Saturday, August 25, 2012

Recent Reads

Summer vacation provided  us some much needed down time and for me, there's no better way to relax than with a great book!  Speed bought me an e-reader for Christmas - nothing fancy, but boy is it dangerous for a bookworm like me!  It's just a leetle too easy to click the "Buy" button and grab the next great read without feeling like you've even spent any money and before you know it, you've got quite a tab racked up.  It's also easy for me to forget about dinner, the dishes, the laundry (the children) once I'm into a book, so I really do have to pace myself.  During the school year, I'm usually so overwhelmed committed that reading is relegated to a few chapters before bed as a reward for a day well-done (Yes, it's true.  I have to coax myself into housework by dangling a book, but whatever works, right?!). But summer had me (and the kids) indulging all day - and it was divine!

And yes, I read the Fifty Shades Thrill-ogy ('Suburban Porn' my friend called it, even as she was recommending it to me - ha), but frankly they ended up being nothing more than a 21st Century Harlequin Romance IMHO and I've never been into those.  So here are some alternatives I recommend for your nightstand instead!

Gone Girl: A Novel
Gone Girl

Definitely no fairy tale ending to this story about love and marriage here, but I TOTALLY agree with the reviewer who called this book "un-put-downable!"  Cleverly told from two different points-of view, this book is full of characters you will hate and admire at the same time.  I don't want to give anything away, but it will either make you sleep with one eye open or have you handing it to your spouse as a cautionary tale.  All I can say is GO. READ. THIS. BOOK!!

 My background as a genetic counselor probably drew me to this book, but you don't need a medical degree to understand or enjoy it!  In addition to an intriguing story about the life of twins and medical missionaries, this novel introduced me to an era in world history that was previously unknown to me.  The descriptions of life in Ethiopia and of the country itself were simply captivating and the insight into the life of the foreign medical student I found compelling.  Vargese left me wanting to know more, about many things, after reading this book.

The Kitchen House: A Novel
The Kitchen House
I love stories about the antebellum South and this novel did not disappoint!  It's a sweeping, Gone With The Wind-type novel about a young Irish girl, orphaned on her trip to America and left to grow up as an indentured servant (a white slave) on a Virginia palntation.  This novel was a very fresh take on an old topic.  It also brought to focus aspects of agrarian life that i had not really considered before.  I thought the ending washastily done, but perhaps that's because I really wanted to stick around a while longer with these characters and was sad to see it end.  In some ways it reminded me of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, another of my all-time favorite reads.
Heading Out to Wonderful
Heading Out to Wonderful
I really enjoyed the first book I read by this author, A Reliable Wife, so I was pleased to find he had something else to offer!  This book doesn't have as many twists and turns, but is every bit as good of an examination of human nature and the things we do for love.  I'm always intrigued by what I call a 'Man's Love Story' because the male perspective on realtionships is foreign and entertaining to me at the same time.  Goolrick also does a fantastic job of grounding this novel in a powerful sense of place, with great descriptions of both the geography and its inhabitants.
The Light Between Oceans: A Novel
The Light Between Oceans
I just finished this book and it was simply wonderful.  Set in Australia  after World War I (seems like all I ever see these days are books set in and around WWII, so that in itself was refreshing), this book delves into the world of one couple's love, loss, sin and redemption.  As a mother, this book broke my heart and made me squeeze my kiddos a little bit tighter when I put them to bed last night.  Perhaps it was just my own back-to-school, letting go jitters, but I was completely swept up in the emotions of these characters . . . and enjoyed every minute of it!
What have you been reading lately?  I'd love to hear your recommendations!

No comments:

Post a Comment