Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book Club

I have been reading a lot of books lately - some for my book club, and some for my personal amusement. I thought I would share a few of my favorites from the last few months, for those who are interested.

I cannot express enough how much I admire Barbara Kingsolver. She might be one of my favorite authors, and her newest novel does not disappoint. Her work is always relevant, artfully written, and a joy to read. I think it is important for everyone to read this book, as we need to better understand the class system in America, and recognize the importance of our everyday actions.

This book did not get good reviews, and I can tell you exactly why: this book is NOT Harry Potter. In The Casual Vacancy, J.K. Rowling has removed herself from entertainment writing and has stepped into a whole new role - that of relaying the human condition through the medium of words. This book makes her an artist, in my opinion. I put this book on my list because it was real, and I like reality (which is why I watch The Bachelor...?). Maybe it is because my husband is a counselor, and I hear stories like the ones told in this book every day, but I think it is important for people to step outside their comfort zones and realize that life is not easy, nor is it perfect. When you read this book, you do not like any of the characters, but you relate to all of them, because we all have a little evil inside us, which is eloquently reflected through the characters in this story.

If you are looking for redemptive endings and strong, likeable characters, The Invention of Wings is a great read! Based on historical events and figures, this book is an easy read. You get a snapshot of what life looked like for a slave in the South, but without causing the reader to go into a severe depression. Sue Monk Kidd is always a consistent, accessible author. I challenge anyone who reads this book to brainstorm ways our society is still violating human rights (sweatshops..?).

Looking for another feel-good read? This one is fantastic. It has strong female characters, witty dialogue, and a decent storyline. There is certainly not a ton of depth, but that makes this book a perfect poolside read. 

This is another excellent book I have read. It is very accessible, the writing is artistic, and the characters are beyond heroic. Grab a box of tissues though, because The Fault in Our Stars will make you weep like a pregnant lady. 

If you are a fan of sci-fi/fantasy, or are interested in a good read in this genre, this book series is my FAVORITE. Rothfuss has written 2 of 3 books, and I don't even care when the third book comes out, because I could read these stories over and over (and OVER) again. The hero is incredibly likeable, but makes idiotic mistakes like the rest of us, and the story is artfully written. I finished The Name of the Wind, then immediately started it from the beginning again - the ultimate sign of a good book. When reading The Wise Man's Fear, I found myself laughing out loud and writing down quotes from almost every page. If I had to use one word to describe this book, it would be "Clever." Warning: like many books in this genre, the descriptions can get tedious at times, so the novice sci-fi/fantasy reader should just plow through those descriptors and enjoy!

And those are my most recent favorites! Check out some of my other "Favorites" for more good reads. Tonight, I start Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer. The Wirths are considering building a chicken coop! Yeeeeehaaaaaww!

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