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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Read any good books lately?'s LiveJournal:

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Monday, May 25th, 2009
9:32 pm
The White Woman on the Bicycle by Monique Roffey
The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey

Pages: 437
Release Date: 6th July 2009
5 Stars

The White Woman on the Green Bicycle is a heartbreaking story of isolation and political unrest. It is superb in its presentation of post-colonial Trinidad and the disappointment of a nation.

The novel is actually split into two parts, and although the first part gives you the facts of the past, the second gives you a spectrum of emotion. The green bicycle represents freedom and ignorance, and the intertwined story of George and Sabine’s married life is devastating in itself. Sabine struggles with the cultural barriers that Trinidad poses and Roffey crafts this perfectly, adding the oppression of the novel’s heat. There is something spell-binding the novel, which tore me between the lushiousness and cultural beauty of Trinidad and the desperation of Sabine.

I was initially unsure about the subject of this novel because I have never read anything like this type of post-colonial literature, but it completely sucked me in; it’s like an exquisite blanket, with every plot thread placed skilfully.

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008
8:37 pm
Robin McKinley
Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
Genre: Horror

Although it's not scary, not even a little bit, I did find this book in the horror section at Half Price. I think they do that when it's got vampires in it. I would call this urban fantasy.

If you ever get the chance to read any of these author's books, do it! She really is a fantastic writer. I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed her writing until I started reading this book. I had a very difficult time putting it down and doing anything else but read. I found the main character very engaging and I liked the world created for this book, it's sort of post-apocalyptic. Magic is more common then science, and due to a large war that had decimated human cities years before, humans are on the verge of extinction. The main character, Sunshine, goes from being just a baker to finding out she is so much more then she ever thought. All the sudden she's having to fight for her life, and her only ally in her struggles is someone she never thought she could trust before.
Monday, September 3rd, 2007
7:47 am
China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power by Rob Gifford
China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power by Rob Gifford

This is an excellent, fairly easy read for anyone interested in culture. Rob Gifford, an NPR correspondent takes one last road trip on road 312 to get a feel of the real China and its people. Gifford talks to people from all walks of life about the countries’ flaws, it’s history, and it’s hopes for the future. He sets out to understand the city and in the end, he comes out more confused, and more appreciative of China and its people then before.

I knew next to nothing about China before I picked up this book. And while I’m certainly no expert, I find the knowledge I obtained from this book invaluable. Great for lighter reading.
Tuesday, February 27th, 2007
9:58 am

Island -- Richard Laymon

I must say, I'm a fan of all of Laymon's writing. I was a little nervous to see how he would play out a novel in journal form, but he did it fantastically. Sometimes I even forgot I was reading a journal that someone supposedly "wrote." Laymon never fails. He ALWAYS has sex in all of his books, and no matter what the sex always ends up surprising you in some way, shape, or form.

This book in particular, I couldn't put down. It's not exactly a literary masterpiece. It's more easy reading than anything, but he definately entertains. The book is sad, gruesome, suspenseful and even funny in alot of points because of how horny the main character Rupert is. I couldn't wait to see what the end would become, although, I was slightly disappointed in the ending. Maybe because I always expect the ending I want. But Laymon in a way, kind of lets you decide what ultimately happens. Almost like you can choose your own 'epilogue.'

In case if you'd like to know what its about. It's about Rupert Conway going on a vacation with his girlfriend Connie, her mother Billie, her husband Andrew, and her half sisters Kimberly and Thelma. Thelma's husband Wesley also comes along. They plan to have a picnic on this island, but while they're on the beach, their yacht blows up. They think that the only thing they have to worry about is getting off the island, and they're wrong. One by one, a killer in the jungle begins killing everybody off.

The theme sounded kind of corny to me at first, but its Laymon. He can pull every subject he writes about off. Sadly, the author died too young in my opinion. He was definately a great talent.
 X-posted to

0bsessed_reader and horror_novels
Saturday, February 17th, 2007
9:36 pm
Marley and Me -- John Grogan

I admit. At first, I was a little skeptical when a dear friend of mine brought this book to my hands, letting me borrow it from her. She knows what a great love of books I have and what an animal advocate I am. She loved the book and wanted to pass it on too me. Usually, I hate the idea of reading anything that could possibly make me emotional (sad) in any way, shape or form, but something told me to give it a try anyways. And I'm glad I did. I just finished it tonight.

