mellochild - - Reviews

1 to 20 of 20
The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Author: Garth Stein
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 1003
Review Date: 1/3/2012
Helpful Score: 1


Enzo is one of the most lovable and loving characters in fiction. This book's theme of "keeping your eyes on the road" no matter what, told from a dog's point of view, is as powerful as they say. Enzo's loyalty to his master through a variety of pretty serious trials and tribulations had me reaching for the tissues as well. I'm not even a "dog person," but truthfully? ...This made me consider it.


Beebo Brinker
Beebo Brinker
Author: Ann Bannon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 1/16/2012


It was really pretty good. I don't know what I was expecting - maybe some angst-laden, shame-filled, closet dwelling characters who never find love? But Beebo (and Ann Bannon) are definitely very progressive, especially for their time. Beebo knows what she wants and she's not afraid to go after it! It's worth it for the history... This is probably the dawn (in fiction) of the modern gay rights movement.


Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes
Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes
Author: Donna-Marie Pye
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 1/10/2012
Helpful Score: 2


The nutritional info isn't listed. These meals aren't necessarily geared toward healthy eating (which is sometimes a good thing!), though the recipes are easy enough to modify if you'd like them to be healthier. The dessert section is a little lacking (mostly breads), but the other categories have a nice varied selection of recipes that look delicious and are simple to make. A very solid slow cooker cookbook.


The Big-Ass Book of Crafts
The Big-Ass Book of Crafts
Author: Mark Montano, Auxy Espinoza (Photographer)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 26
Review Date: 12/16/2011
Helpful Score: 1


This book, along with all of Montano's craft books, is absolutely amazing. It's not so much because of the individual projects; as another reviewer said, some of them do look "homemade," though others are absolute knockouts. It's because even a quick skim through this book can give you so many different ideas. There are items in here that you would never think had a use (seriously? blank subscription cards from magazines?) but when you see how he incorporates them into his projects, it's impossible for your creativity not to be jump-started, too!!!


The Big-Ass Book of Home Decor: More than 100 Inventive Projects for Cool Homes like Yours
Review Date: 12/16/2011


Another incredible crafting book from Mark Montano. There are plenty of projects for newbies and those with loads of experience. One look through this book and you won't be able to look at the simplest thing without coming up with five different ways to decorate with it!


Don't Throw It, Grow It!
Don't Throw It, Grow It!
Author: Deborah Peterson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 5/16/2012


A fun little book with a lot of projects to try. Great for kids and parents to do together, or for the amateur gardener with an adventurous spirit. The author is pretty informative: not every plant will flower/fruit, some will die after a few short weeks, and some will take years to evolve into the adult plant. But all in all, there's a lot of information here and a lot of things I was interested in starting up!


Eclipse (Twilight, Bk 3)
Eclipse (Twilight, Bk 3)
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 1057
Review Date: 12/16/2011


By far, the best book of the series, although that may or may not be saying much. Meyer's writing and plotting seemed to improve with each novel, and the various unresolved conflicts in this one left me with a lot of genuine anticipation for Book 4.

But that's a review for another day.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, Bk 1)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, Bk 1)
Author: J. K. Rowling
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 3595
Review Date: 12/16/2011


From someone who has no interest in fantasy or magical creatures or suspension of disbelief... this whole series is absolutely wonderful. It deserves every bit of the hype.


Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
Review Date: 8/20/2012
Helpful Score: 1


What's to say? You'll probably love it if you're a believer, and sneer at it if you're an atheist.

Me? I like to question and wonder, and I wouldn't say this was the right book for me. It was written by a pastor with a strong agenda that became a little overwhelming and credibility-straining by the end: at a funeral, Colton worried the dead man hadn't accepted Jesus into his heart. So of course the poor fella wasn't gonna get his big slice of pie in the sky, and that seemed a little less three-year-old than overbearing Evangelical pastor Dad to me.

I don't doubt that Colton may have had an out-of-body, near death, spiritual experience for the ages, but I do think that his family shaped it to suit their own beliefs.

That said, I liked the writing style, and some of the family anecdotes brought a smile to my face.

For other seekers and questioners, try "The Shack" by William P. Young (for a Christian perspective), or any book by Rabbi Rami Shapiro (for a holistic approach to God).


I Know This Much Is True
I Know This Much Is True
Author: Wally Lamb
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 987
Review Date: 12/16/2011
Helpful Score: 1


If I were to ever write a book, this is the one I wish I had written. A modern day classic. Absolutely epic. I don't think I can praise this one enough.


I Love You, Beth Cooper
I Love You, Beth Cooper
Author: Larry Doyle
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 3/26/2012


Quite fun! One part John Hughes movie, one part Judd Apatow film... Serve over a piping hot slice of "American Pie!" The main characters are quite fleshed out for a teenage novel, and this is laugh out loud funny at times. Good for anyone who likes raunchy comedy and/or a sweet teen love story.

(This version has comic illustrations by Evan Dorkin, of "Milk and Cheese" fame. They are a nice light touch!)

Also try: "Superstud" by Paul Feig.


