Saturday, July 25, 2009

Back Roads

This book by Tawni O'Dell is a raw account of real-life emotion based on losing parental care.
The stories protagonist, Harley, must take care of his three younger sisters after his mother goes to jail for killing his father. Harley develops an obsession for a neighborhood housewife and the story revolves around this affair.
I enjoyed this fast-paced book, the last 1/3 of the book I read straight through. I even read while cooking I just could not stop...I had to know what would happen next.
WARNING: ooo some incestuous moments....
4 Stars!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

White Rose Movement

I'm so obsessed with this band right now. They are AWESOME! Sounds like a new-age Depeche Mode mixed with the Faint. Trust me, turn on "Girls in the Back" or "Love is a Number" and you will not stop dancing. The vocalist, Finn Vine, just grabs at your ears...I wanna listen to him all day. There newest album is from 2006, but since I've just started listening to them I'm hoping they release a new one soon. Geez, I hope they are even still a band...pretty sure, I googled them and they are playing some shows in London. I don't know why but every band I'm listening to these days are from the UK. I guess I'm being Britishly invaded.

Get this album!

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

God this book is awful. I guess I can't make a decision for everyone, however, since I only got halfway through the book. I'm trying this new thing where if I don't like the book 100 pages in, I STOP reading. Before, I always just finished it out hoping it would get better. Truth is, it never does.
Premise: Newly-weds have a baby. Except when giving birth, its not just one but two babies. The husband (who is doing the delivering...takes place in 1960s) realizes that one of the babies has Down's so he gives the little girl to the nurse and tells her to take the baby to an institution. Such a selfish bastard...only wants the "normal" baby. Anyways, the newlywed's lives start to downward spiral. Meanwhile, the nurse actually runs away with the baby and raises her. So I'm sure the plot would have developed but I'm sure only moving forward in a very boring manner.

The mother character in this book, Norah, sucked. I couldn't even stand reading about her because she got on my nerves so badly. When I stopped reading, it had been 5-6 years since the birth and this chick just COULD NOT get over it. I just wanted to scream...MOVE ON already. Your wasting your life obsessing over this tragic event. Maybe I am being too insensitive. I've never been prego...or even close so I guess I don't know what it feels like to become attached to something growing inside of you. But my things is: Norah didn't even know she was having twins! So the baby she fell in love with for 9 months...well she has him! Finds out OH My GA! there was another one in there too but didn't survive...well she never had a chance to become emotionally attached to this little girl so why after 6 freaking years is she still being all gloomy!

One thing you can learn from this book...if you don't let things go, if you just cannot manage to move forward than your life is gonna be one hell of a hole.
Norah needs to see a therapist or something.


Well I'm reading faster than I'm updating reviews. Seriously, down to at least 2 books a week. Guess that's because I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere for the summer with nothing else to do.

Well after reading Pygmy I decided to check out another one of Chuck Palahniuk's books from the library...surprisingly the smallest library in the world (well maybe not) has 4 of Chucky's books. P.S. I feel like Chuck and I are on a first name basis.

OK, I can't decide if I like Choke or Pygmy better. Choke was full of symbolism and all those other literary techniques that I use to (hate) study(ing) in school. One of those books that I think about constantly when I'm done reading. I'm think the main theme of this book is something like if you can't forget your past you'll never have a future. Of course the theme was showcased much more poetically than I can put it.

So this troubled young med-school dropout has to put his "crazy" mom into a care home that is draining him of all his money. So to fund the expenses he fakes choking in restaurants as he realizes his "heroes" will automatically take on a maternal role in his life and care for him, monetarily. This probably wouldn't happen in real life. If I gave someone the heimlich I wouldn't feel obligated to send him/her money in the future to help pay his/her bills, if I saved your life YOU should be sending me money. heehee. But it was still a funny idea for a book. Thank god books aren't real life.
Well anyway, this same man is a sex addict...or he at least tells himself that he is. The book is basically an account of his escapades...but told in a crafted manner.
OH, and I LOVE his friend with all his rocks...more symbolism there.

5 stars - gotta read this one! I can't wait to watch the movie.

P.S. I've decided to make it my goal to read all Chuck's novels....I'm starting Snuff today!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lone Survivor

I absolutely could not put this book down. Marcus Luttrell's memoir is not something I would normally read, I've never really been into war stories. However, it was recommended so I gave it a shot. Luttrell, a Navy SEAL, finds himself being the only survivor after a SEAL mission becomes bombarded by the Taliban. Alone, wounded, cold, and without any provisions except his gun, he finds himself lost in the harsh terrain of the Afghan mountains. I won't spoil how it ends but it was definately an action packed story, a tear jerker as well.

Luttrell, throughout the book, talks about his conservative views on war. It was nice to get a glimpse of the other side of the argument, being a liberal myself, because one needs to hear all arguments in order to keep an open mind. Luttrell outright blames the longevity of the "War on Terror" on Rules of Engagement. And, to be honest, I always thought Rules of Engagement were a bit...whats a good word...contradictory, ironic, maybe even twisted. I never thought having "rules" for war made much sense and this book helped me formulate a good example for my argument.

Warning: the book does get preachy at times, but I think conservatives and liberals alike can enjoy the story that unfolds.
4 stars - Highly recommended.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I saw this movie when it first came out in 2006 and I watched it again a couple nights ago forgetting how much I liked it the first time. The main theme of this movie has to do with language barriers. Four separate stories are told throughout the movie (they all end up connecting however) and in each case problems arise due to communication with different languages. I especially liked the inclusion of the girl who was deaf.
I decided to explore the reason for the title. At first I thought "Babel" meant a sort of muttering or mumbling...OR how babies, well, babel. But then I read about the Tower of Babel in the Bible. I've never read the bible so I was unfamiliar with this story but apparently all the peoples of the world spoke the same language and decided to build this tower to reach the heavens and become godlike. Well God became angry and to punish all the people he gives each their own language to confuse them and hinder them from working together to build this tower.
AH HA! Now I get the title.

The ending of the movie was one to think about...everyone seems worse off at the end then in the beginning EXCEPT the American family. Which makes me wonder if the director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, intended this to showcase American egocentrism. Whatever the case, this movie is an eye-opener, and at times, a tear jerker packed with emotionally raw moments.

Its only downfall is that it is a bit slow moving at some points accompanied with some awkward scenes.

4 stars - Watch it...


This is the first Palahniuk book I've read. I've had many friends suggest his books so when I was browsing the local bookstore, this cover caught my eye and I decided to pick it up. The plot sounded interesting enough. A midwestern family takes in a middle school aged kid as an exchange student. You never find out where the boy is from, not that it matters in the grand scheme of things, but you do know he is from a totalitarian state and is coming with a group of about 12 other "agents" to deploy what they call Operation Havoc. The book is written from Pygmy's (which is what his family calls him) perspective and how he views the typical American lifestyle. This is how the book keeps you laughing. The way Pygmy describes dodgeball, walmart, American education, and Church...histerical.
Some warnings: the book is a bit pervy. Included is a sodomy scene, about a million ways to nickname breasts, as well as Pygmy's accidental errections. But this is what makes the book so funny...I guess maybe I'm the pervert.
Also, the book is written in the way that Pygmy talks in English, in other words, VERY broken English. I thought this would be a difficult read but it actually is quite easy and uniquely refreshing...(unlike A Clockwork Orange, which I still have not managed to get through).

I won't give the ending away but I am pleasantly surprised by it. I thought Palahniuk would have gone a totally different route but I'm glad he went the way he did. America isn't all that it?

5 Stars - put this book on the top of your priority list!