March 21st, 2011

amy poehler

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11. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez - Was really excited to read it but just couldn't get into it. Didn't like it so much and felt it dragged.

12. Animal Farm by George Orwell - Really liked it, such an interesting concept and story. Very short but to the point and just enough story.
did you know you could fly?

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Book #19 -- Terry Pratchett, Nation, 369 pages.

This is an incredible book. A tidal wave wipes out Mau's entire village - he is the lone survivor of the people who once called themselves "The Nation." But as refugees from other islands start arriving a handful at a time, Mau finds himself building a new Nation, learning what it really means to belong to something bigger than yourself. This was written not long after the author was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, and the theme of loss is all throughout the book. As is the meaning of 'hope'. "When much is taken, something is returned."

Progress toward goals: 80/365 = 21.9%

Books: 19/100 = 19.0%

Pages: 5551/30000 = 18.5%

2011 Book List

cross-posted to 15000pages, 50bookchallenge, and gwynraven

# 16 Miss Timmins' School for Girls

Miss Timmins' School for Girls

Nayana Currimbhoy

It's 1974. Charu has just been hired to teach at Miss Timmins' School for Girls. She is a first-time teacher, nearly as young and impressionable as her students.

Moira Prince also teaches at Miss Timmins'. She is unorthodox, a bit older, worldly, and troubled. Miss Prince, nicknamed Pin, has a mysterious connection with the school's director, and seems to have cast a spell on Charu, who becomes deeply involved with her and the group of bohemians who are her friends.

One night, Pin seems especially disturbed. she is found dead at the foot of a cliff, under a rock formation known as The Needle.

The police determine that she was pushed, leaving many questions about her death.

That night, there were many others up on The Tablelands, near The Needle, including Charu. Each has their own secrets, and each is a possible murderer.

I loved this book! Currimbhoy is very talented, especially when it comes to speaking in a character's voice, and for description.

This book drew me in immediately. The back stories of the characters, and their distinct voices made them seem almost real. The setting was magical...a Hogwarts for girls in one of th4 most fascinating, exotic locations with fantastic rock formations and a cave/den of illegal activity, all set in an Indian hill station.

This was Currimbhoy's first novel. I hope and expect to see much more of her. I definitely think she is a rising literary star.

If I noticed any flaw, it was that the plot's resolution was a bit weak...signalled too strongly and too early. Everything else, though, more than made up for that. It's possible I felt that way about the ending because I finished the book after a night without any sleep. Flawed or not, I loved this book, and as this was the author's first novel, the author's writing will be even stronger in the future.

Big Ben

Books #10-11: Partners in Crime and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

 Partners in Crime (Tommy & Tuppence series)Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I used to go through intense phases of reading Agatha Christie when I was in high school. For a while, I read nothing but Poirot, then nothing but Miss Marple. For some reason, though, I could never get myself interested in reading any of Christie's books with one-shot detectives, or her other regulars, like Parker Pyne or Tommy and Tuppence.

I think that might just change now.

This collection of Tommy and Tuppence Beresford's first cases was a fun, twisty, and interesting read. I really enjoyed the variety of crimes depicted within. The young couple (who are so obviously and adorably in love) solve cases of missing girls, ironclad alibis, spies and treason, and even murder! They do it all with a strapping, gung-ho attitude that is remarkably refreshing when compared to Poirot's cynicism and Marple's shrewdness.

Christie's long works are among the finest mystery novels out there, but I think she truly excelled in the short story form. She piles an immense amount of complexity and intrigue into a few short pages that leave you breathless with brevity and adrenaline.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started this book a while back on my iPad, but the beginning was so long (and the ebook pages so short) that I gave up. However, many of my friends recommended it to me, and urged me to press on past the first, rather slow part. I acquired a hard copy recently, and immediately tore through the book. After skimming the part I found boring (mostly financial journalism minutiae that didn't interest me), I was caught up in the twisted storyline and intrigued by the main characters.

On the surface, the protagonist of the novel is Mikael Blomkvist, disgraced financial reporter and authorial stand-in, but the true hero of the story is Lisbeth Salander. She starts out as, and continues to be, an enigma in terms of her dark past. She is, however, an investigative genius, and soon joins Blomkvist in his quest to uncover the fate of the missing daughter of a sprawling, dysfunctional family. The conclusion of this plotline is both shocking and satisfying.

The other plotline, having to do with Blomkvist's wrongful conviction and jailtime, is less compelling. Fortunately, most of the novel is dedicated to the first storyline, and spends quite a lot of time developing the relationship between the main characters.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who is a shameless trend-follower like me, and to anyone who enjoys a good story, but is not fazed by lots of exposition and a rather dry style of writing.

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