"If yesterday blindfolds your eyes, I'll bring you tomorrow."
- David Copperfield DAVID COPPERFIELD REV/E （Pengui...
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【Dickens David Copperfield. A Titan !!】
If you have ever considered reading "David" you will already be aware that it is of formidable length.
More than eight hundred tight packed pages in the edition that I have just got through.
No small endeavor and you will really have little chance to indulge in reading anything else while you are at it, as it is quite absorbing enough to hold your attention and occupy your free time once you get going with it.
Set in early Victorian England this is the entire life story from birth to adulthood of one man.
Whilst it is essentially impossible to distill the telling of a man's entire life into a few sentences, I will attempt to give you the briefest synopsis of the significant twists and turns of this life...
…..ah, see how fickle I am, I see that I am not going to do that after all. I sat here for ages trying in my early drafts of this review to give you all those details that make the story individual..
In the style of writing, almost the entire novel is in the first person, a telling back narrative of the events as they unfolded.
For the briefest of moments here and there, Dickens breaks out of this style and suddenly we are hearing the reflections of David Copperfield in his present moment, reflecting on how the event he is about to relate has so deeply colored his entire life, how the memory of it feels to him as he brings its recollection into focus before relating it to us.
These moments, and this writing style have enormous power.
I can only wonder how long it took to write before the invention of the typewriter.*****
The last word be reserved for the opening sentence of the novel:"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by someone else, these pages must show".
The "hero" of David's life could be David himself, or maybe Betsy Trotwood or Agnes or even Steerforth.
George Orwell was an avid reader of Dickens. Maybe I'll read "Oliver Twist" next.
- ENCYCLOPEDIA PREHISTORICA:SHARKS&OT(POP)[洋書] [ R...
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【A Masterpiece of Pop-up books!!】
What is truly remarkable about "Encyclopedia Prehistoria: SHARKS" is not just the extraordinary pop-up figures and facts and information about the various dinosaurs included in the short journey through "Jurassic Park" (and then some), but it is the engineering required to create such wonderful, three-dimensional art on a mass-produced scale.
I know... you think I'm exaggerating.
You've seen very cool pop-ups before.
You may even be a huge Sabuda fan, and you know that that Dinosaur book of his and Reinhart's was off-the-charts fantastic, so you might assume that the Shark one can't possibly be any better that that.
It is better. Holy moly, it's even better.
All the pop-ups REAR out of the book at you. They practically take a bite out of you.
The Jaws theme practically plays.
Every single page is amazing, and the popups are bigger than ever, more plentiful than ever, more intricate than ever.
This book is no exception.!!
It is grand to look at, colorful (unlike his white works), and the largeness of his Pop-ups makes you feel the sharks are coming off the page.
I would not classify this book as for kids.
Its not a fun read, there is no story.
Its an encyclopedia, with facts about pehistoric sea creatures.
The pop-ups in some places dont go back nicely, and it might take a delicate touch, something that isnt found in your average 6 year old.***
IM not saying that it isnt a book for a child. In fact my 6 year old dinosaur loving daughter LOVES this book, but since dad is a collector of pop-ups, we treat it carefully and read it together.
A gr8 book, but consider who you are buying it for.!!
Highly entertaining, and highly recommended.★★★★★
【Kiss and Tell for DieHard SATC Fans】
Bushnell writes with flair and verve, casually introducing us to characters who will recurringly pop into the vignettes to bring us up to speed on their sex lives.
Meet Carrie, the quintessential troubled writer who has entered into a rocky affair with a man she calls "Mr. Big," a guy who wants Carrie but not commitment. Meet Samantha, the 40-ish movie producer who sleeps with men the same way that men sleep with women, with no emotional attachment, but who eventually realizes that her youth is fleeting.
Meet Cici and Carolyne, two 20-something women who snort and sleep their way up the social ladder.
Here, they are merely blueprints for the more fleshed-out characters on the TV show.
Some events did make it onto the show (soon to be entering its fourth season), but the book is its own entity entirely.
What makes SEX AND THE CITY such a thoroughly enjoyable read is Bushnell's candor and subtle poignancy.
