Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. This page lists all the books that I have finished reading in between 2001 and 2009.
This page is built leveraging the goodreads API.
Magic's Price (The Last Herald-Mage #3) cover
Magic's Price (The Last Herald-Mage #3)
by Mercedes Lackey (1990)
My review: This is the final chapter of Vanyel's trilogy. Vanyel is now powerful and treated with awe by everybody, but his life is a hell, because he knows that the enemy will attack everybody he loves to get to him (given that they can hardly get at him directly). A very strong sense of duty keep him going until a young bard enter in his life, teaching him to love again. (★★★★)
Started: Dec 20 2009 Finished: Dec 31 2009
Magic's Promise (The Last Herald-Mage #2) cover
Magic's Promise (The Last Herald-Mage #2)
by Mercedes Lackey (1990)
My review: The hero of this story is Vanyel, a young man, completely crashed and lost after the tragic loss of his love. Unfortunately for him, there is no time to mourn the loss, he is catapulted in the middle of a multi national crisis involving magic, murder, and a young man, Tashir, that just discovered enormous powers inside himself. In the background, young Vanyel and his family come to terms with their differences. (★★★★)
Started: Dec 10 2009 Finished: Dec 19 2009
Day of the Dragon (WarCraft, #1) cover
Day of the Dragon (WarCraft, #1)
by Richard A. Knaak (2001)
My review: I was expecting quite a bad book, given that it was inspired by a videogame. It turned out to be quite a good book. Yes, granted, is not a masterpiece, but I enjoyed reading it quite a lot. The only things I did not like is that the Demon Soul reminds me of the One Ring. (★★★★)
Started: Dec 01 2009 Finished: Dec 09 2009
The Robots of Dawn (Robot, #3) cover
The Robots of Dawn (Robot, #3)
by Isaac Asimov (1994)
My review: In the third volume of Asimov's "Robot" series all the characters of the previous books (Elijah, Daneel, Gladia) are back. The book was written more than 20 years after the first two, and it shows. It is quite interesting to witness the cultural changes occurred in those 2 decades while reading the books. While I was reading the first two volumes, I was quite surprised by the prevalent gender inequality in the "future" societies described in the books. It was rather funny to see the shortcoming of the Western world of the 50s in a "future society". In the third book, things are changed quite a lot. While the previous books were almost puritan, here sexuality is a central element. But while the author describe a society in which sex is quite free, he continues to make the point that sex without love is worthless. It come out a little bit hypocritical: on one side he speaks about free sex to lure readers, on the other he judges it. Anyway, there has been huge social progress in this 20 years, and the progress is astonishing and clear when you read these books. (★★★★)
Started: Oct 06 2009 Finished: Nov 05 2009
Exile (Forgotten Realms: The Dark Elf Trilogy, #2; Legend of Drizzt, #2) cover
Exile (Forgotten Realms: The Dark Elf Trilogy, #2; Legend of Drizzt, #2)
by R.A. Salvatore (2006)
My review: I was traveling to Japan to attend a conference and I wanted something easy and relaxing to read while there. This was a perfect candidate. Unfortunately, as the previous book of the series, the story is not that great. It really does feel like a prequel written poorly and quickly to leverage on the success of the previously very successful books. It was entertaining, but I won't recommend it. I will keep reading at this point, hopefully I'll get soon to one of the good ones. (★)
Started: Oct 02 2009 Finished: Oct 05 2009
Dragons of the Highlord Skies (Dragonlance: The Lost Chronicles, #2) cover
Dragons of the Highlord Skies (Dragonlance: The Lost Chronicles, #2)
by Margaret Weis (2007)
My review: I was traveling to Japan to attend a conference and I wanted something easy and relaxing to read while traveling. This was perfect. The characters are familiar (I literally grew up reading Weis and Hickman books). A fun read, even if the ending is disappointing, and the turn of the event is often unjustified and illogical. (★★)
Started: Sep 26 2009 Finished: Oct 01 2009
The Naked Sun (Robot, #2) cover
The Naked Sun (Robot, #2)
by Isaac Asimov (1991)
My review: I read many Asimov's books (translated in Italian) when I was young, and I used to love them. I recently started to read them again, in English, and he was clearly a master of mass market (sci-fi) novels. His books are hard to put down. Many of his ideas now are clique, but they weren't at the time. The only disturbing part is to see some sexist comment in the book. Maybe Asimov was not sexist, maybe it was "normal" to treat female differently at the time, but I still find it quite disturbing. (★★★)
Started: Sep 01 2009 Finished: Sep 26 2009
Homeland (Forgotten Realms: The Dark Elf Trilogy, #1; Legend of Drizzt, #1) cover
Homeland (Forgotten Realms: The Dark Elf Trilogy, #1; Legend of Drizzt, #1)
by R.A. Salvatore (2005)
My review: When I was young, I always brought with me a pile of books every time I was going on vacation. Many were beach-friendly light reads, fantasy novels. Given that I was again headed to a beach vacation for the first time after many years I bought this one. It was like traveling back in time. There is nothing better than sun, beach, warm ocean and a fantasy book to read while lulled by the sounds of the waves. Regarding this book in particular, it really reads like a prequel. I have the strong feeling that the author wrote a book that was successful and then later decide to add a prequel to ride the success of the previous books. It is a fun book, but there is nothing special. I'll read the following to see if it gets better. (★★)
Started: Aug 06 2009 Finished: Aug 12 2009
When You Are Engulfed in Flames cover
When You Are Engulfed in Flames
by David Sedaris (2008)
My review: Sedaris has a very peculiar sense of humor, and sometimes his funny stories turn out to be not as silly as he pretend they are. Great book, it made me laugh out loud more than once. (★★★★)
Started: Aug 01 2009 Finished: Aug 05 2009
The Caves of Steel (Robot, #1) cover
The Caves of Steel (Robot, #1)
by Isaac Asimov (1991)
My review: I read many Asimov's books when I was a kid, and it has been quite interesting to read them again, in their original language. He was an adroit writer, able to capture the reader. I enjoyed this book, I was very surprised by the author continuous mentions to the bible (given his views on religion). (★★★)
Started: Jul 25 2009 Finished: Jul 31 2009
A Demon in My View cover
A Demon in My View
by Ruth Rendell (2000)
My review: I am usually not fond of thrillers and mysteries, but this is definitely a great exception. I received this book as a present from a friend that swear Ruth Rwndell is the best author on earth. I started reading the book and I was immediately captured by the deep psychological analysis of the characters. The reader can enter in the mind of the main character, a serial killer, understand his way of thinking, even relate and be sympathetic towards him. This is the kind of book that is impossible to put down once started, the kind of book you end up reading until an early hour in the morning to realize you need to be at work few hours later. I was almost at the end of the book, when I discovered that there was a typographic problem with it: the last 2 chapters were missing (and the first 2 were repeated instead). The book vendor was very kind and offered to substitute it but it turned out the book is out of print. I got a refund, but I was craving to read the end. I tried everywhere but I could not find the book. Finally I managed to find it at the public library and I just got to read the end. Finally! The conclusion is almost as good as the rest of the book, even if it fells a little rushed and sudden. (★★★★)
Started: Jun 27 2009 Finished: Jul 19 2009
Specimen Days cover
Specimen Days
by Michael Cunningham (2006)
My review: A second masterpiece (after The Hours) by Michael Cunningham. In The hours the lives of three women are intertwined together. In Specimen days we follow three characters in three historical periods, in three apparently unrelated separate novels. The historical background of each story is a different New York: the horrors of the industrial revolution, the fears of the Post September 2001, and a post apocalyptic feature. In each story the same characters come back over and over again, struggling over and over to understand the truth, to see what is hidden behind the reality, and to discover it in awe. (★★★★)
Started: May 05 2009 Finished: Jun 25 2009
Mothers and Sons cover
Mothers and Sons
by Colm Tóibín (2007)
My review: A collection of short stories, each of them is an in-depth investigations of the human interactions between mothers and sons. The focus is on their feelings, fears, and desires. As in Blackwater Lightship, the author demonstrates an astounding sensibility and understanding of human nature. (★★★★)
Started: Jun 19 2009 Finished: Jun 24 2009
The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3) cover
The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #3)
by Lemony Snicket (2000)
My review: I read this book first in 2009, and it was the last book of the series I have ever read. While I found the series entertaining, the format of each book is similar, and I am afraid that, in the long run, it may turn repetitive and boring. But it is not so yet: I still enjoyed the story, despite the utter stupidity of some of the adult characters, that keep falling for the obvious disguises of Count Olaf. Shouldn't they have learned by now?
