First, a note about the author: John Green has had success as an online vlogger, as well as an author. In 2007, John and his brother, Hank, who lived in different cities across the US, created a vlog series where they only communicated through video messages that were posted on YouTube. I believe that it is fair to say that the Green brothers are two of some of the original YouTubers. In 2010, the began hosting an annual gathering of you tubers called Vidcon and are very well respected by and connected with many of the big names on YouTube. Even before I had read this book or even heard about John Green as a writer, I knew of him and his brother as a source for enlightening information on the internet (the two brothers currently have a channel where they discuss history and science). I was pleasantly surprised to hear that John was lauded as being an excellent writer of young adult literature. If anything, I would have expected a “geek” to be a writer of sic-fi. I continued to hear great things about his writing, especially this book, so I decided to give it a listen
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This book, along with The Fault In Our Stars (which I recently finished), is a great representation of the way a young adult book should be. The book is not about vampires or teenagers fighting for their lives or the lives of their districts. The book is about teenagers as they navigate through life.
The reason, I feel, the book appeals to young adults and adults alike is because the characters described in the book and the events and emotions that they experience are familiar to young adults and adults alike as well. Who doesn’t know what it feels like to go to a party and feel unnoticed? There is one really well written scene where the main character, Charlie, exclaims that he feels “infinite” at that very moment and that, essentially, everything feels right.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is an intense novel about a boy who has lost his father in one of the twin towers on 9/11. The majority of the novel is made up of the inner workings of this boy’s mind as he attempts to navigate through life carrying the burden of the tragedy of his father’s death. Oscar is a very smart boy and there are times where you would think that his thoughts belong more to an adult, but there are also times when his fragility and youth are revealed. While the boy is the main narrator, there are times when the boy’s grandmother and grandfather reveal their thoughts through the form of a letter.
What goes on inside us can be very complicated. This book by Metro-Atlanta pastor, Andy Stanley, works to untangle and uncomplicate what goes on by breaking down the dangerous emotions that we have going on into 4 basic emotions: guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy. In each of these areas, he talks about why they are so dangerous and gives easily spelled-out solutions to overcoming these emotions.
If you are familiar with Andy Stanley’s preaching and writing style, then you already know that he is extremely good at making complicated or lofty ideas more accessible. The simplicity that he gives to our inner emotions is definitely the major strength of the book. We can (or at least I can), at times, be overwhelmed by everything going on inside and feel like there is nothing that can be done. Stanley states that excepting things the way they are is very dangerous as it effects not only ourselves but our families and others around us. So, he gives clear instructions that start with meditation and end with an action that is usually carried internally but sometimes externally.
Summary: A competition/duel between two magicians that work at the Night Circus, a circus that arrives without warning and only occurs at night.
My feelings about this book fluctuated depending on where I was in the story. The Night Circus is about a strange competition between magicians that is played out in the happenings of a mysterious circus that is only open at night. The closest novel/movie that I can compare it to is The Prestige. Like The Prestige, this movie has many dark moments and revolves around the deep desires and emotions of the two main characters, the two competing magicians. The novel was slow getting started for me, had a lot of intrigue in the middle and then the ending left me kinda flat. The novel was filled with a lot of great detail and I felt like I was able to easily picture the scenes in my head. The ending was a little confusing and not nearly as exciting as I would have expected. As I listened to the book, I did enjoy the narrator and felt that he did a good job giving personality to each of the characters. There were a few characters that sounded very similar and so it was at times difficult to know who was talking but otherwise he did a good job. I liked the book okay and might recommend it to someone who enjoys reading about real life magicians and mystery.
Summary: This novel was just a fun book to listen to.
You know how some books are just meant to be listened to? Well, this is one of them. This is not a book that makes you think. It just makes you laugh. There is so much that is ridiculous about this book that if it weren’t ridiculously funny then it would be a total flop. Beauty Queens is a novel about a plane full of teenage beauty queens that crashes on a dessert island. As the story unfolds, many, many hijinks occur as the beauty queens realize that there is more to life then just being beautiful. The author does a great job as well of pointing about the many hypocrisies we experience in our society. Libba Bray notes that without strong role models that young girls are doomed to a life of low self-esteem and never measuring up. I enjoyed listening to this book and would definitely recommend it for audio listeners out there.
If I could sum up this book, I would say that it gives a wonderful example of how beauty can come from tragedy. The book is about two families, each of whom lose a spouse to cancer but then find their way to each other for comfort, healing, and love. I feel that the authors would want you to know that getting through the tragedies of losing a spouse and then continuing with their lives to find hope and love only happened because of their faith.
As I have enjoyed many books about dogs in the past such as The Art of Racing in the Rain, One Good Dog, and A Dog’s Purpose, I picked up this novel because I was ready for an easy listening experience after two marathon listens that I had just finished. At first, I was disappointed to find that this novel had the same narrator as another book that I did not enjoy, Merle’s Door. I had blamed the failure of the book in part to the narrator who seemed to be much like a know-it-all or something that was hard for me to put my finger on. I found, however, that the narrator suited this story much better and that perhaps I had been unfair in my review of Merle’s Door.
Welcome Emily Flury, a new contributor to Bookwi.se. Go friend Emily at her GoodReads page. Also author bios are now below each post.
This book is my first experience with Murakami. This book is without a doubt a unique piece of literature. I figured that with all of the hype that I needed to give it a try. The best way for me to describe it is that it starts out fairly normal and slowly the reality unravels as the supernatural takes it place.
If you are reading this book then I understand it is 900 pages. If you are listening to this book, as I did, then it is almost 47 hours of listening. So, getting through this book requires a true investment of time. I enjoyed the voice acting of the 3 narrators and appreciated how their voices interacted with each other’s.