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Search tags: character-study
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review 2017-04-02 03:01
THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY by Rachel Joyce
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce
  I loved this book. I got so caught up in Harold's journey to save Queenie. I got angry when others wanted to join his journey. I liked that both Harold and Maureen had to look at themselves and their marriage while Harold was on his walk. Seeing them look honestly at their marriage especially their son and the last 20 years was cathartic. I cried. I laughed. This book is a keeper.
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review 2016-12-14 01:49
Take a minute and hug the cranky folks in your life
A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman

I had to wait what felt like a decade but I finally got to see what all the hype was about when I read A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. This is a Swedish to English translation so I went into this one fairly confident I was going to love it based on my track record. (For example, I read The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared last year.) And I was right! The story centers on Ove who everyone sees as a cranky old man completely set in his own ways aka a total curmudgeon. However, the reader gets to see what goes on behind closed doors and so from the very start we know that all Ove wants is to kill himself. (This is a very funny book, trust me.) Yes, he wants to commit suicide except that every time he turns around someone in the neighborhood is approaching him with a problem. He's Mr. Fix-It in a pair of clogs. A man born of routines and logic is soon forced into a group of people who use those dreaded things called feelings to inform all of their decisions. We get to discover who Ove really is through flashbacks as well as his reactions to those around him. For a man that doesn't seem to hold much stock in that feeling malarkey it's soon readily apparent that he's not some automaton obsessed with Saab automobiles. (Although he really is obsessed with Saab vehicles.) It's a reminder that surface impressions are generally completely erroneous and that still waters truly run deep. This is such a beautifully wrought story bursting at the seams with heart and humor. If you're looking for a great character study with a lot of biting wit then I think this one is for you. 10/10

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-08-23 23:12
Aspidistra sounds like the name of an alien
Keep the Aspidistra Flying - George Orwell

Since it's been awhile since I read a classic, I thought I'd give Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell a shot. It kept cropping up on my radar and the name alone had me quite intrigued. I went into this blind...even to the extent that I didn't look to see what the heck an Aspidistra was. (I know now though and saw it mentioned fleetingly in Harry Potter so it's definitely super British-y.) For someone who is a huge fan of 1984, this book fell pretty flat. The book follows a man by the name of Gordon Comstock who fancies himself a poet but in reality is little more than a poor bookshop assistant. Right off the bat, I felt that Gordon had 0% likability and his actions made no sense to me whatsoever. At one point, I decided to look up what other people thought of this book because it has a decent rating on Goodreads. Everyone seemed to think that this was a profound story about the struggle against commercialism and "the Man". What I see is the story of a man who is self-destructive, self-absorbed, and annoying. He is constantly picking apart everyone and everything around him in terms of its inherent value to society (there's a really long bit about advertising on different food products which was bizarre). Bottom line: this one wasn't a winner for me. I won't completely discount Mr. Orwell though. I'm sure I'll give him another shot in the future. :-) Also, I'm sorry that this is the second negative review in a row. Sometimes that's just the way the cookie crumbles. 1/10

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-08-07 15:54
FRENCH LESSONS by Ellen Sussman
French Lessons - Ellen Sussman
  Character studies of 3 French tutors and their American students. Nico wants to save Josie. Phillippe wants to bed Riley. Chantal isn't sure what she wants.

I liked these stories. All of them take place on one day when a film is being filmed in Paris and each story ends with the filming. None of the stories has the ending I thought it would have. Both the tutors and the students have to take their pasts and make peace with them and then decide how to handle the future. The solutions I think were the best ones in each situation. They also seemed clearer for the Americans.

I would read her again. She has an interesting style of telling the story. I was never bored. I was always trying to figure out what would happen.
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review 2016-03-12 21:38
"The Quiet Book" by Deborah Underwood
The Quiet Book - Deborah Underwood,Renata Liwska

"The Quiet Book" is geared for a younger audience. Each page has an illustration of different situations that require silence and is accompanied by a few words explaining the situation. The teacher could explain that different emotions or occurrences can be present in many different situations. Students can do an activity listing different situations where you need to be quite or expand to include other one situation that causes the same emotion. 

 

More ideas here:

http://storypath.upsem.edu/the-quiet-book/

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