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Book 5 of 50 Books Read in 2010: Under the Dome by Steven King

Monday, February 01, 2010



Let me start out by being honest. I am NOT a huge fan of the horror/science fiction genre. I prefer novels that center around events that could actually happen. However, I do enjoy psychological thrillers, and “The Stand” which was written by Stephen King is one of my all time favorite books. It was for these reasons I decided to read Steven Kings latest novel “Under the Dome”.



When the small town of Chester's Mill, Maine, is surrounded by an invisible force field, the people inside must exert themselves to survive. The situation deteriorates rapidly due to the dome's ecological effects and the machinations of Big Jim Rennie, a local politician who likes the idea of having an isolated populace to dominate. The story that follows is actually two stories. The first (and in my opinion, the better of the two) is the story of the rapid deterioration of society when rules and structure disappear. This is reminiscent of the story told in novels such as “Lord of the Flies” or in King’s own novel “The Stand”. The cast of small town characters is engaging and this aspect of the plot is very believable and more than a little scary. The second part of this tale centers on what elements are behind the dome and how to free the town and its residents from this prison. I found this part of the story less engaging. Needless to say, there is not a “rational” or reality based reason for the dome and due to my personal bias against science fiction type literature it is not surprising that I did not enjoy this aspect of the novel. However, those readers that enjoy the science fiction genre would probably feel differently than I do.

Like most of King’s novels (well, at least the three that I have read) this book has many interesting characters and a lot of dialogue. It is told from multiple characters viewpoints. In fact, at one point we even hear part of the story from a dog! The book is LONG at 1072 pages. I can’t help but think a bit more could have been cut out without taking too much away from the story. However, it is a fast read (well, as fast as a 1072 page book can be anyway).

Overall, I would say this is a good book I would give it a rating of 3 out of 5 stars—but honestly, if you want to read a Stephen King book I would recommend “The Stand” or “Misery” before this one.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZIEGIRL05 2/2/2010 12:06PM

    I'm in the mid-diddle of this BIG book...so I sort of skimmed your review. I'll come back and read it soon. I LOVE how you put your reviews in a blog, though.

Thanks!
Jazzie
PS: My hubby devoured this book! It's taking me a lot longer to get through....

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AMALIA8 2/1/2010 8:56PM

    It sounds okay but like you I think I would like the first part better. :) Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing your "book reports. " :)

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2WHEELER 2/1/2010 4:14PM

    I'm a big fan of King, but haven't read anything of his for awhile. I love a great psychological thriller and King rarely disappoints. His stories give me nightmares (yet I love that on-the-edge dreadful feeling). There's just enough of the plausible to give me a bad case of the "what ifs." My favorite may be The Stand. I can't see a clown without thinking of IT--they give me the creeps; who/what is really behind that greasepaint? CUJO had me looking at the neighbors' dogs in a different light.

Most of the movies haven't translated real well, in my opinion. I already had such a strong vision from the book that the movies have not lived up to my expectations. The Shining may be the exception; Jack Nicholson was phenomenal and I still can't see him in a movie without thinking of Jack Torrance and his maniacal grin.

Many, many years ago I was reading The Shining when I visited my sister in Washington DC. She lived in an apartment on the 4th floor, and I slept on her sofa during my visit. There was a sliding glass door onto a small balcony and I had constant nightmares of Torrance scaling the balcony and coming after me. I barely got any sleep at all. Yet, I kept on reading; just couldn't get enough of the thrill.

Oh, what fun!! I'll have to run out to the library and pick up one of his books. I haven't had a good scare in a long time. Thanks.





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ANGELLACOLE 2/1/2010 1:27PM

    I love your reviews! I also love this book reading goal you have - I think I may have to join you!

