Wednesday, October 26, 2011

3. HER FEARFUL SYMMETRY ~ Audrey Niffenegger

Hmm, who is this? One of the twins?

Her Fearful Symmetry
This book had people scratching their own eyes out or creating alters made from their own ear wax. So, I knew I would either pitch it into the fire or take the Ciroc out of the freezer.

Strangely, I did neither.

How does one describe one of the oddest though fascinating literary experiences? The basic plot involves twin sisters inheriting their aunt's flat in London, on the strict ground that their mother, the aunt's twin, not be allowed there. From there, Elsbeth, the deceased, gains strength in her post-death form, and attempts to communicate with the twins. This book is an example of too much communication can sour a relationship. Go to the nearest pub instead.

However, the descriptions of the after-death experiences were curious and odd enough to make them fresh to my bitter taste buds. Living across from a graveyard did stretch the symmetry of the novel a bit, until I almost felt a bruise on the noggin'. "Do you get it? Don't you get it?" A-ha, graveyard, death, life, symmetry, twins, yes, you have quite a bit going on here that I cannot share without upsetting my readers.

For the win, my favorite character was Martin. Bravo.

2.75 out of 5.0 Peppermint Schnaaps and Cocoas.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

2. AUSCHWITZ - Miklos Nyiszli

Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account
This was one of the most horrible, gritty books that I have read in a long time, not due to the writing style or the subject matter. The title lets anyone over the age of ten know it is not a sunshine and june bug book. AUSCHWITZ. *Shudder.*

But when I read this in the sun with beautiful golden leaves falling from the oak tree above me, the woods around me a cacophony of autumn music, I shivered at the descriptions of men - Jewish men - jumping ahead of others to volunteer to work the ovens. To ignore the faces of their peers, their friends, their family as they took bodies out of the showers then pulled out gold and silver teeth.

Nyiszli, the doctor/author, never explains his purpose in sharing this information. To show the horrible aspects of humanity? To ease some of his own guilt? I call bullshit. So, he drank and smoked a lot to shut out what was going on around him. He did not do enough. Period. He said, "No," instead of trying to help others. Yes, he saved his wife and daughter. Yes, I was not there. Then, enlighten me, tell me of the guilt you feel - or should feel, you snobby prig - every damned day.

2.5 out of 5.0 Smirnoff Lemonade Marmalade Mule.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

1. THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS ~ Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Thorns = Go to hell - who knew?

The Language of Flowers: A Novel

Whomever suggested this novel for my first foray into the 2012 challenge deserves a free book, so email me. Not only did I chew off the inside of my lower lip, my eyes were swollen and sore at the end.

As always, I am jumping ahead.

Victoria Jones earned the general last name through the bland child welfare system. She never knew her parents or their circumstances and only remembered disliking touch and her foster families. Until she met Elizabeth, a oak tree against Victoria's hurricanes of hate. Elizabeth began to teach Victoria about the old language of flowers, when gentlemen dared not send red roses to a lady friend.

This is where I will shoot a test tube of some purply vodka mix to avoid giving away the entire story. It is not happily ever after with Elizabeth. And, I wanted to take a horsewhip from my barn to Victoria. The characters behave how they should, however, based on their experiences.

Kudos to a beautiful debut from Vanessa Diffenbaugh, and I look forward to her next work.

4.25 out 5.0 Captain Morgan Silver Sodas.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Challenge: Oct. 5-Nov. 10 2012

There have been some very insane book projects during my time with Books for Breakfast. Mainly, the first year would be an excellent example of nearly losing my head inside too many pages of divorces and adulterers.

I have spent years devoted to challenged books, banned books, and "top books." Now, I am going to fill in the blanks and look toward the future of literature: post-papel literature. The first embers of a dying publishing industries are beginning to glow, my friends, and we are watching it happen. Therefore, I want to see new means in publishing, PDF files or nook contributions, as well as books.

300 Spartans to battle? Pu-shaw! In the span of 395 days (give or take - my master's is in English, not math), I will read 300 books, occasionally assisted by Books for Breakfast Teen with "sick" milkshake recipes.

In fact, I will not just read 300 books. I will aim for 350 books, and I will finish one novel for online print, as well as write another novel to set free for its unknown purpose.

Crazy? Snarky? You have no idea.

Here's to you, darlin' readers...

Saturday, October 01, 2011

What does Kristin Dodge have in common with:


This gives a clue for what she has planned until November 10, 2012. Because, you know, all of her life dreams must be completed before the 2012 apocolypse in December.

Post your ideas in the comment section. Formal announcement to follow next week.

Meanwhile, Kristin is still accepting recommendations for ebooks and paper books, while Ann is accepting advertising space at: booksforbreakfastblog at gmail dot com.