She never passes judgment on her characters (you have to wonder which ones of them are composite characters meant to represent her), yet reveals their indiscretions in rich detail fraught with whimsical dialogue and an ironic sense of humor.
"Welcome to the Age of Uninnocence," she knowingly writes in the first chapter.
"Nobody has Breakfast at Tiffany's and we don't have affairs to remember.
Instead, we have breakfast at 7 a.m. and affairs we try to forget as soon as possible."
SEX AND THE CITY is a refreshingly thoughtful take on single life today in the fast lanes of the socially elite.
Though it is somewhat tragic in how it paints some of the characters as desperate and alone, it never wallows in its shame.
J.D. Salinger would have a deserving foe in Bushnell, to be sure.
Delightful and rather poetic from cover to cover, SEX AND THE CITY is a sinister read, a juicy guilty pleasure to be devoured before bedtime with a knowing grin on your face because, let's face it, we've ALL been there.☆☆☆☆☆
- IN HER SHOES:FILM TIE-IN(A) [ JENNIFER *SEE 978074...
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【Walk in my Shoes...】
I have never read any of Jennifer Weiner's books, but I bought this book in the airport the other day to read on a flight.
It looked somewhat amusing, but not to deep.
Im not into serious, complicated stories.
For example, one of my favorite books is The Devil Wears Prada!!
I was immediately drawn into the storyline of the characters.
Weiner did an excellent job of immersing you in each character, making you feel like you are part of the story.
I truly felt the emotions of the characters.
I have someone of a crazy sister, so this book really hit home for me.
I could see several similarities between Maggie and my sister.
Rose, the elder, is a lawyer, a bit zaftig, and who could care less about fashion and style -- except when it comes to footwear.
She'll also make you laugh as we see little reflections of ourselves throughout the book. The other thing I really enjoyed was the fact that this novel was about survival, whether it's from breaking up in a relationship, or family fights, or a job.
What's fun is that the author's writing style is snappy and breezy, as though you were sitting and listening to a particularly delicious...
While the author jumps around a bit, she doesn't beat the hell out of a topic or scene, just keeps it moving nicely along to a lovely ending.
So, if you want some relief from incessant bad news, the current bestseller lists, too much tv, why not brew up a pot of your favorite coffee or tea and settle in with this one?
Success cannot be achieved unless self-acceptance and love are acquired first.
The two girls eventually have happy lives only before they take breaks from each other and figure out what each of them really wants in life first.
In her Shoes is a great sophomore novel from the wildly popular Jennifer Weiner and am looking forward to her next novel.
If you are looking for a light, but interesting read, this is a great book for you.
I read the whole book on a 2 hour flight.★★★★★
- Cookie Count: A Tasty Pop-Up POP UP-COOKIE COUNT [...
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【A Christmas Alphabet Pops up at Our House Every Year】
This is a delightful almost-wordless picture pop-up book.
The pop-ups are of white card stock inside "cards" mounted on white pages, four cards per two-page spread.
Some of the pop-ups are relatively simple in construction, making you believe you might be able to copy them, and maybe you can.
The adults at our house have not tried this.
Do-it-your-selfers and self-taught artists that we are, pop-ups are for others to craft, but our children have a hungry eye in regard for these artistic paper folds and happily create mounds of balled-up paper at any opportunity.
More than a few of the pop-up pieces are extremely intricate, from a multi-faceted snowflake to a many-layered manger.
Each design calls to me to open, close and reopen it in order to try to catch the unfolding of each one and maybe get a look at the process behind the seemingly magical appearance of each "finished" pop-up. Sometimes, I'll catch a glimpse of a piece unfolding and think, "Ahhhh! That's how it works!" only to be defeated on the next try by seeing yet another part of the works unfold and change my perspective.
This book is more than a pleasure and a delight.
It is a confection I cannot eat and a gem I can touch yet not reach even a fraction of its beauty.*****
I think Robert Sabuda and his editors went for quality of content on this one.
Talk about magic unfolding!!
A Christmas Alphabet delights children as well as adults. My children (this Christmas, ages 4 and almost 2) sat transfixed by the unfolding of each card on the page.