In the third installment of the series the Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are as filled with bad luck and misery as always. The story includes a hurricane, a signalling device, hungry human eating leeches, cold cucumber soup, a horrible villain, and a doll named Pretty Penny. (★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Apr 28 2009 Finished (first time): May 04 2009
Gentlemen and Players cover
Gentlemen and Players
by Joanne Harris (2006)
My review: Joanne Harris managed to awe me again, with this clever and amazing novel. I really enjoyed this book, the characterization and detailed analysis of the main character. The only thing I did not really find great was the final "shocking revelation", that, even if very surprising and unexpected, it is not really convincing. Despite that, it is another masterpiece of Joanne Harris, that I strongly recommend. (★★★★)
Started: Feb 16 2009 Finished: Apr 27 2009
Chie-chan e io cover
Chie-chan e io
by Banana Yoshimoto (2008)
My review: Ho sempe amato i libri di Banana Yoshimoto, e anche quest'ultimo e' stata una piacevole lettura, ma devo dire che i piu' recenti volumi sfigurano a confronto ai suoi libri della giovinezza. Questa e' la storia di Kaori e Chie-chan, e del loro particolarissimo rapporto. (★★)
Started: Jan 26 2009 Finished: Feb 15 2009
The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2) cover
The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #2)
by Lemony Snicket (1999)
My review: I received the first volume as a present, and it intrigued me. The style is quite unusual for a children book, and it has a dark cynical tone, but... I enjoyed it. I then decided to read the second, and I enjoyed it as well. After losing their parents, and after escaping from Count Olaf, the Baudelaire orphans are adopted by a distant uncle, a world renown herpetologist with a huge passion for reptiles. Despite the unusual line of work, the uncle turns out to be a great adoptive parent... but it will not last long. Soon the three siblings endure a car accident, a terrible odor, a deadly serpent, a long knife, a large brass reading lamp, and the appearance of a person they'd hoped never to see again (can you guess who?). I cannot wait to read the next book of this very unusual series. (★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Jan 17 2009 Finished (first time): Jan 25 2009
Further Tales of the City (Tales of the City, #3) cover
Further Tales of the City (Tales of the City, #3)
by Armistead Maupin
My review: The calamity-prone residents of 28 Barbary Lane are at it again in this deliciously dark novel of romance and betrayal. While Anna Madrigal imprisons an anchorwoman in her basement, Michael Tolliver looks for love at the National Gay Rodeo, DeDe Halcyon Day and Mary Ann Singleton track a charismatic psychopath across Alaska, and society columnist Prue Giroux loses her heart to a derelict living in San Francisco park. (★★★★)
Started: Jan 01 2009 Finished: Jan 16 2009
Unaccustomed Earth cover
Unaccustomed Earth
by Jhumpa Lahiri (2008)
My review: Jhumpa Lahiri shines the most when she works on short stories. She manages to capture and to describe with simple and delicate strokes, the feeling and the tragedies of her characters. While all the short stories are interesting, the last three really stand out. These intertwined stories shows reality as perceived through the eyes of the characters (similarly to what Pirandello does). What I particularly loved is the description of the inability of some of the characters to accept their feelings, the struggle between what is considered right and true happiness, between the American and the Indian soul of the characters. It is like Room with a view with a strong ABCD flavor. (★★★★)
Started: Oct 19 2008 Finished: Dec 28 2008
More Tales of the City (Tales of the City, #2) cover
More Tales of the City (Tales of the City, #2)
by Armistead Maupin (1994)
My review: This is a very enjoyable book. After watching the TV series, and reading the first book, the characters are familiar. Beside the witty jokes and the familiar character, this work of fiction turns into a very accurate portrait of the San Francisco and America of the late 70s. (★★★★)
Started: Oct 10 2008 Finished: Oct 18 2008
One Across, Two Down cover
One Across, Two Down
by Ruth Rendell (2001)
My review: An interesting analysis of the transformation of a loser into a killer, tempered with clever witticisms. (★★)
Started: Sep 11 2008 Finished: Oct 09 2008
Ricordi di un vicolo cieco cover
Ricordi di un vicolo cieco
by Banana Yoshimoto (2006)
My review: Cinque racconti, cinque diverse persone che si ritrovano ad affrontare situazioni difficili, a lottare per dare un significato alla vita e ritrovare la felicita' (★★★)
Started: Sep 01 2008 Finished: Sep 10 2008
The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays cover
The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays
by Oscar Wilde (1985)
My review: I cannot stop thinking how many masterpieces Wilde would have produced if he was not being thrown in a jail because of homophobic laws. He was a genius, able to show to the people of his time how hypocritical they were, with wit and sensibility. Just amazing. (★★★★★)
Started: Jul 06 2008 Finished: Aug 10 2008
The Amber Spyglass cover
The Amber Spyglass
by Philip Pullman (2003)
My review: A great ending for this masterpiece, able to bridge fantasy and philosophy. Undoubtedly one of the best book of the century. As The Hours find its root in Mrs Dalloway and builds on it, similarly this trilogy find its root in Milton's Paradise Lost, as the starting point of a deep and enlightening reflection on human existence. (★★★★★)
Started: May 07 2008 Finished: Jul 04 2008
Il delirio di onnipotenza cover
Il delirio di onnipotenza
by Cristiano Capuzzo (2008)
My review: Una piacevole sorpresa, un sorprendente thriller, capace di descrivere i desideri piu' turpi e violenti di un serial killer, e la gioia di vivere e la capacita' di sorridere di fronte alle avversita'. Una lettura consigliatissima. (★★★★★)
Started: Apr 10 2008 Finished: May 06 2008
The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2) cover
The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2)
by Philip Pullman (2003)
My review: WOW, this was quite a surprise! I liked the first book, but this second installment is even better. Some of the themes that were just barely hinted in the previous book are now developed and extended. While the first volume was just an interesting fantasy tale, the second volume is a fantasy modern re-edition of the Romantic rebellion against the authority and traditions in the name of freedom and free will. A modern Paradise Lost. The pace is fast, it is really hard to put this book down (I finished it in 3 days even if I was working on my dissertation... as a result I practically haven't slept!), entertainingly and... it goes quite deeper than expected! I strongly recommended! (★★★★★)
Started: Apr 06 2008 Finished: Apr 09 2008
Tales of the City (Tales of the City, #1) cover
Tales of the City (Tales of the City, #1)
by Armistead Maupin (1994)
My review: A very accurate portrait of San Francisco in the 70s, when the heat of the summer of love was cooling down and before the AIDS days. At first each chapter reads like a funny stand alone story. In reality is a well thought paint stroke. And stroke after stroke, an incredibly powerful and accurate portrait emerge. The books was written before I was born, but I can still see and feel the Tales of the City's San Francisco in the city I live in today. The book made me understand it a little bit more, even if it is just a work of fiction. I am looking forward reading More tales of the city... (★★★★★)
Started: Mar 31 2008 Finished: Apr 05 2008
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1) cover
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1)
by Philip Pullman (2007)
My review: I was expecting a fun to read fantasy book, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this book is actually quite a literary masterpiece, with interesting reflections on the role of religion and philosophy. I am looking forward reading the next volumes of the series. (★★★★★)
Started: Mar 08 2008 Finished: Mar 30 2008
Il coperchio del mare cover
Il coperchio del mare
by Banana Yoshimoto (2007)
My review: Un'altro piccolo capolavoro di Banana Yoshimoto, una riflessione sul significato della nostra vita ed esistenza. A detta di Mari, siam candele nell'oscurita', presto il vento ci spegnera' e fara' sparire ogni nostra traccia. Ma Hajime le insegna che la vita va vissuta, i ricordi son fiori da raccogliere lungo la via, creando un profumato bouquet da portare con noi fino alla morte. Insegna a Mari che il vero orrore della vita e' l'avidita', la continua corsa alla richezza, che fa perder la capacita' di apprezzare le piccole cose e i nostri piccoli traguardi. Se tutti condividessero questa visione "l'oscurita' sarebbe spezzata per sempre da una grande luce, generata dalla luce di tutte le stelle unite, cosi' luminosa da essere visibile anche nell'ora piu' scura. (★★★★)
Started: Mar 04 2008 Finished: Mar 07 2008
The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files, #1) cover
The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files, #1)
by Charles Stross (2006)
My review: The book is a collection of two related stories. The concepts behind them are quite interesting, but the execution of the first story (i.e. the atrocity archives) is not great. It is confusing and the plot flow does not work well at times. On the contrary the second story (i.e. Concrete Jungle) is great. The interesting ideas are finally used in a adroitly written geeky and fast paced story. The best way to describe this book I can think of is: Lovecraft meet Dilbert. (★★★)
Started: Feb 17 2008 Finished: Mar 03 2008
The Portrait of a Lady cover
The Portrait of a Lady
by Henry James (2003)
My review: I read this book slowly. I was quite surprised at first because nothing really seemed to happen. Then suddenly everything fall in place. Suddenly everything single word has so much meaning. The characters are vivid, realistic, complex, and alive. The psychological motivations of each act are adroitly communicated. (★★★★)
Started: Nov 30 2007 Finished: Feb 16 2008
Nemesis cover
Nemesis
by Isaac Asimov (1990)
My review: I grew up reading Asimov's novels. It was strange to read one of his books after so many years, in the original language it was written. I devoured the book as I devoured his book when I was a child. Definitely a fun book. (★★★★)
Started: Nov 22 2007 Finished: Nov 27 2007
Interpreter of Maladies cover
Interpreter of Maladies
by Jhumpa Lahiri (1999)
My review: I enjoyed The Namesake, but this book is just astounding. A very deserved Pulitzer Prize, the book is a collection of short stories. What makes them special is the incredible ability of the author of portraying the characters with few adroitly placed strokes. The characters are realistic, credible and, as a result, the short stories are powerful and touching. They have a way to work their way into the reader hearts, moving him or her to tears. (★★★★★)
Started: Nov 13 2007 Finished: Nov 21 2007
Blackberry Wine cover
Blackberry Wine
by Joanne Harris (2003)
My review: It was quite a surprise to discover that this book is in part a sequel of Chocolat: the story takes place in the same small town and some of the characters are the same, as a result you get to see what happened to them. It is quite a magical book, where millenniums old folklore and traditions, superstitions and myths are intertwined with the life of the characters. Remarkable. (★★★★★)
Started: Oct 26 2007 Finished: Nov 12 2007
Master of Dragons (The Dragonvarld Trilogy, #3) cover
Master of Dragons (The Dragonvarld Trilogy, #3)
by Margaret Weis (2005)
My review: This is the last book of the Dragonvard trilogy. The first volume was quite interesting, but the following two volumes have been quite disappointing. (★★)
Started: Oct 23 2007 Finished: Oct 25 2007
Oliver Twist cover
Oliver Twist
by Charles Dickens (2003)
My review: I would describe the book as a soap opera written at the beginning of the 19th century. The plot is masterfully crafted so that all the pieces at the end perfectly fit. The writing style is classic: an omniscient narrator tells you what to look at and how to interpret it. The author uses the plot as a way to describe and complain about the state of England and some of the "modern" laws (e.g. the Poor law). The story is witty and funny at times, and some descriptions of the city of London are breathtaking. This said, I did not like the xenophobic, sexist and classist innuendo of the book. I understand they were common in England at the time, but it really stains a book otherwise quite remarkable. (★★★)
Started: Sep 02 2007 Finished: Oct 22 2007
The Bridge of San Luis Rey cover
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
by Thornton Wilder (2003)
My review: The book starts with the death of 5 people during a bridge collapse. The rest of the book is dedicated to answers to the following questions: Why those people died? Was God punishing them? Was preventing them to do something? Was releasing them from suffering? Or it was just a random accident and our lives are not governed by some higher scheme? But if so what sense our lives and deaths have? Does it make sense to even ask those questions? These reflections are carried over in a fictional setting, quite entertaining to read. The author tries to avoid giving an answer, but it hints at a quite touching one towards the end. (★★★★)
Started: Aug 20 2007 Finished: Sep 01 2007
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) cover
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
by J.K. Rowling (2007)
My review: I enjoyed to read the book, even if I did not really like the ending. The part I liked the most was to seeing how wise and powerful Dumbledore end up making unwise mistakes because of love. (★★★★)
Started: Aug 15 2007 Finished: Aug 19 2007
The Catcher in the Rye cover
The Catcher in the Rye
by J.D. Salinger (2001)
My review: I was looking for a good book at the bookstore when one of my best friends told me that this book is a must read. As a result I picked it up.