The book touched me in many ways. It reminded me of the dog I had to put to sleep about...oh...3 years ago? She grew up with me and was nearly 14 years old when she died. A German Shepherd mix that my dad had picked up for me when I was only 3 and a half years old.  Growing up with a pet is one of the greatest things you could ever bestow upon your child in my opinion. The book also reminded me of two of my senior dogs that I have now and it makes me realize that they could go at any day. They're getting older and unfortunately, dogs lives are much shorter than humans. Even though cats also don't live long, but do live longer than dogs usually, it made me squeeze my cat Strummer that much harder that I got when my dog  Ginger got very ill.

John Grogan takes you not only through the journey of his dog, Marley's life, but through all the trials he went through himself while he had Marley. Like his wife's miscarriage, and having to raise three children later on. It's nice to see how much someone loved their pet, and that they could write everything down as beautifully as he did. When I finished the book, I heaved a heavy sigh. The content, satisfactory sigh that I always get when finishing an amazing novel. John Grogan and his family truly did love Marley and it shows in his writing. If you're an animal lover, this is definately a must read. 

If you have read it, discuss. :]
Sunday, January 21st, 2007
6:50 pm
So I just finished a remarkable book called, Because of Romek: A Holocaust Survivor's Memoir. It goes through why he decided to write the book and how he spent his childhood, losing his innocence in concentration camps. He, David Faber (the author) describes every atrocity, horror and tragedy he experienced throughout the war. Down to every concentration camp he was in, the people he met,  the numbers that were tattooed into his skin, what the Nazis and Kapo were like. He described life in the concentration camps, the things they had to eat and the jobs they had. How he narrowly escaped death and for some reason became a survivor. He also went into the words the Nazis used with them and everything around him. He's over 18 once he's finally resuced I believe. And he was only a young boy when he was captured.

I also think that this would be a good book to write an essay on, or book report, whether you're in college or highschool. Easy reading, bigger print than I'm used to reading, but Faber still manages to get his point across and explain in detail what he endured. It's a definite must read.

Discuss if you've read it.
Wednesday, November 29th, 2006
7:40 pm
New Community
I'm not really sure if this is allowed...if not then I'm sorry and please feel free to delete this. But I've just started up a new community :) If you love reading and books then feel free to come over and check it out! You'll be able to meet new friends and other people who enjoy reading and books. Feel free to post about your favourite books, favourite authors or genres, about a book that you've just finished reading, maybe a movie that's been based on a book that you've read, reviews...anything to do with books/reading! It's called books_au so come on over and check it out :)
Wednesday, November 1st, 2006
2:01 am
The Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers Society: Portrait Photography
Hey Folks,
I just published a portrait photography book and I thought some of you might be interested in the community. Take a look!

‘The Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers Society’ is a collection of twenty-one street portraits I have compiled over three years from my various travels. Often while walking through unfamiliar places, I find myself drawn to its people’s faces. These faces show worn cheekbones, long ashed cigarettes and knotted hair and yet somehow I feel a need to intersect into these characters lives, and capture their inner selves.

Mob Boss Without a Home - The Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers Society Tape Roll Girl - The Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers Society

+++ book preview +++Collapse )
Saturday, June 3rd, 2006
3:44 pm
Mil Millington
Hi everyone!

This is my first time ever posting to a place like this, so if I make any grave mistakes, I apologise humbly and promise never to do it again (if you tell me what the mistake was, of course).

If you are not yet familiar with a writer called Mil Millington, I highly recommend you to go and buy one of his books. So far he has written three:
-Things My Girlfriend And I Have Argued About (first)
-A Certain Chemistry
-Love And Other Near Death Experiences (latest)
I have myself read the first two, and yesterday bought the latest one. The first one was one of the funniest books I've ever read, and the second one is sort of funny and tragic at the same time. It makes you laugh and - if you have a heart - weep.

