The Sun Also Rises [Three Things Thursday]

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Rating: 4.5/5
Date Read: August 2007


1. Hemingway’s first novel follows a gang of expatriates living in post-WWI Paris as they set off for a weekend in Spain for some drinking, flirting, and the running of the bulls.

2. It made my best of 2007 list. But that may just be because I love Hemingway. A lot. So amazed by his ability to put so much into so few words.

3. We all know about the Lost Generation but I think this book really captures that “lost” feeling. The characters seem to be simply wandering. Wandering from drink to drink, from man to man (in Brett’s case), wandering from place to place. You kind of want to give them a hug even if they annoy you.

Three Things Thursday is a weekly feature where I review books I read prior to blogging by sharing just three things about them.

People of the Book [Three Things Thursday]

Snow Flower and the Secret FanPeople of the Book
Rating: 4/5
Date Read: July 2008

1. Brooks takes the tale of the Sarajevo Haggadah and creates stories surrounding it and its journey from 14th century Spain to the present day. As our main character discovers clues in the present, we are swept back in the past to see how this book and its beautiful pages affected the people around it and how it survived so many wars and purges.

2. I really liked the idea of taking something real and fictionalizing its history. Even though I knew the stories weren’t what really happened, some things certainly happened to this book for it to survive this long and it was a nice way to celebrate that fact.

3. Brooks is a fantastic writer (if you haven’t read March yet, stop reading this and go pick it up now). People of the Book is no exception.

Three Things Thursday is a weekly feature where I review books I read prior to blogging by sharing just three things about them.

Marley and Me [Three Things Thursday]

Snow Flower and the Secret FanMarley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog*
Rating: 4/5
Date Read: December 2008

Marley and Me1. When John and Jenny decide to get a dog (to test their parenting ability), they have no idea what they were in for. Marley becomes a very energetic dog who always seems to be causing trouble. Yet the family can’t help but love him.

2. Um, sobfest. I’m sure you all know that this one is a tearjerker by now, but I can’t not mention it. I read it in the car on a road trip and I just sat there in the passenger seat sobbing. I might be tearing up just thinking about it now.

3. As a lifelong pet owner and animal lover, I really appreciated the memoir. The trouble Marley causes along with the joy he provides is a wonderful look at life with a dog (although Marley is a bit extreme).

Three Things Thursday is a weekly feature where I review books I read prior to blogging by sharing just three things about them.

*I chose Marley and Me this week to keep with the memoir theme I accidentally had going this week.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan [Three Things Thursday]

Snow Flower and the Secret FanSnow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa SeeRating: 5/5
Date Read: April 2008

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan1. Lily and Snow Flower are bound together as lifelong friends (“laotong“) in 19th-century China. They communicate through the secret language of nu shu, a language just for women. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan follows the two through their life.

2. There was so much emotion packed into this book. Lily and Snow Flower go through so much in this book, both together and on their own. See did a wonderful job of making you feel it.

3. It was very interesting to see into the world of 19th-century Chinese women. The foot-binding (this was a tough part to get through), the arranged marriages, the struggles within those marriages, and the lack of control they had over their own lives.

Three Things Thursday is a new weekly feature where I review books I read prior to blogging by sharing just three things about them.

Dead Souls [Three Things Thursday]

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

Translation: Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
Rating: 4/5
Date Read: August 2007

1. In Dead Souls, Chichikov, in an attempt to inflate his social standing, comes up with a scheme of purchasing from other landowner’s the serfs who have died. No one really knows what his mysterious plan is and each landowner he approaches reacts in a different manner to his odd request for their “dead souls.”

2. I found this book hilarious. I remember laughing out loud when Gogol explained that the fat men rule the world. This is meant to be a critical look at Russian society and Gogol succeeded by making me laugh at it. I love me some quirky characters and Dead Souls does not disappoint in that regard.

3. I think I had a good translation and I would recommend it. I actually only read the original Part 1 of Dead Souls and, for some reason (I think I may have become a little bored and knew the rest of it was unfinished), didn’t bother reading any further, but this edition contains the entire thing.

Three Things Thursday is a new weekly feature where I review books I read prior to blogging by sharing just three things about them.

