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205 entries have been written about this.

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#4 - El libro de los modales: ¿Qué es lo correcto, Teo? — 7 years ago


This is a children’s book on manners, written solely in Spanish. We read it as a bedtime book, and were able to make it through with a few trips to the Spanish/English dictionary. The concepts of manners are very elementary, but it was still a nice reminder for my son, plus good practice reading Spanish. 8/10

#6 - Me llamo Celia: La vida de Celia Cruz — 7 years ago


This is a gorgeous book for children – colorful, fun illustrations, and text in both Spanish and English which tells the life story of Cuban singer Celia Cruz. I read it in Spanish (although I was glad to have the English there, so I could figure out the stuff I didn’t understand; I’m still a very beginning Spanish student). I checked it out from the library, and intend to read it a few more times before returning it. 10/10

#5 - The Missing Cat (Adventures with Nicolas) in Spanish — 7 years ago


I read this aloud to my son today, although we’ve also listened to the audio CD which came with the book. It’s a cute story, and the book text is written in both Spanish and English, so it’s a great way for him (and me!) to learn some vocabulary and grammar. There are also songs at the end, as well as a small picture dictionary of words used in the story. It’s helping both of us in our quest to learn to speak Spanish. 9/10

#3 - Rikki Tikki Tavi — 7 years ago


Another re-read; another book read aloud to me by my son. Still a great story. I wrote a review last year which can be found here:

Girl With a Pearl Earring — 7 years ago


I read this book a few years ago, and loved it. They did a great job, IMO, with the film adaptation. It was very pretty (see the review by Steve Young; I agree entirely with his comments), and recreated the feel of the book – and of the time period – admirably. Plus, Colin Firth with long hair? sigh

#2 - How the Grinch Stole Christmas — 7 years ago


A re-read. My son read this one aloud to me yesterday. I’m planning to have him do a lot of that this year. Still a great book, even after dozens of readings.

#1 - White Teeth — 7 years ago


My first book of 2007! It was nearly the final book of 2006, but I didn’t quite get through it in time. :)

Just a quick warning that there are SPOILERS ahead, so if you haven’t read this book and don’t want to know some of the things that happen, you might want to skip this review. :)

I’ve just now had a look at the previous comments others have made, and I’m glad I didn’t read them before now (in other words, until after I’d finished the book). Which is funny, in a way, because I agree COMPLETELY! I felt exactly the same way about the ending, and it’s gratifying to discover that I’m not the only one who felt that way. However, I’m afraid that if I’d read those comments beforehand, I might not have enjoyed this book as much as I did, and I did enjoy it. It was a very interesting read, and I’d hate to have missed out on that just because the ending is anti-climactic, to say the least.

I really enjoyed her prose. It was interesting, and fresh, but not too heavy on slang. I thought her style fit very well with the subject matter – a blending (or clash, in many cases) of cultures. I loved the way she wove each individual thread into the book, and even how she brought them all together again at the end. It just would have been nice if she’d then done something a bit more spectacular with all her previous good work. (I’m put in mind of Stephen King, and not in a good way). I will admit, though, that I was glad she didn’t do some of the things I was afraid she would do (namely, killing characters that I would have been sad to see die).

I especially loved Irie, and found her speech on the bus to be marvelous (and relevant). I’d guessed Archie’s secret (I’m fairly certain we’re supposed to have guessed), but I was surprised (and pleasantly so) when the focus of this secret turned up when he did. There were some other lines that really struck me – one in particular about how we always believe ourselves to be worth loving, and the comment that perhaps this isn’t really a reasonable thing. That perhaps people who don’t return our love aren’t “damaged” as we like to believe they are. An interesting thought. There were many others in this book, too. (Although most of them have been lost from my memory, since it took me several weeks to read this book, what with the intervention of the holidays). I found it relevant and thought-provoking. One of my favorite things is that I managed to be annoyed (even disgusted) with the behavior of most (all?) of the characters at one point or another, and yet, I still managed to like them, in spite of their bad behavior.

On the whole, a meaty, well-written book. I will read others by this author. Hopefully she’ll have learned her lesson, and her new works actually have a proper denouement. 8/10

#128 - Skara Brae — 7 years ago


A nicely illustrated children’s book about this stone-age village in Scotland’s Orkney Islands. I was fortunate enough to visit Skara Brae in 1996, and it was interesting to read this book with my son, when we were studying the village at part of our history curriculum. 8/10

The Titanic (w/Catherine Zeta-Jones) — 7 years ago


This was bad bad bad. The worst “Titanic” film I’ve seen, and that’s saying something, since “SOS Titanic” also really sucked. But this one was worse. It had potential. Well, of course it did. This is a great backdrop for a drama, and there’s no need to go beyond historical events and real people. Except that whomever wrote this script did a horrible job with characterizations. They took all the worst rumors about people and ran with them, turning the historical figures into caricatures, rather than characters: Captain Smith running around shouting at people; Ismay sneaking furtively onto the lifeboat with a crowd of people struggling to get on behind him. At the start, I was pleased to see them bring in one of the more interesting stories that I’d not seen included in a film before: Alice Cleaver and the Allison family. Unfortunately, they managed to turn this story into a farce as well. Alice was overly pathetic (why was she screaming in the lifeboat? I wanted to scream from the stupdity of it), but even worse, they turned the Allisons into complete idiots. Halfway through, I found myself feeling GLAD that the bitchy and hysterical Mrs. Allison and bratty little Lorraine were going to die when the ship sank. Not really the way to frame a tragedy. Oh, and what the heck was Tim Curry thinking when he agreed to play the psycho-rapist steward? There are so many other things I could mention, but if I were to put down everything I dislked, it would take me longer than it took to watch this stupid film. Bad bad bad. Even if you are a big “Titanic” fan, skip this one. It sucked. 2/10

Unsinkable Molly Brown — 7 years ago

Cute, although I can’t say that I loved it. They played fast and loose with history, although that’s forgiveable under the circumstances, to create a musical-worthy story. The real trouble was that I didn’t really enjoy the music, nor Reynolds’ performance. Even so, I suppose I am glad that I watched it. 6/10

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