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For the Love of Reading: Aug/Sept 2018

  • Books

I haven’t posted about books I’ve read since I got my Bingo cover all back in early August. Time to catch up on the ones I’ve finished lately!

There There by Tommy Orange
4 stars
Devastating and brilliant, this debut is a must read for it’s unique story. I had issues with some of this – too many characters that were had to keep track of and an ending that, while beautifully written seemed to leave out some important details. Still, I’m looking forward to reading more from Tommy Orange, I think he will be a very important new voice for Native American literature.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
5 stars
This is a beautiful book. The prose is gorgeous, it deserves to be read slowly, with plenty of time to reread certain passages and ponder the meaning of grace, mortality, and community.

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
4 stars
It’s been over 60 years since this book was published and yet the message still resonates – particularly among women – today. The concept of a woman spending time alone, of seeking peace and being mindful, was new then but luckily it has become accepted. As the author writes, “Women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves.” That couldn’t be more true for me and spending some of that solitude reading this book has been not only lovely but also enlightening.

Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee
3 stars
An interesting study on the effects of mental illness on an individual and their family and friends. I thought it dragged on a bit too long but still enjoyed the story and the writing.

Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern
3 stars
Odds are that I’m going to like a book set in a library and this one is no exception. I found it dragged on at times and then the ending felt a little quick and forced but overall it’s an enjoyable story with interesting characters and a great setting.

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
4 stars
I read this in practically one sitting, which says a lot about the pace of the story. Overall, I enjoyed it immensely, the characters and community, the subtle humor and the satisfying ending. I think the transition from part one to part two is a little abrupt and I had a hard time connecting aging Willa with Willa from part one but still, Anne Tyler is a terrific storyteller.

Varina by Charles Frazier
2 stars
I had to force myself to finish this one and I’ll admit that I skimmed quite a bit. It too often felt like nonfiction, and dull nonfiction at that. It had great potential but it just never took off for me.

Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof
4 stars
An easy read, a delightful cast of characters, somewhat predictable but utterly satisfying; life really is about recognizing the small blessings that come our way.

Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years
3 stars
Entertaining and nostalgic, it made me long for the days when Obama was in the White House.

And there you have it – a bunch of pretty good books!

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Your reviews are always so helpful. I’ve got to read Clock Dance. I have to disagree a bit on There, There are I loved the (devastating) ending when all the characters and storylines braided together. The brothers, the sisters, the father, the “bad” guy, and girlfriend, all had a place in the story. I loved the way he pulled the various tales into one sad moment.

  2. You’ve read such a variety of good books! I have Clock Dance on my TBR list and will be adding There, There. Thanks for your book reviews!

  3. Your variety makes me want to read all of them. Sometimes I felt that the number rating and your write-ups were incongruous?

  4. Gilead is one of my very favorite books. Le sigh. Just so much there . . . I’ve been on the forever-hold list for There, There and can’t wait to read it! I’m probably going to take a pass on the Anne Tyler, though. I used to really love her books, but the more recent ones have been very hit-or-miss (mostly miss) for me. There are so many really excellent new books coming out this fall! It’s a great time for reading. 🙂

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