Atonement [Three Things Thursday]

Three Things ThursdayAtonement by Ian McEwan
Rating: 4.5/5
Date Read: December 2007


Atonement1. Atonement is the story of how one little girl’s imagination tore apart an English family in 1935. Following the stories of two sisters and the boy they grew up with, Atonement starts in the countryside and takes us into WWII, which works as a pretty effective setting.

2. The ending…sigh. SO GOOD. I adored this book. McEwan has such an amazing ability to create complex characters. I was a little bored by the middle section (Robbie at war) but, as a whole, I enjoyed the novel.

3.  Did you see the movie? I very much enjoyed the movie. Although I still prefer the book. Naturally.

Three Things Thursday is a new weekly feature where I review books I read prior to blogging by sharing just three things about them.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn [Three Things Thursday]

Three Things ThursdayA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Rating: 5/5
Date Read: January 2009

1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was one of my favorite reads in 2009. And I think it can safely be somewhere on the all-time list. READ IT NOW.

2. Francie is such a wonderful character. I feel like I have known her all my life even though it took me so many years to finally get to this book. Have I mentioned that you should read this book immediately if you haven’t done so already? Because you should.

3. This book is real. It doesn’t paint a pretty, nostalgic picture of life for the poor in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. Francie has a HARD life. Which is why growing with her throughout the novel is so rewarding.

Three Things Thursday is a new weekly feature where I review books I read prior to blogging by sharing just three things about them.

A Spot of Bother [Three Things Thursday]

Three Things ThursdayA Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
Rating: 2/5
Date Read: May 2009

    A Spot of Bother

    1. This is the story of George, who mistakes eczema for cancer and quickly becomes obsessed with it. His wife is having an affair, his daughter is marrying a man she may not love for the sake of her son, and his son is gay. The story is about these relationships and how George deals (or fails to deal) with life’s twists and turns.
    2. I read this book for two reasons: (1) I adored Mark Haddon’s first book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and (2) my husband told me this one was also wonderful.
    3. My husband was wrong. I did not enjoy this book. It took me ages to get through it. I didn’t like any of the characters for half the book. Apparently they grew on me (according to my notes) but I have no memory of this. I also don’t think it should take half a book for me to start enjoying myself.

      Did anyone have a different experience?

      Three Things Thursday is a new weekly feature where I review books I read prior to blogging by telling you just three things about them.

      A Long Way Down [Three Things Thursday]

      Three Things ThursdayA Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
      Rating: 4/5
      Date Read: June 2008

      A Long Way Down1. The four narrators in A Long Way Down meet on a rooftop on New Year’s Eve where each has independently planned to commit suicide. They (obviously) don’t go through with it and end up forming some strange kind of support group.

      2. The book started out depressing but was actually full of hope. I like hope. Also, it contained serious issues while still being funny. That takes skill.

      3. This was my first time reading Hornby’s fiction (I had previously read The Polysyllabic Spree) so I didn’t have many expectations. I was impressed and have since read Juliet, Naked.

      Three Things Thursday is a new weekly feature where I review books I read prior to blogging by telling you just three things about them.

      A Girl Named Zippy [Three Things Thursday]




      Today I am introducing a new feature designed to highlight those books I read before I was blogging regularly. There are a lot of books I read (even as recently as 2009) that I just never featured on my books. my life. I want to change this. But I’m human and I can’t do a whole review of a book I read a few years ago. So I’m just going to tell you three things (because I like alliteration) about each book.










      A Girl Named Zippy

      I’m kicking off this feature with Haven Kimmel’s A Girl Named Zippy. And these are my Three Things:

      1. This book came highly recommend by Emily of Books, the Universe & Everything. I will pretty much read anything she says is good.

      2. This book is about a normal little girl growing up in a small town. It’s a lot like what I think my memoirs would be like if I could write like Haven Kimmel. Just a bunch of memories.

      3. A lot of memoirs are heartbreaking. They are often sad stories about the author overcoming some kind of adversity. Sure, Zippy had some bad times just like the rest of us but for the most part this is the story of a happy childhood. I found this very refreshing.