First rule of slow readers book club...

Sunday, March 21, 2010



Is to read slowly and relish every letter of it, but well, I'm sort of slow by nature so not only did I manage to string out my book for the months it was supposed to take, but also pulled the hat-trick of posting my review late. Did you read it? Did you like it? I enjoyed it, but honestly, not as much as I sort of thought I would. A huge fan of Jeannette Walls' first novel, the Glass Castle, and I think because of that my expectations were a bit high going into Half Broke Horses. While I found Walls' characters strong and often inspiring, I also thought her Grandmother to be a little too perfect. Can't say I hated it, was interesting, but knowing it was part fiction gave me permission to throw conjecture at the parts I thought she was exaggerating to put her grandma on a pedestal. That sounds terrible and believe me, if I was writing about my Grandmother I'd probably do very much the same but I'm glad it gave the disclosure about it being a NOVEL & not a biography.

But despite this rather dismal review, I have to share how much I loved the book club aspect in the read. As many of you already know, the book club idea that started early January snowballed into 500+ members and Diana of our.city.lights had the very clever idea of starting a forum, which can be found *HERE* to house all the ideas and discussions related to the club. Be sure to join today if you haven't already! The next book has already been chosen by member votes... Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin:

The heartbreaking story of Alice Liddell from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Born into a Victorian family of privilege, free-spirited Alice catches the attention of family friend Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) and serves as the muse for both his photography and writing. Their bond, however, is misunderstood by Alice's family, and though she is forced to sever their friendship, she is forever haunted by their connection as her life becomes something of a chain of heartbreaks. As an adult, Alice tries to escape her past, but it is only when she finally embraces it that she truly finds the happiness that eluded her. Focusing on three eras in Alice's life, Benjamin offers a finely wrought portrait of Alice that seamlessly blends fact with fiction.

Appealing don't you think? Still not sure what the deadline of the read is, but I'm guessing it'll probably be 2 months again? Also, on the non-est of non-sequitur's, I recently broke down and opened a facebook account. Do you have one? Care to be friends? Say yes... this is a link to my page. Hope you're having a very LOVELY Sunday!

24 comments:

Helena - A Diary of Lovely said...

I love the book club idea, and was really excited with the first book but unfortunately I didn't manage to finish it... I'm so ashamed to say it...
I'll definitely try the new book though!
Hope you are enjoy your sunday!

Sam said...

*looks at feet and mumbles something incoherent which turns out to be "I didn't finish "Half Broke ..."* I love your review here Gabbi - very fair and eloquent - makes me wish I'd pulled my finger out and got through it.

Maybe "Alice I have been"? It sounds pretty gorgeous - I adore anything from/set in the Victorian era.

Hope you are well and that your wonderful lad is fighting fit and full of beans too. XOXO's

Mo said...

I'm looking forward to this book. I love historical stories that twist together pieces of information to give the reader an idea of what could have been.

La chica said...

I will try to find it here in Spain...
besos

Leah said...

That's a great idea... a book club will surely be a way to really read slow and analyze every word. I don't think I can do that. Hahaha! I tend to speed read. That's why I easily forget what the story is all about. Sometimes, I buy books that I've already read before because I can't remember reading them only to find out at the first few chapters that the story is familiar and I've already read the book before. Bad me!

Have a great day Gabbi! xoxo

LiLu said...

Yes! Just added you :-)

Liska said...

Hiya fellow SRBClubber =) I totally thought your review was going to begin with "First rule of SRBC is not to talk about SRCB" lol. But anyway. I can definitely see where you're coming from with the comparison to the Glass Castle. One the one hand, I have to agree, at least in part. Maybe because we already knew where the story was going to end up? On the other hand, I haven't read the Glass Castle since I read it the first time two to three years ago, so I remember that I like it, but not much else. Can't wait to start reading Alice I Have Been!

- Liska

drollgirl said...

ack! i didn't know book #2 had been chosen! i need to get on the stick and get it!

muchlove said...

I agree with you about Lily often seeming too perfect. It did make me wonder how much of it was fiction and how much wasn't. Alice I Have Been sounds very interesting. I managed to read several pages already when I saw it at Borders! I haven't bought it yet though. Might wait a bit to see what other slow reader members think of it, before I decide to make a purchase.

Oh, and I'll be your facebook friend too! :)

PS. can't wait to get your package in the mail!!

Kelley Anne said...

I would love to be facebook friends with you Gabbi:) Thanks for the review.

LENORENEVERMORE said...

Lovely review Gabbi!
I have a facebook but still inactive for now...simply have no time on my side~ Lovely week dear!
xo as always*

Rebecca said...

Awesome review, Gabbi!! :) You're the first person that I've seen who didn't do a glowing review, and I completely admire that. I felt the same about the book a lot of the time, but the whole "positive blogger" thing got me, and I tried to find my favorite parts. After I finished it, I sped through The Glass Castle and found it MUCH more exciting and real. A little tragic, but I felt it had so much more character than Half Broke Horses. Lily did seem somewhat fictional, and I feel there must have been more to her -- a bit of it showed through when she would get violent, but I believe there had to be more to the story for Rosemary to turn out the way she did!

Amicacarmilla said...

I have just ordered Alice's book. <3

Alan said...

Funny photo.

Leí 'El Castillo de Cristal', me gustó el humor y los lugares por los que pasan hasta Nueva York, también los personajes y las relaciones entre ellos.

Diana said...

I love this review, Gabbi. Mostly because it's not a review, it's what you really think of it!!

BTW, I may have opened up the forum, but I still have the text with your brilliant idea to begin the book club! :)

ana b. said...

This sounds like an amazing book! Although I haven't got around to joining the Slow Readers Book Club (which you, Diana, Hanako and the rest of the lovely ladies are doing such a fantastic job with) I might have to find this in my bookstore.

Kat said...

haha wow you have such a lovely blog- such nice pictures :)
if you have time would you look at mine?
shelovesvelvet.blogspot.com
thankss xx

Anonymous said...

i think your review is very fair and i definitely had to remind myself while reading it that this was a work of fiction first. can't wait to start reading the next book!

PinkBow said...

oh every time i read about the book club i want to join...but time is so much my enemy :(

womens summer dresses said...

Great post! I love such informative reads!

Electro Geisha said...

wow... appealing, very! it would be awesome if i get a chance to read it. maybe i could find it on amazon or something... thank you for recommendation. have a nice weekend :)

LiLu said...

I so love this idea.

~M~ said...

"Alice I have been" sounds so interesting....have to check it out.
Do love the idea of slow readers club, hope I had more time to take part in all the interesting activities my friends are in :(
But then I'm probably not a slow reader anyway, it's like I read like crazy when I feel like reading, but when I don't, I don't for weeks :p

The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

Gabbi!! We just want to let you know, we are embracing this slow reader's book club...we have the first book, but haven't read it yet :) Going to do it this week...slowly! We love the looks of this new book - we'll get it together and join you!!
Hope all is well with you :)
Karla & Karrie

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