Domaris' Dreamings

Home of musings, reviews, and other book related thoughts.  I may make this the new home of my favorite book and magazine quotes.

Nutshell Library - Maurice Sendak

I loved this. Fun to read with my 5 year old. She enjoyed reading it because of the rhyming structure and adorable drawings.

""Tommy had felt alone in a crowd before, even inferior to everyone in a crowd, but now he felt, well, different. It wasn't just the clothes and the make up, it was the humanity. He wasn't part of it. Heightened senses or not, he felt like he had his nose pressed against the window, looking in. The problem was, it was the window of a donut shop.""

— Christopher Moore (You Suck: A Love Story)

"I say quotations are literary. They are good only when dealing with ideas, not with experience. Experience should be pure, unique."

Anaïs Nin (June 5, 1936, Fire)

Vintage: A Novel

Vintage: A Novel - Susan Gloss A charming book with well-developed characters and pacing. I enjoyed it- the writer made me want to visit the store and get to know the ladies.

Pitter and Patter

Pitter and Patter - Martha Sullivan, Cathy Morrison A beautifully written and illustrated book that is appropriate for a variety of reading levels.
I can share it with my 4 year old now and the science is detailed enough for her to come back and continue to enjoy the book as she gets older.

The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession

The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession - Dana Goldstein I found the format of this book to be incredibly well thought-out. Moving us through the history of the profession of teaching in this country is the only real way to understand how we ended up where we are today. I found her insights helpful and her stories poignant.

The Misfortunates

The Misfortunates - Dimitri Verhulst I obtained this book through Goodreads' First Reads and really enjoyed it for the most part. The style of writing drew me in, making it easy to get lost in the narrative. The characters felt real, and generally I sympathized with the protagonist and understood his point of view, although some of his thoughts and choices annoyed me enough to keep things lively.

The only thing that threw me off while I was reading was the non-linear timeline. Generally the book would seem to be going along chronologically, and then it would skip ahead for a bit, only to backtrack. Sometimes I had trouble understanding where something fit in the overall timing but with context managed to sort it out.

There were elements of the story that were glossed over that I felt could have used more attention. Dimitri's continuing antagonism toward his mother into adulthood seems extreme without a little more backstory. It is clear that the Verhulst family wasn't hard to find, and that she seemingly made no attempt to contact her son. It is unusual that she didn't make a reappearance somewhere around the time the social workers and foster system became involved (which were also only briefly introduced). This indifference on her part is more illustrative of their relationship than the "pee pass" embarrassment. His reference to her as a whore without explanation also seems odd and more detail on that would have been helpful in aligning the reader firmly on Dimitri's side against her.

Dimitri clearly becomes a very different person by the end of the book than he gearing up to be during his childhood, and I would have liked to witness the evolution of that person more. It's hard to see what changed without more detail about those years in foster care and directly following. That said, I enjoyed the book and would definitely read more by this author.

Miss Fortune (The Fancy Lives of the Lear Sisters)

Miss Fortune (The Fancy Lives of the Lear Sisters) - Julia London I found this book to be an enjoyable read; it flowed easily with a pleasant style of writing and minimal editing errors.

I genuinely liked the main characters and the tone of the novel enough that I would like to read the two precursors.

Roastbeef's Promise

Roastbeef's Promise - David  Jerome I found the main character a little difficult to relate to, but the pace and flow of the book kept me engaged and interested to see what would happen next. Overall I found the book to be an enjoyable read.

Guardian of Deceit

Guardian of Deceit - William H. Coles There were elements of the plot I enjoyed, and the style of writing felt honest, with realistic, flawed characters. I think additional editing would have greatly improved the overall flow. There were numerous errors in grammar and spelling that I found distracting, and occasionally they obscured the meaning of the sentences in question.

Blood Oath

Blood Oath - Christopher Farnsworth Okay, so I received this book as a goodreads first read winner back when I was pregnant and didn't have a chance to read it until just now. I'm glad I finally did!

I thought the pace and format of the story was very interesting. I liked the strategic jumps in time-line and point of view. The narrative voice was consistent enough to make that work with little confusion.

While none of the characters are entirely fleshed out, there are just enough details provided and their voices are strong enough that I felt like I got a pretty good understanding of them and their motivations.

I'm looking forward to reading the next two installments.


The Alphabets and Friends

The Alphabets and Friends - Robert Fallon This book is charmingly drawn, and the concept is very cute. The initial series of little poems for each letter is a bit hit or miss. I thought it was nicely done to tie them all in as members of a family, and that many of them were very clever, but some of them flowed a little poorly.

The other poems (the Friends portion of the book) didn't seem connected to the alphabet family, so I viewed them as separate little books.
The roof poem introduces children to the structural elements of a roof, but I personally couldn't sync up with the flow of the lines.
The teddy bear playing make-believe I enjoyed more, but I think the alphabet portion of the first section stands alone, and that these additions add additional pages but don't really work together.

The Doggone Christmas List

The Doggone Christmas List - Robb Lightfoot
This book is a collection of short stories, some more interrelated than others. As long as you don't go into the book expecting them all to be woven together neatly it's a very enjoyable and quick read.

There were some problems on the editing front (a mis-placed word or punctuation mark here and there), but it did not detract from the experience of reading.

The author has a strong voice, a clear point of view, and a lovely feeling of whimsy in his style. I could have gone on to read many more short stories had they been included. I felt each story had a clear trajectory, and each was pleasant to read.

The only element I probably wouldn't read again was the poem he included. It wasn't bad, but I didn't find it up to the level of the rest of the work included.

The Napping House

The Napping House - Audrey Wood, Don Wood so cute.

Invisible Monsters

Invisible Monsters - Chuck Palahniuk The thing I enjoy about Palahniuk's work in general is his disdain for telling a story along a linear time-line. This was a fine example of that. I sometimes had trouble following where we were in the story, but for the most part he made it clear pretty quickly.
He is a master at twists - even if you figure out one or two there is always something that you just won't see coming.
I found some of the language repetitive, but I think that was deliberate, so while I didn't love that aspect, I can respect it.
I found myself having trouble liking any of the characters, though. This, too, I believe to be done purposefully, but it makes it hard for me to really enjoy a book as much as I could.


Inheritor - C.J. Cherryh This series is very well-crafted. The characters are interesting, the political intrigue captivating, and the pace consistent.
Cherryh closes the loops on various plot lines that began as early as the first book while introducing new mysteries and information to pull the reader forward into the next installment to find out what happens next.

Currently reading

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Michelle Alexander
Progress: 27/290 pages
Managing to Change the World: The Nonprofit Manager's Guide to Getting Results
Jerry Hauser, Alison Green
The Tuskegee Airmen: The Men Who Changed a Nation
Charles E. Francis, Adolph Caso
Mark Goldblatt
Elements of Darkness
Michael Twist
A Little Bit Wicked
Robyn DeHart
Osman's Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire
Caroline Finkel
The Pilgrim
Mike Grell, Mark Ryan
Get Out of Your Own Way: The 5 Keys to Surpassing Everyone's Expectations
Robert K. Cooper