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Melanie Ivanoff has commented on (6) products.

Embassytown by China Mieville

Melanie Ivanoff, January 2, 2012

I absolutely loved this book. It is a very philosophical look at language, wrapped up in a great sci-fi human colonists on an alien world plot. very worth the read!
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At Large and at Small: Familiar Essays by Anne Fadiman
At Large and at Small: Familiar Essays

Melanie Ivanoff, January 10, 2011

Anne Fadiman writes wonderful essays. At Large and At Small is a collection with a wider range of topics than the previous one i read, Ex Libris. While Ex Libris dealt mainly with topics reading related, At Large and At Small covers ice cream, collecting, moving out of the city, patriotism and others. Fadiman has a way of making you completely present at the events she writes of, as well as making you recall similar events in your own life. She obviously has a great love of literature; i want to pick up a biography of Coleridge because of her essay and I don't even know that i've ever read anything by Coleridge!
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Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Kafka on the Shore

Melanie Ivanoff, January 2, 2011

Reading Haruki Murakami is strange. His writing evokes this dreamy weirdness that you don't really stop reading, you just wake up from. Kafka on the Shore is no exception.

It is rather difficult to describe without giving too much away or not explaining enough. Kafka Tamura is a 15 year old boy who runs away from his father's home. He's just suffered too much neglect and emotional abuse to stay any longer. The town he runs to has a public reading library where he begins to spend his days. In another storyline, an old man Nakata has never recovered from a strange coma he suffered as a child. He woke with no memory and has never been able to learn to read or write. He can talk to cats and as he's searching for a lost cat he meets some sort of shape changer who asks Nakata to murder him.

it's weird. But i loved it.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Melanie Ivanoff, January 1, 2011

I loved the language. I loved Paloma Josse, Renee Michel, and Mr. Ozu. I want to read a grammar book! i want to relearn French well enough to read this book in its original language. i want to reread it soon!

oh, what's it about? Madame Michel is a concierge, a widow, and brilliant. She hides behind the invisibility of her position, pretending to dull and lifeless to protect her psyche. Paloma Josse is 12, also brilliant, very wealthy, a tenant at Madame Michel's building. Paloma has decided that life is pointless and intends to kill herself on her 13th birthday. The story goes back and forth between their first person points of view so we see and feel what they feel. An older Japanese man, Mr. Ozu, moves into the building and disrupts Paloma's plans and Madame Michel's facade.

i loved this one so much. It is so beautiful. I'm not doing it justice.
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Trent's Last Case by E. C. Bently
Trent's Last Case

Melanie Ivanoff, November 26, 2010

What mystery writer today would use that as a title for their first mystery? It seems like so many titles now are intended to begin multi-book series that the "last" part seems strange. Why is it his last case? Does the detective die? You start this book with a question already.

Trent is an artist who's amazing mind has led him to dabble in solving criminal cases for a newspaper. He's called in to consult on the case of the murder of Sigbee Manderson, an American business tycoon. Trent also happens to know the widow's uncle, Mr. Cupples, who also asks Trent to see what he can discover. Mr. Cupples knows that his niece and her husband had a falling out and knows she will be suspected but he feels his niece is innocent and wants Trent to find the proof.

Trent is brilliant, working out what he feels is the solution but also falling in love with the widow! Later, he discovers much of his careful logic to be wrong.

I delighted in this short little book. Trent is a great character, a detective that laughs and loves and has human failings.
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