slightly, if at all. HOW COOL IS THAT? I'm honestly amazed at  how such a detailed and interesting story has blossomed out of these old photos.

Now, the story itself.

The narrator is one Jacob Portman, a teenage boy that has grown up with tales of his grandfather, Abe's, childhood in a house filled with children with, ahem, peculiar abilities. When Abe is suddenly killed, Jacob feels the need to visit this house and find out if these stories have any basis in fact. (SPOLIER ALERT: They do.)

There are so many things that I loved about the story, I don't really know where to begin. The voice of the narrator was fresh and interesting, telling the tale with all of the inherent sarcasm of the teenage male, which made me laugh out loud several times. The narrative itself isn't exactly funny, though, but rather a riveting, edge-of-your-seat kind of tale. The story is filled with mystery and adventure, and I don't think I've wanted to know what happened next this badly in a long time.

In fact, I'm still dying to know what happens next, because, guess what folks? There's going to be a sequel! (Yay!)

I don't want to go into too much detail about other awesome things, because, well, you just need to find out for yourself. I could go on forever about the incredible inventiveness of some of the rules that govern the world of the peculiar children, but, well, they're kind of important to the plot, and I don't like spoiling things, especially for a book that I so highly recommend. I shall force myself to shut up now.

Currently reading: Mr. Rosenblum Dreams In English, by Natasha Solomons

Next on the list: An Equal Music, by Vikram Seth

See you soon!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Portrait of a Lady- Henry James

Hi there! How goes life?

So. I finished The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James last night, and, so, I present to you my first-ever blog post about an actual book! (now, everybody cheer. All together now! 1,2,3.... YAY! HOORAY! WOOHOO! YEAH!)This is going to be kind of short, though, because I have class soon. Sad day.

So, here's what I thought:

I guess I should start by telling you whether I liked the book or not. My answer to that would be, yes, I liked it very much. I wasn't having any sort of super-crazy reaction at the end, however. I think this was because everything about the novel was very... shall we say, understated, and quite intellectual.

The plot follows a young American woman named Isabel Archer as she travels through Europe with her aunt after the death of her father. Isabel is quite the free spirit, but soon finds her will pitted against her duty in a knock-down, drag-out fight that lasts all the way through the novel. In all, the novel itself is a commentary on this sort of conflict in all of us.

Another, unrelated thing that I noticed about this novel was that the third-person narrator hardly ever gives the reader guidance about what to think about the characters. Instead, the characters sort of develop themselves through their dialogue, which I thought was pretty neat. This also means that we get to see a lot of conversations between secondary characters that wouldn't be included in other novels. Instead, the reader would only see the results of the conversation as they pertain to the protagonist, if that makes sense. I really liked seeing what was going on on the sidelines of the plot.

Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who's looking for a novel that makes them think. The novel is very character-driven and intellectual. Definitely not a light read but certainly a worthwhile one. 

Annnnd I'm definitely going to be late for class. Oh well. Before I shut up:

Currently reading: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

Next on the list: Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English, by Natasha Solomons.

Alright. Leaving now.

See ya!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Oh, hello! I didn't see you there! :)

Hello, and welcome to my utterly fantastic new blog!

I say utterly fantastic, even though I'm not quite sure how to use it yet.

Let's just put that aside for now, shall we?

My name is Ally, and I am a self-proclaimed bookworm. I don't really have to proclaim it myself, though. Ask anyone who knows me, and they'll tell you that I spend way too much time with my face firmly buried in a novel. I'm kind of like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, except I don't live in France. Also, I've never been trapped in a castle with a terrifying-but-loveable beast. Unfortunate, that. I feel like that would be an interesting experience... (OK, back to the point now.)

Anywhoozle, this blog is where I plan to post my musings on the books that I read.

Before I get started posting, you should know that I very, very rarely dislike a book. I can almost always find merit in any work of literature that I happen to be reading. If I do happen to come across a book that I hate, I probably won't even bother posting about it. Therefore, you will find very little negativity on this blog. (Which is good, because I dislike being negative. It just causes general anger. I try to avoid general anger whenever possible.) You also won't find any spoilers, because what I really want to do here is share what I've read and recommend awesome books to other readers like myself. And, if I spoil the book, well, why bother recommending it in the first place, am I right?

You can also find me on Goodreads, here, and on BookMooch, here.

Also, at the end of every post, I'll tell you what I'm currently reading and what I plan to read next, so you know what's coming! So, for now:

Currently Reading: The Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James

Next on the List: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

There, I think that does it for now! I'll see you when I finish my current book!

Happy Reading,