Mil is a Brit with an excellent, if cynical, sense of humour. To have a preview of his sense of humour go to his website: http://www.thingsmygirlfriendandihavearguedabout.com


Current Mood: hopeful
Thursday, April 27th, 2006
4:50 pm
To Llanabba Castle, people...!
I recommend Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall [especially being read by Rik Mayall]: brilliant adaptation!
Sunday, April 16th, 2006
8:09 pm
Juan Goytisolo
Has anyone read any of Juan Goytisolo's books? Any that you would recommend? Thanks!
Friday, March 3rd, 2006
1:17 am
Lois McMaster Bujold
I've noticed its been a while since anyone has posted here so I thought I would try my hand. If you're anything like me you probably would like to spend more time reading books than writing about them. I read more scifi and fantasy than anything so if this isn't the right place for it...apologies.

To begin, last year my scifi reading group/book club read "The Curse of Chalion", a fantasy novel by Lois McMaster Bujold. There wasn't a person in the group that didn't like it which is unusual for our club recommendations. So a few months back we decided to try some of her scifi work for which she's most known for. We read "The Warrior's Apprentice" which is collected with "The Vor Game" in "Young Miles".

No spoilers, only praise for Young MilesCollapse )
Friday, January 27th, 2006
5:34 pm
Hey everyone here. I am in need of space and some cash, or more books depending on what you have. So buy or swap books with me. Please. Heres my list so far.

Boookages...Collapse )
Monday, January 2nd, 2006
1:23 pm
Peter S. Beagle
Author: Peter S. Beagle
Title: The Last Unicorn and
The Rhinoceros that Quoted Nietzsche and Other Odd Aquaintances
Genre: Fantasy or may be teen fiction or may be just fiction

Many of you might be familar with the animated film made decades ago called, "The Last Unicorn" but have you read the book? If not, you should. Beagle is an absolute delight to read. His work is wimsical, thoughtful, and full of heart. I got a chance to hear him read the short story, "Professor Gottesman and the Indian Rhinoceros" (from the second book listed above) and it was just wonderful. Not only was it fantastic to have the author read his own work, but the story itself was lovely. It was about an old professor who takes his niece to the zoo where a near by rhinoceros starts talking to him and tells him quite frankly that it is not a rhinoceros but a unicorn. The story goes on from there, I think I even cried a little bit at the end.

So go out and get them both! I think most stores will carry a copy of The Last Unicorn but you might have to order a copy of the rhinoceros book. But believe me, it's well worth it!

Edit: I forgot to mention that you should buy his books from his website. The company that put out the movie for "The Last Unicorn" is violating their contract with Beagle and he hasn't seen a dime from all the sales they've been making with his movie. You can learn more about this atrosity here.
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005
11:26 pm
several reviews
One good thing about being unemployed - I've finally managed to catch up on some reading. I promised myself I'd read 1 book per week and so far I've managed to keep that promise. I've discovered several lovely books along the way and I'm so excited to read more. (Wow, do I sound geeky or what??)

Week 1: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Suspenseful thriller that blends Dracula fact and folklore, bringing readers to various faraway lands such as Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria. Beautiful prose and wonderful descriptions of places that I can only hope to visit in my lifetime.

Week 2: Wicked by Gregory Maguire. Delves into the magical world of Oz and into the life of Elphaba, the famed Wicked Witch of the West. This book is a study of good and evil, a mirror perhaps of our own world, resounding with the nature of politics, philosophy and religion.

Week 3: In Evil Hour by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The story of the transformation of a Colombian town from tranquility into that of violence and paranoia thanks to anonymous lampoons posted on doorways. AND Identity by Milan Kundera. A supposed meditation on the nature of the human sense of self. I don't know if I'm dense but I didn't really get much from this except that it does have some beautiful narrative.

Week 4: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. What it's like to wait for a lifetime. Enough said. Not really a tearjerker but it definitely pulls at the heartstrings.

Week 5: The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder. Another great book by the author of Sophie's World, showing an intense appreciation of the universe's wonders and once again asks meaningful questions about the meaning of life and the universe. Poses the question to all of us if it would have been better not to have been born at all as opposed to living and yet losing it all to death in the end.