I liked the idea of describing society though the eyes of somebody that does not fit into it, somebody unable to conform to a system that he perceives as contradictory, phony and hypocritical. Quite an interesting book. (★★★)
Started: Aug 12 2007 Finished: Aug 14 2007
The Namesake cover
The Namesake
by Jhumpa Lahiri (2004)
My review: The namesake is the story of Gogol/Nikhil (and his family) and his coming to term with his cultural identity (and with his name): Gogol lives between two words: America and India. (★★★★)
Started: May 01 2007 Finished: Aug 11 2007
The Overcoat cover
The Overcoat
by Nikolai Gogol
My review: I had just started reading The Namesake (by Jhumpa Lahiri) when I decided to read this classic before reading further. This turn out to be quite hard to do: no bookstore had it and I managed to find a copy at a local library. It is quite an interesting short story to read. The story reminds me of some novel of Kafka, where the weak are crushed by the system for no reason and nothing is done to help them. The only think I did not really like was the ending, the almost gothic conclusion that does not really fit with the rest of the story. (★★★★)
Started: May 15 2007 Finished: May 15 2007
The White Castle cover
The White Castle
by Orhan Pamuk (1998)
My review: The book reads, at first, as a classic novel. The first person narrator is the main characters, and everything is seen and described from his point of view. At first, the story is a reckoning of his misadventures (he was a 17th century Venetian, that was captured and enslaved by the Turks). Soon enough the book gets more intriguing. The unnamed Venetian is given in custody to the scholar Hoja, which physically resemble him to an almost sinister degree. The East and the West meet in Hoja's house. They start discussing science and philosophy. They discuss the mysteries of the mind, why we are what we are. Hoja's strongly believes that at the end the Christians European will prevail against the Turks thanks to technological superiority. He strongly recognizes the importance of science, and he laments that its importance is not understood by many others, that he labels "the fools". Discussion after discussion, the characters start to blur one into the other, they take the role of the other and at the end it is not even clear which one is the Turk and which one the Venetian. An incredible literary achievement. I am not surprised that the 2006 Nobel Prize for the literature was awarded to Orhan Pamuk "who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures". (★★★★★)
Started: Apr 22 2007 Finished: May 01 2007
Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, #1) cover
Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, #1)
by Christopher Paolini (2005)
My review: It is just another fantasy book, with nothing too special about it. This said, it is quite entertaining. I was quite surprised to learn it was written by such a young writer, because the book is very readable and well-written. (★★★)
Started: Mar 30 2007 Finished: Apr 20 2007
Flesh and Blood cover
Flesh and Blood
by Michael Cunningham (1996)
My review: Another incredible literary accomplishment by the author of The hours. The inter-personal relations between the characters, their internal growth and their shortcomings are told with unprecedented realism, sensibility and humanity. Each member of the Stassos family is so well-rounded, so painfully and cynically real, that page after page they become real in the mind of the reader. (★★★★)
Started: Feb 19 2007 Finished: Mar 29 2007
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6) cover
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)
by J.K. Rowling (2006)
My review: I liked reading the Harry potter saga, but this book was not one of the best. It is as entertaining as the previous ones, but it lacks originality, and it is quite similar to all the others. (★★★)
Started: Feb 08 2007 Finished: Feb 18 2007
Dragons in the Archives: The Best of Weis & Hickman cover
Dragons in the Archives: The Best of Weis & Hickman
by Margaret Weis (2004)
My review: I grew up reading Weis and Hickman's novels, hence even simple collections of stories like this one manage to stir something deep inside of me: the longing for many nights spent reading as a child, lost into fantastic worlds. Krynn's feels like home, the characters are childhood friends. This anthology collects many stories written in the past 20 years and they witness the creative path of the Dragonlance world. It feels like picking up an old photo album from my childhood. (★★★★)
Started: Feb 04 2007 Finished: Feb 09 2007
La misteriosa fiamma della regina Loana. Romanzo illustrato cover
La misteriosa fiamma della regina Loana. Romanzo illustrato
by Umberto Eco (2004)
My review: In tutti I romanzi di Eco il protagonista principale e' sempre la storia, ricostruita nei minimi particolari, con precisione certosina. Questo libro non fa eccezione, e l'italia del fascismo e' la protagonista. A differenza dei precedenti romanzi pero', l'autore ha vissuto quel periodo storico. Di colpo il tutto si tinge di autobiografismo e la ricostruzione si colora di emozioni, desideri. Non e' piu' la storia degli storici, ma quella vissuta sulla propria pelle da ragazzini, ove le guerre si mescolano ai fumetti e i film alle cotte. Oltre al tema storico/autobiografico si innesta il tema portante del libro, quello della memoria, dei ricordi e dell'esperienze come elementi di definizione della persona. Questo e' uno dei romanzi piu' riusciti dell'autore, che consiglio vivamente. (★★★★★)
Started: Jan 06 2007 Finished: Feb 03 2007
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1) cover
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1)
by Gregory Maguire (2000)
My review: I was expecting a fairy tale, a simple, unsophisticated book. I was quite surprised to discover that Wicked is something quite different. While the novel is quite entertaining and fun to read, it is a deep investigation of the nature of Evil and a metaphor of Nazi's Germany. Reality is perceived differently by people and History is written by the winners. This is a surprising literary accomplishment. (★★★★★)
Started: Dec 03 2006 Finished: Jan 06 2007
Presagio triste cover
Presagio triste
by Banana Yoshimoto (2006)
My review: Ho sempre amato Banana Yoshimoto per la sua capacita' di comunicare emozioni, stati d'animo e sentimenti con poche minimaliste pennellate. Questa e' la storia di Yayoi e del suo viaggio alla ricerca della sua memoria e vita perduta, ben conscia che cio' che trovera' nell'altra sponda di Lete distruggera' la sua vita com'era, ma che e' ormai impossibile evitare tale passo. (★★★★★)
Started: Dec 29 2006 Finished: Dec 30 2006
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Il cammino di Santiago
by Paulo Coelho (2001)
My review: Questo libro e' una accozzaglia enorme di superstizioni e insensataggini prive di senso. L'unico tema interessante che spicca tra deliri mistici e' quello dell'incapacita' dell'uomo di affrontare una sfida per paura di perderla e ritrovandosi cosi' costretto a non progredire. (★)
Started: Dec 22 2006 Finished: Dec 29 2006
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The Story of the Night
by Colm Tóibín (2005)
My review: I read and really liked Toibin's Mothers and Sons a couple of years ago, hence I decided to read more of his work. I was not disappointed. He's a great storyteller, able to communicate in a very powerful way emotions and feelings. He's able to create extremely realistic and credible characters. (★★★★)
Started: Dec 02 2006 Finished: Dec 21 2006
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The Tao of Pooh
by Benjamin Hoff (2003)
My review: Well, he said at last, it is a very nice house, and if your own house is blown down, you must go somewhere else, mustn't you, Piglet? What would you do, if your house was blown down? Before Piglet could think, Pooh answered for him. He'd come and live with me, said Pooh, wouldn't you Piglet? (★★★★★)
Started: Nov 19 2006 Finished: Dec 01 2006
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The Red Badge of Courage and Other Stories
by Stephen Crane (2006)
My review: War stories are not my favorites, but I realize how interesting is to narrate the story of a man fighting a war. The demonic and godly nature of men fight within each soldier while the battle rage outside. What I found quite interesting was the realistic portrait of people feeling and behaviors during such major historical events. They are not Greek heroes, they are human, full of fears, weaknesses and courage. (★★)
Started: Oct 12 2006 Finished: Nov 29 2006
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Oathbreakers (Valdemar: Vows and Honor, #2)
by Mercedes Lackey (1989)
My review: The book is less fragmented than the previous volume of the series, and as fun to read. It's not a masterpiece of the female fantasy movement, but I enjoyed reading it. (★★★★)
Started: Sep 29 2006 Finished: Oct 11 2006
The Oathbound (Vows and Honor, #1) cover
The Oathbound (Vows and Honor, #1)
by Mercedes Lackey (1988)
My review: The book reads like a series of short stories featuring the same characters. Despite the episodic structure, the book is quite entertaining. It's not the masterpiece of the female fantasy movement I was hoping for, but I enjoyed reading it. (★★★★)
Started: Sep 19 2006 Finished: Sep 29 2006
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1) cover
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1)
by Lemony Snicket (1999)
My review: The series has a very distinctive and extremely (ironically) cynical style. Life is presents as a series of unfortunate events to such extent to be (intentionally) hilarious.
