Wednesday, May 31, 2017

*Review* The American Cancer Society New Healthy Eating Cookbook by Jeanne Besser

Genre: Coobook
Published: November 1, 2016
Pages: 232


Tasty, nutritious recipes backed by the American Cancer Society
Get cooking and eat your way to better health with the latest edition of this popular cookbook. It includes more than 100 simple and delicious dishes that will turn healthy eating into a celebration of good food. It includes healthy substitutions, simple tips in the kitchen, smart shopping ideas, and notes on how to judge portion sizes. There is new material on how to shop in a healthy way, how to set up your pantry for healthy meals, and guidelines for physical activity. With the latest research, revisions to recipes, and updated recommendations for healthy eating, this cookbook makes it fun and easy to eat well.


I received a copy of this book from The American Cancer Society in exchange for an honest review. 

I'm just going to start by saying that as of right now, I have not tried out any of the recipes in this book. It just arrived yesterday, and I was so excited to see it, that I dove right in to read the front matter and scan through the recipes. But I'm just so excited about this book that I didn't want to wait until I've tried out some of the recipes to tell you about it. And y'all, there are some really good sounding recipes in here. There's one for a sweet chili fish burger that my seafood averse husband is even willing to try (and this is a man who gets pasta when we eat at Red Lobster and chicken at Long John Silvers). 

So I read through the introduction, and it has a fair amount of helpful information with a lot of bullet lists so it's fast and easy to read. It did give me pause about my new love for edamame, because apparently soybeans are high in calcium and I'm kidney stone prone, so I'm gonna' need to limit my consumption of edamame, and I wouldn't have known that without this book (because it's vegetables and those are healthy, so why bother learning more about them right?) And it's not like most of the information provided is stuff I didn't already know (I knew it, I'm not stupid), but the way it was presented made it seem less daunting. With a lot of diet trends and whatnot, it seems like you need to make huge, drastic changes to your life to see any results, but that's not the impression I got from this cookbook. This book made me feel like I can actually do something about my weight without feeling like a failure within a week. And I'm excited to try some of the recipes.

While scanning through the recipes last night to come up with a couple meal ideas for this week, I picked five things to try (I was only going to pick two or three, but I just couldn't stop myself when I reached three. Also, recipes four and five are more like side dishes.) For the most part, the recipes look really easy, although they include some ingredients that I am not at all familiar with (which made shopping today interesting.) And there are a few recipes in here that I will never try (everything with eggplant), but I think it would be a miracle if I were to find a cookbook without a single recipe that made me go "Ew, nope!" 

Now since I haven't tested out any of the recipes yet, I'm giving this book a tentative four stars, because the introduction was informative, many of the recipes sound really good, and a lot of them seem pretty easy to make. This rating is subject to change, however, as I start testing things out. Stay tuned for my recipe reviews over at Cooking with Katie. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Jeanne Besser is a former food columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and author of numerous cookbooks, including the American Cancer Society’s The Great American Eat-Right Cookbook and What to Eat During Cancer Treatment. Among her other cookbooks are The 5:30 Challenge: 5 Ingredients, 30 Minutes, Dinner on the Table; The First Book of Baking; andWorking Mom’s Fast & Easy Family Cookbook. She is coauthor of Tell Me the Truth, Doctor: Easy-to-Understand Answers to Your Most Confusing and Critical Health Questions. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

Recipe Reviews

As I test out the recipes from this book, I will be reviewing them individually on my new blog, Cooking with Katie, and then I will link to them here, so be sure to check back for those.

Peanut Noodles with Snow Peas and Broccoli

Saturday, May 27, 2017

*Stacking the Shelves* 27 May 2017

(Titles link to Amazon via Amazon Affiliate links)

Stacking The Shelves is a feature/weekly meme created by Tynga’s Reviews in which you share the books you are adding to your shelves, both physical and virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Now, I already have a monthly post I do featuring the books I get in the mail (and it's a lot because I have a serious Goodreads First Reads giveaway addiction), and I'm going to try to start posting my monthly Read-A-Thon posts again too (even if none of the Platypires will be joining me), which will cover the books I receive through Netgalley. But I also go to my thrift store at least once a week, and often leave with a bag full of books. It's such a common occurrence that I'm known as The Book Lady to the frequent volunteers (and I suspect that they've started scheduling their $1 bag of books sales for Thursdays simply because that is the day I usually visit.) So my Stacking the Shelves posts are going to focus on my thrift store hauls, because this is my blog and I do what I want. 

