Thursday, January 7, 2016

Book Report #10

Books 46 - 52!

So that's 52 books in 52 weeks of 2015! I loved this challenge! For the most part it rarely felt like a chore and there were only a few books I had to struggle to finish. I'm coming up with my 2016 reading challenge and will post about it soon!

Animal Dreams - Barbara Kingsolver: One of my favorite books is by Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible), I haven't read one from her in quite a while so I thought I'd try Animal Dreams. It was a well written, easy to read story, about a woman who returns to her childhood home after many years away. I wasn't a huge fan of the main character but I enjoyed many of the supporting characters. I feel some of Kingsolvers other books have more meaning to them, this one felt like just a "story" to me, which is fine, but I think I was hoping for more so I was a bit disappointed.

Euphoria - Lily King: This was an interesting book. It follows three young anthropologists in the 1930's in Papua New Guinea. The story is fiction, but was inspired by the life of Margaret Mead. Even though many of the tribes were fictional, I loved the detail King provided on their cultural aspects. Aside from the anthropological aspects of the tribes, there was an intriguing look at the relationship (sometimes violent) between the three anthropologists, two of whom were married to each other. The story was well written and kept me turning pages until the end. Recommended!

The Handmaids Tale - Margaret Atwood: This has been one of those books that has been lurking on my periphery for many years. I finally, FINALLY, read it. What a terrifying and disturbing look at a dystopian future in which the fundamental conservatives institute a "caste" system where women are relegated to roles from the old testament - reproductive vessels (handmaids), sexual toys, domestic servants, and female prison guards, all under the guise of protection from Islamic fundamentalists. All too relevant in this day and age of anti-islam, anti-reproductive rights, and the suppression of women's rights. Don't expect a light story or happy ending, but do read the book. Highly recommended!

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman: Another winner from Gaiman! It takes a graveyard to raise a child, literally! The story of a toddler who ends up being raised by ghosts in a graveyard after his entire family is murdered. It is a dark, yet fun, story, following Nobody Owens as he grows up in the graveyard, exploring the realm of the dead, and eventually venturing out into the more dangerous world of the living. Highly recommended!

The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah: A story during Nazi occupied France in WWII, told through the eyes of two very different sisters, one passive and scared, the other dynamic and fearless. The book is different than many WWII stories in that it is focused on the women's roles during the war, and what they went through and lost during that time. The book was well written, expressive, and full of contextual detail. The characters were well developed and I enjoyed reading each of their perspectives. Recommended!

Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari: I love Aziz Ansari, I think he's a great comedian and actor. I was very excited to read his book, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be a story about him, but it turns out it is about a research study he did with an NYU Sociologist on modern day dating. While it was interesting, it wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, and since I haven't been single for many years, it wasn't all that intriguing to learn about online dating apps.

Why Not Me - Mindy Kaling: This is what I was looking for! A fun sequel, to her equally funny "Why is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?". I loved it. I love Mindy's stories, her voice, her honesty, she's hysterical! I want to listen to it now through audible so Mindy can tell me her stories herself. Highly Recommended!

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