About the Blog


If you like to talk about books this is the place to
post that book you just finished. Please include the title and author as well
as what you liked or disliked about the book. If you have questions or
suggestions, if you want to share your impressions on the book you read, send
your reviews to
woasumy@hotmail.com
We'd like to hear from you!


What are you reading?







понедельник, 3 декабря 2012 г.

Laura Hillenbrand "Seabiscuit"

He was a cultural icon. A world-class athlete. A champion who triumphed over terrible handicaps to become a legend of the racetrack. No other racehorse has rivaled Seabiscuit’s fame or his sway over the nation’s imagination. Now Laura Hillenbrand unfolds the spellbinding story of this marvelous animal, the world he lived in, and the men who staked their lives and fortunes on his dazzling career. A riveting tale of grit, grace, luck and an underdog’s stubborn determination, Seabiscuit is an American classic.


Ronald

понедельник, 26 ноября 2012 г.

Ernest Hemingway "The Nick Adams Stories"

I recently read Ernest Hemingway's "The Nick Adams Stories".  It is a series of short stories about Nick Adams, from boy to man, living in different parts of the worlds.  Some stories are but a few pages long while others like "The Last Good Country" are over 40 pages long. As with most collections of short stories, some are intriguing while others are uninspiring. Some benefits to reading this book, and others of its era, is I constantly learned how the English language was commonly used. In reading older books, you are introduced to words that have little use in today's modern vernacular which can help improve your English.  Even for me, a native English speaker, there where five words on one page I did not know! I could understand them in the context of the sentence, but could not define them. In some stories he goes through painstaking detail about the art of fishing, and other topics, which might bore some readers.  For me these parts, although I understand that Hemingway was trying to build the character, were difficult to read. "The Killers" was the most entertaining read for me.  While you may not like every short story in the book, I think for advanced readers this is an a worthwhile book to build English vocabulary while improving your knowledge of who Hemingway really is.

David.

Wilkie Collins "The Woman in White"

Walter Hartright’s contemplations on the lonely, moonlit road are rudely broken by the nameless and distressed woman in white. the encounter is to change his life, for she is at the centre of villainous machinations which are profoundly to affect him – and those he loves.


Through carefully constructed characterization, intricate plotting and mastery skill in concealing and revealing secrets, Wilkie Collins has created one of the greatest mystery thrillers in the English language.

Jane

четверг, 22 ноября 2012 г.

Robert Morgan “This Rock”


Robert Morgan takes two characters - brothers Powell, Muir and Moody, and wraps a novel around them.  The brothers are very different. Muir is ambitious, quiet and shy. He tries many different things from preaching to hunting and building. Moody likes rum running, gambling, drinking and fighting. Moody is the source of all troubles. Ginny, their mother, attempts to let them lead their own lives, she sees the truth about her boys and loves them despite their many failings and frustrations. This is a great story of family and faith.
The book is an interesting read. It appeals to your mind and heart.

Ann

среда, 21 ноября 2012 г.

Isabel Allende “The House of the Spirits”


The House of the Spirits" is a very good novel about the life of a family through three generations, a powerful history of characters. You can hate some characters and you admire some, but they are all interesting. Isabel Allende shows good times and bad times of the family, times of poverty and other times of wealth, love and hate, betrayal, accidents, life and death. It’s not a political novel but also connects with situation in Chile during the 20th Century, with revolution and dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

I enjoyed this book very much. It’s beautifully written and captivating to read. The language of the novel is simple.

Olga.

вторник, 20 ноября 2012 г.

Bram Stoker "Dracula"

Dracula recounts the struggle of a group of men and a woman – Dr Seward, Dr Van Helsing and Jonathan Harker and his wife Mina – to destroy the vampire, whose sinister earth-filled coffins are discovered by Harker in a ruined chapel adjoining Dr Seward’s asylum. Cruel and noble, evilly and fatally desirable to women, Dracula possesses a terrifying lust for power and, like Dr Jekyll or Conan Doyle’s Moriarty, is one of the immortal fictional monsters.