This first short book introduces us to the Baudelaire orphans. After losing their parents in a mysterious fire, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.
I really enjoyed reading it, and I guess I'll end up reading the whole series.
Note: I first read the book many years ago, and more recently I listened to the audio-book version. I was not as fond of the audio adaptation though: while the voice acting is great (the narrator accent is simply perfect!), the background noises and sounds that were added to create the right atmosphere make at times hard to hear the voice actors. (★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Sep 23 2006 Finished (first time): Sep 24 2006
Great Expectations cover
Great Expectations
by Charles Dickens (1998)
My review: This is the most interesting Dickens's book I've read so far. It is more modern in style: the "classic" omniscient narrator is here replaced by the main character himself, an snobbish anti-hero. It is a pleasant book, engaging, often humorous. The plot is pretty sad in itself, very autobiographical. I found it interesting in the its portrait of society and of its dynamics. As in Austen's Persuasion, the book describes an interesting change in English society, the moment in time when people were suddenly able to raise themselves in society, being rich without being born a noble. ()
Started: Jul 29 2006 Finished: Sep 19 2006
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Exit to Eden
by Anne Rampling (1996)
My review: I was given this book as a present from a friend. I confess I was expecting something very different from the author of Interview with the Vampire. I was expecting the typical erotic tension of a gothic novel, but the book gives you a way more than that. I enjoyed it. It is the story of Lisa, a woman raised in a claustrophobic and moralist Catholic family that believes to have reached freedom escaping into a world of fetish. In reality the baggage of her childhood are still with her, as she soon realizes when she find herself unable to feel and love. A lot of people can probably relate to this story: the world is full of people that, at first, may seem sexually liberated, even daring, but that are still fighting their sense of guilt and inhibitions inside. (★★★)
Started: Jul 21 2006 Finished: Jul 28 2006
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As Meat Loves Salt
by Maria McCann (2003)
My review: If you never felt in love, get scared of it, and lost the person you loved, do not read this book, it won't make sense to you. If you have been driven mad by the loss, and you have tried to not let it go using your fingernails, losing it because of it for good... if the searing pain is not abated yet, do not read this book, because the demon of loss and despair will tear your soul apart. It is rare to find a book able to shake you deeply all the way to your core. This is one of them. This is the author first book. It is sometimes slow toward the middle, but the author is always adroit in communicating what is not said or admitted through the cunning use of powerful little gestures, word choices and signs. It is the final though that turn the book into a masterpiece and shows how such a talented writer Maria is. I am looking forward her next book. (★★★★★)
Started: May 29 2006 Finished: Jul 20 2006
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Sword and Sorceress III
by Marion Zimmer Bradley (1986)
My review: I was very interested to learn more about the feminist fantasy movement. I discovered the existence and the historical importance of this movement only recently, even if I grew up reading novels of Marion Zimmer Bradley and Jennifer Robertson. This anthology of short stories is a good introduction. It is rather interesting that all the main authors belonging to this movement lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and I find rather intriguing to be living where my favorite childhood authors wrote the stories that kept me enthralled as a child. As a grown up I can now appreciate the courage of some of the plots, how the movement revolutionize a sexist and macho-oriented genre and helped bring forward the image of modern women, free to express themselves and pursue their dreams. (★★★★)
Started: May 20 2006 Finished: May 28 2006
Hard Times cover
Hard Times
by Charles Dickens (2003)
My review: A powerful and captivating classic novel. It was meant to lure readers to purchase Dickens's weekly magazine. It worked, and even today it is hard to put down the book. It reminds me a little of Voltaire's Candid, a book meant to discredit a particular philosopher. Leibniz in the case of the French writer, Malthus and the materialists in this case. It is a very successful description of the Industrial English suburbs, of the horrors of the life of the "hands" and the hypocrisy of the new materialistic approach to life. (★★★★)
Started: Apr 29 2006 Finished: May 19 2006
The Secret Garden cover
The Secret Garden
by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1998)
My review: Some books that are meant for children turn out to be some of the most touching and powerful books ever written. This book is one of them. (★★★★)
Started: Apr 25 2006 Finished: Apr 28 2006
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The Dragon's Son (The Dragonvarld Trilogy, #2)
by Margaret Weis (2005)
My review: I enjoyed the book but the themes suddenly changed from the previous book. There is almost no mention of the intense love of Bellona and Melisande, almost as if the author was afraid to have risked too much in the previous book. This is a little disappointing. (★★★)
Started: Apr 09 2006 Finished: Apr 24 2006
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Persuasion
by Jane Austen (2004)
My review: It is interesting to observe the evolution of the author (and of the English public) perception of nobility and self-made men through Austen's book. The critique of the British nobility was just hinted in Emma's book dedication, but is one of the central theme here. (★★★★)
Started: Mar 30 2006 Finished: Apr 08 2006
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Draconian Measures (Dragonlance: Kang's Regiment, #2)
by Don Perrin (2012)
My review: The Kang's regimen series is not one of the main books of the Dragonlance saga, but one of the many side plot lines. Surprisingly it is one of the best and most entertaining ones, and I strongly recommend it. (★★★★)
Started: Mar 26 2006 Finished: Mar 29 2006
The Hours cover
The Hours
by Michael Cunningham (2002)
My review: This book is an extraordinary literary achievement. It is the story of three women, each of them living in a different place and time. Their stories are though intertwined and the choices of one impact the one of the others. It is a story of depression, suicide and every day miracles that helps people to hold on and go on. Intended as a tribute to Virginia Woolf, this book manages to even surpass the original. (★★★★★)
Started: Mar 12 2006 Finished: Mar 25 2006
Walden cover
Walden
by Henry David Thoreau (2004)
My review: When I finished this book I was so relieved. It is a hard book to read. Even if some of the ideas presented in the book are quite interesting, they are repeated and rehashed so many times that is hard to keep reading.. I think this is one of the few books that would greatly benefit from abridging. It is amazing, as a final remark, how modern and how closely related to modern society this book is. What was true then, seems to be even more true today: men work to cumulate treasures without having any time to live their life, men want to explore farther and farther without even starting to try to understand themselves. (★★)
Started: Feb 25 2006 Finished: Mar 11 2006
Mistress of Dragons (The Dragonvarld Trilogy, #1) cover
Mistress of Dragons (The Dragonvarld Trilogy, #1)
by Margaret Weis (2004)
My review: It is hard to put down this book when you start reading it, but this does not come as a surprise given that was written by the skillful Margaret Weis. This book really does stand apart from her other ones. The themes and the tones are different, more complex and interesting, closer to the ones of feminist fantasy writers like Marion Zimmer Bradley. (★★★★)
Started: Feb 25 2006 Finished: Mar 08 2006
The Doom Brigade (Dragonlance: Kang's Regiment, #1) cover
The Doom Brigade (Dragonlance: Kang's Regiment, #1)
by Margaret Weis (1998)
My review: This is not one of the main books of the dragonlance series, it is one of the many spin offs around it. This said, it is one of the most entertaining ones, and I strongly recommend it. (★★★★)
Started: Feb 21 2006 Finished: Feb 24 2006
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The City of Falling Angels
by John Berendt (2005)
My review: It's strange to follow the author while he guides you through familiar places of your youth, while he introduces you to people and events you are familiar with. All the pieces, all the events that were happening years ago while I was there now appear in a book. It is strange to re-discover them and to re-experience them under a new light. I really liked to immerge myself in this vivid and realistic portrait of what I used to call home. (★★★★)
Started: Jan 11 2006 Finished: Feb 20 2006
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Dreamcatcher
by Stephen King (2001)
My review: I should have guessed it was not going to be a masterpiece when I bought this book from the "extreme sales" section of a local bookstore. It is by far the worst King's book I have read. On top of being full of gratuitous profanities, homophobic statements and intelligent design arguments, the plot is weak and stale. All the psychological introspection King is famous for does not appear in this book. (★)
Started: Dec 06 2005 Finished: Feb 02 2006
Brokeback Mountain cover
Brokeback Mountain
by Annie Proulx (2005)
My review: This is a short novel, with a great and powerful story. The book teaches how you can sometimes end up ruining your life, losing what you love and what matters the most to you, because your afraid of it and of losing it. (★★★★)
Started: Dec 03 2005 Finished: Dec 05 2005
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Arrow's Fall (Heralds of Valdemar, #3)
by Mercedes Lackey (1988)
My review: As for the previous books of the trilogy, the plot feels a little episodic at times. Despite the limitations, the book is entertaining and uplifting, a great example of the 70s/80s woman fantasy movement. (★★★★)
Started: Dec 01 2005 Finished: Dec 02 2005
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Holy Fools
by Joanne Harris (2004)
My review: Another great book from Joanne Harris, one of my favorite writers. Even if not as powerful and magic as five quarters of the orange, the book is a little masterpiece. One of the main theme of Chocolat is back: the clash between the barren hypocrisy of the church and an ancient sensual and wise superstition. It comes back with a new twist: in here there is a strong attraction between the two opposites. (★★★★)
Started: Aug 21 2005 Finished: Aug 25 2005
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2) cover
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2)
