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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Howards End Ended

I have FINALLY finished Howards End. It was interesting and more thought provoking than most books I read, but definitely not my cup of tea. I'll give you more of my thoughts later in a super fun Book vs. Movie review (yay!).

It turns out that my book club will be meeting on a Monday when I'll be in class so it looks like I won't have to read Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own. I'm doing a happy dance right now because honestly that just sounded like torture (I'm not an English major, I don't have to read boring stuff). I probably will finish The Awakening, just because I'm a third into it.

Then I'll finish Villette.

Then on to fun stuff published this century! Hooray!

Thanks for stickin with me during that dry spell!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Slow Going

Sorry I haven't finished a book recently (actually I have, but it's a YA and I don't want to fill this blog with one genre) but school has gotten to that point where it's too busy to keep up with reading. Also, I somehow ended up reading four books/novellas/essays at once, none of which I'm really loving. I just got Kate Morton's newest book, The Distant Hours, in the mail and I'm SO EXCITED to start it because I loved her other two. Alas, I have to finish the other 4 things first. So, here's what I'm reading now...

1. Howards End by E M Forster - only 50 pages left

2. The Awakening by Kate Chopin - 100 pages left

3. Villette by Charlotte Bronte - only 70 pages in...countless left

4. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf - haven't started and I don't really want to, but it's for book club

Friday, October 29, 2010

Book Review: Bridget Jones' Diary

Title: Bridget Jones' Diary

Author: Helen Fielding

Genre: Chick Lit

Synopsis: Kinda like the movie, but not.

Stars: 5/5

Lauren's Review: The two 'grown up' books I'm reading right now were stressing me out/getting dull so I had to take a chick lit break. I decided to read this book because it's one of my favorite movies and it reminds me of Christmas time, which I am so excited for!

The book is a lot like the movie, but there are a few subtle differences that made reading it exciting. For one, Bridget is a little smarter....which I totally enjoyed. I love Renee's Bridget, but you have to admit she brought a lot of misery on herself. The book Bridget is a little more relatable.

Also, the plot is different, so it wasn't just like reading the screen play.

And Daniel was nicer...he was half nice half more like a real world guy.

Anyway, while I enjoyed the movie's ending more, I liked the books characters more. I would recommend the book to all movie fans. It was a light-hearted, easy read. Now back to the hard stuff.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Book Review: Mini Shopaholic

Title: Mini Shopaholic

Author: Sophie Kinsella

Genre: Chick Lit

Synopsis: The sixth book in the Shopaholic series (will it ever end?). Becky lies to everyone, drama ensues. The standard Shopaholic fare.

Stars: 2/5

Lauren's Review: Unfortunately, Sophie Kinsella has proven that there really is too much of a good thing. When I first started the Shopaholic series, Becky Bloomwood was like your lovable, albeit clumsy and bumbling, younger sister that you just wanted to look after and protect from the evils of the world (and maybe you should take all her credit cards away too, just to be safe). But by the end of this novel, I really started to question Becky's mental capacity as she seemed to think on about the same level as an 8 year old. Adults just do not act like that.

I love Kinsella's work and I've read everything she's written (under this name, I haven't touched the Madeline Wickham stuff yet) and I have to say this was the worst. Finishing this book was a chore that I only completed out of love and devotion to the writer. I was incredibly sad when she finished the book by setting it up for the next sequel. I think it may be time to put Becky B. to rest and focus on some other works. Preferably ones with more intelligent characters, like Remember Me? or The Undomestic Goddess (both of which I loved and recommend).

Friday, October 15, 2010


Please look at my "What I'm reading now" section to the right.

This has to say something about me. Not sure what though...

Book Review: Never Let Me Go

Title: Never Let Me Go

Author: Kazuo Ishiguro

Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: This novel is narrated by Kathy, who is now 31 years old, and tells about her life starting with her childhood at the boarding school Hailsham. The students of Hailsham know that they are 'special' but there is something mysterious going on that neither they, nor the reader, seem aware of.

Stars: 5/5

Lauren's Review: I really don't want to say too much about this book because the best way to read it is totally blind. The art of Ishiguro's story telling is in the way he reveals the truth little by little. Suffice to say that it is a beautifully told and deeply moving novel with something for everyone. I had a hard time thinking of a good genre for it and so I just left it as 'Fiction.' If you're thinking of reading this book, I say go for it. Don't peek around the internet looking for reviews or summaries, because too many of them have spoilers. Just pick it up and jump in, you won't regret it. After reading the novel, I'm really looking forward to seeing the movie next week!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Book Review: The Good Earth

Title: The Good Earth

Author: Pearl Buck

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis: This novel tells the story of Wang Lung, a Chinese Farmer, starting with his marriage and leading all the way to his final days. Wang lung is able to rise up in the world from his humble origins to greatness and wealth all because of his hard work on the land. This book takes place before the Chinese Revolution and perfectly captures a time and place that no longer exists.

