Sunday, April 19, 2015

{Recap} Book Reviews

I committed myself in January to reading a book a month during 2015. So far I've read seven.


I had gotten a bit out of the habit of reading over the last year, so I wanted to remake it priority, especially since it's something I love doing. Part of reimplementing books into my life is putting down the phone, and my recent break from Instagram has helped dramatically. 

These are the four books I've read most recently, and I had pretty strong opinions about two of the four, so I thought I'd do a little amateur review in case anyone else is looking for their next late night obsession. You're welcome.

Astonish Me- Maggie Shipstead
I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed this book. When I was in high school one of my favorite movies was Center Stage. Remember that one? About the ballet dancers? The one released with the influx of Never Been Kissed and 10 Things I Hate About You and all the other great late 90s movies? Anyway, I digress. This book was a bit like a grown up version of that. The storyline centered around ballet and I found the whole thing fascinating. The story was riveting in just the right places so that the technicalities of dance didn't get boring. When I finished I pulled up videos of Margot Fonteyne and watched them with a new appreciation of the discipline, control, diligence, and effort involved in making ballet breathtaking and graceful and exquisite. 

The Road- Cormac McCarthy
When I finish a book, I typically give myself 24 hours to digest it before moving on. I like to mentally mull over the story, letting it sink in, letting the story settle, hardening its meaning to an imprint in my mind. Then I start a new one. This book? I finished it four days ago and there's no new book on the mental horizon. Some books are just heavy. They make an impression. They don't sit well without deep thought. This book has been that way for me. The Road is a post-apacolyptic story of a father and his young son journeying and struggling and surviving and failing. It's deep. It's heavy. It's disturbing in parts and heartbreaking in others and shocking throughout.  If reading books about high stakes situations stresses you out, don't even bother with this one. While interesting, this book was emotionally draining. It was good, and I would read it again, but I will probably never be able to read it without a racing heart and tears.
{This author also wrote No Country For Old Men, which gives you a clue to the nature of this book if you've seen that movie.}

Dark Places- Gillian Flynn
This is the only book I do not reccommend reading, especially, especially if you're a mother. It's about the mystery surrounding the brutal murders of a mother and two of her four children told from the perspectives of the mother, the only surviving daughter, and the son who was convicted of the three murders. Sorry, Gillian; LOVED Gone Girl and was intrigued by Sharp Objects, but no, just no on this one. Yet I read all the way through it?? I don't know. There are some things even I do not understand about myself. Besides having an uncomfortable story line, it was also a bit vulgar for my tastes. Like I said before, Gone Girl and Sharp Objects didn't bother me, but this once certainly did.  It's not one I'd read again and not one I'd reccommend.

Station Eleven- Emily St. John Mandel
One of two post-apacolyptic books I've read in the past six weeks, this is the story of a troupe of surviving performers traveling from spot to spot several years after a deadly virus wiped out civilization. This story was not as realstic, and therefore not as moving to me as The Road. However, I did still find it entertaining. I liked the way the story skipped around in time from before, to during, and after the collapse of civilization. If you're looking for a bit of brain candy, something that's not too thought-provoking but still interesting enough to make you want to come back for more, this is your book. 

What about you? Read any good books lately? I'd love to know! I'm always looking for suggestions.

1 comment:

  1. I have a similar reading goal. This year I've read:
    "The White Princess" by Phillipa Greggory
    "Still Waters" by Jennifer Lauck
    "The Forgotten Garden" by Kate Morton
    "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn
    "Let's explore diabetes with owls" by David Sedaris
    "Never let me go" by Kauzo Ishiguro
    "We the living" by Ayn Rand

    "Never let me go" and "We the living" were the most memorable of that list. I'm reading "The Appeal" by John Grisham next to detox from Ayn Rand, lol. Fantastic book but very deep. "Never let me go" was interesting. I enjoyed it; a little "out there," but interesting, lol.