by Dan Brown (2006)
My review: Another fast-paced intriguing book from Dan Brown. This is by far my favorite, despite the fact that all his books are very similar to each other. I was a little disappointed by the conclusion: the Mary Magdalene "secret" is reveled too soon and after that the book is less interesting to read. (★★★★)
Started: Aug 22 2005 Finished: Aug 25 2005
Emma cover
Emma
by Jane Austen (2003)
My review: Emma is a great book, but I really prefer Austen's earlier work, where the author was critical of the moralist and sexist society of the time. In Emma, she is more cynical and accepting. (★★★)
Started: Apr 01 2005 Finished: Aug 21 2005
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Hornet Flight
by Ken Follett (2003)
My review: A great historical spy thriller set in World War II Denmark. 18-year-old Danish schoolboy Harald Olufsen grows increasingly dissatisfied with his country's cooperation with the German invaders. His resentment of the Wehrmacht leads him to discover the truth about a hidden military installation, a truth known to only a select few in the Nazi organization. Harald knows that he must get to Britain to turn the tides of this war, but to do so in time to save the bombers, Harald has one option: flight. (★★★)
Started: Aug 01 2005 Finished: Aug 19 2005
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Mrs. Dalloway
by Virginia Woolf (2002)
My review: After reading this novel, it is absolutely clear why this novel is so famous, how it completely revolutionized the field with its groundbreaking storytelling style. I was fascinated by the smooth and seamless switch of focus from character to character. Despite all these accomplishments and merits the novel is not entertaining. (★★★)
Started: Apr 18 2005 Finished: Apr 27 2005
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Solitudini imperfette
by Andrea Mancinelli (1998)
My review: La storia di un trentenne Milanese, e della sua reazione alla vita d'adulto. Mattia si scopre intrappolato dal tram tram quotidiano, dalla carriera, da rapporti fugaci con amici conosciuto per caso e presto dimenticati. La morte di un caro amico mette in moto profonde riflessioni e lenti assestamenti. (★★★★)
Started: Apr 13 2005 Finished: Apr 17 2005
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) cover
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)
by J.K. Rowling (2004)
My review: This is by far my favorite Harry Potter book. The tones change, become darker, and more mature. Suddenly what was just a very entertaining story turns into a book with a message. (★★★★)
Started: Mar 01 2005 Finished: Apr 09 2005
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Mansfield Park
by Jane Austen (2003)
My review: With Mansfield park, Austen reaches her maturity. It is an enjoyable reading, but the most striking elements of her previous books are gone. In the previous book her characters realize that public morality is just plain moralism, often used to justify convenience. The author had a very liberal and feminist position there. In this book Austin touches the same themes, but with a conservative attitude. The society is following convenience, morality has been forgotten. Fanny is almost as far from a feminist character as one can be. (★★★)
Started: Dec 01 2004 Finished: Feb 19 2005
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The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold (2006)
My review: This is one of the most powerful and touching book I ever read. The first part is such a powerful punch in the stomach that left me breathless more than once. The second part of the book is drastically different and less interesting: it does feel like it was written by a different person. (★★★★)
Started: Jan 01 2005 Finished: Jan 28 2005
Arrow's Flight (Heralds of Valdemar, #2) cover
Arrow's Flight (Heralds of Valdemar, #2)
by Mercedes Lackey (1987)
My review: As for the previous book of the trilogy, the plot feels a little episodic at times. Despite the limitations, the book is entertaining and uplifting, a great example of the 70s/80s woman fantasy movement. The story features many of the themes that will make Harry Potter a success: an unpopular child that is rescued from an unloving family and sent to a school of magic when she discovers her magical powers. (★★★★)
Started: Dec 08 2004 Finished: Dec 31 2004
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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
by John Berendt (1999)
My review: This book is quite hard to describe: it starts as a diary, a Savannah city guide, a travel book. Soon it turns into dirty-linned airing and mystery book. A surprising and interesting book. (★★★★)
Started: Dec 18 2004 Finished: Dec 29 2004
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A Room with a View
by E.M. Forster (2005)
My review: This is one of the best books I ever read in my life. It is moving to see Leonora waking up inside Lucy. The book is about the struggle between stiff social conventions, symbolized in the book by Victorian English society, and the ability to live life as its fullest following your heart, symbolized by the Italian society. Definitely a must read. (★★★★★)
Started: Jun 01 2004 Finished: Dec 07 2004
Digital Fortress cover
Digital Fortress
by Dan Brown (2004)
My review: Another fast-paced intriguing book by Dan Brown. I find it less interesting than the previous two. I think I am getting used to his style and his books read less and less original. I liked the coded greeting at the end of the book. It toke a little bit to crack it but... it is just a cesar box code, and the numbers can be substituted with letters (hint: use chapter numbers). (★★★)
Started: Nov 11 2004 Finished: Nov 14 2004
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Uncle Tom's Cabin
by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1999)
My review: This is a great masterpiece: it is powerful and moving, intense and breathtaking. It reminded me how important freedom is and how much we take it for granted every day. It also made me understand this country better. (★★★★★)
Started: May 01 2004 Finished: Nov 11 2004
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Dark Rivers of the Heart
by Dean Koontz (2000)
My review: I was at the airport minutes away from a long international flight, when I realized I forgot the book I was reading at home. I run to the closest book store to get something for my trip. The selection was very limited, and I ended up getting Dark Rivers of the Heart, because years ago I had read a book from he same author and I liked it. Well... I did not like this one at all. (★)
Started: Aug 02 2004 Finished: Oct 18 2004
The Little Prince cover
The Little Prince
by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (2000)
My review: A touching little masterpiece. (★★★★)
Started: Jan 01 2000 Finished: Aug 01 2004
Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar, #1) cover
Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar, #1)
by Mercedes Lackey (1987)
My review: This is the first book set in the Valdemar universe. The author was still a little young and inexperienced, the plot feels a little episodic at times. Despite the limitations, the book is entertaining and uplifting, a great example of the 70s/80s woman fantasy movement. The story features many of the themes that will make Harry Potter a success: an unpopular child that is rescued from an unloving family and sent to a school of magic when she discovers her magical powers. (★★★★)
Started: Apr 30 2004 Finished: May 02 2004
Little Women cover
Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott (2004)
My review: I found this book fascinating. It is uplifting to read about people that were able to made sacrifices to improve the life of their loved ones and the world. I found quite disconcerting to learn about the condition of women at that time. Austen's book gave me an idea of the situation, but the English writer at least was condemning the situation. On the contrary Louisa seems to believe in a society where the goal of a woman is to get married and where young girl should spend their time to prepare for the duties of the marriage. (★★★★)
Started: Apr 16 2004 Finished: Apr 30 2004
Deception Point cover
Deception Point
by Dan Brown (2002)
My review: Quite enjoyable fast-paced sci-fi thriller full of plot twists and surprises. (★★★)
Started: Apr 09 2004 Finished: Apr 15 2004
A Tale of Two Cities cover
A Tale of Two Cities
by Charles Dickens (2003)
My review: Seemingly unconnected events are adroitly waved together to form this captivating classic. (★★★)
Started: Mar 04 2004 Finished: Apr 07 2004
Magic's Pawn (The Last Herald-Mage #1) cover
Magic's Pawn (The Last Herald-Mage #1)
by Mercedes Lackey (1989)
My review: This book has many of the plot elements and virtues of Harry Potter: an unpopular kid, not loved by the family that is raising him, discovers to be a "chosen" with magical powers. It is taken into a college of magic, when he became powerful and popular. What makes this particular book interesting is the touching description of the path towards self-acceptance and self-respect of the main character. (★★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Feb 28 2004 Finished (first time): Mar 03 2004
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The Picture of Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde (2004)
My review: I read this book translated in Italian many years ago and I did not like it at all. I guess I was too young or the translation was poor. I read it again, this time in English and I have been surprised: the book is full of wit! Many authors has hitherto wrote about the relationship between moral and moralism. Dorian is the man that free himself from the moralistic preconceptions of society, but he cannot handle such a freedom and he loses himself. (★★★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Feb 22 2004 Finished (first time): Feb 28 2004
Jackdaws cover
Jackdaws
by Ken Follett (2006)
My review: This is the third Follett's book I read and so far my favorite one. It is as fast paced, enjoyable and historical accurate as usual but this book succeed in creating very memorable and well-rounded characters, that manage to fascinate and capture your interest. (★★★★)
Started: Feb 15 2004 Finished: Feb 21 2004
The Blackwater Lightship cover
The Blackwater Lightship
by Colm Tóibín (2005)
My review: This is an amazing book. It is the story of three women, grandmother, mother and daughter. It is the story of two sick men that are going to die, father and son. Death and sickness are the main catalyst of the plot, which is centered in the complex emotions of the three women at war with themselves. (★★★★★)
Started: Feb 09 2004 Finished: Feb 15 2004
Wuthering Heights cover
Wuthering Heights
by Emily Brontë (2002)
My review: I really had high expectations before start reading this book, based upon readings of small sections of the book in high school. I was intrigued by a story that shows how love can turn into a curse, consuming an entire existence. I probably set my expectations too high, and as a result, I was a little disappointed. Still, it is a great classic that it is worth reading.