Stars: 5/5

Lauren's Review: Obviously this book and author speak for themselves, she's won a Nobel Prize in literature, the novel won a Pulitzer Prize (and is even on Oprahs Book Club list! sarcasm). But somehow I had still never read it until now.

I loved it.

I think it's amazing that Pearl Buck is an American woman and she managed to perfectly describe the life of a poor Chinese farmer. I guess I probably never read it because I wasn't interested in the subject to be quite honest. Chinese history doesn't really get me excited like English history does...but it's possible that's just because I don't know enough about it. Buck opened my eyes to a totally new world.

I strongly suggest reading this novel and reading about Pearl Buck's life as well, she was an interesting person.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Seasons Readings!

When I think about a book I've read in the past, a lot of the times I find that I've attached memories with the book. Kristin Lavransdatter reminds me of pretzels dipped in Nutella. Emma reminds me of my bed in my Freshman year dorm room. Marley & Me reminds me of the beach. So I guess that it only makes sense that I also associate certain books with certain seasons.

Today is noticeably cooler than last week. It's been raining a lot lately and the sun is already rising later and setting sooner. So when I took Molly outside this morning in the cool, damp darkness something in me just said "Ahh...Fall." And then something else said "Let's read Lord of the Rings."

To me Fall means I need something Fantasy or Historical. Or both. Below are two of my favorite 'Fall-type' books. Of course, if you haven't read the Lord of the Rings series, I strongly recommend that as well (start with The Hobbit!)

Does anyone else associate the seasons with certain books? If so, which?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Review: The Strain

Title: The Strain

Author: Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Genre: Horror/Thriller

Synopsis: A plane lands at JFK airport and stops dead on the runway. All the shades pull down and the power goes out. Crews outside are confused as to what has happened, even more so when they open the airplane to find that everyone on board is dead...or are they?


Lauren's Review:
Holy crap, I think John Grisham quit doing legal thrillers for a day and squeezed out this turd. Which is to say, I hated it. Who knew you could make a horror thriller so...boring?

First of all, I didn't give a crap about a single character. They managed to make them all sound like over-used Hollywood stereotypes.

Second of all...ok this is a mini spoiler but everyone who read the book jacket knows it...they're vampires. You think, 'that's kinda overdone, but cool,' right? WRONG. They manage to make vampires the least cool thing ever. There is nothing cool about these vampires, they're boring and don't have any super powers. They're even lamer than Edward Cullen (who at least sparkles and can run really fast).

So when the vampires aren't cool and the characters are as interesting as rocks, I think it's time to give up. I finished this book but I will not be reading the rest of the trilogy. I just don't care.

Book Review: Sloppy Firsts

Title: Sloppy Firsts

Author: Megan McCafferty

Genre: Young Adult

This is the story of one year in the life of16 year old Jessica Darling, told through diary entries and letters to her best friend Hope. Jess struggles with parents who don't understand her, friends that are clueless and shallow, a perfect older sister, and a strange attraction to a boy best described as a "bad seed." Jess tries to find herself in the mystifying and complex world of high school when the one friend she identified with is suddenly taken away from her.

Stars: 4/5

Lauren's Review: Don't be turned off by all the cliches in the synopsis. This is a character that at least I found easy to relate to. She's brainy, not pretty ("why do girls always have to be one or the other?") She's not taken in by all the popularity peer pressure. And she *gasps* tries to get good grades! Honestly, never since Cat from 10 Things I hate About You have I found a teenager more agreeable. She isn't a goth/geek/nerd but she isn't a prep/cheerleader/popular girl. Instead she falls into the under-represented in between where most of us real people spent our high school years.

And despite being a YA book, the writing is not too shabby. This isn't one of those 'like omg and then he kissed me!' type of diaries, Jess delves into the deep stuff of who she is and the difficulties in her relationships with other people. I think what I liked about this book is the realness of it. Its what high school was actually like, but without the classes so not boring.

I liked Jess because she was a real character and had brains. Unlike some retards who go falling in love with every vampire/werewolf they find. But that's another rant for another time.

About Starfish Books

image from here

Hello and welcome! I'm Lauren and Starfish Books is an extension of my regular blog (Starfish Road), except here I will only talk about books. I'm not an author, publisher, or editor. I'm just a reader who likes to discuss books with other people. I like almost all genres of fiction, but some more than others. If you want to leave a comment or suggest a book you think I should read, go for it!