Meme: Book Life Map

Posted 21 March, 2010 by Lianne in Books, Meme / 0 Comments

I thought this meme was pretty interesting:

Pick between five and ten books that chart the course of your life’s reading journey – you can choose yearly favourites (if you know what you were reading that accurately) or use a more intuitive selection. Add a little bit about where you were at personally when you were reading them (if you don’t mind sharing) or just let them act as stations on the underground map of your reading history!

– Snagged from book_memes

My answers are after the cut:

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Review: The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Posted 15 March, 2010 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

My friend/program colleague/dorm neighbour/fellow avid reader had been recommending me this book for some time now but I hadn’t picked it up because of the number of books I had lugged along with me from home. I managed to get through them so I finally borrowed the copy off her. When I saw the cover, I realised I have come across this book in the bookstores whenever I’m browsing the shelves (favourite past time of mine, lol) but didn’t flip through it. But I digress…

We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renee, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Renee is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With humor and intelligence she scrutinizes the lives of the building’s tenants, who for their part are barely aware of her existence.

Then there is Paloma, a twelve-year-old genius. She is the daughter of a tedious parliamentarian, a talented and startlingly lucid child who has decided to end her life on the sixteenth of June, her thirteenth birthday. Until then she will continue behaving as everyone expects her to behave: a mediocre pre-teen high on adolescent subculture, a good but not an outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter.

Paloma and Renee hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot or will not appreciate them. They discover their kindred souls when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building. Only he is able to gain Paloma’s trust and to see through Renee’s timeworn disguise to the secret that haunts her. This is a moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.

Massive Spoilers Lie Ahead as I Wrote Too Much About This Book, LOL; it really provoked a lot of thought out of me 😀

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Meme: Teaser Tuesdays

Posted 15 March, 2010 by Lianne in Meme / 14 Comments

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
– Grab your current read
– Open to a random page
– Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
– Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Should Be Reading

I’ve just finished this book but here’s my teaser for this week: “‘And one day I asked you what they were but I wasn’t able to remember the name. And yet I used to think about those flowers all the time, I don’t know why.'” – p. 294, The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

My classmate/dorm neighbour lent the book to me and it was quite intriguing; there was just something about it that kept me going, wanting to see what will happen next in Paloma and Renee’s lives, seeing how their respective characters and attitudes change over time through interaction and a number of events, regardless of how big or small they were. It’s starting to get busy on my end (boo, deadline season! =\) so a full out review might take a while…I hope to type it soon while the thoughts are still fresh in my head though! Never mind, instead of thinking about my EU paper on minority language laws, I typed up my comments, hahaha; you can read my review over here (just in case, it’s rather spoilerish).

Meme: Musing Mondays

Posted 14 March, 2010 by Lianne in Meme / 5 Comments

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about picture books.

Do you have a favourite picture book, either from your own childhood, or reading to you children?

Just One More Page

Intriguing question! Three things came to mind when I read the question and thought back to my childhood (ahh, the good ol’ days, lol):

This was big when I was in grade one; there was actually a queue when it came to borrowing this book from the library because everyone wanted to read about Curious George and his adventures =D They were a lot of fun =)

Now this was my favourite picture book series; I think I’ve read all the stories related to Madeline. She was just such a curious and adventurous girl and looking back, she went against the norm quite a bit, didn’t she? Everyone would be in line, following the rules and then there’s Madeline running off to look at something interesting or whatnot =D

I kid you not, I spent a lot of my time when I was younger looking at maps (they picture-book….-ish, LOL). We had this massive dictionary at home that had an atlas at the back and I would spend my time flipping through it, looking at the cities in each country, even tracing the maps (I was proud of the one I did of Europe). Plus, that atlas was old school so Russia and the former Soviet states were still referred to as the U.S.S.R (made it easier when it came time to tracing, LOL). With the places that interested me, I would flip through this mini-encyclopedia we had and read up on these places…hence why I’m so into history now (On a side note, my mum nearly gave away that encyclopedia some time ago and I rescued it from the box, claiming that much of my childhood pretty much resided in that encyclopedia, LOL).

Movie: Gosford Park (2001)

Posted 13 March, 2010 by Lianne in Entertainment / 4 Comments

So I’m in one of those moments where the next deadline is a little while away so I have a bit of space and what do I do? I watch a movie *thud* I recently filled out an Oscars meme and realised there were a few movies I’ve been meaning to get around to but haven’t; Gosford Park is one of them.

The film is set in 1932 at an English country house. A party of wealthy Britons and Americans accompanied by their servants gather at the home of Sir William McCordle for a shooting weekend. A murder occurs in the middle of the night, the film presenting the murder from both the servants’ and the guests’ perspective. But rather than a simple mystery to be solved, the film uses the whodunit format to create a drama showcasing the tensions of the British class system. Many intertwining subplots detail the complex relationships among the characters, both above stairs (the wealthy guests) and below (the servants).

Major Spoilers Ahead!

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