Monday, November 23, 2015

Books, Books, Books

I did a lot of reading during our transition from Reno to Bend but I'll only list my top favorites.  My reading time is greatly diminished since we've moved into our house.  Yesterday marked one month in our new home!

We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride -
I simply could not put this book down. McBride's characters are full and her tales of unbearable sadness are authentic. In her portrait of Las Vegas she says, "and in Vegas, murderers become patriarchs, card sharks become benefactors, the unredeemed become the redeemers" - I couldn't help think that this is in American tradition of Robber Barons. Do we never learn? The true indictment is the cavalier deployment of our young people to war zones, knowing that when they come back, if they come back, the VA system is woefully underfunded and treatment of war wounded is sketchy. It's been a long time since a book made me cry.

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood's dystopian literature is like a voice crying out in the wilderness - beware the endangerment of the world as we know it and the changes that will ensue!! This book felt like a hybrid of Oryx and Crake and The Handmaid's Tale - both focus on what will happen when capitalists run amuck and what occurs when obsessive sex replaces love. This is loaded with discussion topics and book groups are going to have a hay day with it. I would have given it five stars but Charmaine's many flashbacks to when life with Stan was good became tedious and something to be skimmed through

Slade House by David Mitchell
I stumbled onto this book through NetGalley and didn't realize I was reading outside of my usual comfort zone. That said, if you've ever read Roald Dahl or Neil Gaiman, pull up a sofa and settle down for some entainment. This is a collection of five interrelated stories in the British tradition of tales of the supernatural. I was gobsmacked - it's a fun and thoughtful page turner. I found myself thinking about it days later and would nominate this for my book club.

The Art Forger by Barbara A. Shapiro
I found this on my Kindle, probably a Daily Deal offer, and I started it to see if it was a keeper or not. Keeper! It's a historically grounded suspense, though I didn't realize the suspense part until the book was well under way. A young student compromises herself for a teacher/art dealer, but the devil is in the details and the details are what makes this book a page turner. Every time I thought - predicatable! It wasn't and I kept reading. There are a few lame elements like Aiden's count-down, but I forgive them for the fun of the read.

On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks -
I have been a avid reader and fan of Oliver Sacks for years so was delighted to see that he had written a final book, an autobiography at that. I was conflicted about giving a four-star rating instead of five but truly the last couple of chapters where he jumped around in time were extremely difficult to follow. I am still an avid fan and happy that he concluded his story on such a positive note. His work and writings are truly a gift to laypeople.  I've decided to reread of couple of my old favorites of his starting with Island of the Colorblind.   

And that brings me pretty much up to date.  We are getting increasingly busy with the holidays upon us so reading time will be at a minimum.  This is my last book post of 2015.  Can you believe it's been 15 years since the Y2K scare?!!


Texan said...

I am a reader as well! So nice to sit down with a book that is so good you loose all track of time.

Thank you for the email about moving. We have been doing some serious thinking, to figure out what we are going to do. Somethings came up that sorta of forced us to rethink was it the right decision long term for us.

I did a post on my blog on giving up a dream, thats how it feels. I do feel a sense of loss giving up on it as that is where I am from, but ultimately I want to do what is truly best for us.

I cannot believe its about to be 2016, where does the time go. wooosh it just flies by!
Have a wonderful day!

Nina said...

I'm not a huge fan of Margaret Atwood. I find that it can definitely have it's tedious moments. I have put Slade House on my reserve list at the library, on your recommendation!