logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Trees
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-01-24 00:49
The Memory Trees by Kali Wallace
The Memory Trees - Kali Wallace

Alas, The Memory Trees falls on that odd line that I've found lately between something that enchanted me, and also left me slightly cold. I'll do my best to explain, I promise. It should be noted that I love Magical Realism. There's something beautiful about books that keep one foot firmly rooted in our reality, while exploring something otherworldly at the same time. In this case, I'm just not sure that Sorrow's story really accomplished that as well as I had hoped.

At the core of this story is a deep family lineage that, as is often the case, is peppered with grief and loss. The Lovegood family has never had it easy. From the moment that the first Lovegood moved onto their ancestral land, their lives have been difficult and layered. I appreciated the fact that Wallace took the time to let the reader see the vast history that surrounded Sorrow's childhood home. It's easy to see how one event can echo through history, and even affect the present in ways that might not be completely obvious. The stories that were told rooted me in the Lovegood's lives like nothing else could.

The downside to this way of writing though, is that it's rough to really settle into. Although I felt for Sorrow, and understood her anger at what she had lost, I couldn't quite step into her shoes and really become her. There were portions of this story that, while I could see that I should be feeling grief or hatred or anger, all I felt was a missing connection. It's a little tough to explain, but I felt like I was being told this story by someone far removed rather than someone who had actually experienced this. Additionally, I felt like the Magical Realism wasn't really coming through as strongly as it could have. There were small elements of mystery and magic, but they didn't feel as fleshed out as I would have liked. I wish I could have felt more of the magic that Sorrow was meant to feel. Try as I might though, it never stuck.

As you can see, I'm of two minds about this book. The Memory Trees has great bones. The family history here is vast, and gives this book something that I'd been missing. It gives it roots. On the flip side, I never felt fully connected with our protagonist and that made things tough. What I can say is that the audio book version of this is definitely perfection. The narrator that was chosen has a voice that pins down that ethereal quality, and really brings the ghostly Lovegood family to life. So, my final suggestion is just to read this! If you're in love with rich familial ties, wide open country land, and stories that pull you into the life of someone unlike you, this is a book for you.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-01-01 21:17
2017: My Year in Books
Like Trees, Walking -

Has it really been six months since I've blogged? Yes, it has. And I've missed it. I was on pace to read 80 new books last year (I don't count re-reads in my annual log). But I ended up at 67. What happened? 

 

Last blog post: July 1, which, coincidentally, is the date I took on new responsibilities at work. But the bigger change in life came in the fall, when I bought my first house and got caught up in moving. Weeks and weeks of sorting many, many years of stuff. 

 

In fact, when I made the offer on my house, my Mom said, "You're going to have to give up reading for a while."

 

I laughed and said, "You're crazy, Lady. I can't give up reading."

 

I didn't give up reading, but I slowed to a painful, screeching crawl. In fact, from my closing date to the end of the year, I only finished four new books (and a couple of poetry re-reads). And three of those titles were from the James Patterson YA "Maximum Ride" series. You can read those as fast as you can turn pages. 

 

Also, for the past few years, I've started January 1 by reading a book start-to-finish. Granted, I always chose a fast read: A play, a YA novel, etc. This year, I just finished the Maximum Ride novel that I couldn't stay awake to finish the night before. But it counts: 2018, one book finished.

 

So what did my 2017 reading year look like? I'm attaching this post to a Ravi Howard novel. He was my discovery of the year. He appeared at a summer writer's conference near me, and I read both of his novels in anticipation of that. I can't recommend them highly enough. Engrossing. Great. Read. Them. 

 

I categorized the sixty-seven new reads and will list them below. My reading log doesn't include re-reads (and most of the poetry I read in a year ends up being re-reads. This year, I re-read a bunch of Kooser and Alexander, for example). The list below won't add up exactly, because some books get categorized in more than one area. 

 

Non-fiction (too lazy to sub-categorize further): 13

YA: 9 (including five of the above-referenced Patterson Maximum Ride series)

Literary Fiction (my fave category): 11

Plays: 8 (I read all 10 of the August Wilson Century Cycle this year, but two of those were re-reads)

Mass-Market Romance: 13 (including a bunch of Philippa Gregory books)

Lit-Crit/Theory: 1 (slow year for that, I guess)

Novels-in-verse: 2

Poetry: 7 (all first-time reads in this number)

Short Stories: 1

Memoir: 2

Popular Fiction, not otherwise listed above: 3

 

Anyway, more blog posts coming soon. Some are ideas from 2017 I set aside, and some will be "fresh." 

 

Happy 2018!

 

-cg

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-08-07 11:30
7th August 2017
The Baron in the Trees - Italo Calvino,Archibald Colquhoun

Melancholy is sadness that has taken on lightness. 

 

Italo Calvino

 

August 7, 1957: On this day, Italo Calvino published his letter of resignation from the Italian Communist Party. He never joined another political party, but he did write a fantasy novel, The Baron in the Trees, about political disillusionment. 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?