(★★★)
Started: Jan 24 2004 Finished: Feb 09 2004
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Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen (2000)
My review: This is by far the best Austen's novel. (★★★★)
Started: Jan 07 2004 Finished: Jan 24 2004
Code to Zero cover
Code to Zero
by Ken Follett (2005)
My review: I am a big fan of Ken Follett, and this is quite an entertaining book, but it pales in comparison to some of his other books. The historical setting this time is the cold war, and the space race between Russia and the Unites States. The book is an hard to put down suspenseful read, with a lot of unexpected plot twists. (★★★)
Started: Jan 07 2004 Finished: Jan 12 2004
Angels in America cover
Angels in America
by Tony Kushner (2007)
My review: Quite a literary achievement! The characters are painfully human, with all their weaknesses, fears, and dreams. The storytelling is innovative, modern, captivating. The plot is adroitly sewed, so that all the different threads come together to create an awe inspiring, powerful, touching, and intense masterpiece.. (★★★★★)
Started: Jan 06 2004 Finished: Jan 07 2004
Jane Eyre cover
Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Brontë (2003)
My review: The book is in part a gothic novel, in part a fairy tale, and it has incredibly modern element in it. It is interesting to compare Jane Eyre with Elinor (from Sense and Sensibility) as a way to understand the evolution of women conditions in England. I found particularly interesting the first Mr Rochester wife, an avatar of the hidden Jane, an embodiment of everything that Jane does not want to show because it is not proper. (★★★)
Started: Dec 23 2003 Finished: Jan 06 2004
Prey cover
Prey
by Michael Crichton (2004)
My review: This is a great summer reading, to relax at the beach without having to think to much.
I enjoyed it in particular because it discusses technologies similar to what I was working on in grad school (UAVs swarms). (★★★)
Started: Dec 19 2003 Finished: Dec 22 2003
Holidays on Ice cover
Holidays on Ice
by David Sedaris
My review: Well, this was not exactly a Christmas reading, but you won't regret reading it. Some of the short stories are little jewels of sarcasm and irony. My favorite one is "Season's greetings to Our friends and Family!". That's really something! (★★★★)
Started: Dec 19 2003 Finished: Dec 19 2003
Delitto e castigo: Parte I - II - III - IV cover
Delitto e castigo: Parte I - II - III - IV
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1982)
My review: Era da molto che non leggevo un libro in Italiano e da molto che non leggevo Dostoevsky, e devo dire che questo libro m'ha fatto proprio pentire di aver fatto passare tanto tempo. Dostoevsky e' un genio: la descrizione dello stato morboso in cui si trova Raskolnikov e' incredibilmente realistica ed inquietante. Uniche due note negative del libro: il fatto che solo a meta' il tema del superuomo compaia e il finale aperto... (★★★★)
Started: Oct 01 2003 Finished: Dec 18 2003
Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1) cover
Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)
by Dan Brown (2006)
My review: I really enjoyed the book. It made me go back in time, to the time when I was working at C.E.R.N. in Geneva at the LHC project. In one of the first chapters the main character visits the building where I used to go to do my laundry, he walks in front of the building where I lived and he ends up in a lab close to LHC itself. Even if almost all the Italian quotes are wrong (bad grammar, incorrect word choices, etc), even if the scientific background is not as solid as the author would like us to believe... I liked it a lot. (★★★★)
Started: Dec 01 2003 Finished: Dec 04 2003
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4) cover
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)
by J.K. Rowling (2002)
My review: This is by far my favorite Harry Potter book. The tones change, become darker, and more mature. Suddenly what was just a very entertaining story turns into a book with a message. (★★★★)
Started: Nov 13 2003 Finished: Dec 01 2003
Chocolat (Chocolat, #1) cover
Chocolat (Chocolat, #1)
by Joanne Harris (2000)
My review: The worst thing that happened to this book, was to be made into a movie. The movie was not bad, but it pales in comparison. There is something magical, awe inspiring in Joanne Harris's writing. Her characters come alive, and feel so real with all their limitations and missteps. The plot is captivating and touching. It's really a little masterpiece. (★★★★)
Started: Nov 01 2003 Finished: Nov 12 2003
3001: The Final Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #4) cover
3001: The Final Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #4)
by Arthur C. Clarke (1999)
My review: This is the conclusion of the saga started with 2001. Despite having none of the epic grandeur of the first installment, the book is very entertaining. I found particularly intriguing the author take on religion and spirituality. (★★★★)
Started: Nov 07 2003 Finished: Nov 08 2003
Dragons of a Vanished Moon (Dragonlance: The War of Souls, #3) cover
Dragons of a Vanished Moon (Dragonlance: The War of Souls, #3)
by Margaret Weis (2003)
My review: The plot becomes more and more intriguing in this last volume of the war of the souls trilogy. (★★★)
Started: Sep 29 2003 Finished: Oct 01 2003
Dragons of a Lost Star (Dragonlance: The War of Souls, #2) cover
Dragons of a Lost Star (Dragonlance: The War of Souls, #2)
by Margaret Weis (2001)
My review: I was a little thrown off by some inconsistencies with some previous Dragonlance books, the book is quite enjoyable. I found myself reading in the middle of the night just to see what was going to happen next. (★★★★)
Started: Sep 26 2003 Finished: Sep 28 2003
Five Quarters of the Orange cover
Five Quarters of the Orange
by Joanne Harris (2002)
My review: Incredible and amazing. This is one of the best book I have ever read. The story is captivating, evocative, powerful and realistic. The characters feels real and alive. The author is an expert, powerful, and incredible storyteller. (★★★★★)
Started: Sep 19 2003 Finished: Sep 25 2003
2061: Odyssey Three (Space Odyssey, #3) cover
2061: Odyssey Three (Space Odyssey, #3)
by Arthur C. Clarke (1997)
My review: Fifty years after the alien message forbidding humans to approach the moon Europa, an expedition to Halley's Comet is forced to violate the prohibition in the name of mercy. Though it is entertaining, it lacks the epical tones of the previous volumes. (★★★★)
Started: Sep 16 2003 Finished: Sep 19 2003
Girl with a Pearl Earring cover
Girl with a Pearl Earring
by Tracy Chevalier (2005)
My review: With precisely 35 canvases to his credit, the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer represents one of the great enigmas of 17th-century art. The meager facts of his biography have been gleaned from a handful of legal documents. Yet Vermeer's extraordinary paintings of domestic life, with their subtle play of light and texture, have come to define the Dutch golden age. His portrait of the anonymous Girl with a Pearl Earring has exerted a particular fascination for centuries, and it is this magnetic painting that lies at the heart of this novel. Girl with a Pearl Earring centers on Vermeer's prosperous Delft household during the 1660s. When Griet, the novel's quietly perceptive heroine, is hired as a servant, turmoil follows. First, the 16-year-old narrator becomes increasingly intimate with her master. Then Vermeer employs her as his assistant, and ultimately has Griet sit for him as a model. I was disappointed by the book. Chevalier vividly evokes the complex domestic tensions of the household, ruled over by the painter's jealous, eternally pregnant wife and his taciturn mother-in-law. But... At times the relationship between servant and master seems a little anachronistic and some epiphanic scenes do not work at all. (★★)
Started: Sep 02 2003 Finished: Sep 15 2003
Sense and Sensibility cover
Sense and Sensibility
by Jane Austen (2003)
My review: I enjoyed the book, but I was disappointed by the ending: the happiness of Elinor, and the end of the relation between Marianne and Willoughby conform to archaic society rules of convenience. (★★★)
Started: Jun 01 2003 Finished: Sep 01 2003
Le rose di Atacama cover
Le rose di Atacama
by Luis Sepúlveda (2002)
My review: Il viaggio, il vagabondaggio per il mondo, e' il filo conduttore delle storie raccolte in questo libro. Lo scrittore narra le vicende di personaggi anonimi e marginali incontrati per il mondo, uomini e donne che hanno in comune l'aver fatto della propria vita una forma di resistenza. Un amico cileno che ha diretto la rivista Analisis, prima barricata della lotta contro Pinochet. Un cantante che ha partecipato alla Primavera di Praga. Un cameraman olandese ucciso dall'esercito del Salvador. Uomini che non hanno mai sperato di uscire dai margini, ma che per una volta sono affiorati, con le loro storie, dal buio dell'oblio. Come le rose che, in un solo giorno dell'anno, ricoprono il deserto di Atacama. Certi racconti non sono male, altri scivolano sul pateticamente melo'. (★★★)
Started: Jul 12 2003 Finished: Aug 01 2003
H/H cover
H/H
by Banana Yoshimoto (2003)
My review: Due racconti che trattano della morte mostrando i diversi modi con cui la si puo' affrontare e mettendo a fuoco il contrasto tra la sofferenza della perdita, la tentazione di sprofondare nel dolore e una inarrestabile voglia di rinascita. (★★★)
Started: Jul 10 2003 Finished: Jul 11 2003
The Eve of the Maelstrom (Dragonlance: Dragons of a New Age, #3) cover
The Eve of the Maelstrom (Dragonlance: Dragons of a New Age, #3)
by Jean Rabe (2002)
My review: The conclusion of the "Dragons of a New Age" trilogy is as fast-paced and entertaining as the previous two instalments. I still miss the "classic" Dragonlance settings, and I do not like the changes introduced with the last editions of the Dragonlance campaign, but this did not prevent me from enjoying the book. (★★★★)
Started: Jun 27 2003 Finished: Jul 09 2003
The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1) cover
The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1)
by Ken Follett (2002)
My review: In twelfth-century feudal England, a master builder plans to erect a towering cathedral. But, unfortunately, he lives in a world of rigid class structures where corrupt kings and queens rule, and the common man shows eternal promise. Around the construction site swirls a cast of characters in a story of betrayal, revenge, and love. Another epic masterpiece by Ken Follett.
