Mormon Messages

Monday, January 14, 2008

More Book Reviews

The Street of a Thousand Dreams by Gail Tsukiyama ****
I think that I have read every book that this author has written. I have never been disappointed by her stories. I have a love for Asian fiction and her writing is very captivating and intimate in it's style. I feel like I am there and can visualize everything that is going on.
This book was interesting since it took place in Japan during and after WWII. I had never considered this point of view before. Her characters were regular people, whose lives changed dramatically though out the course of the book. They were able to navigate and find their way towards their dreams though war and grief. I enjoyed this book for it's story and for the things that I learned about traditional Japanese culture.

March by Gerraldine Brookes ***
The whole idea of this book intrigued me. The author loosely used Little Women as a jumping off point for this book. It was basically the story of what happened to Mr. March when he leaves home during the civil war. It was all very interesting and over all a good story, but in some parts it was hard for me to continue reading since the characters did not act how I wanted them to act. I wanted a hero and did not find one within this book's pages.
As in the author's previous book, A Year of Wonder, I enjoyed all of the careful detail, but thought that the ending was poor. I wanted an ending that matched the rest of the book, not one that seemed that it was slapped on as an after thought. I also thought there were too many topics that were competing for attention - slavery, a nebulous Christian belief, vegetarianism, virtue, war, self-sacrifice, redemption, etc. It did contain a few thoughtful insights like the following that came near the end of the book, "...there is only one thing to do when we fall, and that is to get up, and go on with the life that is set in front of us, and try to do good of which our hands are capable for the people who come in our way." Overall, I guess I would consider this a book worth reading.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Christmas 2007

These kids are ready to roll. Bring it on! No pictures of trees, lights, or formality. These are the real thing - action shots!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Book Reviews

I think that I'm going to start doing some book reviews on this blog. Maybe I should just post them on Amazon, but I'd kind of like to keep track and this seems like the best way to do that.

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson ****
This is a book that you will either love or hate. It has no real plot. It is a story of loss and finding your path in life. The path that the main character takes is one that one that crosses the line into insanity or maybe just obliviousness. Is she predisposed to taking the path? Why did the original sisters turn out the way that they did? This story leaves a lot of questions unanswered as it meanders.
The book did capture my attention and grew on me. I loved the writing style that kind of developed as the story went along. The references to death, water, and drowning were absolutely amazing. The author made it easy to see how one can just drift. It is a book to reread for the words alone.

Digging to America by Anne Tyler ***
Anne Tyler books are always nice stories, that's why I read them from time to time. This book centered around two couples that adopted from Korea. As is her style, Anne Tyler told the story from several viewpoints. I enjoyed the story from the mother-in-laws perspective. I kept thinking to myself while reading, that the author must have done a lot of research into Iranian customs or have a close friend who was willing to share. I would have liked a bit more development of the story, instead of just another party. Also, the ending was lame. It was a decent, clean book though.