On that note, here are the books I picked up this week.

The Geography of the World by DK Publishing - Reference books may not be much fun, but they are handy to have when you have children in school, especially when you are homeschooling, and this one actually looks kind of fun.
365 Nature Crafts and Activities by Karen E. Bledsoe and Candyce Norvell - In certain aspects of my homeschooling, I feel like a bit of a failure...crafts happen to be one of those areas (which is really weird if you've ever seen my Pinterest boards). Hopefully this will help give me some more motivation.
365 Science Projects and Activities by Phyllis J. Perry and Peter Roller, Ph.D. - Science is another area where I frankly need a little bit of help. I don't remember doing that many experiments in school myself, so I'm always a little bit at a loss for things to try that we can actually do at home with things that are easy to acquire. I think this should help a lot. 
A Trip Around the World by Leland Graham, Ph.D. and Traci Brandon, M. Ed. - This is a workbook for bringing cultural awareness to your classroom. I'm actually going to order another one from Amazon so that I can use them with both of my children at the same time. 
A New Trip Around the World by Leland Graham, Ph.D. and Traci Brandon, M.Ed. - This is also a workbook like the book above, but it focuses on different countries. It will definitely be useful for our homeschooling. 
Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller - I feel like this book made a rather big splash on social media around it's release, which was just in February, but I might just have imagined that. 
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare - Don't judge me, but I've never read this series. I now own the first book though, so that's a start. 
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin - This book has been on my Amazon wish list for several months now. I was happy to be able to get a copy for much less than full price. 
Advent by James Treadwell - It's got a blue cover. And the first thing in the blurb is 1537...Apparently it's largely (mostly, partially) set in the present day, so I probably should have read further, but oh well. 
Eggs by Jerry Spinelli - If I remember right, Spinelli is a big name in kids fiction, I think...I didn't have this book at least and my kids may enjoy it.
Leaving Berlin by Joseph Kanon - Historical fiction set right after WWII. Definitely up my alley.
What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman - I've seen Laura Lippman's name around a lot lately, not for this book, but people seem to like her. 
The Three-Martini Playdate by Christie Mellor - This is the kind of parenting book that seems right up my alley. I just couldn't resist. 

So that's all the books I picked up this week at my thrift store. This haul cost me $7.50 because the first five books cost $6.50 (educational books cost more at my thrift store, but they're still a steal.) Definitely a great trip to the thrift store if you ask me. 

What books did you add to your bookshelf this week? - Katie 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

*Review* American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: July 2001
Pages: 674


A storm is coming...

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.


With this book being a show now, I kinda had to read it. Especially because I really want to watch it. The issue is that everyone else at my library had the same idea, so the hold was about infinity billion months long. Seriously. I put a hold on it last year after having seen an article about it. But it was amusing that I got it right about the time the show started. Just in time for me to be behind everyone else!

I’m about to out my lameness even further. I’d also never read a Neil Gaiman book before. I know, the shame! I’ve watched a couple of his movies without realizing they were books first, because I bring shame and dishonor to my family. Also I really enjoy the Doctor Who episodes he’s written. So it’s not like I should have been worried I wouldn’t enjoy them. Mostly I’m just a bum.

Being a big fan of mythology, the whole concept of this book fascinated me. So I was both excited and intimidated to start this one.

I’ve got to say, it starts out slowly. But it’s still fairly captivating. There’s a lot going on, and it’s pretty easy to get lost - especially if you’re listening to the audiobook. So you’ve got to really be paying attention. At the same time, because of how much is happening it’s also easy to completely forget things going on around you while being immersed in what is going on.

Okay, so to sum up my feelings on this. It was pretty cool. But it was also drawn out and more wordy than it needed to be. That took away from a lot of my interest and made it a bit boring throughout. But I thought it was cool and I do still want to watch the show.

⅗ Platypires - Joood - Hooligan

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About the Author

I make things up and write them down. Which takes us from comics (like SANDMAN) to novels (like ANANSI BOYS and AMERICAN GODS) to short stories (some are collected in SMOKE AND MIRRORS) and to occasionally movies (like Dave McKean's MIRRORMASK or the NEVERWHERE TV series, or my own short film A SHORT FILM ABOUT JOHN BOLTON).

In my spare time I read and sleep and eat and try to keep the blog at more or less up to date.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

*Deja Revu* 22 May 2017

Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

#SneakPeekSunday - Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

Title: Once and For All
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: YA Romance (Contemporary)
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Pages: 400


As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen's thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine. 

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants. 

