Monday, February 2, 2015

January Reads

Well, I read a couple of books in January. I'll give myself some credit for that. I'm only a little behind where I should be in my goal to read 30 books by the time school gets out in June. Hopefully maternity leave and constant nursing will help me put a big dent in my reading goal.

12. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
I think I've read this book about 10 times, but it never gets old. I know his books are sappy and pretty predictable, but I always just enjoy his writing style and they way I end up emotionally involved in the characters and their stories. That said, this book was a little ruined for me by Miley being in the movie... now whenever I picture Ronnie I picture Miley's face and it just takes away from it. 

13. Mama's Shoes by Rebecca Elswick
This was a random pick from my library's e-collection, but I ended up loving it. It's the story of a single mom and her daughter in the 1940's and 1950's. The story is told from alternating perspectives; sometimes taking on the voice of Mom, Sylvia, who has been though a lot in her life and lost almost everyone she's ever been close to. Daughter, Sassy, is trying to figure out her mom and her own life as she gets older. Aside from alternating perspectives, the story also alternates the time; ranging from Sylvia's life before Sassy was born to Sassy as a teenager. What I loved about how it went back and forth was how the truth about Sylvia and her past slowly unravels and comes to light. In the end there were all these great connections made that just made me feel satisfied with the story.

14. Room by Emma Donoghue
This was another random pick and another major success. I read the quick blurb on this book about how it was the story of a 5 year old boy and his mother who were confined to a room and thought it might be interesting... I was in no way prepared for the emotional pull I felt while reading this. The basic gist of the story is that the mom (whose real name we never know since it's told from the boy, Jack's, perspective) was kidnapped at 19 by "Old Nick" and put into a 12 by 12 room. Two years later, Jack was born. Jack tells all about what life in "Room" is like from the feel of the cork floor under their feet to the sound the metal door makes as it opens late at night when "Old Nick" comes to visit Ma. Fair warning, this is an emotional power-punch of a book. If it had been told from the mother's perspective, there's no way I would have been able to handle it. It's hard enough to read from the perspective of an observant albeit oblivious 5 year old. Jack notices everything, but thankfully is young and naive enough not to get what's really going on which makes it manageable to handle. Even so, it was at times a tough read and one that has stuck with me the past couple of weeks as I find myself wondering how on earth you manage to live through that type of situation. 

15. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
I finally, finally finished this book. It's the 5th book in the Outlander series and, like the others, about 1,000 pages long. While a good story (in fact, better than Drums of Autumn) it does take some time and stamina to get through. I was just talking to my friend Leslie about this series, she said she read the first three and then lost interest and I can see why. Book 4 was just not up to par with the first three and the first half of The Fiery Cross was similar, which is probably why it took me almost 2 months to read. That said, I have a hard time giving up a series when I'm invested in the characters. For some inexplicable reason, I feel like I have to know what happens to Jamie and Claire and the rest of the their family. This book's redeeming piece was Roger, Jamie and Claire's son in law. He experiences a lot in this book (after experiencing a lot in the last book) and I just got really interested in his story and strength.

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