Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “taralovesbooks”

taralovesbooks’ #CBR4 Review #52: Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account by Dr. Miklos Nyiszli


Cannonball Read IV: Book #52/52
Published: 1946
Pages: 222
Genre: Nonfiction

Dr. Nyiszli was a Jewish doctor who was picked to assist Dr. Mengele in the Auschwitz death camp during WWII. This wasn’t an easy book to read, as with any Holocaust book. It still astounds me that something so awful happened a mere 70 years ago.

I actually liked the fact that Dr. Nyiszli focused more on the day-to-day activities in the camp rather than the grisly experiments that Dr. Mengele has become known for. The experiments are mentioned a few times, but Dr. Nyiszli mostly performed autopsies for Dr. Mengele and didn’t actually assist with any experimentation.

Again, not an easy read, but a good look at Auschwitz from a slightly different perspective.

taralovesbooks’ #CBR4 Review #51: The Twelve by Justin Cronin


Cannonball Read IV: Book #51/52
Published: 2012
Pages: 568
Genre: Post-apocalyptic/Horror

The Passage was actually one of my favorite books that I read last year. It had a few downfalls, but overall I really enjoyed it. The Twelve is the second book in a soon-to-be trilogy and it didn’t disappoint.

I was a little worried because The Passage was so intricate and had a large group of characters that I had a hard time following at times. I like to read a book series all at once otherwise I tend to forget plot lines and characters. The most genius thing in this book was the prologue that summed up everything that happened in the first book. I probably would have been a lot more lost without it.

Read the rest in my blog.

taralovesbooks’ #CBR4 Review #50: Call Me Tuesday by Leigh Byrne



Cannonball Read IV: Book #50/52
Published: 2012
Pages: 328
Genre: Nonfiction

This book is supposedly a “fictionalized account of a true story”, but is listed on Goodreads as nonfiction so I’m not sure EXACTLY what that means, but nonetheless, it’s a compelling novel about child abuse. Tuesday (named after actress Tuesday Weld) endures horrific physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her mother after the death of her older sister. Her sister had polio and died after complications from the Hong Kong flu.

Soon after her sister’s death, Tuesday’s mother receives a brain injury after a fall down the stairs. She’s never the same after that and blames Tuesday for killing her other daughter. Tuesday has a few younger brothers who are treated normally, so she just assumes that her mother hates her. She is always being “punished”, but never knows what she did to be in trouble. The physical abuse is horrific, but the mental abuse is awful as well. She is forced to stand facing the wall in the hallway whenever she is home. She is usually not fed dinner and if she is, her mother makes these disgusting concoctions to make her eat. She is not allowed to bathe and has to wear old, too small clothes to school so she gets made fun of.

Read the rest in my blog.

taralovesbooks’ #CBR4 Review #49: The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe



Cannonball Read IV: Book #49/52
Published: 1962
Pages: 256
Genre: Japanese Literature

I picked this book up because it sounded really weird. A man named Niki is out collecting insects for his bug collection when he is kidnapped in this weird village near the sea. The sand dunes will destroy the city unless the inhabitants spend hours a day digging sand out from around their houses. This causes all of the houses to be inside of large holes in the sand that are impossible to escape from. Niki is left inside of one with a woman to help her dig the sand. People from above drop off supplies and water, so Niki and the woman are completely dependent on them to live. If they don’t dig, they don’t get supplies or water.

Read my thoughts in my blog.

taralovesbooks’ #CBR4 Review #48: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee



Cannonball Read IV: Book #48/52
Published: 1960
Pages: 323
Genre: Classic

This book is on ALL the must-read classics lists, so I figured I should finally read it. Well…this is why I don’t like to read classics. It wasn’t a bad book — in fact, it was beautifully written — but I was just BORED for most of it.

