Wendy (here_be_dragons) wrote,
Wendy
here_be_dragons

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Books # 53 through 56


Flying Star Feng Shui by Stephen Skinner

I've written a lot about my work with this book in my Tarot Journal, reginadibastoni, so this review will be fairly concise. I found it to be a very informative and useful book, although at times I felt overwhelmed when reading it. The author tended to present a bunch of theoretical information and then details of evaluating specific situations before having us do the practical stuff so we could apply the evaluations to real life. As a consequence, I felt lost at times, and somewhat discouraged. By the end, though, he'd pulled everything together, and has a lot of great information in the appendices. I would not recommend this as a first book on Feng Shui, as he goes pretty quickly through the basic stuff. (I enjoyed this author's "KISS Guide to Feng Shui" as a starter book). Having read several other books on the subject previously, though, I enjoyed this book, and it is certainly the most complete treatment of flying the stars that I've seen yet. I did get a lot of valuable information and insight from it. Now, I just need to go through my home and implement some of the changes I want to make. (Part of PC)


Being Committed by Anna Maxted

I received this as a manuscript from Harper Collins' "First Look" program. What a fantastic read! It's chick lit, more Jane Green than Helen Fielding, but I enjoyed it more than any of Green's books (and I've read them all, save the newest one). The main character is flawed but definitely loveable, and is able to see through her flaws to great degree, and laugh at herself. What I loved about this book that seems to be often lacking in this genre is a sense that the main character has really, substantively, *changed* over the course of the book. It's not just about her "getting her man," (and maybe losing weight or getting a makeover to do so), but we see her face some deep emotional issues from her past, and it's very clear that she really has grown and changed after she struggles through. Maybe I'm not being fair to say this is missing in other books, but I got a very strong sense of it in this one. This might be because I could relate to some of her issues (particularly with intimacy; although the circumstances of her childhood were not particularly similar to mine), and I felt the book went far deeper into exploring these issues and feelings than most books of this type tend to do. At the end of the books, she's stronger and has learned some valuable things about herself and her family, and I finished this book feeling very satisfied. It was funny and touching and smart. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys chick lit - it's undoubtedly the best in the genre I've ever read. (Received as ARC; part of PC, but may BookCross)


Tithe - by Holly Black

The book calls itself a "modern faerie tale," which is a pretty apt description. It had the flavour, to me, of Raymond Fiest's "Faery Tale" or "Once" by James Herbert. I very much enjoyed this book - it only took me a few hours to read, but I enjoyed the story and the characters. The plot, while not particularly unique or surprising, was satisfying. It's about a young woman who has always been able to do strange things, and was somewhat of an outcast because of her "imaginary" friends. Of course, those friends weren't - and aren't - imaginary; they're faeries. She gets drawn into the middle of a conflict between the Seelie and Unseelie courts, and if I say much more I'll be risking spoilers. The only thing that surprises me a bit is that this novel is billed as "young adult." I thought there were some fairly adult themes here, but perhaps I'm just out of touch with what teenagers actually read. I suppose I was reading Stephen King at that age, and this book certainly wasn't as intense as those were (although none of those claimed to be for the young adult market). In any case, this was a lovely little book, well worth the time spent reading it. (Library book)


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - by Lewis Carroll

I don't think I ever read this as a child, but I've had it on my shelf . . . well, as long as I can remember. My son is fond of the Disney film, so I thought he might enjoy the book. Which he did . . . sort of. I think he expected it to be the same as the film (which of course, it wasn't), and when we got to the Mock Turtle, he decided he wanted to switch to another book. (Pity - he was so close to the end). So, I just finished reading it on my own. I was never particular fond of the story as I knew it . . . I wasn't amused by the nonsensicalness of it. I did enjoy this reading of it, though, especially reading it aloud. It was great fun to do voices for all the characters. The only trouble with reading it aloud is that, since I'm approaching it almost as a performer, I think I miss out on some of the allegorical meanings behind things. I was struck mostly by how incredibly *thick* Alice is - perhaps typical of a child her age, but I was constantly chuckling at the ridiculous and often rude things she thought, as well as her ability to put her foot in her mouth (figuratively) time and time again. I did notice that she was better able to catch herself later in the book, except when emboldened by being bigger than everyone. There was a lot less drama and suspense in the book than in the film . . . no massive chase with the Queen screaming "OFF WITH HER HEAD" as we see in the film. And I'm not sure I liked the bit at the end about her sister. It was sweet in a way, but also sort of jarred me the way it came out of the blue as it did. I will read "Through the Looking Glass," but not *right* away. Maybe I'll wait until I think my son will be in the mood. It is *such* fun to read aloud and do all the voices. :-) And maybe one day I'll read this one again, and see if I can pick up on some of the subtext. (Part of PC)
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