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

Sneak Peek Review

I received a copy of this sneak peek from Viking Books through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

This sneak peek gave me a small taste into the life of the daughter of a wedding planner, who, surprise surprise, gets/has to work for her mother over the summer helping to plan weddings. This is a position that I can almost relate to, as I worked in my father's grocery store when I was growing up (starting in 5th grade), but it was my choice to start working there, and it doesn't seem like Louna got that same choice. However, once I started working for my father, I was the person who got called in to work when the flaky high school kids called out sick, because Dad knew I wasn't busy. So I can relate to Louna having to work just because Mom says so. Because Mom knows exactly what commitments Louna has. This helped to draw me into the story a little bit. 

Now since this is only a three chapter sneak peek, I don't really have a very firm grasp of what is going on in the story at all. I am curious what role Ambrose will play, from the brief glimpse of him I got in Chapter Two, it seems that it will be significant.* I got a little bit giddy thinking about Louna and Ambrose dating over the summer while her mother is planning his sister's wedding. I would be interested in seeing how that plays out. I'm also very intrigued by a black dress and a pair of sandals that were mentioned in these early chapters. There's obviously a story there that I would like to hear. 

Now that being said, would I buy this book on release day? No. I would not. Contemporary romance is rather low on my list of preferred reading material, and while I occasionally enjoy it, I basically never find myself just dying to read it. I would buy a used copy at my thrift store, or snag it for my Kindle on sale. I would be interested in reading the rest of the story, but not interested enough to pay full new release price for it myself. 

*Yes, I realize the synopsis makes it clear that Ambrose plays a significant role in the story, but I didn't read the synopsis until after I wrote my review.

Buy the Book

About the Author

Sarah Dessen is the author of twelve previous novels, which include the New York Times bestsellers Saint AnythingThe Moon and MoreWhat Happened to GoodbyeAlong for the RideLock and KeyJust ListenThe Truth About Forever, and This Lullaby. Her first two books, That Summer and Someone Like You, were made into the movie How to Deal
Dessen’s books are frequently chosen for the Teens’ Top Ten list and the list of Best Fiction for Young Adults. They have been translated into twenty-five languages. Sarah Dessen is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the Young Adult division of the American Library Association, recognizing her significant contribution to young adult literature.
Sarah Dessen graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with highest honors in creative writing. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Jay, and their daughter, Sasha Clementine.
Visit Sarah at

Saturday, May 20, 2017

*Review* Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Genre: Literary Fiction
Published: May 14, 2013
Pages: 610


Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.


I listened to the audiobook version of this book, and I'm glad I did. The narrator had an intriguing accent that I'm assuming is authentic Nigerian, I don't have anything to base that assumption on though other than that the main character is Nigerian, so I could be wrong. But the narrator's accent added an element to the story that would have been missing for me if I had read the book myself. 

This book was included on the list of books every woman should read by 40 that Platypire Bob and I are racing to complete before we reach 40. We started the race a little over a year ago, and this is the first new book I've completed since then (but Bob hasn't read any new books yet, so I'm still doing better than her.) That's not the only reason I read the book, but it did influence the timing a little probably. 

This story was told in semi-dual POV, although we mostly get Ifemelu's perspective on things. I thought it was interesting how Ifemelu's life in America mirrored Obinze's life in the UK in some ways. I also found it interesting the lengths they had to go to in order to support themselves outside of Nigeria in the beginning, especially Ifemelu with her student visa. I mean, you'd think we'd want students to be able to support themselves while attending school, right? 

And at this point, I honestly don't think anything else I could possibly say would do this book justice. I have actually been agonizing over this for a couple weeks now, and I just can't put into words my feelings about the book while also avoiding spoilers. So I'm just going to say that I absolutely understand why this book made it onto a list of books every woman should read, and to urge you to do just that. 

5 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian author. Her best known novels are Purple Hibiscus (2003)Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), and Americanah (2013).

She was born in Enugu, Nigeria, the fifth of six children to Igbo parents. She studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. At nineteen, Chimamanda left for the U.S. to study communication at Drexel University in Philadelphia for two years, then went on to pursue a degree in communication and political science at Eastern Connecticut State University. Chimamanda graduated summa cum laude from Eastern in 2001, and then completed a master's degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

It was during her senior year at Eastern that she started working on her first novel, Purple Hibiscus , which was published in October 2003. 

Chimamanda was a Hodder fellow at Princeton University during the 2005-2006 academic year, and earned an MA in African Studies from Yale University in 2008.

