Thursday, June 21, 2007
Spring Reading Thing Wrap-up
Here is my list. I will put my comments, reviews, whatever, after each book. And I may add some extra comments at the end.
The Innocent by Harlan Coben
An entertaining mystery. I have not read a mystery in years. This one was predictable in some ways, suprising in others. A great beach read.
The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
I have not finished this. I started it a while ago, but have just not wanted to go back to it. It is the story of a young girl determined to find out about her brother's mysterious death, years after it happened. Some of what I have read has been good, but overall the story is just not holding my attention. I'm really glad I didn't pay for this book.
The Kite-Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Excellent! I picked this book up many times at the bookstore, but there was no information about the story on the front or back cover, and I mistakenly believed it a was a political book relating to the current situation in Afghanistan. But, I saw it on so many must-read lists that I tracked down a copy from a friend and gave it a shot. I'm so glad I did. It is the heart-wrenching but hopeful story of a boy born in Afghanistan pre-revolution and follows him through political changes there and in the U.S. I'm so glad I read it and I just bought Hosseini's newest novel.
Harry Potter 1-6 by J.K. Rowling
Loved them all! I was glad to see the reading/writing level get more advanced with each book. I had long resisted the draw of HP and now see I was misguided. Great stories of friendship and loyalty and power and evil and all that. I have also spent time reading articles discussing the dangers of HP to a Christian worldview and am glad I did that as well. It is important to be informed and to be on guard against opportunities for evil to sneak in. I don't think HP is really a conduit for that, but I can see the concerns.
Jewel by Brett Lott
Again, I saw this book on many must-read lists and it was compared to the Memory Keeper's Daughter, which I had already read. I was told this book was better and I think, overall, it is. There are no copout endings, that is for sure. Following a family as they daily adjust to a radically altered life is interesting.
Eldest by Christopher Paolini
I did not get around to reading this one, but I will soon. I just need to buy/borrow a copy. I enjoyed Eragon very much.
Cane River by Lalita Tademy
This is the historical fictional account of a real family in Creole Louisiana. It follows a slave family as they strive to improve their situation in life and refuse to be bowed down by their circumstance. Eye-opening and inspiring, but also depressing and discouraging at times. I was not aware of this part of the history of slavery. I would definitely read it if you can find it.
Second Draft of My Life by Sara Lewis
This book is also a decent beach read. Not a great story, by any stretch, but not terrible either. If you come across it you might want to read it, but I wouldn't say you should spend time finding it.
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
I have not finished this one either. Again, the pacing is just not holding my attention. The book is on bestseller lists everywhere and is widely regarded as a snapshot of the culture in Iran, but I just have not been interested. I will keep it on my shelf and revisit it, though, as I know I can learn from it.
Not on my list, but also read was Charlotte's Web. I read this aloud to my kids and we all loved it, of course. I'm also about to finish A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel. A memoir told in short story form, it is very entertaining.
Favorite? The Kite-Runner with the HP books a close second.
Worst? The Little Friend (although that is not entirely fair since I have not finished it).
What did I learn? I still struggle with non-fiction, although I love a well-written memoir. I read a lot of other things that take away from book reading. I try to read the paper daily, and I get several magazines, and I read way too many blogs. :)
Will I participate in the fall? Sure--it makes my habit of neglecting almost everything for the sake of reading seem legitimate.
Head over to Katrina's place for more wrapups and reading lists.