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VXWALL1942 2/1/2010 12:08PM

    Got the book. Glad I now know which parts I can skim (it is a very long book) since my perspective is the same as yours on the Stephen King world. Thanks for the review. emoticon

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CHEDDERFISH 2/1/2010 11:48AM

    I love Stephen King and in particular The Stand! I've got 3 other physical books I'm reading now (I have a tenancy to leave them in different places and when I'm near one of them I'll read that one.) One of them is Firestarter. I'm also finishing up the audio book of Breaking Dawn - last in the Twilight series. I have a road trip this weekend so I'll have to see if I can get the audio version of this! Sounds great!

Have you read Lisey's Story? I feel like that's a little on the individual psychological thriller side (just she's affected as compared to a large group.)

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DRAGONFLY1974 2/1/2010 11:18AM

    I was wondering if this book was any good! I haven't read Stephen King in a long time, I'm more of a psychological thriller/whodunit it kind of girl. However, I still have a soft spot for Stephen King after I read The Talisman and the Stand. Misery also was very good.

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DANCINGPENGUIN 2/1/2010 10:28AM

    I was wondering why so long between book reviews. Now I get it! A thousand-page tome. Apparently that's because he edited it down from where he started.

Not a Stephen King fan, so I'll wait for the next one. emoticon

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 2/1/2010 10:18AM

    Thanks I have it on my to read...I will read it.

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SPUD1226 2/1/2010 10:10AM

    I loved this book (we seem to be reading the same things). I too skimmed over the sci-fi portion and loved the psychological aspects. I just couldn't beleive everyone just followed "Big Jim" and let him get away with everything he was doing. I cried when the young soldier stayed with the kid at the end and would love to know what happens to the survivors.
Thanks for sharing and I can't wait to here what you're reading next.

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I am the proud new owner of a healthy BMI

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Today I weighed in at 149.6 lbs.....and I met my goal of reaching a healthy BMI! When I started my spark journey in January of 2009 my BMI was well in the obese range at 33.8.....Today my BMI is in the healthy range at 24.9!

Let the celebration begin!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZIEGIRL05 2/2/2010 12:08PM

    emoticon
What a FABULOUS accomplishment!
Jazzie

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 1/31/2010 11:39PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 1/31/2010 8:27PM

    Way to go!!!!!

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SWOMIC 1/31/2010 2:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon and thanks so much for being positive and inspiring.

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I_AM_ENOUGH 1/31/2010 12:32PM

    Congratulations! I knew you could do it! It is time to celebrate!

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BBAHONORS 1/31/2010 8:22AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RFEARING1 1/31/2010 1:27AM

    Congrats! That is great news! emoticon

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STEPHANIE0904 1/31/2010 12:23AM

    Congratulations to you!!! You work hard so I'm sure glad you have reached that goal for yourself. ((HUGS))

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SARAHF_24 1/31/2010 12:05AM

    That is awesome! Congrats on your new BMI! Celebrate! You deserve it! I can't wait for the day I will be at a healthy BMI!!

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SEXYSIZE_12 1/31/2010 12:04AM

    So happy for you, keep up the marvelous work of taking care of you! emoticon

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BRAVE_NEW_ME 1/30/2010 8:51PM

    CONGRATS! How awesome!!!

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AUNTIE65 1/30/2010 5:01PM

    That is definately reason to celebrate! Congratulations!

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FINDINGMEIN2012 1/30/2010 4:58PM

    Congratulations!! That's awesome!

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SPUD1226 1/30/2010 4:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HUGMONKEYMOM 1/30/2010 4:48PM

    That (at least for me) was the single most satisfying moment of my journey. Congratulations on a major milestone!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ISHIIGIRL 1/30/2010 4:37PM

    That is great!
Congrats on all your hard work!

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ANGELLACOLE 1/30/2010 3:21PM

    Great work! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KIRSTN617 1/30/2010 2:20PM

    CONGRATS!!!!

emoticon

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TURQUOISELOTUS 1/30/2010 2:15PM

    Congratulations! That is an achievement to be proud of, and revel in!! emoticon emoticon

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LOSINGJESS 1/30/2010 2:13PM

    That is so awesome. Congratulations!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JULIEQ2011 1/30/2010 2:03PM

    Congratulations! All that consistency and hard work paid off for you, you should be SUPER proud of yourself!!!!