*Stacking the Shelves* 20 May 2017

(Titles link to Amazon via Amazon Affiliate links)

Stacking The Shelves is a feature/weekly meme created by Tynga’s Reviews in which you share the books you are adding to your shelves, both physical and virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Now, I already have a monthly post I do featuring the books I get in the mail (and it's a lot because I have a serious Goodreads First Reads giveaway addiction), and I'm going to try to start posting my monthly Read-A-Thon posts again too (even if none of the Platypires will be joining me), which will cover the books I receive through Netgalley. But I also go to my thrift store at least once a week, and often leave with a bag full of books. It's such a common occurrence that I'm known as The Book Lady to the frequent volunteers (and I suspect that they've started scheduling their $1 bag of books sales for Thursdays simply because that is the day I usually visit.) So my Stacking the Shelves posts are going to focus on my thrift store hauls, because this is my blog and I do what I want. 

On that note, here are the books I picked up this week.

The Little Friend by Donna Tartt - She wrote The Goldfinch, which is highly acclaimed, although according to articles on the internet not ever read, so I figured I should get this book too. 
The Feast of Roses by Indu Sundaresan - I'm pretty sure this book would work well for May's Platypire Diversity challenge theme (Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage). I'm pretty much 100% guaranteed not to read it this month at this point, but I'll have it for next year I guess. 
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly - This book has been on my radar for a while, because I absolutely love this cover (my copy has the boards, roses, and hand on it). Honestly, I want to read it just because I find the cover intriguing and I absolutely judge books by the cover.
Tai-Pan by James Clavell - I have Gai-Jin already, and I think I might have Shogun, and this book falls between them in the series, so this was a great score.
Living Together by Pathway Publishers - This is a grade 5 son will be in 3rd grade next year, but it doesn't hurt to start planning ahead. 
From the Gracchi to Nero by H.H. Scullard - A book about Roman history is a great addition to any library.
Surrender the Pink by Carrie Fisher - Yes, THE Carrie Fisher. I'm pretty sure this book got added to my wish list when I heard the unfortunate news about Carrie's passing, so finding it at the thrift store was nice. 
The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones - It's historical fiction, and I like historical fiction. 
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline - I've heard really good things about this book. 
Fairest: Levana's Story by Marissa Meyer - So this is the fourth book in the series, and the only one I own in paperback, but whatevs. Maybe I'll find the others sometime soon. 
Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia Macneal - WWII era historical fiction. That's an auto-sell for me. 
Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist - Another historical fiction. This was a good week for historical fiction for me. 
Essentials of World History by Smith & Smith - Educational resources are always a good buy. 
A Perfect Christmas by Christy Webster - A Barbie beginner reader for my daughter. 
Dinosaur Battles by Michele R. Wells - A beginner reader about dinosaurs. I'm a bit disappointed that it says it's from the Boys' Life series because girls can like dinosaurs too you know, but whatevs, my daughter will still read it. 
Past...Present...& Future... by the Cooks of Saint James United Methodist Church - It's a church cookbook...a Methodist church cookbook at that. I'm not really religious, but church women and men know how to cook some good food. 

So that's all the books I picked up this week at the thrift store. This haul cost me $4.25 because I caught a bag of books sale, but that doesn't apply to the beginner readers and the cookbooks. Still a great price for all these books. 

What books did you add to your shelves this week. - Katie 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

*Review* Feed by M.T. Anderson

Genre: YA Dystopian
Published: February 23, 2004
Pages: 308


Identity crises, consumerism, and star-crossed teenage love in a futuristic society where people connect to the Internet via feeds implanted in their brains.

For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon - a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires. Following in the footsteps of George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., M. T. Anderson has created a not-so-brave new world — and a smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now.


I got this free from Audiobook Sync, it was one of the two titles they were offering last week. I probably wouldn’t have any interest in it otherwise, to be honest. I like science fiction and dystopia, but this just looked so overdone. And I was right. The big difference between this and the titles they compare it to (George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., and M. T. Anderson) is it was done so with the most annoying group of teenagers.

One of the only things that kept this book from being marked DNF was that I was listening to the audio version. You get more of an understanding of the feed this way, because they made commercials and news reports and whatnot to make it more immersive. That was pretty cool actually. Although the first time I was confused and didn’t know what was going on.

The thing that keeps this book from being a total dud, excluding the feed bits, is the message that it sends. It’s pretty much a story of a teenage girl, told from the perspective of a guy who is attracted to her, that doesn’t conform to society. And she’s the entire best part of this story. Or the only good part actually.

