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text 2018-04-20 20:29
Connections between the author and her work
Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell

Throughout my research of Rainbow Rowell and reading of Eleanor and Park I have found some similarities between the author and her characters.  Most of the similarities I found are small pieces of each person's character or a common interest.  An example of the former is that both Rainbow and Eleanor have powerful emotions that are almost uncontrollable.  Another similarity between Eleanor and Rainbow is their minor obsession of the Beatles.  Although primarily alike to Eleanor, Rainbow Rowell shares a love of Star Wars with Park.  Small parallels between Rainbow Rowell and her characters help connect the plot to reality.

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quote 2018-04-13 13:15
"She got on like she was lost and ended up there" (Rowell 51).
Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell

The description of Eleanor in this quote is very powerful. In the book, Eleanor's home life is pretty awful, and she is forced to face each day with little energy.  In this scene in the book, the true pain Eleanor is feeling is showing clearly through her facial expressions and body language.  


Rainbow Rowell's unique style is also portrayed in this quote.  Rowell often writes with subtle imagery, where the reader can easily picture the situation without the use of flowery language.  It amazes me how easily Rowell can show the bleak tone through a single line.

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text 2018-04-09 13:22
Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell

I am preparing to read the book Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.  This book has been highly recommended by my friends after seeing that I read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.  Generally, I read realistic fiction or historical fiction rather than romance books, but my friends were so in love with this book, I thought it would be acceptable to make an exception.  I am hoping I enjoy this book as much as everyone else, and I can't wait to start!

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review 2018-04-05 16:57
A useful but limited narrative
Alfred the Great: The King and His England - Eleanor Shipley Duckett

Eleanor Shipley Duckett’s biography is a useful introduction to Alfred the Great, the Wessex monarch who effectively created the kingdom of England.  She begins with a description of the politics of eighth-century England, a world of maneuvering between regional kingdoms and invading Viking armies.  It was in this dangerous and fluid environment that a young Alfred came of age, watching his father and two elder brothers deal with the threats Wessex faced before gaining the throne at the age of 22.  From here her focus is on his struggles against the Danes, though other chapters also address his kingdom, his education, and his years after his many martial triumphs.


While enlightening, the book suffers from an excessive focus on narrative.  As readable as Duckett’s prose is, Her focus on recounting the chronological development of events too frequently comes at the cost of a clear understanding of Alfred’s character and the significance of the developments of his life.  Readers wanting to familiarize themselves with the basic details of Alfred’s life will find this a useful and enjoyable book, but those seeking a more comprehensive analysis of the great Anglo-Saxon king would be better served by Richard Abels’s more recent Alfred the Great.

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review 2018-04-04 17:27
Female Don Tillman
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman

Well I thought about it and just decided to give this one 3 stars. I honestly felt the need to go back and re-read "The Rosie Project" again after finishing this. Parts of it were pretty amusing, however, the main character Eleanor is written pretty inconsistently. And I just had a hard time with her so called first boyfriend, (it just came out of nowhere and didn't read as something that she would think of) and the revelations were not surprising. I am glad to read a book that took place in Glasgow, Scotland, but I am not going to lie, it took me a while to make that connection. I thought this was taking place in England at first since the whole setting read London to me. 


"Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" is about 30 year old Eleanor who has problems connecting with her coworkers or just generally anyone. She has weekly chats with "Mummy" where she's told how terrible/useless she is. And every Friday she buys a pizza,  vodka, and drinks to help her sleep and pass the time til she has work again on Monday. That all comes to a head when she spots the musician who she decides will be the perfect partner/husband/lover ever. She decides to start putting herself out there in order to be ready for the musician (getting waxed was hilarious). When she starts to become friendly with her company's IT department (Raymond) she slowly starts to come into herself. 


So here's the thing. I don't know if Eleanor has autism or what. It's never said. But at times she seems way too innocent for things (not understanding McDonald's). And at times way too old for her age (her vocabulary is extensive). So I don't know what to make of her. I think Honeyman wanted it both ways. She wanted a female Don Tillman (see The Rosie Project) but she wanted to have her be quirky or something. I don't know. I think I initially really enjoyed her character, but after a while she felt false. Without getting into spoiler territory here, we know that Eleanor is very careful about her appearance and cleanliness, but she then remarks how dirty, shabby, etc. her apartment is. This is a person who almost levitated when she thought about stepping on pubic hairs when she got waxed. 

Also I don't know, it just felt wrong having a book featuring someone on the autism scale and having them be so naive about things. Eleanor apparently doesn't get tipping and also doesn't understand that if you get food delivered to your house, they don't bring you wine. She also didn't realize she couldn't buy alcohol before 10 a.m. That seems like something she would automatically know.

The secondary characters I enjoyed, though you have to wonder why Raymond was even sticking around after a while. Eleanor is very prickly at first, but he keeps hanging on to going out with her and being there. It just felt....off. I felt like the story-line had him be a good guy, instead of a normal guy who would maybe have said this is too much for me to deal with. 


I still think the big false note in the book was the musician though. Eventually things come to a head there, but it just didn't make any sense with how Eleanor is portrayed she would have went there in the first place. 


The writing was funny as I said above, but after a while it started to remind me a bit of the JD Robb books when Eve apparently doesn't get similes or metaphors. 


"Of all the compulsory financial contributions, that is the one that irks me most. Two people wander around John Lewis picking out lovely items for themselves, and then they make other people pay for them. It’s bare-faced effrontery."

This made me laugh.


"Blond hair and large breasts are so clichéd, so obvious. Men like Raymond, pedestrian dullards, would always be distracted by women who looked like her, having neither the wit nor the sophistication to see beyond mammaries and peroxide."

Why would she even think this? Is this something from her mother or what? 


"The musician was very handsome and very talented. I knew, as soon as I set eyes on him, that we were destined to be together. Fate would see to that."

I still don't get why she's interested in this dude. I can smell wanker coming off of him from here. 


"@johnnieLrocks Wondering if my stuff is a wee bit too challenging for some people yeah? Dont go to gigs if you can’t handle new sounds. #misunderstood #truth

@johnnieLrocks Happens to all the greats when they first start out, tho #Dylan #Springsteen #amgigging"



The flow was good throughout though. 


As I said above, I was surprised to realize this took place in Scotland. I can't even remember what page I read that on, but went wait what? I thought this was taking place in England, mostly because of how Eleanor "talks" throughout this book. I literally don't know anything about Glasgow, but it sounds nice at least from what Eleanor says, but it be great to have a better idea of the city's layout and what is there to do there. I know that we are not going to get that via Eleanor's character, but someone else could have brought it up. 


I was expecting a different ending. Mostly because of the reveals we get regarding Eleanor and her past. I thought things were a bit too everything is now fine here that I don't think is true at all. 

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