First of all, the plot (I actually went into this book fairly blind as to the plot. I know this book is a huge classic, but I never really knew what it was about.): It mostly follows two kids, Scout and Jem. They’re a brother/sister duo in 1930s Alabama who run into some obstacles when their lawyer father, Atticus, decides to defend a black man who is accused of raping a white woman.

Read what I thought in my blog.

taralovesbooks’ #CBR4 Review #47: Sister Sister by Andrew Neiderman


Cannonball Read IV: Book #47/52
Published: 1992
Pages: 292
Genre: Horror

I picked up this horribly cheesy novel at the used bookstore for $1. It’s not worth even that probably. I actually forgot I even read this until I was looking through my Goodreadsaccount (add me!) and realized I never wrote my CBR review for it.

It was a pretty forgettable novel, so forgive me if this review is somewhat vague. The plot follows a school teacher who gets a really good paying job to teach a set of conjoined twins. The twins (named Alpha and Beta…seriously) are locked up in a lab and have never been outside their small apartment in there. They’re pretty much treated like lab rats.

Read the rest in my blog.

taralovesbooks’ #CBR4 Review #46: Hilarity Ensues by Tucker Max



Cannonball Read IV: Book #46/52
Published: 2012
Pages: 448
Genre: Humor

Sigh. I don’t even know where to start with this one. I read Tucker Max’s first book when I was in college (roughly 5 years ago…eek!) and thought it was hilarious. The guy was an asshole, no doubt, but he owned it at least. The second book was okay. Funny, but it lost some the charm of the first book. This third book? Completely lost any charm that may have ever existed.

Read the rest in my blog.

taralovesbooks’ #CBR4 Review #45: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett


Cannonball Read IV: Book #45/52
Published: 1910
Pages: 331
Genre: Classic

I decided that I need to read more classic novels. I read a ton, but have barely read any of the books most people consider classics. I went with The Secret Garden as my first choice because I remember reading it when I was little and really liking it. I also liked the movie that came out sometime in the early/mid 90’s.

The premise is probably familiar to most people: Mary is a spoiled English child who lives in India with her wealthy family until she is orphaned after a plague strikes the area. She is shipped off to England to live in her uncle’s gigantic mansion. I remember always wanted to have a mansion like that to explore. I kind of still do. Anyways, Mary is pretty much left on her own all day and she starts getting nosy. First, she discovers a locked garden that she is told is forbidden because it was her Aunt’s, who had passed away years ago. Then she discovers that she has a cousin who is kept secret and bedridden due to a mysterious illness that he may or may not even have.

Read the rest in my blog.

taralovesbooks’ #CBR4 Review #44: Freedomland by Richard Price

Cannonball Read IV: Book #44/52
Published: 1998
Pages: 736
Genre: Crime/Thriller

A friend recommended this book to me years ago, but I never got around to picking it up. I found it in a used book store a few weeks ago and decided to give it a try.

The premise is pretty simple for such a long book: A white woman (Brenda) wanders into an emergency room with bloody hands saying that she was carjacked by a black man in a mostly black neighborhood. Then she tells the cops that her four-year-old son was in the back of the car. This sets off a long string of events that causes a huge racial conflict between the black neighborhood (Dempsey) and the neighboring white town (Gannon) that Brenda lives in (and her brother is a cop in).

Read the full review in my blog.

taralovesbooks’ #CBR4 Review #43: Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress by Debra Ginsberg

Cannonball Read IV: Book #43/52
Published: 2000
Pages: 298
Genre: Nonfiction/Memoir

I was a waitress in college and I LOVED it. It’s such a hard job, but so satisfying to walk away every night with a wad of cash. I’ve always thought the world would be a little bit of a better place if every person had to spend six months of their life as a waiter or waitress. You literally learn to deal with every type of person whether as a customer or as a co-worker.

I picked up this book at a used bookstore and was hoping it was better than the behind-the-scenes book I read last year about the cruise ship waiter. It was okay, but focused more on the writer’s personal life than his actual job. Waiting was the waitressing memoir I’d been looking for.

Read the full review in my blog.

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