Maybe my issue with this book is that it’s about the majority of society doing a thing, and I already don’t really conform how I’m expected to. So I already find the basic people to be annoying AF. And I already feel like Violet. Also I was homeschooled by a father who taught me to think for myself. So she’s pretty much me in the future. And that’s really sad, actually.

Anyway, I’m giving this 2.5 Platypires. - Joood - Hooligan

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About the Author

Matthew Tobin Anderson (M. T. Anderson), (1968- ) is an author, primarily of picture books for children and novels for young adults. Anderson lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

His picture books include Handel Who Knew What He LikedStrange Mr. SatieThe Serpent Came to Gloucester; and Me, All Alone, at the End of the World. He has written such young adult books as ThirstyBurger WussFeedThe Game of Sunken Places, and Octavian Nothing. For middle grader readers, his novels include Whales on Stilts: M. T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales and its sequel, The Clue of the Linoleum Lederhosen.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

*Review* The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Genre: Classics
Published: June 20, 1890
Pages: 254


Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”


Thanks to Audiofile's free summer audiobook program, I listened to the audiobook version of this for free. The narrator's voice was pleasant, although it wasn't particularly great for the female voices, but they didn't play a major role in the story, so it wasn't that big of a deal for me. It was certainly not bad enough for me to recommend not listening to the audiobook. 

As a sometimes literary snob, this book has been on my radar for quite a while, but I just never got around to reading it until now. And I really wish that I'd read it sooner. While it has the somewhat boring societal grace details that one expects to find in a book about nobility at the end of the nineteenth century, it also has a very intriguing paranormal aspect to it through the portrait. 

The story provided a lot of room for speculation. I found myself wondering how different Dorian Gray's life would have been if certain aspects of the story had gone differently. I imagine he would have led a much more virtuous life if only Sybil Vain had not killed herself before he got the chance to make amends for instance, which would have been a very different book (and far less interesting honestly.) But that wasn't the only area that led to speculation (I just won't discuss the others because that would be too many spoilers, even for a book that's been out for over a century.) 

I found myself more drawn into the story than I thought I would be, and somehow I was even surprised by the ending, I probably shouldn't have been, but I was. 

Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend it to fans of Edgar Allen Poe's writing for sure, and of course other literary snobs that have yet to tackle it. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest

As the result of a widely covered series of trials, Wilde suffered a dramatic downfall and was imprisoned for two years hard labour after being convicted of "gross indecency" with other men. After Wilde was released from prison he set sail for Dieppe by the night ferry. He never returned to Ireland or Britain, and died in poverty.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

*Review* The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Genre: Literary Fiction
Published: May 29, 2003
Pages: 391


“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime." 

Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir's choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.


This book has been on my TBR list for over a decade. I have also refused to watch the movie until I read the book. So I've spent the last 13 years living a but a half life, having neglected to partake in this fabulousness. My past self owes me an apology.

I only knew a bit about what I was getting into when I started this. Like I'd pointed out, I'd heard of this book a while ago and put it on the back burner. And then I heard there would be a movie and was still a lazy bum. I didn't really give it much thought after marking it as, "want to read" on Goodreads. That is, until I saw it was on my library's overdrive app.

So I put a hold on it. Last year. I'm hadn't really check out the synopsis or anything since then. And pretty much forgot about it again. The hold lasted over 6 months! So it was a surprise when it finally showed up on the app. And it just so happened to come on right before I had a long drive, so I got to put a lot of time into it that first day. And that pleased me.

This story is amazing and I absolutely loved it. I appreciate how Amir was not the perfect main character. He was deeply flawed and it made it easier to connect with him. And I especially appreciate how certain subjects were handled. It gives you time to let things sink in and experience them with a broader perspective. And you get to see the consequences of the different actions, which is something I really feel many stories I read lack (or gloss over).

It does help that this story expands over several decades. I also never felt like it was skipping scenes or jumping too fast. The pacing was pretty good.

Okay, I feel like I am repeating myself. But I'll say this... I can't believe I waited this long to read this book. I am kinda ashamed of myself. But I also recognize I would not have enjoyed it as much a decade ago (Not saying I wouldn't have liked it, but it would be different).

Anyway, if you haven't read this yet then what the frak are you doing with your life?! Go read it immediately. - Joood - Hooligan

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About the Author

Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and moved to the United States in 1980. His first novel, The Kite Runner, was an international bestseller, published in thirty-eight countries. In 2006 he was named a goodwill envoy to UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency. He lives in northern California.