I’ve been reading up a storm the last couple of weeks and I’m filling in squares and I even got my first Bingo over the weekend!
Here’s my updated card:
And here are the books I’ve finished since I last shared about books with you:
Square #23, Set in a place you’d like to know more about: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
I thought this book was quite good. The subject matter is difficult at times and there is a fair amount of violence but there is an underlying theme of love and hope that surpasses the despair. The descriptions of Alaska are beautiful, it’s almost as if the state is another character in the story. I will say that I think it could have benefited from more aggressive editing, some parts were repetitious and it did drag a bit at times. I’m glad to recommend it but it’s definitely not for the squeamish!
Square #8, Recommended by a friend: This is Water by David Foster Wallace
Short and profound, this little book tackles big ideas, promoting the most important thing of all: being present.
Square #19, Historical Fiction: Grace by Natasha Deon
I have mixed feelings about this book, a story of a runaway slave who is killed at the very beginning of the novel and is then told from her point of view prior to her murder and for years afterwards as a ghost following her daughter through life. The plot is good although the switching of time lines is sometimes confusing. My issues, however, are with the stereotypical characters and the use of language and descriptions that just don’t fit the time frame. Profanity that wasn’t used at that time, phrases that are modern, and more, are jarring and out of place and make it hard to immerse yourself in the historical context the author is attempting to create. And some of the characters are way overdone, the cheated on and abandoned plantation wife, the drunk and cruel plantation owner, etc. Underground Railroad is a much better novel covering some of the same issues.
Square #5, Debut: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
This book makes for a great summer read – fast and (mostly) light and full of flowers. I do think there could have been a little more character development and I definitely got frustrated with Victoria’s inability to see that she was loved and accepted but all in all I enjoyed it and was quite satisfied with the ending.
Square #15, Audiobook with one narrator: The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
Fascinating and full of facts, this book will forever change the way you look at birds!
Square #24, Mystery: Banana Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke
This series has really declined, the dialogue is way too simple, the plot is non-existent and the recipes are like something from a church cookbook in the 1970s. And yet I keep reading. I was sure this one would be my last but the cliff hanger ending will probably make me read the next one . . .
Square #8, Recommended by a friend: The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott
Literary fiction at it’s best, read it for the prose and fabulous character development but don’t expect a lot of plot. It’s beautiful and moving and I highly recommend it.