Weekly Geeks #6 – Missed Reviews Part 1

Alright, as I mentioned in an earlier post this week I said I wanted to use this week to catch up on reviews. This is last weeks task for Weekly Geeks, as I’m sure you all know already, but I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to do some reviews that I haven’t yet done. I will be doing these reviews individually, like I do all my reviews, I want to give each book is due. It is important to give each book the time it deserves and that is why I’m not about to group a bunch of books together in a single post, the books I have time to review will be reviewed individually. There are two books in particular that I want to review so I’ll start with one today and get to another at another date.

On the other hand I don’t think I’ll be getting this weeks (7) Weekly Geeks done as I don’t have a functioning camera right now. I left a vital cord in Korea so I won’t be able to put photos on my camera. If I can borrow a camera from someone I’ll do it but I’m not really expecting that to happen right now.

The first review I wanted to do was for The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn. This was a book that I wanted to read for an extremely long time, I already know what the scarlet letter was, but I never got around to it. I finally downloaded a mp3 audio-book and listened to it while still in Korea. There is something about listening to classics because they were written to be heard. I really enjoyed listening to the book on my new iPod touch.

I’m sure you all the story so I wont give you a synopsis of the book. There were a few things that I really loved about this book. The first was the glimpse into the past that it gives us. The concept of being forced to wear a letter on your clothing that identifies you as a criminal. Everyone in the two would know of the crime committed just because of that bright scarlet letter. The second aspect of the book I loved was how courageous Hester Prynne is. She could have tried to cover up her letter or move into seclusion because of it but she continued to be a functioning member of society.

The only downside that I found, and it could have been because I was listening to the book and not actually reading it, was that there was too much verbal diarrea. The copious amount of verbiage used instead of getting right to the point. It was easy to miss the point of what the author was trying to get across because of the amount of words used. And I find that that happens in many classics, at least the ones that I read. But this is not something that should discourage anyone from reading the book because the story is fascinating.

I’ll be publishing a review of Mail Order Bride by Mark Kalesniko. Also as a reminder to all reads of That’s the Book you can send an email to thatsthebook@gmail.com if you have reviewed this or anything else that I’ve reviewed on this site and I’ll post a link at the end of the post for others to see what you’ve said.

Christina from book-a-rama sent me this link:


Booking Through Thursday #13 – Trends

Have your book-tastes changed over the years? More fiction? Less? Books that are darker and more serious? Lighter and more frivolous? Challenging? Easy? How-to books over novels? Mysteries over Romance?

The simple, and perhaps obvious answer, is yes!  My habits tend to fluctuate regularly, not only in what I read but in how much I read.  This past month has been a bad month, and I know I’ve said this time and time again on here but it’s here again.  I seem to have readers block now, for some reason i cannot get into anything I’m reading or try to read.  I hope this passes soon because it’s getting really annoying.

As for what I read I tend to go back and forth between fiction and non-fiction.  Right now I’m reading a lot of graphic novels, and loving them.  I’m not sure what it is about this genre but I cannot seem to get enough of them.  These are the only things I can seem to get read, maybe because they are quick.  I should also say that each one I pick up seems to be substantially greater than the last.

I generally read things that get me thinking but there are times, and I’m sure we all have them, that I need something that is mind numbing.  This happens every few months, it’s usually at this time that I read something easy and can get right back into my usual reading.  As I’ve said before, it’s not working this time around.

I keep trying to challenge myself to read something different to, because there is nothing I hate more than getting into a rut.  In my desire to push the so called envelope I’ve joined a number of challenges.  These often force me to keep me reading and finishes things I don’t even like.  so, I’m starting to feel the pull to get more read these days.  I hope things change soon.

Orbis Terrarum Challenge Meme

As part of the festivities for the Orbis Terrarum Challenge we’ve been asked to participate in this meme. I’ve had the chance to see what some others have had to say. I’m not really sure I have much I can say here because I’ve joined the challenge to help expand my reading of other nations, because I really haven’t done much of that.

1. What country do you always go back to in your travels (not just while reading for OT)?

Since taking Canadian Literature I’ve been fascinated with the writing from this country.  I’ve found that I want to read all I can from this country and as a result have participated in the Canadian Book Challenge.  Being involved in that particular challenge has helped me expand my CanLit knowledge.

2. If you could visit 4 of the countries you have read about in your life (that you haven’t been to yet), which would they be and why? (you can also include the book that makes you want to visit if you remember)

This is one of the more difficult questions, one I may have to return to after the challenge is over.  There are a number of countries I’d like to travel to but not because I’ve read any of their literature.  There are a couple of books that have helped to feed the travel bug.  An Appointment with my Brother by Yi Mun-Yol, despite that it takes place in China and South Korea has made me want to venture to the norther part of the the Korean peninsula.  The story is about the meeting two brothers meeting after having been separated by the Korean war.  I’ve already been to the Southern part but the north is of more interest and has been of more interest for quite sometime, the book has made the urges to visit that particular country stronger.

The other book that was What is the What by Dave Eggers.  I’ve always wanted to travel to the African continent but What is the What has encouraged it.  Africa has always ad a place in my heart and hope to travel there one day.  There are a few specific countries that I’d like to go to but given the number that I’d like to go to I wont list them here.

Australia is a country I’ve also wanted to travel to, I think this is the one place I’ve always wanted to travel to more than anything.  I’ve never read anything from here but would love to.  I think I get more enjoyment from reading something that is familiar to me though.  I find a book that talks about a place I’ve been more interesting because I can picture the places better.  The best example of this would be Spadework by Timothy Findley.

3. Have you ever dreamed about a country you have read about, that you have not actually traveled to – except in your dreams?

No, this has never happened.  Then again I don’t remember many of my dreams so I guess it could have happened but I don’t remember.

4. In what ways has reading about different countries opened up your perspective about global issues?

My perspective on global issues has dictated my reading habits sometimes but I cannot think of global issues being affected because of my reading.  If anything my reading of other countries has expanded my knowledge of a particular issue.  I’m not sure if this is due to my need to expand what I read or that I’m already quite aware of global issues.

5. What countries have you felt your judgment was off about – after reading about that nation?

I wouldn’t say my judgment of a nation has been altered because of what I’ve read.  Maybe my judgment of a writer or genre has changed.

6. Which is your favorite book that you would recommend for this challenge (you don’t have to read it during the challenge)?

The one book that I would recommend for this challenge would be Dave Eggers’ What is the What.  There are many aspects of the novel that I loved and I’ve already reviewed the book so I wont go a lot into a review.  The book is fascinating because it deals with the lost boys and the hardships they have gone through in order to get freedom and feel safe.  It’s a book that is very difficult to put down.

7. Anything else you’ve been wanting to tell us about? Let us have it!

I’ve enjoyed this challenge so far, it’s expanding what I read and I’m finding some great literature from other nations.  It’ll be interesting to do this meme again once the challenge is over to see how answers change due to the challenge.