Thursday, December 3, 2015

Book Report #6

Books 26 - 30 in my 52 book challenge! Current status - On track in the reading, behind in the posting!

The Boys in the Boat - Daniel James Brown: I'm not a big fan of books about sports, and I knew nothing of rowing, but regardless of that, I really liked this book! It is an extremely well written, compelling story of the nine men rowing team who went to the 1936 Olympics in Germany. The story is so much more than the competition, you get to know the guys, know where they come from and what drives them. I highly recommend this book!

The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman: My first Neil Gaiman book. How have I not read any of his books before? I'm a fan. Definitely. This book is considered "adult", but has the feel of a "young adult" book, but I think only because it makes you reminisce about childhood, makes you try to remember the depths of imagination we had as kids. It's a short story, about a seven year old boy who befriends a very old, eleven year old girl, and they get caught up in the mystical and scary. This is a book I will read again.

American Gods - Neil Gaiman: Fan status solidified. A story about ancient Gods (Babel, Egyptian, etc) trying to battle it out with the current day Gods (media and money) - and so much more than that - all told through Neil Gaiman's excellent ability to weave fantasy into literature. I read the extended 10th anniversary edition which is expanded with the authors preferred text - meaning it is over 600 pages long. Not a fast read, but a great one!

Fan Girl - Rainbow Rowell: Another cute, young adult book, with quirky characters. A "coming of age" story about an awkward young girl, who prefers to spend her time writing fan fiction, and her relationships with her popular sister, the cute boy, and her dad.

Burial Rites - Hannah Kent: Very interesting book inspired by the true story of the final days of a young woman, Agnes, convicted of murder in Iceland in 1829. While the story is fiction, the author researched much of the case and wrote a compelling story of what could have been the last days for Agnes. While awaiting her execution, Agnes is put into the care of a farm family and provided visitations by a priest. The narrative is not fast paced or action filled, but is exceptionally well written and makes you feel as if you are there, in 1829, and you are getting to know Agnes and understand her circumstances. Recommended!

“Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, and in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.” 

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