Book Review ~ Testimony by Anita Shreve

Summary ~ At a New England boarding school, a sex scandal is about to break. Even more shocking than the sexual acts themselves is the fact that they were caught on videotape. A Pandora’s box of revelations, the tape triggers a chorus of voices–those of the men, women, teenagers, and parents involved in the scandal–that details the ways in which lives can be derailed or destroyed in one foolish moment., the needs and fears that drive ordinary men and women into intolerable dilemmas, and the ways in which our best intentions can lead to our worst transgressions.innocentsexplores the dark impulses that sway the lives of seeming

Writing with a pace and intensity surpassing even her own greatest work, Anita Shreve delivers in TESTIMONY a gripping emotional drama with the impact of a thriller. No one more compellingly

Anita Shreve’s Testimony was this months book club read.  I’m torn about what I thought about it.  I was really bored with most of the story but liked the beginning and end.  The book is told from multiple perspectives which got distracting at times.  Some of the characters who told the story from their point of view confused me with their importance and relevance to the story.  Did we really need to know that person’s thoughts to get the gist of the story?  Really? 

The story circles around a stupid night in a dorm room with very drunk teenagers and their crazy sexual escapades.  Being married to someone in law enforcement, the common denominator to most sexual assaults is alcohol.  No surprise then that that is the case in this work of fiction.  Actually that is the problem I had with the book on the whole.  I felt like I was reading an ongoing newspaper story told through multiple articles that drew the story out for too long. 

An interesting point was brought up at our lunch/meeting for Testimony.  “Would you want your teenager to read this book?”  The mutual agreement was yes, it would be an eye opener to teens out there that this type of thing can happen.  Testimony was inspired by the 2006 Duke Lacrosse scandal, proof that fact can be stranger than fiction.  Throughout the discussion I tended to feel out of the loop because I was the only one at the table who had read the book instead of listen to the audiobook.  [Quick question to you book bloggers and readers/listeners out there: Do you think that listening to an audiobook is equivalent to reading the book?]

If you are a fan of Jodi Picoult and other “true life” fiction stories, than Anita Shreve’s Testimony may be the book for you this spring.

{Rating 3 out of 5}

My New Obsession

kindle2_01I love my Kindle.  I love it even more now that we are back in the good ‘ole U.S. of A.  One of the many cool features it has is the sample option.  When you go on via your computer or the Kindle, you can download samples of Kindle books, read them at any time and if you choose to buy the book, you can download it automatically.  I am noticing that the book samples are pretty long too; at least the first chapter.  Over the last two days I have downloaded twenty-six book samples and I can’t seem to stop.  I haven’t even finished reading Olive Kitteridge on my Kindle and now I have all these samples to read and I did it to myself.  I will continue to download samples till I go crazy!  I LOVE it!!!

If you or even if you don’t own a Kindle, do you/would you utilize this feature?  It will probably help save money in the end because you can decide if you want to own the book or not by reading the first chapter or so of the book.

Sunday Salon ~ March 22nd, 2009

What a week!  I spent it in Hong Kong with Hubby and we had a great time.  I even had the chance to read a book on my new Kindle 2.0!  I read THE READER and now I can’t wait to see the film.  I didn’t mind picturing Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes and the other actors I’ve seen in previews in my minds eye as I read it either.  It wasn’t exactly a happy book but it was an interesting idea. 

Now I’m reading LITTLE BEE and am really enjoying the anticipation I’m feeling as the story unfolds.  The characters and their narrations are vivid and rich, though again, the topics aren’t very cheery.

What are you reading this week/weekend?  I’m looking for recommendations to load onto my Kindle!

Sunday Salon ~ January 4th, 2009

2009!?!?!?  When did that happen?  I must have been strapped to a rocket pack because 2008 sure flew by at warp speed.  What did I accomplish in 2008?  Well, I had given myself a personal challenge of reading 33 books for the 33 years I have been alive and I did it.  I read 33 books!  I am very proud of myself and have decided to do 34 for 34 in 2009.  New Year’s Day marked my 34th birthday.  Having a birthday on the first day of the year is very cool and allows me to easily start resolutions and challenges as a way to mark getting older and the years passing all at once.  I really think that even though we will be moving back to the states from Okinawa this year, I will be able to accomplish reading 34 books. 

Hubby got me the Amazon Kindle for my birthday but because Amazon is currently sold out of the Kindle (thanks Oprah!) it won’t ship until March.  😦  I hope that they ship it out earlier but I do have enough books on my TBR shelves to keep me busy till the Kindle’s arrival.  I already have a list started of the books I will buy and download to the Kindle. 

Thanks to my parents and my in-laws birthday checks I was able to buy a Wii on Friday.  Hubby and I have been having fun bowling, playing tennis, boxing, playing golf and hitting and pitching baseballs all weekend.  He thinks I’m pretty pathetic because I have a bad case of “Wii Arm” due to the intensity that I play those games.  I’m feeling better today for the first time in two days, but I love my Wii. 

This week there are some things I have to work on for this blog, including a Top 10 list of books I read in 2008.  What were some of your favorite reads last year?  Are there any books you are looking forward to picking up when they are released in 2009?  I’m about three quarters of the way done with Tiffany Baker’s upcoming release of her debut novel, The Little Giant of Aberdeen County.  It will be available in stores this week.  You can check out updates on Tiffany Baker’s release week over at The Debutante Ball.

Through The Worm Hole

Well, I’m here in Northern Virginia, and I can’t believe that I live in Japan.  It’s so hard to grasp that sometimes.  Having a life on two continents; friends, things to do, places to be and even doctors appointments.  (I’m getting my knee checked out this Friday to see what is going on in there.)

I wrote a blog post while I was on my eleven and a half hour flight from Tokyo to Washington Dulles, but I left it upstairs, so I will work on getting that typed up and posted later this week.  Are you doing anything out of the ordinary this week?  Reading any good books?  Do you have anything to recommend I look for when I’m on sensory overload at B&N and Borders these next two weeks?  Oh, BTW, I asked the hubby for an Amazon Kindle for my birthday in January.  I’ve wanted one since it was first introduced in 2007 but after seeing Oprah on Friday, yes Oprah, I decided that I must have one.