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Cioccolata16 has commented on (34) products.

North and South (Vintage Classics) by Elizabeth C Gaskell
North and South (Vintage Classics)

Cioccolata16, June 20, 2010

I read this after having watched the BBC production. An industrial town version of Austen's Pride and Prejudice. It was also a surprisingly fast read for a 500-page book! Gaskell develops her characters well, but also provdes her readers with a picture of the two cultures clashing in England. She also draws out some of the social issues pervading the country at the time. Very insightful.
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Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit (Arthurian Novel) by Mercedes Lackey
Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit (Arthurian Novel)

Cioccolata16, May 18, 2010

This retelling of the story of Guenivere of Arthurian Legend was exciting and fresh. Lackey draws upon some of the lesser-known tales and invokes Zimmerman-Bradley in her telling. The name changes Lackey makes are a bit confusing, but do a good job of trying to distance the reader from the standard King Arthur story. I found the novel not to be as tragic as some other versions I have read, but this may be due to Gwenhwyfar's separation from Arthur's court until she becomes his third wife. A fun read, following in Lackey's usual aptitude for fantasy!
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The World without Us by Alan Weisman
The World without Us

Cioccolata16, April 19, 2010

Weisman provides a contrasting view of the world today with what it might look like in a future sans humans. This concept is not a new one, but the approach Weisman takes serves both as a warning for present actions and to humble our species' ego. Combining scientific knowledge of how materials break down and present examples of decaying human artifices, the book does an excellent job of painting a picture of a planet that does not need humans. I liked how there is this acknowledgment that nature will ultimately prevail, but at the same time emphasis on how many of our actions today (such as use of plastics and nuclear weapons) will leave a signature for thousands or millions of years. Fascinating book, a little dull at times, but gets you thinking. Perfect Earth Day read!
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(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)

The End of Food by Paul Roberts
The End of Food

Cioccolata16, March 14, 2010

Roberts outlines the current predicament of our food system in detail and with passion. There may be an overload of information at times; and, I definitely felt overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenges ahead by the time I reached the epilogue. The two chapters on the evolution of the human diet and agricultural system were fascinating. The analysis of industrial agriculture and the economics that control our grocery shelves and influence world hunger and our health were particularly disturbing. Not as uplifting an ending as some other environmental/food books I've read, but he also didn't sugar-coat the facts and definitely gives his reader plenty to chew on (excuse the pun).

Read it. Think about it. Act on it.
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(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Cioccolata16, March 14, 2010

I "read" this book via the recorded version, and I have to say that Sherman Alexie has a way with words. The story itself is endearing, sad and happy simultaneously. The language ties you to the characters, to the 'Rez', to Junior's plight. But it was Alexie's voice, his tone and expression, that caught me. He has a way of making the story come alive - maybe because it means so much to him, is so much a part of who he is. Excellent read, even more excellent if you can hear Alexie speak in some capacity!
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