Karin T. (kato) - Reviews

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Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Author: Dai Sijie, Ina Rilke (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 682
Review Date: 12/29/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I loved this little charming page-turner of a book! I finished it in a day. I simply couldn't put it down. It is a story about the exile of a couple of young intellectual city boys for re-education into a remote mountain area during China's Cultural Revolution. There they meet the beautiful daughter of a tailor and secretly educate her from a stash of banned books. The descriptions are so lush, I was transported to the mountains of China during Mao's revolution. Dai Sijie's storytelling artfully captured the pace of mountain living, but masterfully made me tongue-wagging eager to find out what happened next. A true book lovers book, in my opinion- I highly recommend it.


The Book of Antipasti (Book of...)
The Book of Antipasti (Book of...)
Author: Lyn Rutherford
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/21/2010


Great cookbook with interesting recipes and lots of pictures.


The Book of Pizzas and Italian Breads
The Book of Pizzas and Italian Breads
Author: Sarah Bush
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 1/21/2010


Several unique recipes and an abundance of pictures.


Business  Legal Forms for Fine Artists
Business Legal Forms for Fine Artists
Author: Tad Crawford
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/23/2010


Great book with sample contracts for the fine artist including: sale of artwork, sale of artwork and resale royalty rights, contract for a commissioned piece of art, a limited edition, rental of art, exhibition loan, etc. The list goes on covering nearly every conceivable situation an artist may need to cover your rear-end without having to pay the costs of an attorney.


Deflowered: My Life in Pansy Division
Deflowered: My Life in Pansy Division
Author: Jon Ginoli
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 12/30/2009


I read this book in one day. Deflowered is an entertaining romp of the first openly gay punk band, Pansy Division, and their tour as Green Day's opening act. If you've ever wanted to know what it's like being on tour, playing in front of large audiences and writing music, going from one town to the next, gay groupie sex (more of a notch on a bedpost than descriptive sex scenes) - you will not be disappointed. Ginoli writes in a first person point of view with an excited honesty. I really cared about Jon and the success of Pansy Division and feel confident you'll feel as if you've made a friend. But approximately two-thirds in, I feel his writing gets rushed to finish, but even with the final rushed storytelling, I still really enjoyed this book and would recommend it.


Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Author: Lynne Truss
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 273
Review Date: 12/29/2009


I have never mastered punctuation. The horror! The despair! With that said, I simply laughed out loud at this cranky little book and Truss even made me aware of what I was laughing at, which means I learned a little as well. I feel the book jumped out from the starting gates with a bang and took a lead as a "laugh-out-loud, I cannot put it down candidate," but by the middle, it ran out of steam and frankly, I got a bit weary with it. I mean, how much more interest can I muster up about an apostrophe or a semi colon? In Truss's words, perhaps I'm a thicko.

In Lynne Truss's defense though, I must say I have never been all that interested in punctuation and she had me mesmerized for hours. I would recommend this book especially for any punctuation/grammar snob. I guarantee you'll have a belly-laugh at those of us less inclined to be perfect and find an understanding friend. I am keeping it on my bookshelf to finish it at a later date, because it is well-written and I adore snarky wit. Truss is flat-out hilarious!


Empire Falls
Empire Falls
Author: Richard Russo
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 629
Review Date: 1/10/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I loved this book! Russo introduces a small town of characters in a small dying town so touching and honest, I believed I could almost tell what each one would do next. The story explores a 360 viewpoint of people, community, family, religion and commerce. The most touching to me being the emotional reasons people stay in spite of "throwing away" lucrative, better suited careers; the relationships between the wealthy and poor and what role the church plays in our lives. Normally I'm not an enthusiastic reader of uplifting small town stories, but this book is an exception. I fell in love with the small town of Empire Falls, it's people, their struggles and even though I felt I knew the characters well enough to figure out their next move - I didn't.They surprised me when the story twisted and turned and served itself up like a yummy home made dessert from your favorite diner. I highly recommend this book!


Gourmet's Guide to Herbs  Spices
Gourmet's Guide to Herbs Spices
Author: Mary Trewby
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/21/2010


Nice overview for cooks with an abundance of photos


Hello, He Lied
Hello, He Lied
Author: Lynda Obst
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 2/19/2010


I expected Hello, He Lied to be a fluffy Hollywood entertainment read and got so much more. Lynda Obst not only keeps the pages turning by discussing how Hollywood makes movies but I also learned a lot about business. More specifically, how women differ from men in high power positions and how women can adapt and succeed. I wish I would have read this book a couple of years back when I was in the throes of corporate politics. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in either making movies or how to be a powerful business woman.


Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Author: Jamie Ford
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 122
Review Date: 1/5/2010
Helpful Score: 1


A brilliant debut from author Jamie Ford of a bitter sweet love story between a young Chinese man, Henry and the love of his life, Japanese-American, Keiko during World War 11, at an unfortunate time when Japanese-American families were shuffled off to internment camps. This unforgettable gem of a story explores the age-old conflict between fathers and sons, the discovery and loss of first-love and the incredible power of the human heart. Jamie Ford simply knocked it out of the ballpark. I loved this book!


The Hours
The Hours
Author: Michael Cunningham
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 400
Review Date: 3/3/2010


The hours was by far one of my favorite reads of the year. The author brilliantly weaves the lives of three people from three different times, Clarissa Vaughan, Laura Brown and Virginia Woolf and intertwines all three lives so hauntingly beautifully and poignant, I read the last page, turned over the book and began reading it again. I saw and loved the movie before reading the book and so thrilled I chose to pick it up regardless. There is so much more that writing can do for a story that visuals cannot.


I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being A Woman
I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being A Woman
Author: Nora Ephron
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 369
Review Date: 1/23/2010
Helpful Score: 1


Eh...I normally place Nora Ephron on my list of will read anything this woman writes but this is book is not her best work, in my humble opinion. There were some funny parts but honestly I found myself, turning pages saying blah, blah, blah for a couple of chapters. In fairness, I did not finish it so maybe, just maybe, it got better by the end.


I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away
Review Date: 1/26/2010


I loved this book! It is a laugh-out loud account of the "culture" of the US from a guy who left for Britain two decades ago and has recently returned. Many times comedic is bitingly mean spirited, which is tedious for me- but Bryson is able to communicate the humor in a funny but loving, appreciative manner. Kudos! His stories are written as if he is your best friend, sitting in your living room, throwing back a pint or two and having a couple of laughs about, well, America.


The Liars' Club
The Liars' Club
Author: Mary Karr
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 312
Review Date: 1/21/2010


I loved this quirky tale of growing up with crazy parents. The writing is flat-out spectacular, the story compelling and I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a side of crazy with the characters they read about in a book. I know I do. I also judge books by their page turning qualities and this one was read via a flashlight under the covers. I just couldn't put it down nor go to sleep finding out what that wacky mother would do next.


The Lost Boy: A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family
The Lost Boy: A Foster Child's Search for the Love of a Family
Author: Dave Pelzer
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 907
Review Date: 3/3/2010
Helpful Score: 1


The topic of child abuse and the foster care system may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the writing is so beautiful and optimistic, I couldn't help but fall wildly, madly in love with this kid and not from pity alone. Although I was aghast at Dave's early experiences and life, I was doubly inspired by his tenacious spirit. This is a gruesome story that most would likely not have made it through intact, but it is not all grit and grime. It is a moving story of a boy who was looking for love and a place in the world but a child from a mother with mental illness who could not offer a safe loving place. I highly recommend this book.


Meat on the Grill: New Recipes for Beef, Lamb, Pork and Other Meats
Review Date: 3/3/2010


This book is great for beginners who want to learn more about the grill. Also, the recipes are easy to follow with pictures and quite an assortment for beef, lamb. pork and other meats.


My Friend Leonard
My Friend Leonard
Author: James Frey, James Frey
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 44
Review Date: 1/23/2010


I have read everything Frey has written and I swear I'd read his grocery list if I could. His writing and story telling simply ROCK! My Friend Leonard is a wacky, sweet story of life after addiction and the people wacky, sweet people who help you along the way. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves a book they cannot put down.


Poetics
Poetics
Author: Aristotle, S. H. Butcher (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 2/28/2010


I'm not saying anything new here but every writer should have a copy of Aristotle's Poetics on their bookshelf for a brilliant reminder of character and plot. No other book can match it in my opinion.


Smack
Smack
Author: Melvin Burgess
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 131
Review Date: 1/21/2010
Helpful Score: 1


Wow. The first three chapters nearly lost me and then I got swept up into a brilliantly compelling story about heroin addiction that any non-user or parent can relate to. I know I did. Weeks later, some of the scenes still play themselves out in my head as well as the use of the language. The story moves fast and I couldn't put it down. I highly recommend this book, don't let the first couple of chapters put you out, it'll be worth it.


Trademark: How to Name Your Business and Product (Trademark: Legal Care for Your Business & Product Name)
Review Date: 1/23/2010


A down-to-earth guide about trademarks that helps break it down for anyone looking to select and trademark their product without the initial costs of an attorney.


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