Like Being Killed
Like Being Killed
Author: Ellen Miller
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 12/16/2011
Helpful Score: 1


Technically, this book is about drugs, but really it's about a woman who's just a little too smart and a little too intense to live in the world. It's about a woman who can't receive a greeting card for her birthday without wondering if the cute puppy with the sad eyes is already dead, so how can she even think about receiving friendship, or love? It's a book about the thin line between self-protection and self-destruction. It's extremely disturbing, but extremely affecting. It's ferociously intelligent. This is a book that has the power to change the way you see the world. I highly recommend it.


The Long Walk
The Long Walk
Author: Stephen King, Richard Bachman
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 340
Review Date: 12/16/2011


It's a very dark coming-of-age novel, though I wouldn't say that it's horror. This is one of my favorite books of all time, and Ray Garraty might be my favorite fictional character. I would actually describe this as being thematically similar to the also excellent "Hunger Games" trilogy, although with less of a political bent and more psychological insight. Stephen King is great at getting inside the minds of characters in extraordinary circumstances, and you will feel the impact every time one of these boys "gets their ticket."


Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog
Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog
Author: John Grogan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 338
Review Date: 1/3/2012


What can I say that hasn't been said? It's a really enjoyable book that will remind anyone who's owned a pet of not only that pet's freshest moments, but also their most loving. Animals are truly a part of the family, and the author does a great job of including Marley in the history of his burgeoning brood. If you liked this, I'd also recommend "The Art of Racing in the Rain."


Prep
Prep
Author: Curtis Sittenfeld
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 624
Review Date: 3/31/2012


I loved this one. Susan Cain referenced this book a few times in "Quiet: The Power of Introverts.." so I thought I'd check it out.

Lee is an introvert with an inferiority complex. On scholarship at a very wealthy New England boarding school, she manages to convince herself that she'll never match up with her peers at anything. This results in a shyness to participate in life, a keen observational style and sometimes snobbery. She can be an unlikeable character, but she is definitely one of the more honest and relateable characters in fiction today.

Some of the conversations and characters in her peer group are so spot-on, it's almost heartbreaking. There are no one-dimensional people, or situations, here. Some parts were uncomfortable to read, like her "relationship" with the only boy in class who pays any attention to her, and the way she treats a classmate and teacher, both of whom she disdains for trying too hard - but they ring true.

This is an engaging, well-written book with surprising depth. It's written from the point of view of Lee as an adult, so there's some removal from the teen angst, but it is angsty... But if you ever were a teenager, or an outsider, it comes highly recommended.


Sweet
Sweet
Author: Uzuri M Wilkerson, Uzuri M Wilkerson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 6/18/2012
Helpful Score: 1


A nice first effort from (OKAY, she's my friend) Uzuri Wilkerson. This vampire novel, set in Boston, is a lighthearted and sexy read. Action is a little slow sometimes, but the characterization and dialogue is well-written and sometimes hilarious. The love triangle between the human Celia, her vampire beau Victor and vampire hunter Jay is sizzling. A good beach read if you are a fan of the supernatural love story genre!


Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook
Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook
Author: Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Terry Hope Romero
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 51
Review Date: 1/22/2013
Helpful Score: 1


Becoming a vegan was my New Year's Resolution. This book is the definitive guide. I'm really impressed with the breadth and depth of these recipes. I've dabbled in cooking before, but I have a new understanding of using spices and herbs to give meals a more savory and satisfying kick. Who needs meat? I haven't even missed my cheese yet! Also, vegan baking is crazy good. I'm making the Eggplant Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream tonight!


Watching Baseball : Discovering the Game within the Game
Watching Baseball : Discovering the Game within the Game
Author: Jerry Remy, Corey Sandler
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 1/10/2012


This book is amazing. As a die-hard Red Sox fan for twenty-five years, I thought I was an old pro when it came to understanding the game - "The Rem-Dawg" made me look like a rookie! From the mechanics behind every pitch to what position to take in the field depending on who's at bat; from the way hitters work the counts to the way they bust slumps; from stealing signs to stealing bases to stealing a few zzzz's on the plane after a night game followed by a day game... this is the most definitive baseball book that I've ever read. A must for casual fans and know-it-all fans like me - this will make you feel like you're on the field! (Or at least on the bench. Natch.)


Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung? : Inspiring Stories for Welcoming Life's Difficulties
Review Date: 12/21/2012


I love listening to the Buddhist monk Ajahn Brahm's talks online when I have some quiet time. Mixing a decidedly British sense of humor and irreverence with an East Asian sense of peace and lovingkindness, he helps me to navigate life's difficulties using mindfulness and empathy.

This book is more or less a "greatest hits" collection of the jokes and parables that he tells. ...While it was wonderful to get the stories in print, in this case, the "movie" really is better than the book. Check him out on youtube to witness firsthand the joy, humor, compassion, understanding and wisdom that radiate from him. Once you've heard him speak, the book isn't quite enough.


Word Freak. Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitve Scrabble Players.
Review Date: 3/19/2012


I really enjoy books about what separates the very good from the very great. This is about Scrabble, but really it could be about anything that requires passion, obsession and loads of practice. Featuring a vibrant cast of characters and the tightrope thrill of competition, this is well-written and worthy of a read.

(And I've boosted my Words with Friends score by about fifty points... RUMFUSTIAN? ABOULIAS? GUAIACOL, CRWTH,OOTHECAE? Thank you verrrrry much, Stefan Fatsis!)


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