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ELFITZPA 1/30/2010 1:49PM

    Congrats!!! You've come a long way!

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RIKKIELLE 1/30/2010 1:13PM

    Excellent!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD JOB!!!!!!!!!

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NINJALINDA 1/30/2010 1:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Doesn't it feel emoticon

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FREELADY 1/30/2010 1:04PM

    This is so inspiring to me! I just got out of "Obese" BMI, and I'm aiming to stand where you are by the end of the year! Three cheers for you!!!

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NANCYCA555 1/30/2010 12:46PM

    Congratulations! That is such an accomplishment!! Your shiny new, healthy BMI has a high resale value and is in high demand. Maybe you can loan me the keys sometime. Be sure to take yours for a few spins around the neighborhood to show it off. emoticon emoticon

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JEM0622 1/30/2010 12:00PM

    emoticon emoticon

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HHI0901 1/30/2010 11:57AM

    Congrats!! That is awesome!

emoticon

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MAXBALLARD 1/30/2010 11:47AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Doing the Snoopy Dance for you!

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CAROLYN1213 1/30/2010 11:43AM

    Truly a cause to celebrate!!! You are amazing!!!!

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AMALIA8 1/30/2010 11:38AM

    Congratulations! That is a huge achievement! :) Keep up the amazing work!

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CHARGER25 1/30/2010 11:35AM

    That is fantastic!

Well done!

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MANDAO97 1/30/2010 11:33AM

    That is a huge accomplishment!! Congratulations. I can't wait to get there! Thanks for the motivation :)

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GRANDMAAMIE 1/30/2010 11:32AM

    emoticon emoticon

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INKEDSHUTTERBUG 1/30/2010 11:30AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Great Job!!!!!!

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GLAMOURGIRL-9 1/30/2010 11:27AM

    emoticon emoticon

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INSPIRED-ONE 1/30/2010 11:26AM

    YIPPEE!! Way to go girl!

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HAPPY_AS_IS 1/30/2010 11:12AM

    Congrats!

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DELILAS 1/30/2010 11:08AM

    That's amazing! Huge congratulations to you.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CGREEN717 1/30/2010 11:07AM

    Congrats!! Great job!

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MISS_MERI 1/30/2010 11:01AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MALIBUPRES 1/30/2010 11:01AM

    That is awesome!!! And the hard work pays off!

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TRAVELRN 1/30/2010 10:59AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUNNER_TIFF_07 1/30/2010 10:57AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LLTS01 1/30/2010 10:51AM

    That is fantastic. I am not quite there yet. emoticon

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SPOTLIGHTANGEL 1/30/2010 10:39AM

    emoticon

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PAMNANGEL 1/30/2010 10:39AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ITSNOTBECCA 1/30/2010 10:36AM

    Congratulations! emoticon

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PEGGO45 1/30/2010 10:27AM

    emoticon Way to GO!!!!!!!

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VXWALL1942 1/30/2010 10:26AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon What more can I say? Oh, I know. I want one too. Gonna work to match you - may not be realistic but is a goal worthy of striving for.

vicki emoticon

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Half Marathon Training Week #16

Sunday, January 24, 2010





Week of January 11, 2010

Monday:
Zumba class
60 minutes

Tuesday:
Long Run
8 miles
1:29:25
6:1

Wednesday:
Elliptical
42 minutes

Thursday:
Run
3 miles
32:09
6:1


Friday:
Rest Day

Saturday:
Run
5 miles
53:45
6:1

Sunday:
Elliptical
42 minutes

I am still using the Galloway run/walk training method. I usually use a 6:1 run/walk ratio. The weather was better this week and I was able to do all three of my runs this week outside---HURRAY! I added Zumba class back into my cross training routine this week as well. I had no problems or injuries to report.
emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLYN1213 1/25/2010 9:25PM

    Fabulous!!! Absolutely fabulous!

