Reading Roundup: February 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

I'd been hearing a lot about this book, and I admit to feeling a little bit disappointed that it wasn't quite as good as the hype. The plot and many elements of the setting felt like they were derived from other dystopian fiction. But, I still really liked the characters and I do look forward to reading the sequel.

The Cure for Money Madness by Spencer Sherman

I did already comment on this book here in this post. It was a quick read and I skimmed some parts of it. It wasn't the best-written book but still had some good insights. I feel like I learned a lot from it and will be thinking about many of my new insights for a long time.

Counting Stars by Michele Paige Holmes

I read a book by Holmes last year after it was nominated for the Whitney Awards and the plot intrigued me. I also read this one because the plot also sounded interesting to me; the plot certainly had many twists and turns that kept me reading. I'm not usually a big romance fan but this one wasn't too bad.

The Optimistic Child by Martin E. Seligman

I read this book a few years ago and decided it was time for a re-read. I enjoy books like this one that have concrete, practical tips for things to do with your children. The cognitive thinking skills in this book are geared towards kids that are a bit older than mine, but I'll be keeping them in mind for the future.

The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan

I really liked The Joy Luck Club and it's one of my favorite books, but the problem is that every one of her other books have not measured up. This one had a compelling plot, but the characters were all so annoying that I had a hard time reading this.

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

I really didn't need the author to tell me which books and movies were her 'inspiration'; this book felt horribly derivative to me. I mostly finished it because I was curious about how the plot would resolve itself. The ending wasn't much of a shock either, plus it was one of those books where the entire action hinges on a few little things left unsaid by people. I hate stories like that--they frustrate me.

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asberger's by John Elder Robison

This book was much more interesting and entertaining than I thought it would be. I checked it out hoping to have some insight into Asberger's syndrome, but mostly I thought it was a fascinating memoir about a singular person.

Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

When someone recommended this book to me I was hesitant to read it. Partly because I had already read one of her books, and also because I wasn't sure about labelling either of my children as 'spirited'. After reading the book I changed my mind; there were many good, practical tips for working with your kids that I'm already putting into practice with my kids. Even if you don't think your kids are 'spirited' you could benefit from reading this book (or her other one: Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles).

Movies

Catfish

Everything I've read about this movie warns that the plot has unexpected twists that shouldn't be revealed. I think that if you want to watch the movie, you should keep that in mind. This was a fascinating documentary about many aspects of our contemporary culture. Watch it and you won't be disappointed.

Temple Grandin

This is my new 'must recommend to everyone movie'. Claire Daines does an amazing job in her role and the way the movie presents her point of view is innovative and moving. Both Mr. Fob and I agreed that it was the best movie we've seen in a long time.

The Kids are All Right

Although Annette Bening received more of the praise for this movie, both of us felt like Julianne Moore's performance was better. She had a much more complicated character to deal with and she did a good job. This was generally a good movie, but I felt like many aspects of the story were incomplete and I wanted to know more.

Comments

AmyJane said…
I felt similarly about Matched. Good, but a little too like the others (i.e. The Hunger Games, primarily).
I read Look My In They Eyes a few years ago and found it's 1st person look inter Asperger's very interesting after I got into it.
Katya said…
Maybe there just aren't enough unique dystopian plots and characters to go around . . .
SeƱora H-B said…
I absolutely loved Temple Grandin. A friend recommended it to us. It's a movie I now recommend to everyone.

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