Once through the book to "Z", they wanted to go right back to "A" -- and A Christmas Alphabet stood as a daily read all through the holidays.
Guests in our home sat in amazement at the details that appeared before them in this book. Many, if not all who looked at A Christmas Alphabet wrote down the title and author for purposes of their own.★★★★★
【The writer of the Jazz Age, once that age was over.】
Tender is the Night is definitely one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpieces and, dealing with the collapse of a marriage and a superficial, avaricious society, surely his most autobiographical novel.
He worked on it 9 full years and actually wrote about 400,000 words, from which he "took three-fourths and threw them away".
Still the novel seemed too long and too heavy to read, so that in 1934 when it was first published "Tender is the Night" sold much fewer copies than all of Fitzgerald's novels did before.
He came to the conclusion that a missing chronological order was to blame and set everything straight in a final version, which was published 1951.
Nevertheless, some newly published editions of Tender is the Night returned to the old order of 1934.
The edition I worked with is in chronological order, which helps to better comprehend the complex and muddled relations.
From our first glimpse of Dick Diver, he is performing; the others are acting as well, even as they watch.
This absorption in image manifests itself as a self-consciousness that permeates their interactions.
Nicole Diver, in particular, presents a fale that the reader is expected to peel away.
The dynamics of the novel depend on the tensions created by spectatorship and longing. At the center of the relationship between Nicole and Dick is his position as her doctor. This psychological observation, permissible because of his occupation, gives him an advantage over her.
Nicole, in her more limited sphere, does exactly the same.
The two women, related to one another through Dick, expend far less energy on observing one another than on watching him.
The tension created by these spectatorial connections creates a book that's by far more engaging than Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" (which is a marvelous novel in its own right).
It's a wonderfully entertaining and thoughtful work, one of my personal favorites.
【It's Sort of Like a Soap Opera!!】
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is one of the best books I have ever read.
It's plot is so intertwined it reminds me of a Charles Dickens novel, except it is set in New York in the 1920's.
I would stay up until about two in the morning, saying to myself that I would read just one more chapter.
It only took me three nights to read.
The plot just keeps you interested in the book from beginning to end.
The tale is rich in the detail of life in the Roaring Twenties among the wealthy members of Fitzgerald's prose is as always a pleasure to read.
He writes in a brilliantly descriptive manner, one that articulates perfectly whatever he aims to say.
It is almost as if God himself had told Fitzgerald in a flash of brilliance exactly how to set his words down upon the page for the greatest effect.
There is no real dull point in the book.
Along with a great plot, the Great Gatsby also has a profound meaning.
Jay Gatsby spent his entire life acquiring great wealth.
It is not really specified how except that it was illegal.
He throws huge parties, and everyone is there. In the end it turns out that Gatsby has no real friends.
He spent more time getting money, than he did making real friends.
"The Great Gatsby", is also has some symbolism.
Some of the symbols are different colors, such as a yellow car and a green light, but the biggest symbol in the book is a billboard of T.J. Eckelberg's (an optometrist) green eyes.
Another reason this book is interesting is because of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Not just because of his writing ability, but also because of the similarities between the book and his life.
If you know anything about his life, you can draw many parallels between him and the characters and story lines.
However, if you dont know anything about Fitzgerald, most copies of the book include a brief biography at the end.
The book is very interesting and enjoyable.
I definitely recommend it!!★★★★★
【A Strange Fairy Tail】
I laughed like a fool at Matthew Reinhart's weimaraner version of LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, with its sweet, lovable, dumb-looking dogs.
I'm laughing out of the other side of my mouth now.
In Reinhart's canine CINDERELLA -- his first doggie fairy tale -- the dogs look every bit as funny as in the 'HOOD, but here they do a fine job of acting!!
Did success later spoil these famous canines? Or have my critical skills gone to the dogs? You be the judge..
The stepsisters are of course real dogs: they wear unattractive dark wigs and appear to have lamentable taste in clothing.
All right, the whole thing is hilarious; dogs can't help but look funny in human clothing, standing on two legs.
But every time I laughed I also went, "Aaaaaw!" This CINDERELLA, funny as it is, is genuinely touching.
