Saturday, January 12, 2008

This and That--Book Reviews!

I feel that the title warranted an exclamation point. I haven't been posting as many book reviews as I used to, mostly because my official book review column at 5 Minutes for Mom satisfies my need to share my bookish opinions, but I have read several books just for personal pleasure in the past few months that I'd like to share with you. And while some of you may not read it with an exclamation, I'm going to proclaim it with one--or two!!

Here's some of what I've been reading in my personal time in the last month:

In High Places
is a novel by Tom Morrisey. A friend lent it to me, and I trust her recommendation, but I wasn't sure I wanted to read about a father and son who move to a new town after the death of their wife/mother. I'm so glad I did. It was not morose and depressing as I feared it might be. There were several reasons I liked this book. The rich setting created by the hobby of rock-climbing that father and son enjoy adds a rich layer to the book. The book is told from the point of view of a sixteen year old boy, experiencing first love and his first encounter with God. I enjoyed the reality of the way things panned out in this book. I recommend it, and though I haven't read anything else by Tom Morrisey, I would definitely pick up another novel after this introduction to his work.

Life of Pi
by Yann Martel--Have you heard of this novel about a boy and a tiger who end up on a boat together in the open sea? I think I had read some blog reviews of this book, so when another friend offered it up after she recently enjoyed it, I took her up on it. When I mentioned to Terry what I was reading, he thought it was so implausible that it was just silly. What makes this book so compelling is that it IS plausible. If you like shipwreck adventure type stories, you would probably enjoy this. The first half gives some background of his life, including the familiarity with wild animals that he acquired as the son of a zookeeper. When the boat adventure begins, it becomes quite the page-turning read.

The Best of Friends--Friendship, ambition, success, failure are some of the elements that are covered by TV journalist Sara James and her childhood friend wildlife filmmaker Ginger Mauney. This book was one of my most-hoped-for books from my amazon wishlist, and I did receive it for Christmas. It wasn't as great as I had hoped it would be, but it does have the elements of memoir that I have come to love--giving me a peek into the lives of real people sharing their real life ups and downs. If you are interested in TV journalism or Africa, or women's friendships (as I am), then you might enjoy this book.

Me, Myself, and Bob
by Phil Vischer--I just finished this book, and I absolutely loved it. I learned so much from this book. I learned about just how ground-breaking Veggie Tales was in the field of computer animation. I felt like I was a fly on the wall observing one man making his dreams come true. I laughed as anyone who appreciates the quirky humor of Veggie Tales would. He tells the story of the beginning and the end of his part in Big Idea with honesty and the kind of wisdom that comes from enduring a trial. If you are a VeggieTales fan, interested in computer animation, starting a business, operating in the business world as a Christian, following a dream, or following God, this book will hold something for you. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

This book is linked to Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books


BookGal said...

What did you think of the ending of Life of Pi? I'm still struggling with it.

Susanne said...

The Life of Pi somehow has never attracted me to read it. Don't know why. I'm been wanting to take a look at Paul Vischer's book. I'll have to check that out.

Much Ado said...

I must admit I struggled with the Life of Pi too but the other books sound like great reads.

In High Places sounds interesting,

The Best of Friends - I always love a good friendship story mixed with travel.

Me, Myself and Bob - I have been wanting to read this for a while, I have heard nothing but great reviews of this book. I always thought the Veggie Tales were ingenious!

Great to read your reviews as always Jennifer.

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Answering bookgal's question about the ending--yes, I wasn't sure of what to make of the ending. You were given two choices about what to believe basically, and I chose to believe what was easier for me :)

Dianne said...

Always interested in good book recommendations - great reviews. The Veggie Tales one sounds especially interesting. Thanks!

Kelly said...

Thanks for the list--I have not heard of several, and am intrigued! Life of Pi sounds really interesting,

Katrina said...

Loved reading your thoughts on these. I share your sentiments re: In High Places and Me, Myself, and Bob. An older Morrisey book (Deep Blue?) is sitting on my shelf, but I haven't read it yet. And we gave Me, Myself, and Bob to my father-in-law (since he is an entrepreneur / businessman, we thought he'd appreciate it from that perspective) and both he and my mother-in-law loved it and couldn't put it down.

I may have to try Life of Pi. You know how I am about literary books, but I trust your recommendations. :)