Read more about the Kingsbridge series here: http://goo.gl/5MUZW3 (★★★★)
Started: May 16 2003 Finished: Jun 26 2003
The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) cover
The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2)
by J.R.R. Tolkien (2003)
My review: While the first volume was often too slow paced and fairy-talish, this second one is fast paced, action-packed, and hard to put down. (★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Feb 07 2003 Finished (first time): May 15 2003
Year of Wonders cover
Year of Wonders
by Geraldine Brooks (2002)
My review: The book is based on a real story: in 1666 a small town in England is hit by the Plague. The town decided to close itself out from the outside world to avoid spreading the disease. As more and more people die in the village, the tension start rising, bringing forth the best and the worst of the human nature. The plot is gripping and fascinating, but what sets the book apart is the stunning emotional characterizations of the various protagonist. (★★★★★)
Started: Dec 22 2002 Finished: Feb 06 2003
L'Italia dei Comuni: Il Medio Evo dal 1000 al 1250 cover
L'Italia dei Comuni: Il Medio Evo dal 1000 al 1250
by Indro Montanelli (2008)
My review: E' interessante riscoprire la storia del Bel paese raccontata in maniera accessibile e informale da Montanelli e Gervaso. Sfortunatamente, come per i volumi precedenti, un periodo storico relativamente lungo e' riassunto in un numero relativamente piccolo di pagine con il risultato ch'e' facile perdersi tra tanti nomi, eventi e date. (★★)
Started: Dec 13 2002 Finished: Dec 21 2002
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3) cover
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)
by J.K. Rowling (2004)
My review: I quite enjoyed reading the book, but it lacks the originality of the first volume. It's hard to come up with novel ideas to keep the sage intriguing and surprising. (★★★)
Started: Dec 06 2002 Finished: Dec 12 2002
The Fig Eater cover
The Fig Eater
by Jody Shields (2001)
My review: I usually am not really fond of mystery books, but I quite enjoyed this book, a mix of historical fiction, psychological introspection, mystery, and feminism. It is inspired by one of the most famous and controversial of Freud's cases (Dora's case, a girl that discovers the father infidelity with the father of his best friend, the same friend that later tries to seduce Dora), and it starts with the body of a young girl found dead in the middle of a park in turn-of-the-century Vienna... (★★★★)
Started: Oct 23 2002 Finished: Dec 05 2002
The Day of the Tempest (Dragonlance: Dragons of a New Age, #2) cover
The Day of the Tempest (Dragonlance: Dragons of a New Age, #2)
by Jean Rabe (2002)
My review: This second volume of the ""dragons of a new age" trilogy is as entertaining and fast-paced as the first one. I am still a little put off by the dramatic changes introduced in the Dragonlance 5th age, but this did not prevent me from appreciating the book. (★★★)
Started: Oct 13 2002 Finished: Oct 22 2002
2010: Odyssey Two (Space Odyssey, #2) cover
2010: Odyssey Two (Space Odyssey, #2)
by Arthur C. Clarke (1997)
My review: Almost 20 years after the first book, Clarke wrote this sequel. I was quite surprised to realize how much the world changed in those 20 years just reading the two books one after the other. The world geopolitical balance is changed: for example China enters as a third super power in the second book, and it is not even mentioned in the first. The civil right movement worked hard for a world where every person is given a fair change whatever his or her color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or identity, etc: for example in the second book a character in the Leonov spaceship is gay, and treated with all the respect he deserve. After reading the two books I was filled with hope and faith in human progress. (★★★★)
Started: Oct 07 2002 Finished: Oct 12 2002
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) cover
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)
by J.K. Rowling (1999)
My review: Do not get me wrong, I enjoyed reading this book, it was very hard to put down. This said, it lacks the originality of the first volume of the saga: it really feels like a rehashed version of it. (★★★)
Started: Oct 01 2002 Finished: Oct 06 2002
Insomnia cover
Insomnia
by Stephen King (2005)
My review: As a young teenager I was quite fond of Stephen King's books. I consider some of them remarkable literary achievements for the ability of digging into the hidden folds of the human psyche, and the adroit investigation of psychosis and fear. I picked up this book on my way to the airport, expecting something as good as the books I read many years before. I was quite disappointed instead by the flat story-line and the lack of any psychological investigation of the various characters. (★★)
Started: Aug 29 2002 Finished: Sep 30 2002
Northanger Abbey cover
Northanger Abbey
by Jane Austen (2005)
My review: I was expecting a sappy novel when I picked up this book, on the contrary I discovered a novel full of wit and sarcasm. It is the story of a young girl turning into a woman in a world that is surprisingly similar to the contemporary one. (★★★)
Started: Jun 09 2002 Finished: Aug 29 2002
The Dawning of a New Age (Dragonlance: Dragons of a New Age, #1) cover
The Dawning of a New Age (Dragonlance: Dragons of a New Age, #1)
by Jean Rabe (2002)
My review: The Ansalon of the new age trilogy is dramatically different from the classic one featured in the previous trilogies by Weis and Hickman. There is really little in common, and this will probably put off every classic Dragonlance fan. This said, the book is quite entertaining, and a pleasure to read. I liked the effort of the author in trying to be inclusive. The book features a diverse set of characters of different ethnicity and with disabilities. (★★★)
Started: Jul 25 2002 Finished: Jul 28 2002
The Soulforge (Dragonlance: Raistlin Chronicles, #1) cover
The Soulforge (Dragonlance: Raistlin Chronicles, #1)
by Margaret Weis (1999)
My review: If you are looking for something easy to read to relax after a long day at work, this may be what you are looking for. For the Dragonlance fans, this is a must read book, providing some background on two of the most interesting characters of the chronicle and legends trilogies: the brothers Majere. (★★★)
Started: Jun 03 2002 Finished: Jun 08 2002
2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #1) cover
2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #1)
by Arthur C. Clarke (2000)
My review: A classic of sci-fi literature, epic in its scope, very original and enthralling. Clarke is able to keep his readers in awe, on the edge of some spiritual and cosmological revelation. The sarcastic humor of the author is the perfect icing on the cake. (★★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): May 28 2002 Finished (first time): Jun 02 2002
Dragons of a Fallen Sun (Dragonlance: The War of Souls, #1) cover
Dragons of a Fallen Sun (Dragonlance: The War of Souls, #1)
by Margaret Weis (2001)
My review: The two previous Dragonlance trilogies by Weis and Hickmans are among the favorite books of my childhood. I was literally thrilled to discovered that a new trilogy was available, set in the same world, and featuring the same beloved characters. I expected a sequel of "the second generation". On the contrary a lot has changed, and the reader should first read the "dragons of a new era" trilogy to really enjoy and understand what's happening in this book. (★★★)
Started: May 21 2002 Finished: May 27 2002
L'Italia dei secoli bui: Il Medio Evo sino al Mille cover
L'Italia dei secoli bui: Il Medio Evo sino al Mille
by Indro Montanelli (2008)
My review: Un'interessante introduzione alla storia italiani durante il medioevo, raccontata in maniera accessibile e piacevole. L'unico limite nasce dal fatto che un solo libro copre un periodo storico lungo e compleasso, con il risultato che a molti avvenimenti non e' accordata la necessaria attenzione. (★★)
Started: May 01 2002 Finished: May 21 2002
Storia di Roma cover
Storia di Roma
by Indro Montanelli (1988)
My review: Un'interessante introduzione alla storia di uno dei piu' grandi imperi del passato, raccontata in maniera accessibile e piacevole. (★★★)
Started: Feb 13 2002 Finished: Apr 15 2002
The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1) cover
The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)
by J.R.R. Tolkien (2003)
My review: I read this book translated in Italian as a young teenager. I did not like it too much then, probably because the translation was poor. I enjoyed reading it more the second time, in its original language. The plot is intriguing and epic, but some parts of the book are just too slow paced (e.g. all he Tom Bombadil segment). (★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Dec 06 2001 Finished (first time): Apr 01 2002
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone cover
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
by J.K. Rowling (1997)
My review: I really liked the story! It is fun, original and well-written. When you read it, you can almost believe that magic is real. Suddenly I found myself a kid again, satying up late to read "just another chapter". (★★★★)
Started: Dec 04 2001 Finished: Dec 05 2001
Storia vera cover
Storia vera
by Lucian of Samosata (1994)
My review: Era da tempo che desideravo leggere questo racconto definito da molti "primo esempio di letteratura fantascientifica". Divertente e interessante. (★★★)
Started: Dec 03 2001 Finished: Dec 04 2001
Frankenstein cover
Frankenstein
by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (2003)
My review: I think this is one of the best books I read in my all life. The book is modern and interesting, the story is touching, the characters well-rounded and far from the typical gothic novel ones. (★★★★★)
Started: Nov 27 2001 Finished: Dec 03 2001
Il fato e la superstizione cover
Il fato e la superstizione
by Plutarch
My review: Il primo dialogo tratta di libero arbitrio e fato. Il secondo analizza la superstizione contrapponendola al suo opposto, l'ateismo. (★★)
Started: Nov 27 2001 Finished: Nov 27 2001
Favola d'amore cover
Favola d'amore
by Hermann Hesse (1991)
My review: "Solo in questo consiste per me la vita, nel fluttuare tra due poli, nell'oscillazione tra i due pilastri portanti del mondo. Vorrei con gioia far vedere sempre la beata varieta' del mondo e anche sempre ricordare che al fondo di questa varieta' vi e' un'unita'". (★★★★)
Started: Nov 27 2001 Finished: Nov 27 2001
Bartleby and Benito Cereno cover
Bartleby and Benito Cereno
by Herman Melville (1990)
My review: I thought that Melville wrote only long and boring books. It was a prejudice: the first novel is really interesting and modern. The language of the second is pretty hard and the plot is less interesting. (★★)
Started: Oct 14 2001 Finished: Nov 26 2001
A.I. Intelligenza artificiale cover
A.I. Intelligenza artificiale
by Brian W. Aldiss (2001)
My review: Ero a casa del mio ex a Milano, ove m'ero recato per un colloquio di lavoro. Terminato questo aspettavo ora di cena e cominciai a leggere, terminandolo, il libro sul comodino. Le storie del volume sono abbastanza insignificanti, la migliore e' quella che ha ispirato Spielberg... Ma anche quella non e' poi un granche'. (★★)
Started: Oct 24 2001 Finished: Oct 24 2001
De Otio; de Brevitate Vitae cover
De Otio; de Brevitate Vitae
by Seneca (2003)
My review: Il dialogo insegna come la vita non sia poi corta, ma semplicemente si passi in genere il tempo a sprecarla. (★★★)
Started: Oct 21 2001 Finished: Oct 22 2001
Moral Essays: Volume I De Providentia. De Constantia. De Ira. De Clementia cover
Moral Essays: Volume I De Providentia. De Constantia. De Ira. De Clementia
by Seneca (1928)
My review: Il dialogo spiega come le sventure siano dei provvidi doni del signore per rafforzare i giusti.
