I thought that the birth of my daughter would mean a decrease in time available for reading. The opposite has proven to be true. My evenings–which used to be full of me running around the house getting things done–are now filled with me sitting on the couch holding my sleeping daughter. I have found this is the perfect opportunity to clear my shelves of some books that have been sitting in my “to-read” pile for ages.
Unfortunately I have found little time to write reviews for these books. My free time usually comes with a baby on my lap, leaving no free space for a laptop. The result is a lack of book posts up on my blog. I have decided to rectify this by doing a sort of “rapid review” post discussing some of my recent reads.
The first book I want to review is Thin, Rich, Pretty by Beth Harbison. The story is told from three alternating points of view that rotate between the present and past as the story unfolds. By using this technique each narrator only divulges small pieces of the story. The reader is able to use all of these tidbits to create the full plot. This approach helped the tale develop slowly until everything was revealed at the end and left room for interesting twists and turns. The resulting story was quite enjoyable.
Jennifer Weiner uses also uses flashbacks and multiple narrators in Fly Away Home. I found this to be much less successful. The author’s use of flashbacks was less structured and sometimes left me feeling confused. I often wondered if I was in the past or present. Another disappointment was the fact that I found one of the women narrators to be boring. Her story lacked anything that would make it interesting to me. My final issue with the story was that the conclusion of the book left me with no resolution. I had high hopes for this book when I purchased it, but was left feeling disappointed.
There was no disappointment when I finished The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. I found all three of Larsson’s novels–Hornet’s Nest plus The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo–to be interesting and entertaining. All three novels in the trilogy started slowly, but soon were impossible to put down. This was a series that had sat on my shelf for several months. I ended up blowing through all the books in a week in a half. The characters were complex; the story was original. I’m glad I finally read this series.
I have no idea how Water for Elephants ended up on my bookshelf. It has probably been there for two years waiting for me to read it. It finally got picked up this weekend as a result of being the only book left unread on my shelf. I had very few expectations when I started reading this book. I ended up discovering a book that I would pick up again for a re-read. Recently I have found myself reading mostly YA stores and tales of women in their early 30’s. This story, told by a male narrator alternating between life in his 90’s and early 20’s, was a refreshing change. I loved how the plot focused on the life of a member of the traveling circus. I had never before wondered about such a life, but now feel inspired to know more. I don’t know how this book ended up in my life, but am glad it did!
Like Water for Elephants, Hook Line and Sink Him has a male narrator. In Water for Elephants the author captures a man speech and thought in a way that I felt was realistic. The author of Hook Line and Sink Him creates a man who comes off as a stereotype. I hope that the men around me think of things other than constantly bedding women and the local sports teams. My inability to believe in the main character meant that I could never really get into the storyline. It was entertaining but not enthralling. The result was a book that I will probably forget about in a month or so.
Girls in Trucks is a book I can’t wait to forget. I picked it up at Target after reading the book’s description. I found the book to be disappointing. Starting with a seventh-grade girl named Sarah, the novel jumps unpredictably through her life. These jumps were not executed well, often leaving me feeling jarred. Characters came and went with no rhyme or reason, making me feel as if I had missed something. There was no resolution to one story before being thrown into the next. The only constant was the main character’s habit of smoking pot, which just irritated me. Upon finishing this book I felt like I had wasted a lot of time. Very disappointing.
So now I find myself looking for book recommendations. I need suggestions! My shelves which were once full of “to read” piles are now in need of a refresh. I’ve given many book suggestions over the past year, and now am asking for you to return the favor. What books should I check out?