Friday, June 12, 2009

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

iconiconThis was actually my second time reading Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees. I read it for the first time several years ago, probably just a year or two after it came out.

I liked the novel the first time I read it, but I actually think I had more appreciation for it the second time I read it. I was motivated to read it again because I saw the movie with my mom several months ago, and loved it.

I'm not usually a big fan of movie adaptations, but this is one of several recently that I think was fabulously done. First of all, it has my favorite young actress in it, Dakota Fanning, and I think she played the role beautifully. (You ought to hear the breathless, nonstop way she rolls out Lily's lies in the movie. Perfect!) All of the older actresses were perfect, too, but especially Queen Latifah as August. I found that I was imagining these two in the roles as I read, and not in a bad way, either!

It's not often that I say this, but I actually think the movie made me appreciate the book more. It is a perfect visual counterpart to the novel, which is excellent in its own right too. An unforgettable story of a poor white girl growing up during the Civil Rights Era — definitely worth reading... and watching!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett

iconiconThis is actually the original book I was reading on our vacation in March, before I got distracted by several other books. I started out reading it on the airplane, but that was about it. Unfortunately, I kept getting distracted after we got back, so although it's a short book and formatted so that it's a very easy, fast read, it took me until just a few days ago to finally finish it.

However, the reason I really picked up this book was as a writing/career book, so you'll find the review on Reading 4 Writers.

Edit: I decided to get rid of Reading 4 Writers since I wasn't updating it regularly.  I will be importing the more detailed review to Livre du Jour soon, at which time I will update the link below.

ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

I just have to say, though, that this book is not really just for career writers. If you maintain a blog and you are interested in how to make it better — or even earn some money from it — you will probably benefit from the information provided!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

iconiconI finished this book days ago, actually, but lately I've gotten a little behind on blogging. In other words, expect a couple more reviews in the coming days — I have some catching up to do!

My husband, Michael, has been bugging me to read Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain for months now. He bought this book at Starbucks, of all places, and read it almost right away (a rarity for him). He's quite the dog person, so he loved it.

Basically, this novel is told from a dog's point of view — a very funny, very dog-like dog's point of view. It's amazing how easily you can picture the narrator's voice coming from a dog. It sounds just like what certain dogs I know would say if they could.

As Michael said, the heart of the book is some rather serious subject matter, but man does this dog have a good sense of humor! The witty comments provide excellent comic relief in all the right places.

I also really appreciated the fact that the main character (the dog's owner) is a race car driver who lives in Seattle. It's amusing and appropriate because before I was born, my dad was a race car driver who lived in Seattle. He never got into the big time stuff, of course, but still — it was a nice touch. Also, since my dad (naturally) was the one who taught me to drive, and since I've heard a lot of his racing stories, I was familiar with some of the concepts mentioned in the book (though by no means do you have to in order to understand and enjoy it).

The Art of Racing in the Rain is a pretty fast read, and I highly recommend it, particularly for dog lovers. The personality and voice of the narrator is so true to life — you'll love it!