(★★)
Started: Oct 20 2001 Finished: Oct 21 2001
Baudolino cover
Baudolino
by Umberto Eco (2003)
My review: Ho sempre amato i libri di Umberto Eco, e ho particolarmente amato questo libro. In questo libro il protagonista (Baudolino, nato contadino e arrivato ad essere figlio di Barbarossa) e' narratore, risultando in uno stile ben diverso dallo scolastico ed erudito parlare dell'Eco dei libri precedenti. Il risultato e' piu' facilmente fruibile, piu' scorrevole, ma sempre storicamente accurato e affascinante. (★★★★)
Started: Sep 23 2001 Finished: Oct 13 2001
The Turn of the Screw cover
The Turn of the Screw
by Henry James (1994)
My review: I was in Milan when I realized that I have forgotten the book I was reading (Baudolino) at home. I went to Feltrinelli and I bought this book. I have studied Henry James in high school, but my teacher did not spend any time on this book. It is a typical gothic novel, nothing too original about it. I did not like it too much because of the author style. Thomas Hardy was right when he wrote that "[H. James says] nothing in infinite sentences". (★★★)
Started: Oct 07 2001 Finished: Oct 12 2001
The Second Generation (Dragonlance: The Second Generation, #1) cover
The Second Generation (Dragonlance: The Second Generation, #1)
by Margaret Weis (1995)
My review: I was quite eager to meet again the characters I loved so much when I was a kid. I was slightly disappointed by the new generation of heroes, that failed to fascinate me as much as the previous one did. This said, this collection of short stories is entertaining and worth reading for all the Dragonlance fans. (★★★)
Started: Sep 20 2001 Finished: Sep 24 2001
Test of the Twins (Dragonlance: Legends, #3) cover
Test of the Twins (Dragonlance: Legends, #3)
by Margaret Weis (2004)
My review: The characters may not be well rounded, but I loved them since I was a kid. I always enjoy meeting them again when I read a Dragonlance book. The ending in particular makes reading the trilogy worth the time spent doing it. (★★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Sep 17 2001 Finished (first time): Sep 19 2001
War of the Twins (Dragonlance: Legends, #2) cover
War of the Twins (Dragonlance: Legends, #2)
by Margaret Weis (2004)
My review: I read it when I was a kid, and I simply loved it at the time. Probably I set my expectations too high, but I was a little disappointed by this book. The plot was not as intriguing as I remembered, and the beloved characters are quite flat. (★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Sep 12 2001 Finished (first time): Sep 16 2001
Honeymoon cover
Honeymoon
by Banana Yoshimoto (2003)
My review: Amo particolarmente i libri di Banana Yoshimoto. Le trame delle sue storie spesso contano assai ben poco. I veri protagonisti sono i sentimenti, le sensazioni, che lei e' abilissima a descrivere in maniera evocativa con pochissime parole. Questa e' la storia d'una giovane coppia, sposatasi prestissimo. Il padre dello sposo sembra far parte di una setta religiosa. Ho finito questo libro in un giorno assai particolare: il giorno della caduta delle torri. Lo shock m'ha impedito di godermi la fine come avrei dovuto. (★★★★)
Started: Sep 10 2001 Finished: Sep 11 2001
Time of the Twins (Dragonlance: Legends, #1) cover
Time of the Twins (Dragonlance: Legends, #1)
by Margaret Weis (2004)
My review: When I was young, I loved the Dragonlance saga. I was quite disappointed when I read it again as a grown-up: the beloved characters and the plot are so flat! (★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Sep 01 2001 Finished (first time): Sep 05 2001
Dragons of Spring Dawning (Dragonlance: Chronicles, #3) cover
Dragons of Spring Dawning (Dragonlance: Chronicles, #3)
by Margaret Weis (2003)
My review: The last volume is a really good one, but the ending is a little disappointing: it is quite clear that the authors did want to keep an opening for a possible sequel. (★★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Aug 01 2001 Finished (first time): Sep 01 2001
Waterdeep (Forgotten Realms: Avatar #3) cover
Waterdeep (Forgotten Realms: Avatar #3)
by Richard Awlinson (1989)
My review: An entertaining conclusion for the trilogy. (★★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Jul 24 2001 Finished (first time): Aug 01 2001
Tantras (Forgotten Realms: Avatar #2) cover
Tantras (Forgotten Realms: Avatar #2)
by Scott Ciencin (1989)
My review: The second book of this fantasy saga is better than the first... but it far from being remarkable. (★★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Jul 05 2001 Finished (first time): Jul 23 2001
Shadowdale (Forgotten Realms: Avatar #1) cover
Shadowdale (Forgotten Realms: Avatar #1)
by Scott Ciencin (1989)
My review: I really enjoyed this book when I was young. This time I did not like it as much. The characters are incredibly flat and the plot is not that original. (★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Jun 01 2001 Finished (first time): Jul 04 2001
Dragons of Winter Night (Dragonlance: Chronicles, #2) cover
Dragons of Winter Night (Dragonlance: Chronicles, #2)
by Margaret Weis (2000)
My review: I decided to read some of my childhood favorite fantasy books in their original language, in order to improve my English. I was stressed because I was writing my master thesis. I needed something not to complex to read. This was perfect at the time. The plot gets more interesting in the second volume. (★★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Jun 10 2001 Finished (first time): Jun 13 2001
La filosofia antica cover
La filosofia antica
by Emanuele Severino (1984)
My review: Stressato per via della tesi cominciai a leggere dei filosofi studiati in gioventu'. Una lettura interessante che m'ha fatto riscoprire quelle figure che, a suo tempo, avevo assai sottovalutato. (★★)
Started: May 06 2001 Finished: Jun 09 2001
Snow Falling on Cedars cover
Snow Falling on Cedars
by David Guterson (1995)
My review: This was one of the book Kirsten suggested me. I started it while I was going to the Broadband wireless world forum. It is a good book. (★★★)
Started: Feb 21 2001 Finished: May 06 2001
You and Your Aquarium cover
You and Your Aquarium
by Dick Mills (1986)
My review: As soon as I will be able to do it, I am going to buy an aquarium. This is a simple guide to collecting and keeping aquarium fishes. Interesting. I was unable to finish it right away, because Matteo toke it back to Italy. (★★★★)
Started: Jan 01 2001 Finished: May 01 2001
Dragons of Autumn Twilight  (Dragonlance: Chronicles, #1) cover
Dragons of Autumn Twilight (Dragonlance: Chronicles, #1)
by Margaret Weis (2000)
My review: This was one of my favorite books when I was a kid, so I decided to read it again in English to improve my English when I moved to the US. It is quite entertaining. I had completely forgot the plot, but not the characters. reading the book felt like meeting again some dear old childhood friends. (★★★★)
Number of times I read it: 2
Started (first time): Feb 11 2001 Finished (first time): Feb 18 2001
The Lost Language Of Cranes cover
The Lost Language Of Cranes
by David Leavitt (1997)
My review: This book is a Christmas present. Matteo bought it for me while we were in a bookstore in San Francisco. He really enjoyed the book and he wanted to share it with me. I liked reading it, I did not enjoyed it as much as he did. The book is a painfully honest description of ho to different generations came to term with their own homosexuality. (★★★)
Started: Jan 08 2001 Finished: Feb 10 2001
The Seventh Gate (The Death Gate Cycle, #7) cover
The Seventh Gate (The Death Gate Cycle, #7)
by Margaret Weis (1995)
My review: When I was a young kid I used to read a lot. I was particularly fond of fantasy novels. I started to read the first book of the "Death Gate cycle" when I was 15. I never had the chance to read the last one. When I saw it in the bookshop I bought it immediately. I read the book in one day. (★★★)
Started: Jan 05 2001 Finished: Jan 06 2001
Memoirs of a Geisha cover
Memoirs of a Geisha
by Arthur Golden (1999)
My review: I was just landed in the US, and I decided to start reading some American books to improve my English. My friend Kirsten suggested me a couple of books: this one and "Snow Falling on Cedars" by David Guterson. She lent me this one. I was amazed to be able to read an English book without using the Dictionary... I really enjoyed it. Maybe the happy ending is a bit artificial, but it is a really good book. (★★★★)
Started: Dec 01 2000 Finished: Jan 05 2001