Children will perhaps take all of this in stride, but they may be a bit confused about some of the other animals featured.
The family keeps a real live cat; a puppy (or horse?) sits in a bureau drawer in the sewing room; the coachman is said to be a transformed lizard, but the original lizard is stuffed and we don't see him on the coach, or even transformed!
The Prince, in human posture, has a pet dog -- a little, scrawny terrier!
Whereas ears and carefully chosen wigs do not obscure a gentle, patient, placid or sorrowful expression.
Reinhart's CINDERELLA is more beautiful, more surreal, stranger yet more authentic emotionally, and the text is more advanced, appropriate in both vocabulary and tone to children just growing into chapter books, and of course to adults.
This is one to be read and explained to smaller children, and to a certain extent puzzled over with them!
Only one small touch belongs exclusively to the realm of the adult; in the wedding photo, the hero bears a striking resemblance to Prince Charles of England.
It may be just the camera angle.
Then again, it may be the nose..*****
- ENCYCLOPEDIA PREHISTORICA:DINOSAURS(POP) [ ROBERT ...
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【The Tyranosaur jumps up from the page in a colorful, angry roar!!】
The Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs is not your typical dinosaur book.
Created by master pop-up artists Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart, the 3D pop-up designs are unlike anything I've ever seen before.
Amazingly intricate and detailed, the dinosaurs really DO spring to life from the pages.
Please don't be put-off when I inform you that the book only contains 12 pages (or 6 2-page openings), because each of those pages contains mini-books, often with their own pop-ups, for a grand total of 35 pop-ups in all.
The design really is downright ingenious -- the largest pop-ups take up lots of space in the upper center of each page, and due to all the folded paper each page is quite bulky when the book is closed.
That leaves lots of room, both horizontal and vertical, at the 4 corners of each page, and the authors utilized this space very well with their mini-book concept.
Even the colors are stand-out.
Each piece of paper that goes into one of the pop-ups is colored in such a way that it appears to have texture, adding both to the beauty and the complexity of each creature.
You might think that, with all of the folded paper and mini-books on each page, that there would be lots of paper flopping around as you turn a page, but the book's creators were clever and included little tabs that you tuck the mini-book's pages into to keep them closed, keeping each page neat and tidy and flop-free as the page is turned.
This book doesn't contain conventional pop-ups. It contains beautiful paper works of art!!
The pop-ups are full 3-D characters made from layer upon layer of colorful cardboard.
Not only is the artwork spectacular, but the text is fun and well worth reading in and of itself.
The Encyclopedia Prehistoria: Dinosaurs is a real keepsake piece, and Im very pleased with this addition to the dinosaur section of our home library.★★★★★
【A Glittering Take on the American Dream】
I recently have read Great Gatsby in my Intro to Fiction class.
It is a timeless classic about love, materialism, adultery and chasing the American Dream.
You can see the materialistic attitudes of America in the 20s, in how they were not even able to see that their wealth will be short lived (as we all know what happened in 1929!!) Even though this is set in the 1920's New York, the same hopes and desires of the characters still applies today.+++
One of the most underrated attributes of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Jazz Age novel The Great Gatsby is how the seemingly minute details and descriptions of places and characters richly enhance the meaning and purpose of the novel. First of all, Fitzgerald employs color motifs: green and white both symbolizing something of significance.
Second of all, there's the much ballyhooed weather symbolism present during Daisy and Gatsby's sweet reunion and melancholy disengagement.
Finally, there is Fitzgerald's irreverent religious motif: Wilson's piousness and the fault in it..
Finally, we have Fitzgerald's, dare we say, blasphemous religious commentary implicated in the conflict between the Wilsons, Buchanans, and Gatsby.
When Wilson suspects his wife of being unfaithful, he takes Myrtle to the window of their home, and tells her, "God sees everything."
Later on, this adulteress is killed after being hit by a car driven by Daisy.
Myrtle's husband then swears revenge on the man who executed this craven act, but ends up killing the wrong man, the tragic hero of our novel, before killing himself.
What this all means is that not only is God blind, but so are all his agents.