Few readers will ever forget the nightmare atmosphere of Count Dracula’s sinister castle in Transylvania, the prowlings of the Un-dead, the blood-curdling tension as Bram Stoker’s tale races towards a thrilling climax.

Dracula is a unique horror masterpiece and the most famous of all vampire tales.

Bob

среда, 31 октября 2012 г.

Robb Forman Dew “The Evidence Against Her”


This is one of those books you must read slowly. Be prepared for a lot of description and character development, to study other people, to understand why people behave the way they do. You will meet 3 kids being born on the same day and know how that influences their relationships with other people in their lives. Dew takes ordinary people and, by showing us events through their eyes, helps us to understand them.
I thought the story was pretty good.
Ann.

 

четверг, 18 октября 2012 г.

Reynolds Price “Kate Vaiden”


A sweet, sad story… The readers follow through the life of the main character, Kate Vaiden. I love and accept her, sometimes I don’t understand her or why she makes the decisions she makes. She is forgiving, loving and awful all at the same time. She runs away from those who would love and give her the most, and she doesn't regret it. Life taught her hard lessons: she had survived the murder of her mother by her father and his suicide, the accidental death of her favorite lover, the suicides of two of her lovers, abandonment of her infant son.

Reynolds Price’s a wonderful story teller.

Galya.

 

пятница, 14 сентября 2012 г.

Ha Jin “Waiting”


This is the story of Lin Kong, a man living in two worlds. Every summer once a year he visits his family home in village, where his wife nurses first his mother and then his father, and takes care of Lin’s daughter. Caught in a loveless marriage, Lin has been in love with an educated, clever, modern woman, Manna Wu.  According to local Party rules, Lin cannot divorce his wife without her permission until they have been separated for 18 years.  Every summer, his wife agrees to a divorce but then backs out…

This touching story about love, honor, duty, and family.

Simple prose, simple plot, very complex characters.

Lena.

 

вторник, 11 сентября 2012 г.

John Banville “The Sea”



“The Sea” is one of the best novels I have read. This novel is about love, loss, regret and the role of memory. John Banville introduces us to Max Morden. After his wife’s death he returned to the seaside town where his family had vacation in his youth. Something happened there, and the novel only reveals what that was at the end. Max went back to events of his childhood, he needed of going back in his life in order to go forward.
It's a strong and a good book, beautifully written.
Olga.


понедельник, 10 сентября 2012 г.

David Baldacci “Stone Cold”



Baldacci's books are great and this one is no exception. The book carries you along with different stories, fun characters, and, of course, Baldacci's very clear writing style. In this book there are several plots and subplots going on.  Baldacci, as a good storyteller, brings all of these plots into riveting thriller.  In one plot we find Oliver Stone, who is an ex-government assassin who now lives and works in a small graveyard outside of Washington D.C. with a terrible mistake that he made years ago……
A good story full of revenge, conspiracy and murder.
Highly recommend it to anyone who likes action and great characters.
Ann.


вторник, 24 июля 2012 г.

Amazon Kindle


Dear friends, Sumy WOA Center received 4 E-book Readers “Amazon Kindle”. Now you have an opportunity to read books in our center in E-format. For the reading are available speeches and books of American politicians and writers. Among them are Barack Obama, Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, Henry Melville and others. Everybody is welcomed to come and read! 

вторник, 5 июня 2012 г.

Charles Frazier "Cold Mountain"


One of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory. Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain is a masterpiece that is at once an enthralling adventure, a stirring love story, and a luminous evocation of a vanished America in all its savagery, solitude and splendor.

Sorely wounded and fatally disillusioned in the fighting at Petersburg, Inman, a Confederate soldier, decides to walk back to his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains and to Ada, the woman he loved there years before. His trek across the disintegrating South brings him into intimate and sometimes lethal converse with slaves and marauders, bounty hunters and witches, both helpful and malign. At the same time, Ada is trying to revive her father’s derelict farm and learn to survive in a world where the old certainties have been swept away. As it interweaves their stories, Cold Mountain asserts itself as an authentic American Odyssey – hugely powerful, majestically lovely and keenly moving.
Richard       

понедельник, 28 мая 2012 г.