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MSWEEZER 1/25/2010 7:40AM

    You're doing great. I may still try this one day.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 1/24/2010 11:30PM

    Looks like a productive week ahead of you!
emoticon

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STEPHANIE0904 1/24/2010 8:56PM

    emoticon

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OUTDOORGIRL69 1/24/2010 8:50PM

    emoticon on the great work you are doing.

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VXWALL1942 1/24/2010 8:34PM

    And the process continues. Your training regime is impressive. 'We' are gonna kick some butt in the real race. Thanks for taking me with you.

vicki emoticon

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SPOTLIGHTANGEL 1/24/2010 8:28PM

    Awesome!!! I've wanted to try Zumba...I think you've inspired me to try it! Keep it up!

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AMALIA8 1/24/2010 8:09PM

    That's FABULOUS! :) Keep up the great work!

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You know you have been running the same route too often when....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

You run by a dead racoon on the road and think " That wasn't there yesterday"



Oh well, I got my long run today---9 miles! Hurray for me! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMALIA8 1/20/2010 4:55PM

    LOL. That's true. Maybe you should switch your route up every once in awhile? Congratulations on the long run!

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LLTS01 1/20/2010 4:09PM

    Or- that dead deer has been lying here way too long.

emoticon emoticon

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8THTIMEUP 1/20/2010 3:01PM

    Funny! You'll really know it's too often if it gets left there and you can watch a mini forensics lesson daily.

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HUGMONKEYMOM 1/20/2010 2:29PM

    The real question is, will you still be running that route by the time someone (or something) gets around to taking the dead raccoon away.

Made me smile. Thanks

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AUNTIE65 1/20/2010 2:21PM

    Nice run! Hopefully he won't be there tomorrow!

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BRAVE_NEW_ME 1/20/2010 2:02PM

    Hahahaha... well, that just means you're a hard core runner!

I'm with LOOKFORWARD2IT. My "indication" that I need to mix up my running routes is when I start running on auto pilot. This is the most problematic when I think things like "I'll add that out and back along the golf course when I get to the top of the hill"... then fail to add the out and back because it's not part of my normal route and don't even notice until 2 or 3 miles later...

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RWETHAIRYET 1/20/2010 1:24PM

    Even worse, when you're still running by him 3-4 days later...trust me on that one!

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GENEEINABOTTLE 1/20/2010 1:23PM

    LOL....love it! Congrats on the 9 miles!! emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 1/20/2010 1:08PM

    9 miles is amazing!!! I hope to do that someday. I've been hiking or walking 10 to 12 miles once a week but not running. I'm going to build up to that though! You inspire!

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WHITNEYFL 1/20/2010 12:58PM

    Oh my gosh, I can't even run a mile!!! Jealous!!

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GIGABYTEFL 1/20/2010 12:47PM

    emoticon 9 miles, keep on Sparking.

On a side note, road kill BBQ is great!!! LOL

Mac in Jax

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MSWEEZER 1/20/2010 12:37PM

    Congrats to you!!!

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MRSJARI 1/20/2010 12:35PM

    (Laughing!) This is great! And you are doing wonderfully - 9 miles!

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ELISEL 1/20/2010 12:09PM

    I had just the opposite happen last summer. There was dead opossum on one of my routes for months! Nasty!

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MALIBUPRES 1/20/2010 11:44AM

    9 miles, I can't wait to hit that and be able to do it!

RIP Raccoon!

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CAROLYN1213 1/20/2010 11:42AM

    9 miles is amazing!!!! And I also run by the same road kill every day and at some point I started using it as another mile marker . . . pick up your pace when you get to the opossum . . .! LOL!

