Posted by: begraceful | December 3, 2011

Books – Part 1

Since I started the downtown job in January, I had been riding the train twice a day on most days. It was nice to have time for reading, doing whatever in the mornings and evenings. Not fun that it took a whole hour to get home though. I made it through quite a few good books. Some were faster reads than others and they’re all quite different from each other. I don’t know how I pulled it off but I was finishing at least three of these on the train and trying not to be the weird girl crying on the train… oh well.

The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver

The story of a missionary family who move to the Belgian Congo in the early 60s and the father’s obsession with saving the natives that puts the whole family in danger. This book is told from the points of view of the women in the family – mom and 4 daughters. At first that bit threw me off but then it made sense and added to the story.

Never Let Me Go -Kazuo Ishiguro

I really liked this book. It is thought provoking! However, not as you’d expect. You eventually figure out that the main characters are basically clones who are alive so that their “originals” can have perfectly matching body parts later. This also sounds gruesome but is really just the backdrop to the story. There isn’t any discourse surrounding the morality of cloning or anything like that. It’s more about the lives of the children as they grow up, their relationships and how they are so accepting of their fate. This book is told from only one vantage point – Kathy, one of the clones growing up to be a donor.

The Lovely Bones – Alice Seabold

You may have seen the movie, I haven’t yet. I don’t know if I want to. It took me a while to get into this book because the beginning is unsettling. I put it down at least twice over the past year or so. I guess this year I was in the correct frame of mind to read it. Either way, I’m glad I did. I also am glad I haven’t seen the movie although knowing that Marky Mark plays the father is odd to me. I don’t see him in that role very well. And although the story is about a little girl’s murder, it’s actually not all that gruesome throughout. It’s more about how others deal with her death. I especially liked the version of heaven Seabold creates for the main character. It seems very consoling.

Lucky – Alice Seabold

Alice Seabold’s memoir mostly about her experience surrounding her rape when she was away in college. Also not a wholesome topic but very well written. Toward the end you are just hoping and praying they catch the guy.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I don’t remember when this book got on my ‘list of books to read’ nor why. It has an interesting name and I wondered what a potato peel pie was. The tricky part of this book is that it is written as individual letters from and to all the different characters. I enjoyed that part and I think it helped to deepen the characters as they could be honest in a one-on-one letter to another. I also liked reading about what happened in this part of the world during WWII during which this book is set. I still think about this book after I’ve finished it which is how I decide on a good book.

More to come!

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