Anne Tyler "Breathing Lessons"


Everyone knows a couple like the Morans. Maggie, with her scatterbrained ways and her just slightly irritating – but goodhearted - attempts to make everything right for everyone… And Ira, infinitely patient, who’s addicted to solitaire and who whistles out popular tunes, the only barometer of his moods. They’ve learned all there is to know about each other – two ordinary lives in a comfortably routine marriage.
But on the road to a friend’s funeral, they make some unexpected detours – and discover how extraordinary their ordinary lives really are…
Bob  

пятница, 25 мая 2012 г.

Tina Turner with Kurt Loder


Ike and Tina Turner were one of the rock sensations of the sixties. Then Tina made an incredible solo comeback and is now one of the hottest female performers on the pop scene. I, Tina tells the astonishing story that lies behind her success, from her first taste of stardom and the brutality which forced her to leave Ike and the ‘act’, through the years of obscurity to the moment when she rocketed back to fame with her bestselling, award-winning album Private Dancer. Electrifying, moving and unforgettable, I, Tina is one of the great life stories in rock-music history.
Tanya

четверг, 24 мая 2012 г.

Adrianne Byrd "If You Dare"

Dear Reader, if you’re looking for heart-pounding suspense with a sexy hero and heroine, then look no further than “If You Dare” by Adrianne Byrd. This outstanding nationally bestselling author is the new voice of African-American fiction!
You’ll fall in love with Damien Black, who has decided to admire art from afar rather than steal it. But when he is coaxed out of early retirement for one last job, he did not count on meeting Angel Lafonte. Angel is the director of the museum he’s been staking out, and a chance encounter leads to a sizzling affair. Before he knows it, Angel has stolen his heart. But someone means for Damien to finish the job he’s started. No matter what.
Adrianne Byrd delivers a fast-paced, thrill-a-minute page-turner in “If You Dare”. Enjoy!
Erik

четверг, 17 мая 2012 г.

John Grisham “The King of Torts”


The Office of the Public Defender is not known as a training ground for bright young litigators. Clay Carter has been there too long and like most of his colleagues, dreams of a better job in a real firm. When he reluctantly takes the case of a young man charged with a random street killing, he assumes it is just another of the senseless murders that hit D.C. every week.

As he digs into the background of his client, Clay stumbles on a conspiracy too horrible to believe. He suddenly finds himself in the middle of a complex case against one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and looking at the kind of enormous settlement that would totally change his life – that would make him, almost overnight, the legal profession’s newest king of torts…
Mike

вторник, 15 мая 2012 г.

Peter Taylor “The Old Forest and Other Stories”


From the Grand Master of the American short story, these fourteen tales of domestic life in the South during the thirties and forties explore that extraordinary world of manners, expectations, and unspoken understandings. The reader is drawn as if by magnetic force into a world rendered in breathtaking, painterly detail. These stories are marvelous entertainments, rich with amusement, yet Taylor renders his characters truly and understands them in a profoundly meaningful way.    
Thomas


четверг, 10 мая 2012 г.

Boris Akunin "Turkish Gambit"


The Russo-Turkish war is at a critical juncture, and Erast Fandorin, broken-hearted and disillusioned has gone to the front in an attempt to forget his sorrows. Captured by the Turks, he wins his freedom in a game of backgammon, before finding himself the unlikely rescuer of Varvara Suvorova – a ’progressive’ Russian woman trying to make her way to the Russian headquarters to join her fiancé.

Fandorin’s efforts to steer clear of affairs of state are thwarted when a traitor is discovered in the Russian camp. Within days, Varvara’s fiancé has been accused of treason, a Turkish victory looms on the horizon, and there are rumours that one of Lady Astair’s Azazel orphans may be making his own bid for power.

Our reluctant gentleman sleuth will need to resurrect all of his dormant powers of detection if he is to unmask the traitor, help the Russians to victory and smooth the path of young love in the third sparkling page-turner from Boris Akunin.

Alex  

среда, 25 апреля 2012 г.

