Day 3/May Reading

Today’s prompt says to define “freedom”…
That’s a little heavy for my mood, and quite frankly I don’t feel like getting political at the moment.
So I decided to just add my May reading list as today’s post instead.

The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield (Book Club 2)
Being amidst the mystery genre I was a little nervous to read this book. I am not one for being scared, not even a little bit, so I had some serious apprehensions about this book. But, turns out, I really enjoyed it! The plot is kind of weird, and I felt like the story occasionally got bogged down with characters, but those are my only complaints. Margaret Lea is a young writer who is asked by Ms. Winter (a famous author) to compose her biography. The story that Margaret hears is almost unbelievable, and takes you on many turns, but comes together in a pretty incredible way in the end. And, for the record, I was only (slightly) scared two times while reading this book. If all mysteries are like this, I am in for reading more.

This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind, Ivan Doig (Book Club 1)
I don’t really have a lot to say about this book, as it really did nothing for me. It is a memoir, which generally I love. And at first I really thought that Doig was a beautiful writer. But, mid way I began thinking that beautiful writing just meant too many words. To be frank, this book bored me.

The Breadwinner, Deborah Ellis
I remember reading this book for the first time in Ms. Dodge’s 8th grade English class. Ms. Dodge was married, but made us call her “Ms.” pronounced “Mzz.” She wore blue eyeliner everyday. She introduced me to the word “genre,” and encouraged us to read one book a week from a different genre. She had a massive collection of her own books, most of them being feminist in nature, for us to borrow. And when I borrowed “The Breadwinner” from her, she said I didn’t have to do a book report, we could just have a book chat. Re-reading it now, I was just as moved as I was when I was 14. A young girl in Afghanistan who has to disguise herself as a boy to provide for her family when the Taliban take her father away… I am still riled up about situations like that. I think Ellis does a great job writing this story for a young adult audience. She does not sugar coat any horrors in the Middle East, but she does introduce the diversity of lifestyles gently. I don’t really remember my book chat with Ms. Dodge, but I can’t say that I wouldn’t mind chatting with her again, 14 years later, about how this book moved me again.

The Day I Ate Everything I Wanted, Elizabeth Berg (Book Club 2)
This book was picked for a “light, summer read,” and that it was. It is a collection of short stories about different women, what is described as “small acts of liberalism.” I loved this book. It will not win any big awards, or move people to change the world. But, you will relate to one, or many, of the characters. You will laugh out loud, and you might even tear up. It was just the book I needed as I finished my school year, and was needing to clear my mind.

The Rope Walk, Carrie Brown
This book took me entirely too long to complete. Not because of it’s depth, or length… just because it really couldn’t keep me that interested. I felt like it was a chore to finish, and I am dreading even writing about it. The problem isn’t that the idea of the story was bad, because it really isn’t. The story is about Alice, and young girl raised in a family of boys, with no mother. It is told during one year of her life, that might be called a time of “coming of age.” Alice encounters many situations that she has been so sheltered from throughout her past, including race/racism, homosexuality, AIDS, and the aging process. So the story, it really is there. It just kept wandering, wallowing and taking its sweet ass time getting to the point of things that I had a hard time staying involved.

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