April Reading

With the weather getting warmer I am starting to get real excited about summer time (outside on the back porch in the sunshine) reading. I had a little taste of it this week, with a few days off work and some wonderful “sunny and 70 degrees” days, and it was perfect! So excited in fact, I have ordered quite a few books online (Amazon will be the death of me…) prepping for the summer. Let’s hope I don’t end up reading them all before the break begins… only 21 more school days!

The Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood (Book Club 1)
Margaret Atwood is fairly new to me, this is only the second book of hers that I have read, and I love her! Her futuristic, dystopia, imaginative style is so engaging. It’s almost creepy the way she sees the future, because so much of it seems so possible. Her ideas about the future of feminism, religion, genetics, environment, and science are incredible. Generally this genera would not appeal to me, but I am looking forward to reading more Atwood very soon.

Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
This book is beautifully (and brilliantly) written. The book is told through 13 stories of various people/families in a little town of Crosby, Maine. The central character, Olive Kitteridge, makes her way into each short story told in the book. Whether her presence is big or small, her personality is heavily felt. At times I loved Olive Kitteridge, and at times I wanted to scream at her. She is honest, realistic, selfish, loving, stern, nostalgic, impulsive and loyal. Strout does an amazing job creating this character and allowing you to truly know her.

The Red Tent, Anita Diamant (Book Club 2)
*Disclaimer… I have read this book about 6 times.
It is absolutely one of my favorite books, ever. Even though I save most of the books I buy, with the intentions of reading them again, this is the only book that I honestly look forward to re-reading (again and again). I love it more and more each time, and I love to discuss it with people (especially with women). The story is of a biblical nature and is told of Dinah, Jacob’s only daughter. It is, at times, a horribly tragic tale, but also has some of the most peaceful elements to it as well. I could go on forever…. it’s an amazing story.

Little Bee, Chris Cleave
Holy way too much going on! This book, which I bought simply based on it’s cover, had way too much happening to be one 268 page story. Refugees, adultery, suicide, depression, illegal immigrants and conflict in Nigeria are just a few of the many things happening in this book. It was completely unbelievable, lacking heart and very obviously written by a man trying to tell a woman’s tale. Ugh… it wore me out trying to keep my emotions in check with all the chaos happening. You definitely can not judge a book by it’s cover…

The Black Dahlia, James Ellroy
This book was recommended by a few women in my book club, and at first I wasn’t sure I would be interested. I generally do not pick mysteries to read, and anything that might seem “scary” is usually not anything that I am up for. But, I decided to get out of my comfort zone a little bit, and try it. In all honesty, I became quite a bit more interested in the story when I found out that it was based loosely on the true story of Elizabeth Short, who was brutally murdered in LA in 1947. The story hooked me, and it read very quickly. I was surprised at complicated the murder was, and how obsessed the detectives got… to a point where it ruined their lives. I need to do a little more research about the real Elizabeth Short, to see what of the book is true and what is not. I love when books do that… get me interested in researching something else.

Brooklyn, Colm Toibin
Hmmm… I am still trying to decide what I think about this book. Written about a young girl who leaves her quiet life in Ireland to move to Brooklyn to work, study and mature, I was expecting some large things to happen. I felt like the book was written too softly, and without enough climax. Even when the climax of the story happened, I still was expecting more. Even though the last page of the novel leaves the reader with a bitter sweet empathy of the story, overall the theme was bland was left me wanting more.

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