Philip Roth “American Pastoral”


Philip Roth gives us a novel of unqualified greatness that is an elegy for all our century’s promises of prosperity, civic order, and domestic bliss. Roth’s protagonist is Swede Levov, a legendary athlete at his Newark high school, who grows up in the booming postwar years to marry a former Miss New Jersey, inherit his father’s glove factory, and move into a stone house in the idyllic hamlet of Old Rimrock. And then one day in 1968, Swede’s beautiful American luck deserts him. For Swede’s adored daughter, Merry, has grown from a loving, quick-witted girl into a sullen, fanatical teenager – a teenager capable of an outlandishly savage act of political terrorism. And overnight Swede is wrenched out of the longed-for American pastoral and into the indigenous American berserk. Compulsively readable, propelled by sorrow, rage, and a deep compassion for its characters, this is Roth’s masterpiece.

Alex         

Book trailer Jack London "The Call of the Wild"

понедельник, 23 апреля 2012 г.

J. Fenimore Cooper “The Last of the Mohicans”

Skirmishes, captures, flights and rescues are only some of the ingredients in this classic tale of bloody conflict between the British and the French in the forests of North America. The story also tells of the cynical exploitation of the native tribes by the two protagonists, setting Indian against Indian, Mohican against Huron. However, there is one honorable European, Natty Bumppo, the loyal and courageous woodsman, who prefers the simple code of natural law to the machinations of the white man. Together with Uncas, the last of the Mohicans, he helps to thwart the efforts of Magua, the sinister Huron, who is intent on preventing Alice and Cora Munro from joining their father, the British commander of Fort William Henry. Oleg

пятница, 20 апреля 2012 г.

Amy Tan “The Joy Luck Club”

“The Joy Luck Club” was published in 1989. A novel by Amy Tan tells the stories of four sets of mothers and daughters. The mothers were all born in China and the daughters all born in America. Each of the four Chinese women has her own view of the world based on her experiences in China and wants to share that vision with her daughter. The four families are connected through the Joy Luck Club that meets each week. After its founding member passes away, her daughter is asked to take her place at the table and the stories begin. This book tells about women’s hopes, fears, and tragic pasts of mothers and is focused on numerous universal themes, such as family, hope, love, sacrifice and wishes for a better life.
Enjoy a good book and learn more about Chinese culture.
Lena

четверг, 19 апреля 2012 г.

Lewis Carroll “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass”

“I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole … without the least idea what was to happen afterwards,” wrote Lewis Carroll, describing how Alice was conjured up one “golden afternoon” in 1862 to entertain his child-friend Alice Liddell. His dream worlds of nonsensical Wonderland and the back-to-front Looking-Glass kingdom depict order turned upside-down: a baby turns into a pig, time is abandoned at a disordered tea-party and a chaotic game of chess makes a seven-year-old girl a Queen. But amongst the anarchic humor and sparkling word play, puzzles and riddles, are poignant moments of nostalgia for lost childhood. Original and experimental, the Alice book is recommended for reading because it gives readers a window on both child and adult worlds.
Vasya

среда, 18 апреля 2012 г.

Bob Shacochis “Easy in the Islands”

In l985, Bob Shacochis won the American Book Award for his first fiction ”Easy in the Islands”, a collection of tales about life in the Caribbean. Shacochis traveled in the Caribbean and worked there as a member of the Peace Corps. Among the stories are "Dead Reckoning," which describes a storm at sea, and “Easy in the islands”, in which a hotel manager copes with declining business while storing a corpse in a refrigerator…
“Easy in the Islands” is a collection of nine short stories. All stories are fun and interesting. Much of it is brilliant.
Ann

вторник, 3 апреля 2012 г.

Esmond Wright “Benjamin Franklin. His life as he wrote it”.

Esmond Wright, Professor of History, gives us a good look into the life of Franklin. We see him as a printer, author, businessman, philosopher, politician, diplomat, scientist and a patriot who was a major force in winning his country's independence and securing its life in the Constitution. Born poor in Boston, he died wealthy and esteemed. This book portrays Franklin, "the most modern-minded" of the Founding Fathers, as a cool, charming, stylish, inquisitive figure.
This book was enlightening. I recommend it.
Olga

среда, 21 марта 2012 г.