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JEM0622 1/20/2010 11:36AM

    LOL. Yeah. I remember seeing this dead snake along my path and I noticed all the times it was there and was so grateful when it was gone!

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ETTEZEUS 1/20/2010 11:35AM

    That is too funny! Mine is opposite....I keep running past a squished armadillo and saying "when are they going to come by and pick him up"....LOL

Have a great day.

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 1/20/2010 11:32AM

    Too funny of a thought.

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KATJAMN 1/20/2010 11:12AM

    I hit a raccoon a few weeks ago.. made me so sad i almost had a panic attack.. didn't help that I was going to MO. to be with dad while mom was having surgery lol..
Anyways, good for you on your accomplishment.
Keep it up!

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VXWALL1942 1/20/2010 11:07AM

    You are terrific. Go Girl! Made me laugh today. I love the picture of the LIVE coon - not so much the dead one....

vicki emoticon

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LOOKFORWARD2IT 1/20/2010 11:03AM

    I doubt I'd even see the poor dear. I've been running in the dark since September. How I know I need to mix up my route a little: 20 minutes goes by and I have no recollection of choosing which streets to run on. (Auto pilot.) Have a great day. LF

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ANNIE_1015 1/20/2010 10:59AM

  9 miles is amazing!!!! I just started running last week with the couch to 5k team. I've never been a runner and really admire anyone who can go that far! Good job!

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Book 4 of 50 Books Read in 2010: A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve

Sunday, January 17, 2010



“A Change in Altitude” is set in Africa in the 1970’s. The novel centers on Margaret, who follows her husband, Patrick, to Africa from New England. Patrick is a doctor studying disease. Margaret is a photographer. Early on in the story, Margaret and Patrick join a British couple on a climb of Mt. Kenya. The climb ends in disaster and since this event. Margaret and Patrick lose ground on their marriage. The story continues with Patrick and Margaret's strife. At one point, they think their marriage is better and then it is not.


(Mt Kenya)

I decided to read this book because I had enjoyed many of this author's other books. I must say that I am disappointed with this one in comparison to her other work.

One thing Shreve usually does so well is to get us involved and caring about the characters early on. That didn't happen for me in this book. Her last novel “Testimony” reeled me in from the get-go, as some of her others have also done, but with this one I just couldn't find myself caring one way or the other whether they made it up the mountain or not (and later on whether their marriage survived or not).

Granted, reading about Africa, especially the Nairobi area is not one of my favorite settings. The thievery, the poverty, filth, disrespect of women and violence toward women and children is depressing. Additionally the main gist of the novel, a young recently married couple trying to stay connected in strange circumstances, is not the most enthralling subject matte. If I had cared more about the characters or felt more connected to them perhaps I would have been able to rise above my initial dislike of the subject matter. However, Shreve was unable to work her usual magic and I was left feeling rather disconnected from the characters and as a result I just did not care what happened to them. The ending was a little odd too… it left some loose ends and just seemed to come to a sudden stop. I couldn't believe that I read the story only to be left with an ending that didn't resolve anything and seemed too abrupt. I don't want to give any spoilers so I will leave it at that.

In short, I would skip this book…if you want to try anything by this author I would recommend “Testimony” or “The Pilots’ Wife” which are both excellent.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPUD1226 1/30/2010 5:04PM

    I have to agree on you, I didn't enjoy the book that well either. I kept thinking of "Out of Africa" which I had trouble reading also.
I did enjoy the prep work they did for their climb, her physical differences in the two climbs and the possible illnesses that they could encounter.
I would add "light on snow" to the list of recommendations.

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VXWALL1942 1/17/2010 11:46PM

    Thanks for wading through what sounds like a mediocre book at best, and providing a clean concise review. I pass on this one! vicki

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AMALIA8 1/17/2010 5:56PM

    Thanks for the recommendations. This one doesn't sound that great from your description but I'm glad that there were others from this author you liked. :) Thanks for sharing!

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