Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What I Read This Month (& Beyond)

Though I have been slacking on blog posts, I have not been slacking on my reading. Here are a handful of reviews of the books I have read over the last six weeks:

Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman

Since I enjoyed reading Hoffman's first novel, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, this was a natural addition to my reading list. I also enjoyed this novel. Perhaps because the protagonist in this one is an adult, this seems like more of a grown-up book. I love some of the themes this book explores, including dealing with aging parents, learning to let go, and recovering from tragedy. This is a great story of family, loss, self-discovery, and love.

Would I recommend it? Yes!

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

It could be that I did not know exactly what I was getting myself into, but I found The Road to be a difficult read. I generally like dystopian settings, but The Road feels so terribly hopeless throughout. Plus, the two main characters are a small boy and his father, struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. I think the mother in me found this too much to swallow. The book is well-written and heart-wrenching. I finished it because I had to know how it would end, but I did not enjoy it.

Would I recommend it? Hesitantly.

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Unseen Guest by MaryRose Wood

This is the third installment in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series and it was a lot of fun to read. These are children's books, but they are intelligently written. The premise is ridiculous and the plot is even more ridiculous, which makes these books a pleasure to read. For this series, you really do need to start at the beginning of the series to understand what is going on.

Would I recommend it? Yes, to those who like reading juvenile fiction.

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley

The second children's book on the list, this is also part of a series. The "Flavia de Luce Mysteries" are fun, clean mystery novels with a strong female protagonist. Flavia is a smart and capable girl who always seems to be a step ahead of the adults around her. These would be great reads for older girls and teens, as well as adults like me who love well-written juvenile fiction.

Would I recommend it? Yes!

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

This is a book that I first heard of from The Modern Mrs. Darcy. This is a wonderful blog that is full of reading recommendations. Rules of Civility is a smart and surprising read about a group of friends in New York, circa 1938. It is a great read about social hierarchy, morality, redemption, but most of all, self-discovery.

Would I recommend it? Yes!

The Darkening Field by William Ryan

Another installment in a series, this is a mystery/thriller set in 1930's Russia. The protagonist is a detective, forced to walk a fine line between solving a mystery, protecting political leaders, and protecting himself. Some of the political subplot was over my head (as I'm not terribly familiar with the political climate of 1930's Russia), but it is not essential to understanding or enjoying the story. Like most adult detective novels, these do contain a fair amount of violence.

Would I recommend it? Probably.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Another recommendation from The Modern Mrs. Darcy, this was a surprising and heart-warming story. The book follows a small-town bookseller as he works through the grief of his wife's sudden death and the events that follow. This is a wonderful book about love and loss, marriage, parenthood, and friendship.

Would I recommend it? Yes!

Have you read anything interesting lately? I'm always looking for recommendations to add to my ever-growing "to read" list, so leave a comment. Come and be my friend on Goodreads by clicking here.

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