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dharmagirl has commented on (3) products.

Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes
Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

dharmagirl, January 6, 2013

I received this book last year from Powell's as one of their Indiespensible books and it sat on by bookshelf until just recently, when our lunchtime bookclub voted for it as our January read. Up until then, I was afraid to read it, thinking it would be hard to read about the Vietnam war, in part because my dad was there and of course because war itself is such a scary topic (the actual being there... no idea how soldiers do it).

As soon as I started reading, I was immediately pulled into the story and eventually could not put the book down, even though it's a very long book (it doesn't read like a long book though - it's not hard to read at all). I loved how the story focused mainly on one character, but also gave us insightful glimpses into so many characters along the way. The book doesn't shy away from hard topics - like racism and classism (if you can call it that) and like many great books, it does not offer any easy answers to the situations characters find themselves in. I also loved how the main character Mellas evolved as the story unfolds - he starts out pretty self-centered and power hungry, only to see those things melt away in importance as he fights along side the other Marines. The author takes you right into the experiences of these characters - what they feel like, what their bodies are going through, how they all handle their fears. After reading the book, I still have no idea how someone manages to put themselves through such an experience without going insane.

I will be thinking about this book for a while, thinking about it and the characters for some time, thinking about the shadow and how these characters showed their humanity (or maybe humanness). I'll be talking to my dad too, trying to understand what happened to him and how he dealt with his experience. And I'll be reading Karl's other work, that's for sure.
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The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
The Snow Child

dharmagirl, January 4, 2013

This book was a very sweet read. I loved how the characters came slowly to each other and to us, and how the older couple in the book were so devoted to each other. The descriptions of the conditions up there made me shiver and I felt the main character's anguish so acutely it was hard to read sometimes. I also loved that there was no real explanation for what happened - it just happened - and that was that. The writing was spare and yet pulled me into the story and that world immediately. There is a harshness to the world the characters live in, but the warmth of love and friendship makes the place seem almost delightful. Well worth the time to read.
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Bossypants by Tina Fey

dharmagirl, August 7, 2012

This book is a must read for anyone who likes to laugh out loud, loves Tina Fey and her current show, 30 Rock. Tina tells her story - bits of her childhood, how she got into comedy, what it was like working at SNL, how she created 30 Rock - all with her signature style - wry and witty. Her descriptions of her SNL appearances as Sarah Palin were especially funny and insightful and gave me a different perspective on those performances. I'm not much of a TV person and had never watched 30 Rock before reading this book; I've watched a few episodes since reading the book and I feel like I have the inside story.
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