Book Catch-up: Massive Edition

Monday, September 08, 2014

I have had a hard time keeping up with blogging these days, to the point where I have considered throwing in the towel. But, I can't so far. I love it, and every book I read, I find myself forming review sentences in my brain. So while I may not always be perfectly consistent, I am planning on being present. I have read some great books since my last post... but there are a lot of them. So I am going to skip the cover art for now and give you a brief, few sentence review (if I am capable... I do love to talk). So here we go.

March by Geraldine Brooks

A companion to the beloved classic Little Women, March is gritty, moving, and incredible. 5 stars.

Meet the Austins by Madeleine L'Engle

This short novel still manages in a few pages what L'Engle does best -- takes impossibly difficult situations, infuses them with charity, and redeems them. 4 stars.

Across the Wall by Garth Nix

This collection of short stories drew my attention because the first and longest of the collection deals with the characters of Sabriel. I did enjoy the first story, "Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case," for that reason, but was only mildly engaged in the remainder of the book. 3 stars.

Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

For anyone who is fascinated by the Lost Generation and the Fitzgeralds, this first person chronicle of the Fitzgeralds tumultuous relationship is valuable reading, but does leave holes in the story and can be a bit dense at times. 3 stars.

What Would a Holy Woman Do? by Wendy Watson Nelson

This short, inspirational book on framing your life in the paradigm of a holy woman was surprisingly effective in relation to its few pages. 4 stars.

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla was more complicated than its two companions, Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. I was less impressed by the love story at first (my mom brain was saying, "Stupid, stupid stupid" to them most of the time). However, I loved how Isla developed. I could relate to her difficulty in choosing, and thought her journey from being a girl defined by others to a girl defined by herself was moving. 4 stars, but I didn't think so until the second half of the book.

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

This book is a seriously motivating pep talk. Probably Isla from the above book should have read it. Concepts are pretty basic but delivered in a powerful voice that helped me change some things in my own life. 4 stars.

Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier

The last of the Sevenwaters books. Reading these books feels like swimming on a hot day -- the plot and strong characters are refreshing, and I just want to luxuriate in the language until my (figurative) fingers are wrinkled. 4.5 stars.

The Continuous Atonement by Brad Wilcox

This examination of Jesus Christ's ability to save mankind was a fresh and hopeful perspective, one I plan to revisit again. 5 stars.

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

The Aviator's Wife is a novelized biography akin to The Paris Wife about Anne Morrow Lindbergh. There were many very painful, heart-wrenching moments in this novel that made it uncomfortable to read, but the overall experience was illuminating and fascinating. 4 stars.

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

I enjoyed each story in The Joy Luck Club but found myself wishing they all tied together a bit more neatly. 3.5 stars.

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

I love the show and I was pleased to find I loved the book as well. It reminded me of the reasons that I love nursing, and Worth's writing brings the interesting, varied characters of her memoir to life. 4 stars.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

This examination of the 12 sons of Jacob/Israel, told by the oft-overlooked Dinah, lent an interesting perspective on how women's experiences could rewrite history. 4 stars.

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Kingkiller Chronicle continues to be epic as ever. Although I definitely rolled my eyes when, after Kvothe looks at a lady's figure blatantly and her boyfriend grumbles about it, she states that it isn't demeaning when Kvothe looks at a woman's body like that, because when he does it it's like he's appreciating great art. I think Kvothe is pretty awesome, but his human foibles don't all have to be turned into virtues. Still, I enjoyed this continued story of his adventures and can't wait for the third and final volume, as well as the companion novel out soon. 4 stars.

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