Week 6: Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli. Gives a vivid picture of war-stricken Poland during WWII through the eyes of a kind naive orphan. A moving story of survival, hope, and of finding the simplest pleasures even in the midst of war. AND Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera. A beautiful book that shares a little bit of Maori culture. Challenges traditional patriarchal values. Any female who has struggled to rise above discrimmination towards her sex will definitely relate to this. I actually cried when Paikea was reciting her speech. *sniff*

Week 7: The Cryptographer by Tobias Hill. Was called "a supremely elegant and ambiguous thriller." I'm inclined to agree with the statement except for the "thriller" part.

Currently reading Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Good read so far. :)
Thursday, October 6th, 2005
7:18 pm
The Prize Winner of Ohio, Defiance. By Terry Ryan.
I've landed on hard times recently, and found insperation in the book with the above subject line for a title.

It's a wonderful book, about a Mother who wrote in Jingles and poems to win contests for her family of 12. Ten of them being Children.
It was a really good read, and it was written by the daughter of the mother.

As someone who likes to write as well, and is also on hard times I found this book to be really insperational.
The wit of the mother with her contesting entries was rather un usua, but they all had this air about them that was witty, and fun.

Through the eyes of Terry (Tuff) Ryan, I was able to read what life was like for this family of 12 in the 60's-70's.
The father had a drinking problem, and alot of the money went towards his drinking habit, which caused alot of problems within the home. But this mother was able to look on the bright side of things and keep her family afloat, and even win some big contests. The biggest being first prize in a "Time of your Life" contest, for Dr. Pepper.
It was a really good read, and I highly reccoment it.

Not only does it document the life of the Ryan family, it documents what life was like historically back then, before the favored sweepstakes took hold of the nation.

It really is a good read.
Check it out.
Friday, August 19th, 2005
4:18 pm
Looking for Fictional Art books
Hey guys, needing some help here. I'm looking to get extra credit in my Art History class, so I need recommendations on fictional books that have to do with art. I've currently got Girl with a Pearl Earring, and a few that my teacher listed, but even she doesn't know much of what's out there. So if anyone has any they know of, I'd greatly appreciate the tip. It can have to do with a famous painter or sculptor, or a famous piece like Earring.
Wednesday, July 27th, 2005
8:03 pm
How to Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way
Title: How to Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way
Author: Bruce Campbell
Genre: Fiction

This is a really wierd book. Loosely based on his life he mentions that everything in it really happened, except for all the things that didn't. I don't know how to discribe this book, but I will say that if you love Bruce Campbell and you love all (or just some) of his cheesy B movies YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK. He writes it in a manor where you feel like he's telling you a story, be it an odd one.

Current Mood: hungry
Tuesday, June 21st, 2005
6:35 pm
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
After meaning to read this book for two years, I finally had the opportunity to read it. And I am so glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a fictional narrative of a young boy named Peekay who grows up in South Africa in the 1930s and 1940s. He is an English child who is raised by a black nanny, and then sent to a Boer boarding school where he learns first hand the blind hatred and ignorance that many people held. This book follows his life as he goes from a young, naive child to a grown, well-rounded young adult. His life is marked by moments of both great tragedy and stunning accomplishments. It is an account of how one person can be capable of so many great things in the face of such adversity. Personally, I found this book to be inspiring. Peekay is an exceptional character whose list of feats sometimes seems neverending, but is still easy to relate to. He is inspired by a number of people who come into his life and teach him an invaluable lesson on life. I enjoyed watching this character grow and mature, and I was even rooting for him in his battles. The book can drag at times, but at no point was my mind ever wandering from the page. Each time I picked up this book, I was fully engrossed in it. I recommend this book to people who enjoy stories of personal triumph. This book is definitely one of my favorites. Enjoy!
Wednesday, June 8th, 2005
1:16 pm
"A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn
Someone had recommended this a while ago, though I can't remember who. It's a slightly disturbing book, from what I've read so far. It's U.S. history that they purposefully omit in school.

This book on U.S. history comes from the point of view of the little people, the people who were stepped upon in order for the U.S. to get where it is today. I just started it (6o pages or so in), and have read about the slaughtering of the Native Americans and the ill treatment of African slaves as well as white servants. This is a very hefty book (700+ pages), but I think I will actually be reading the entire thing, eventually.

Thanks, whomever recommended this one!

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