Monday, November 3, 2014

Mini Reviews and Hibernating for the Winter

Photo by Anna Reavis

    But words are things, and a small drop of ink / Falling like dew upon a thought, produces / That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.  – Lord Byron

If you're looking for me for the next few months, you'll find me as above.  I love winter because it gives me an excuse to spend days doing exactly what I'm doing in the picture...pajamas and all.

After years of avoiding it, I finally read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.  Seemingly all the readers I knew had read and loved it and recommended it to me as a story of redemption and hope.  I put off reading it because I knew there would be drama and heartache.  I especially avoided it after I read A Thousand Splendid Suns by the same author because that book was so full of heartache.    While I liked The Kite Runner better than A Thousand Splendid Suns, neither is really my kind of book.   I did find it an important work in that it offered an insight into life in Afghanistan over the past decades of which I was woefully ignorant.  I just don’t like books with that kind of heartache and drama.  I’m more of a fan of understatement.  Also after having read both books, I find them to be a little formulaic.

Recently, Ken and I finished reading Father Melancholy’s Daughter by Gail Godwin.  This was a re-read for me of what I had remembered as being one of my favorite books.  I did enjoy it again but not quite as much as I had expected to.  Partly I think this was because the book really doesn’t lend itself to being read aloud -- too much introspection and deep thinking.  I was thinking our next read aloud would be A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, but last night K suggested The Good Earth by Pearl Buck.  I've been wanting to read it for a long time, so maybe we'll put off the Bryson book for now.

A few weeks ago, upon Ken’s and my father’s recommendation, I read The Shoes of the Fisherman by Morris West.  I did enjoy the points made in the book but found the plot a little scattered and disjointed.  I found the characters to be likeable and engaging and wonder if the current pope has read the book, as the pope in the novel seems to have been a model for him.

I was reading The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert but half-way through I became weary of some of the things happening to the main character so have abandoned it for now.  Currently, I'm reading 1984 by Orwell with my daughter for her senior English class and am finally trying Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  I originally read 1984 in 1984 when I was a junior in high school.  I am loving it even more now than I did then. 

Happy Winter Reading Everyone!


thecuecard said...

Nice photo Amy. I too would like to hibernate during winter. You've read a lot lately. I liked the Kite Runner and A Walk in the Woods. I need to read the Pearl Buck book. Enjoy your week.

Amy said...

Thanks! So far I am enjoying The Good Earth. Very well written.

Vintage Reading said...

I couldn't get into The Signature of All Things either. I've been meaning to read Pearl S Buck for years but still haven't got around to it.

Amy said...

I just picked up The Signature of All Things again last night. I'm half-way through; I'd like to try to finish. The Good Earth is definitely worth reading!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I noticed the authors listed on your sidebar and clicked on Gail Godwin (1), wondering which of her books you had read. Aha! Father Melancholy's Daughter, an excellent book in my memory. But my favorite of her books is the sequel. I wrote about it at the link below, saying:

"Evensong by Gail Godwin, the sequel to Father Melancholy's Daughter (which I reviewed yesterday), is also told from Margaret Gower's point of view. This story shows us Margaret as a married woman, who has become an Episcopal priest, like her father."

It was interesting to read my own review of the book tonight because I put in so much of what was happening in my own life at the time, like the church a block from where I lived burning down. I even posted a real-life photo I took from across the street of the church building in flames. This sequel was so good that I've gone back and re-read the book at least once.

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