Monday, February 28, 2011

Forever by Pete Hamill

Summary: Cormac O'Connor, who arrives in New York City from Ireland in 1741, has been given the gift of immortality--but only on the condition that he never leave the island of Manhattan. Through his eyes, this magical epic follows the city's transformation from a burgeoning settlement to the thriving metropolis of the present day.This widely praised bestseller is the magical, epic tale of an extraordinary man who arrives in New York in 1740 and remains . . . forever. Through the eyes of young Cormac O'Connor -- granted immortality as long as he never leaves the island of Manhattan -- we watch New York grow from a tiny settlement on the tip of an untamed wilderness to the thriving metropolis of today. And through Cormac's remarkable adventures in both love and war, we come to know all the city's buried secrets -- the way it has been shaped by greed, race, and waves of immigration, by the unleashing of enormous human energies, and, above all, by hope.


My Review: I picked this book up at the recommendation of a bookseller  at my Borders store. He and I tend to enjoy the same books, so I trusted him when he recommended this Pete Hamill book to me. Overall, I really enjoyed the book, although it seemed to drag in some places.

You follow Cormac O'Connor from a young boy in Ireland in the 1730s up to 2001. You see him emigrate across the ocean and start a life for himself, and then also see New York City start it's life. You are able to see New York while it is a small town, founded by the Dutch and home to many Tories during the American Revolution. We see Cormac fight in the Revolution, meeting George Washington, seeing the Blacks and the Irish try to overthrow the British. You are able to see New York in the Tammany Hall era, where corruption was king. You are able to see New York through centuries, all the eyes of Cormac, all the way up to September 11th. 

Overall, I found Forever to be an enjoyable read, one where I was whisked back to a time and place that cannot be recaptured, and much of which was burned to the ground. It did drag in some places, and whenever a new section started, it was difficult to figure out what era you were in. If you enjoy Wally Lamb books, I would definitely recommend this book to you. Rich with details, background, and characters, it's something that will devour you once you start.

My Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)

Mailbox Monday

My first Mailbox Monday!

This week, all my books were purchased at my local Borders, which is sadly closing. I could do a whole post on how saddened I am by this, but I will refrain. I will miss having a bookstore where the staff is knowledgeable, actually reads books, and they are able to make recommendations that truly match what it is that you are looking for.

Anywho, with all books at least 20% off, I went on (another) shopping splurge, and these are the books that I purchased there this week:

The Weekend by Bernhard Schlink

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve

Eighteen Acres by Nicolle Wallace

The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards

It's Monday! What are you reading?

This weekly meme is from Shelia over at Book Journey. It's pretty simple: post about what you read this past week and what you are/want/will be reading this week. It's a great way to let others know what books are out there and give people some ideas as to what they could read next.

What I Read This Week (and am almost finished with!):

Forever by Pete Hamill (not a lot of time to read this week, but with 2 weeks off for surgery, definitely going to be reading a lot more!)

What's Up Next:

Almost Home by Pam Jenoff
Rescue by Anita Shreve

I'm working off my reading list and will be posting the reviews as I finish them. Hopefully I will be able to read this week (as long as the pain killers don't make me too sleepy, haha).

So, what have you read this week? What's up next? Let me know!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Me Talk Pretty One Day

A few months ago, I saw David Sedaris' book, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, in my local bookstore. It seemed intriguing,  so I bought it. Read it in a few days, and thought it was really enjoyable. I thought hey, why not try
another one of his books? I picked up Me Talk Pretty One Day. Let me just say, this book had me laughing so hard at times!

David Sedaris is an essayist, writing about his life, from his childhood in North Carolina, to his moving abroad to
France. The book is divided into two parts, the first being about his younger days, the second part about his experience living in a country where he doesn't know the language, but willing to learn.

Each chapter is a peak into Sedaris' world, from when his father attempted to have his children create their own jazz group, to trying to understand the gender of nouns in French. He writes in such a carefree manner that it's almost like you are hearing about a friend's trip to Paris. You are instantly pulled into Sedaris' world and feel as if you have known each other for years and are catching up over coffee.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a light read, or anyone who just needs a laugh. It's an
easy read, something very easy to pick up and put down. 

Overall, I would give Me Talk Pretty One Day ....

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(out of 5)

PS - Sorry that the formatting isn't great, I'm still playing with it! 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Turning a New Page

Welcome to my blog!

For the past few weeks, I have been searching the internet for online book clubs, book groups, book blogs ... anything that would connect me to other readers! I found a few blogs that I like, but a thought occurred to me ...

Why not start your own blog?


Well, maybe not genius, but I think it's a pretty good idea.

So, I have decided to start this blog as a place to post about books I have read, am reading, want to read ... anything related to books, really!

I'm really looking forward to blogging and putting my thoughts on what I read out there.

Right now, I am currently reading Forever by Pete Hamill. So far, it's been a great read, and I'm looking forward to posting about it once I've finished reading it (which should be soon ... it's hard to put down!)

Any comments, suggestions, or ideas, feel free to leave them here!