Friday, July 20, 2007

My Harry Potter weekend...and book reviews

This weekend other than eating and training, it will be all about Harry Potter. The movie will be seen tonight and the new book will be fully digested by Sunday evening. Rick is letting me slack and overindulge in Harry Potter as part of my birthday extravaganza (which will continue throughout next week). I intend to enjoy every minute of it! I won't post any book spoilers on here, though.

OK, so now for the other books I read this summer:

A Thousand Splendid Suns - I felt this book was stronger than Kite Runner in an objective, literary sense. It was less predictable and more believable. Subjectively, it had me crying relentlessly from the first chapter. The heartache and misery of the women in this story (and sadly what many real-life women experienced in that place and time), was almost unbearable. Even though there was some relief to the suffering at the end, it was still at great cost to one of the characters. This book left me with an insatiable desire for justice and equality. Sigh.

A Long Way Gone (memoirs of a child soldier) - this book was well written as a story and I found myself forgetting it was a memoir at times. It felt more like fiction (or maybe I wanted it to be fiction). There were tears of sadness and joy as I worked through Ishmael's story. I highly recommend this book. It shows that all sides of the conflict in Sierra Leone were evil. Ishmael was a soldier for the government, not the rebels (RUF). Not surprisingly, both sides employed the same tactics and human rights violations. A good reminder about the nature of war and how there are very few 'good guys' when the guns come out. Another book leaving a longing for more justice and peace in the world. Double sigh.

Locke, 1928 - this book takes place in the Chinese immigrant town of Locke in the early days after its founding. It is a fictional tale. The characters are interesting and well-developed. The central character is a white prostitute working in the town brothel as a result of some compounding back luck (or possibly bad decisions) that fell into her life. I liked this story, though a lot of the Chinese mythology woven into the story is outside my understanding and experience. There was a lot of good symbolism in the story - some of which I got and some I didn't due to my lack of exposure to the myths in question. This is a good, short read if you have a weekend away and want something different from the usual romance/mystery fare.


lauren said...

i read "a thousand splendid suns" as well, i think after you mentioned you were going to read it.

i was weepy during it as well.

your other choices look good too. i'll check them out.

except for the harry potter stuff. i can't get into it. but my kids love it, so i'm sure i'll get the lowdown.

chatterbox said...

Lauren - glad you also enjoyed the splendid suns. Not all of us can be Potter Heads....but we can all get along :)

Chris said...

I think I may have agreed to see Harry Potter this weekend in a moment of weakness. hmm

CyclistRick said...

Hmmm, didn't you read "The Spanish Civil War: Reaction, Revolution, and Revenge"? Oh, wait, that's right you felt it might be a bit boring ;-)

Yes, you can have your HP weekend. I have been assured that the book will be delivered tomorrow ... so one of us has to be at home at all times .... more or less.

alicat said...

i agree that 1000splendid suns was better than the kite runner.

the history which we (the vast majority of americans) are clueless about, disturbs me.

As far as I can tell, not all that much has changed. Very sad.

I will look into your other recommendations as it's great to have ideas for more summer reading!

chatterbox said...

chris - give in to the cult of Harry Potter...just kidding. Hope you find the movie tolerable. We just got back and I liked it better than the last one. It was dark, but less dark than the book.

alicat - yes, it's sad that change only seemed to start for a short while. Now that the TaliBAD is stronger again, things seem less hopeful. Sigh.

CyclistRick said...

Update on the HP Weekend. Ms Chatterbox did get to see 'Harry Potter ...' at the theatre last night, and even milked a dinner out of it. Today, while eating lunch, Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows, or whatever the 7th book is called, was delivered. She is 312 pages in at the moment (9:48P PDT). She will finish this one by dinner tomorrow, and get a 3 hr bike ride in to boot.