All the little niceties Fitzgerald injects into The Great Gatsby subtly amount to the complete achievement of brilliance in the novel.☆☆☆☆☆
This book is thought to be one of Americas greatest novels, and I do not disagree, and think it would be a wonderful addition to anyones library.
【The Shopaholic Books are an Addiction】
As soon as I started Shopaholic Ties the Knot, I could tell this was going to be a fun book.
The plot was very light and humorous, and the characters enjoyable.
This is a light read, and I easily made it through half the book in just a few hours.
I think Kinsella really pegged what it can be like as a bride.
For Becky, she was going about her daily life, not expecting to become engaged.
She is sort of awe-struck at her friend's wedding, realizing how much of an impact marriage has.
Becky seems to think getting married seems so far away and distant, and then her boyfriend Luke unexpectedly proposes.
Becky is caught-off guard by the proposal and the ensuing insanity.
Her parents and fiancre ready to set a date immediately.
I could definitely relate to this, as Im sure most brides do, in one way or another.
Becky feels some hostility towards her future mother-in-law, who becomes overbearing and unpleasant, after never really caring about her son.
At the same time, Becky's parents are full-speed ahead planning a wedding.
The result ends up being two weddings that are being planned at the same time one in New York City and one in England.
Weddings can mean all kinds of grief, and with Becky pulled in so many directions, it was easy to sympathize with her on that level.
She doesnt try to make an effort to prepare herself for her wedding by doing any sort of research, reading bridal magazines, and so forth.
It is unrealistic (in my opinion) that Becky would have no desire to plan things on her own and prepare properly.
Depite Becky's flailing attempts to get her wedding on track, she often has moments that ground her.
It was reassuring when she had moments where all she wanted was to be with her fianc Luke, or that she wanted to toss extravagant wedding details aside and just get married on a beach or at home.!!
【Becky's Fun Continues!!】
I have read all 3 of the Shopoholic books with much enjoyment.
Great literature, they're not but when you need stress-relief or a good laugh, this is where to get it!!!!
Wonderfully written, with a heroine whose lovable and amusing, these books hit the spot. I have laughed out loud many times!!
A welcome break from work, school and all other responsibilities!!+++
Although this novel had very little to do with Becky Bloomwood actually being a shopaholic, I loved it nonetheless.
I finished in just a couple days; I was unable to put down the book and step away from her hilarious world.
Even after reading three novels by Sophie Kinsella about the same characters, I'm still not sure whether to love Luke, the patient, successful, funny, handsome man, or to hate him, the wrapped-up-in-his-own-world man.***
Anyhow, it doesn't matter. Kinsella once again strikes gold with her new novel.
I hope that she decides to write a fourth book to the series, and not leave it at Becky's wedding!!
We have all suffered the embarrassment of failure, the anxiety of the workplace, the heartbreak of perfect-love-gone-bad and the confounding frustration of the best friends who, despite the fact that they think they're helping you, only aim to please themselves and end up costing you dearly.
Kinsella is very adept at making the characters in this book flow together, and the story is just a total joy to read.
Shopaholic Ties the Knot is pure fun.
Becky is just as outrageous as ever, although this time, I believe, she is also pretty frustrating. Sophie Kinsella has done an excellent job with this new chapter in Becky's life and if you loved the first or second book, you won't be disappointed with the third.
The ending of this novel left room for another in this series -- let's hope and pray Sophie Kinsella is listening.
Becky Bloomwood is one character I'd rather not do without.
Imagine the things that she could buy!!!
- SECRET DREAMWORLD OF A SHOPAHOLIC,THE(B) [ SOPHIE ...
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【I’ll tell you all my secrets..】
I have to say the book was incredibly funny.
I laughed quite a few times, yes, even out loud in my room like a crazy loon.
Emma's secrets just made me smile, mostly because I could relate to most of them (but I wont tell which ones...).
I like the fact that while you could sometimes laugh at Emma, she was still a lovable character and you cant help feeling sorry for her when she's in trouble.
The other characters were gr8, all of them funny but also completely human, people who just try to be the best they can.
Connor was a good caricature of the perfect boyfriend ; so perfect he's boring, Lissy was cute as the best friend who tries to cheer Emma up and Jemima was downright hilarious as the opportunist girl.
