Sunday, February 2, 2014

2014 ToB: The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Signature of All Things
Rating: 3 (only because it was interesting enough to listen via audio)
The Signature of All Things
A Novel by Elizabeth Gilbert

2013 /22 hours 44 minutes (audio book)
Narrated by Juliette Stevenson

When you know you have disliked an authors previous novel can you close your mind to the reading experience from that book?  In my case, I tried.  I simply loathed Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir, Eat Pray Love.  As much as I tried to keep an open mind, The Signature of All Things just did not do it for me either.  I will give it to Gilbert though, she did write a story that held my interest long enough to have me read it to the end and not send it back to Audible requesting my money back.  That said, I would have never made it through the written edition.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

2014 ToB: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising AsiaRating: 4 (maybe 4.5, still thinking)
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia
A Novel by Mohsin Hamid

2013 /138 pages (ebook)

I first heard of How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia when researching titles for Man Booker hopefuls.  Many readers on some of the Booker forums were leaning heavily on the inclusion of "Filthy Rich".  After finishing the book, I can see why and I am glad to see that although it was overlooked for the Booker this year it will get some love during the Tournament of Books.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014 Tournament of Books - The Tenth Anniversary

On Monday, The Morning News, an online news website, announced the books and judges for the 2014 Tournament of Books.  This years tournament will be known as ToBX to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the pinnacle of all book awards.

What is the Tournament of Books?  The ToB is the March Madness of Literary Fiction.  To understand the concept, one must first understand March Madness.  If one follows sports regularly, they will immediately understand the concept.  For those of us who don't follow sports or basketball, March Madness is a term used to describe the NCAA Basketball tournament.  Annually, the NCAA chooses the “best” collegiate basketball teams to face off in a single elimination basketball tournament (in 2013 there were 68 teams selected).  The tournament generally gets started the first weekend in early March and at one time finished in March as well (it now lingers into April).  The winners each weekend progress to the next and so on an so forth until there is only one team left unbeaten and declared the winner.  The teams either earn a spot in the tournament or they are chosen.  Those earning a spot do so with an exceptional record for the year or because they won their season ending conference tournament. Some are "chosen" based on some unknown to me criteria - those are typically the teams with weaker records that the NCAA deems worthy enough to make it, yet are typically trounced by the stronger teams.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013 Shortlisted: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

We Need New Names by NoViolet BulawayoRating 3
We Need New Names
A Novel by NoViolet Bulawayo
Narrated by Robin Miles

2013 /9 hours 4 minutes (Audio)

I listened to NoViolet Bulawayo's We Need New Names on audio.  Overall I enjoyed this book.  I would call it a light-hearted pallet cleanser more than a major literary fiction award winner.  The narration was difficult at first but after listening to Robin Miles accent, I became accustomed to it and enjoyed her reading of the book. 

The bad thing about listening to an audio book is that one can not take notes and underline passages that stick out.  I finished it almost a month ago and I am just now getting around to writing the review.  My problem with writing the review is that I just can't really think of much to write about.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Welcome to the Updated Reader, Rider and Rooster Blog

I like big blogs I cannot lie!

Thanks for joining me on my updated reading blog. A Reader, a Rider and a Rooster is an all encompassing blog where one can find links to my literary adventures as well as my cycling ones.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

2013 Shortlisted: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Lowland
Rating 3.5
The Lowland
A Novel by Jhumpa Lahiri

2013 /320 pages (ebook)
Synopsis from Goodreads

I really wanted to like The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri.  I have had her novel The Namesake in my to read list for some time.  Interpreter of Maladies won the 2000 Pulitzer.  I was very much looking forward to reading this novel when it made the Man Booker long and short lists.

The book is about two brothers born 15 months apart in Calcutta India.  Physically they share many traits. Inwardly they are very different.  Subhash is the dutiful older brother who would never color outside of the lines.  Udayan is the defiant younger brother who knows no lines.  This is a sweeping story of their lives and the lives that they touch throughout their lives.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2013 Booker Longlisted: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

The Luminaries by Eleanor CattonRating 5
The Luminaries
A Novel by Eleanor Catton

2013 /756 pages (ebook)
Synopsis from Goodreads

Reading the synopses of each of the 2013 Booker Long Listed novels made it very difficult to choose which book to read first.  At first glance each book appeared to have a very good opportunity to not only make it to the short list but also win out right.  Slowly picking through the list using various means of choice including random number generator I finally picked up The Luminaries.  I am very glad I did.