Welcome to Take Me Away!!
Hello! Thanks for stopping by Take Me Away, where I review books of a variety of genres. My favorite genres are literary and contemporary fiction, though I also enjoy some mystery/thrillers. I also enjoy sociological and psychological non-fiction. Check out the tabs across the top to navigate the site. All the reviews on this site are categorized by title (fiction or non-fiction) or by author. Check out the "About Jenny" section to learn a little more about me. Thanks again for stopping by, and feel free to leave a comment even if it's just to say hi! =)
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Author/Photographer: Brandon Stanton
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Macmillan)
Pub. Date: October 15, 2013
One day I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed and saw a photo that another Facebook friend "liked". I don't remember the photo, but I remember it intrigued me, as did the title of the page it was posted from, "Humans of New York". Turns out I had inadvertently stumbled upon a wonderful photo blog by Brandon Stanton who takes pictures of various people all over New York City every day; he posts each picture along with a snippet from their conversation or an insightful or funny comment.
This book is the perfect coffee table book! It definitely would be the perfect gift for those who love NYC and/or people in general - for those who have an appreciation for the unique qualities in every person and in every photograph.The book turned out beautifully!
Check out the website: http://www.humansofnewyork.com/
This book now has a coveted spot on my:
Monday, September 2, 2013
Subtitle: A Bestseller's Odyssey from Atlanta to Hollywood
Author: Ellen F. Brown, John Wiley Jr.
Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing (Rowman & Littlefield)
Pub. Date: February 16, 2011
The title of this one is a little confusing... it isn't the actual Gone with the Wind but it's about Margaret Mitchell's book and her experiences with writing it and managing the aftermath. I was obsessed with this book. As busy as I was with work when I was reading this, I returned to it every chance I had. But I also think it's one of those books that you will either love and be totally into or possibly not into it at all. You have to really have an interest in both the book itself and in the ways of the publishing industry... actually you don't necessarily need to like Gone with the Wind itself as long as you are interested in the greatness of its classic status.
This book chronicles everything about Gone with the Wind from when Margaret Mitchell began writing it to when it was published and became a classic, to it becoming a movie, to Margaret's efforts to protect the rights of the book in various ways, etc. She was fiercely protective of the book, and her efforts to protect it (and herself from any type of celebrity) was more than a full time job for years and years afterward. Even after her death, her family took on these same efforts and fights. It was fascinating to read about how things worked in the publishing world in general but also how it was back then.. things that I'm sure have improved since. For instance, the lack of copyright laws/agreements with some countries prevented her from having anything to do with it being printed in other countries or receiving anything for it. That's just one example of the many dramas of GWTW. One thing that surprised me was how much she did not allow to happen... oh how I would have loved to (maybe one day we still can) see a Broadway musical version of GWTW!
Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind was an absolutely fascinating read! Not only was there so much drama (for lack of a better word) with the publishing and all the stuff that happened afterward, but it was so fun to read about a book that the world fell in love with and adored. It doesn't seem like there is anything like it today (except mayyybeee Harry Potter). I highly recommend this book to any book lovers and, of course, to all big fans of Gone with the Wind.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Author: Shohreh Aghdashloo
Genre: Memoir (Celebrity)
Publisher: Harper (Harper Collins)
Pub. Date: June 4, 2013
I've always enjoyed a good celebrity memoir, and I was curious when I found out Shohreh Aghdashloo had written one. I knew her originally as the woman from 24 but have also seen her in various other shows/movies; I always recognize her distinct voice. Her memoir has the added intrigue due to her living as an adult through the revolution in Iran, even causing her to escape to another country.
One of the things I always find interesting is how much work actors put into their craft before they come onto a scene that we are familiar with. The same is true for Shohreh; she acted in many plays and even Iranian movies before acting in America. She really has spent her lifetime building up to acting and acting. I was interested in her observations as she
I will say there were some parts where I just didn't get her decision making or really understand the circumstances she was in. Some of this is certainly from her being in a different country, culture, and time but was probably because she was limited in space in her memoir to truly describe in depth what she went through during the Iranian revolution. Though it seems like Shohreh lived a life of privilege in Iran, she also clearly possesses extreme bravery and is a strong woman.
Something I loved was Shohreh's brutal honesty about Hollywood and some very well known actors. It's always interesting to see what people are like behind the scenes, and I was surprised by every person that she called out in this book! Very interesting.