Book Trailer Astrid Lindgren “Karlsson-on-the-Roof”

Ellen Emerson White “Voyage on the Great Titanic”

This was an excellent book, and it was written incredibly well, i could not put it down.
Margaret Ann Brady was a 13 year old girl living in an orphanage in England. I felt really close to Margaret who just lost her mother. Her brother William lived and worked in America. Margaret got a job with a wealthy American woman. The job was simple: Margaret just had to keep Mrs. Carstairs company during her return voyage to New York. She could join her brother immediately. But Mrs. Carstairs returned to America on the Titanic…
It's very touching and sad story, and filled with adventure, hope and love.
Ann

понедельник, 27 февраля 2012 г.

Shirley Hazzard “The Great Fire”

This was my first novel by Shirley Hazzard and this book has an excellent reputation, it won the National Book Award. The main characters are good, decent people: Leith is a wounded English war hero who has come to Japan to study the effects of the bombing of Hiroshima. Peter Exley, friend of Leigh, risks everything to save a dying child of another race. “The Great Fire” is an extraordinary love story, filled with beautiful, descriptive prose. I enjoyed every word.
I recommend this book to anyone who truly loves both great fiction and the English language.
Ann.

четверг, 9 февраля 2012 г.

Book trailer Mark Twain “The Adventure of Tom Sawyer”

Cormac McCarthy “The Road”

“The road” was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It is a post-apocalyptic tale of a journey of a father and his young son though burned America. They try to survive in a world destroyed by a catastrophe. They are heading for the Eastern coast with little hope of finding anything. The weather is bitter, the landscape colorless. They possess only what they can scavenge to eat.
They have a pistol with only a few bullets for defense, the rags they wear and the heat of their own bodies….
It’s moving story, well written with beautiful and memorable prose.
The book was intriguing and well-worth the read.
Lena

вторник, 31 января 2012 г.

William Kennedy “Ironweed”

The main hero, Francis Phelan, is a 58 years old bum, but he was not bum his whole life. A history of personal problems has brought him to his present station in life. He left his home twenty- two years ago when he accidently dropped his baby son on the floor and the boy died. Francis is a man who has made too many mistakes… I enjoyed the characters and plot.
This book reveals human kindness, sweetness, love, forgiveness.
A witty and philosophic novel, is one of those books that never leave your memory….
Ann.

понедельник, 23 января 2012 г.

Arundhati Roy “The God of Small Things”

If you are looking for something different and interesting you have to read “The God of Small Things”. This is a 'Booker prize' winner book and the debut novel of Indian author Arundhati Roy. The writer is talented, certainly, and her prose is amazing, with wonderful word pictures. The words, the phrases, the structure - all fresh and alive. “The God of Small Things” is a book about what happened to a twins, Estha and Rahel. The story alternates between two time periods: the twins at seven and the twins at thirty-one. It is the story of childhood lost, it is the story of love, it is the story of death…
It was an absolute pleasure to read this book.
Lili.

четверг, 12 января 2012 г.

Anita Shreve “The Pilot's Wife”

I got a great book and I just finished reading it... “The Pilot's Wife” by Anita Shreve. It was beautifully written and it is also a good plot. A pilot’s wife in New England receives a knock on the door in the middle of the night to tell her that her husband has been killed in an air crash. The tragedy becomes the subject of an investigation, which leads her to London and a woman with two children: her husband two children. Jack Lyons has been leading a double life, married to two women in two countries.
This is a story of tragedy, love, betrayal and healing. It is a story of a strong woman who sets out to learn who her husband really was, who works to protect her daughter and at the same time copes with the rumour concerning her husband.
Olena.

Tobias Wolff “The Barrack Thief”

The story is about three young boys: Philip, Hubbard and Lewis. They are from different families, and they have different characters. “The Barrack Thief” places the reader in the last weeks of young soldiers' lives before they are waiting to ship out for Vietnam.
The plot seems so real; it deals with real life situations of a human life.
Writing is really good, I like the way the story develops and this book makes me think….
I absolutely liked it and I would recommend it to anyone who loves to read!!
Olga.