The plot twist were also great, once you start reading you just cant stop.
I honestly wanted to only read a few chapters everyday so that the book would last me a week, but since I was so eager to know what would happened next I finished it in one day!!
Kinsella has the touch.***
This is a book for those people who want to have a good, healthy laugh, who want to forget for a while the worries and troubles of everyday life.
Yes she becomes totally and irrevocably irresponsible as soon as enters into a shopping mall.
But heck, this is what makes the book such fun. Her replies to the letters she recieves from her exasperated Bank are hilarious and equally so her reasonings that actually when she is spending she is in fact investing.
I think that most females will find themselves in Rebecca.
I bet most of us have thought once or twice on the same lines as Rebecca does when she tries to excuse one of her mad urges for an expensive but not so practical item.
All i can say more is go on an read it a perfect light book with humour and also a dash of romance which will warm your heart like whiskey.★★★★★
【Familiar characters, fast-moving plot.】
I amaze myself by continuing to read the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella.
If you've read my first review on Confessions of a Shopaholic, you'll see that I wasn't altogether pleased with it.
Why, then, when I saw the sequel, did I pick it up right away?
And why, oh why did I request to read the third installment before it even hit the presses? I've found that that answer is a simple one: sometimes a girl needs to just shut her brain off and indulge in unbelievable fluff.
Did these books change my life?
Did I learn any great lessons from these books?
There are no big surprises in this book.
Becky acts like an idiot and passes up chance after chance to repair the damage she's done and decides to buy things instead.
But it doesn't really matter.
We're not expecting Becky to learn any big lessons here or change.
It wouldn't even seem like a Shopaholic book if she made any intelligent decisions.
What I liked is what I mentioned above.
The book made me smile.
It made me forget about my life for a few hours.
I had fun reading about Tiffany's and Barney's and Saks and Vera Wang, etc. etc.
I enjoyed reading about all of Becky's bonehead mistakes.
You just have to laugh at her.
The plot moves along quickly with plenty of things happening to keep the reader's interest.
Everything happens in a nice linear fashion and I was never once confused (I took this for granted until reading Girl Anatomy).
There was never a time I got bored with the book or wanted to toss it away in frustration.
I started the book with a smile and ended the book with a smile.
What more can you ask from a chick-lit book?
For what this book is (and it promises to be no more), Shopaholic Ties the Knot is a perfect example of good chick-lit.
If you haven't yet been exposed to the Shopaholic books, start at the beginning.
If you've been keeping up with Becky's antics, pick this one up and enjoy.!!
【Enjoyable, informative and surprising】
Provides a close-up look at ten key elements of every woman's fashion collection, discussing the origins, history, and social significance of the little black dress, the white shirt, the cashmere sweater, blue jeans, the suit, high heels, pearls, lipstick, sneakers, and the trench coat. Original.*****
While I would still qualify this as "light" reading, it's an intelligent read about a subject some have written off as too inconsequential and that others have elevated to deadly seriousness.
This book strikes a nice balance, coming from the point of view that our clothing says a lot about us, whether we are conscious of it or not.
While I appreciated the author's writing style and observations (I burst out laughing when she described wannabe hip hop fans in pursuit of the perfect sneaker as foot fetishists), she didn't go out of her way to be too clever or witty (although she did quote quite a few people who arguably do, especially the designer- Manolo Blahnik?)
In the ten main chapters, the book provides a history of the evolution and a commentary on the social significance of each of the classic ten style items, almost all of which are interspersed with personalities who embodied the spirit of the item. (It should be noted that Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel made an appearance in almost every chapter. Where would modern fashion be without them?)
There's nothing much new here, but still, it's loads of fun to rehash.
Reading these essays, I had a vague sense that I'd read some of the material in several other places by several other authors -- such is the familiarity of the Little Black Dress, for example. (Everyone wants to own the LBD and every fashion writer in America has written about it. Ditto the trench coat.)
But don't let that spoil the fun and romance of this delightfully fun read! It's a great little tribute to the classics, and deserves a place on your nightstand.!!!!