Overall, this was an easy read about an actress with an interesting background. It added a lot to my netflix queue! Recommended if you enjoy celebrity memoirs and/or have an interest in Iran's recent history.
I reviewed this book as part of TLC Book Tours. Follow the rest of the tour below:
Tuesday, June 11th: Book Dilettante
Wednesday, June 12th: Book Him Danno! - preview
Thursday, June 13th: The Infinite Shelf
Wednesday, June 19th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, June 24th: Between the Covers
Wednesday, June 26th: Book Club Classics!
Thursday, June 27th: missris
Monday, July 1st: River City Reading
Tuesday, July 2nd: Peppermint PhD
Wednesday, July 3rd: Take Me Away
Monday, July 8th: Books in the City
Tuesday, July 9th: Dab of Darkness
Wednesday, July 10th: Beastmomma
Thursday, July 11th: Lavish Bookshelf
TBD: Blog Critics
TBD: Booktalk & More
TBD: Speaking of Books
TBD: Book Him Danno! -review
TBD: Reviewing Shelf
Monday, April 29, 2013
Author: Mohsin Hamid
Publisher: Mariner (Houghton Mifflin)
Pub. Date: April 3, 2007
My husband and I picked this book up on a whim recently and both read it. It's a short read at 184 pages, and we were also motivated by the upcoming movie version. This book was certainly not what I expected and will disappoint (and anger) some readers, but it was really a very introspective, tense book that my husband and I were both ultimately impressed with.
Touted as a thriller (though really it's not unless you can consider it a very subtle thriller focused on underlying tensions), The Reluctant Fundamentalist is narrated by Changez, a Pakistani man who is narrating his story to an American businessman he meets in a cafe. Changez had the opportunity to receive schooling in the United States and then to work in the corporate world in New York City, essentially living the American Dream. But then the attacks on 9/11 happen, and Changez finds his perspective on his life in America turning completely upside down. His conversation provides insights that are surprising and scary but provide an incredible perspective on prejudice and the war on terror.
I went back and read some reader reviews after I finished this and found many people trashed this book and were extremely angry after completing it. I get it... I understand where they were coming from; some of what I read was certainly shocking. But it was also genuine and has to be considered on a deeper level - not just taken at face value. You have to read it to know what I mean, but there is definitely food for thought about prejudice and relationships for the open-minded reader that can look past the superficial. For a "deep" book this is an easy read, and I recommend it.
The movie, released on April 26th, 2013, looks really good, though they clearly added some things to the story to make it more of a Blockbuster!
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Author: Lionel Shriver
Pub. Date: March 27, 2012
I recently got around to reading We Need to Talk About Kevin which was fantastic, so I was excited to try another of Shriver's books when I had the opportunity to review this one. As other readers have mentioned, the author included a note in the beginning about how this book was written years ago (prior to Kevin) but was put on hold because of the lack of potential interest in a novel about terrorism followed by the actual act of terrorism that then rendered this book taboo; years later it was decided that this book would be released, and few changes were made to it. Unfortunately, that had me wondering, throughout reading, if maybe it being an older effort of the author's affected its quality as it was a difficult read for me that I did not enjoy. The topic did not offend me, but it's application was dry to me.
Edward Kellogg makes a mid-life career change to become a journalist. Much of his thoughts and decisions are motivated by his desire to be "cool" and admirable like those he has looked up to because of his "uncool" history as a kid. He ends up being assigned to Barba, near Portugal, where the previous journalist has gone missing, and uncovers scandal along with the terrorism.
The plot sounds interesting in theory but didn't maintain my interest. I also expected to find it funnier (togue-in-cheeck, I know) but I didn't. I think most of it may have been Kellogg, himself, who I found annoying from the get go. I wonder if the main character had been more sympathetic and likeable if the rest of what played out may have been funnier. I also think that the side story about Kellogg's history and wanting to be popular was unnecessary. As it was, I didn't care for it and was hugely disappointed because of my huge enjoyment of Kevin and all the other amazing things I have heard.
Catch up on and follow the rest of the tour below:
Tuesday, April 2nd: The House of the Seven Tails
Wednesday, April 3rd: Man of La Book
Monday, April 8th: The Scarlet Letter
Wednesday, April 10th: Sophisticated Dorkiness
Thursday, April 11th: she treads softly
Tuesday, April 16th: Becca’s Byline
Monday, April 22nd: Lit and Life
Wednesday, April 24th: Take Me Away
Thursday, April 25th: I Read a Book Once
Friday, April 26th: Luxury Reading
TBD: Melody & Words