Friday, August 28, 2015

Book Report

I never do new years resolutions. I would never stick to them. But I finally found one I can do (well the year is not over, but I'm on track). I use Good Reads to keep track of books I read and look for new recommendations. In January, Good Reads gave me a 2015 challenge - to read! I got to pick how many books I would challenge myself to read over the course of the year. I decided to go big and picked 52, one per week.

I've always been an avid reader, so this type of challenge didn't seem all that challenging to me. And as an added perk I watch a lot less TV now that I have so many good books to read!

It's probably because I often have a book, or kindle, in my face, but a number of my friends ask me for book recommendations. So I decided, when I'm low on fun stories and photos, I will post about a few of the books I've read in this challenge. Maybe you'll find something that looks exciting and you'll pick up a book too!

Here is a short write up on the first five books I read this year.

A Change of Climate - Hillary Mantel: I started with this book because it was being read in my friends book club. I had read great things about Hillary Mantel's books and the story is partly based in South Africa, so that was intriguing. It is a story of a missionary family living in apartheid southern africa in the seventies. Its a story of trust and adaptation as well as horrible betrayal and tragedy. The story unfolds back and forth between the past and the present, where the past is resurfacing and threatening to destroy the facade of peace they have finally found. I was torn with this book. The writing is very eloquent, yet I sometimes felt like I was being drug through the book, it wasn't an easy page turner for me. The story was strong, it definitely has stuck with me, the characters were well expressed, but I just couldn't say it was a favorite book for me.

One Day - David Nichols: This was a recommendation from a friend. It was an easy and quick read. It is a story about two young people who meet, spend the day together and then go their separate ways. But every year they come back together for one day. For the next twenty years, you get a peak into their relationship and how it changes and grows until soon enough they discover they want more than just one day a year. I enjoyed it.

Big Little Lies - Lianne Moriarty: This is the first book I've read by Lianne Moriarty, but since this one I've read a couple more. I like her writing style, the story moves quickly, and it's easy to get to know the characters. The story is about a group of kindergarten parents, mostly moms, some put together, some over the top, some with secrets. It moves between a few different narrators as it tells everyone's stories leading up to the grand finale, trivia night at school, during which many secrets are spilt, disasters occur, and someone dies.  It was definitely an easy and enjoyable read and I would recommend it if you are looking for something quick and interesting.

I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai: The girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban. By the time she was 15, this young girl already shone so bright that she was a threat to the Taliban. The story is a mix of history, current politics, and the life of a teenage girl in pakistan and abroad. I truly enjoyed reading this book and learning more about this young and very inspiring girl. I would highly recommend it.

Egg & Spoon - Gregory Maguire: I am a big fan of Gregory Maguire. Ever since I read Wicked when it first came out, I've been hooked on his style of twisting up fairytales and mythology. This is no exception. I hadn't heard of this particular fairytale, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book nonetheless. It's a magical story of two young girls, one rich, one poor, who meet and end up accidentally exchanging places. As their stories unfold we get into the true adventures each girl is having and we meet up with the famous Baba Yaga who really brings the story to life! I really liked this book!

1 comment:

Rich Pleva said...

Thanks for these, Dawn. Jonathan Franzen's gotten a lot of note for his first books...but I've not read any of them. Now he has a new one just come out - Purity. Have you read his stuff? If yes, what do you think of his writing and his stories?