Tuesday, August 09, 2011

what I’ve read :: July 2011

I’m a little late getting this post up but, hey, what can you do? July was a good reading month for me. I read four books & enjoyed all of them.


Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Summary from Goodreads:
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

This was a really interesting concept for a book. I had heard/read so much about this book before reading it & had really high expectations. I have to say I was a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, I just didn’t seem to be as moved as others. It did make a good point though that you don’t realize how your words & actions, small as they may seem, can really affect someone.

full dark

 Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Summary from Goodreads:
A new collection of four never-before-published stories from Stephen King.
The story opens with the confession of Wilfred James to the murder of his wife, Arlette, following their move to Hemingford, Nebraska onto land willed to Arlette by her father.
Big Driver
Mystery writer, Tess, has been supplementing her writing income for years by doing speaking engagements with no problems. But following a last-minute invitation to a book club 60 miles away, she takes a shortcut home with dire consequences.
Fair Extension
Harry Streeter, who is suffering from cancer, decides to make a deal with the devil but, as always, there is a price to pay.
A Good Marriage
Darcy Anderson learns more about her husband of over twenty years than she would have liked to know when she stumbles literally upon a box under a worktable in their garage.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a Stephen King book. Sometimes his stuff is a little too weird for me. I don’t mind “scary”, but his can be really out there. This one was really good though. It’s actually four short stories and I liked all of them. If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be Big Driver. If you don’t mind “dark” stories, I would definitely recommend this one.


Every Last One by Anna Quindlen

Summary from Goodreads:
In this breathtaking and beautiful novel, the #1 New York Times bestselling author Anna Quindlen creates an unforgettable portrait of a mother, a father, a family, and the explosive, violent consequences of what seem like inconsequential actions.
Mary Beth Latham is first and foremost a mother, whose three teenaged children come first, before her career as a landscape gardener, or even her life as the wife of a doctor.  Caring for her family and preserving their everyday life is paramount.  And so, when one of her sons, Max, becomes depressed, Mary Beth becomes focused on him, and is blindsided by a shocking act of violence. What happens afterwards is a testament to the power of a woman’s love and determination, and to the invisible line of hope and healing that connects one human being with another. Ultimately, in the hands of Anna Quindlen’s mesmerizing prose, Every Last One is a novel about facing every last one of the the things we fear most, about finding ways to navigate a road we never intended to travel, to live a life we never dreamed we’d have to live but must be brave enough to try.

Great book! Not a “light” read by any measure, but still good. I really enjoyed the author’s writing style & plan to check out more of her books.


 Room by Emma Donoghue

Summary from Goodreads:
To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

I really liked this book. It was so interesting to “see” everything from Jack’s perspective. I felt for him & his mom trying to re-enter the world. Or entering it for the first time in his case. How scary everything must be if you’ve never seen or experienced it before. I would highly recommend this one!

August is off to a slow start as far as reading goes, but it’s still fairly early so things could turn around.

1 comment:

Stacey said...

I absolutely love all the books you've suggested here and can't wait to read them! I've yet to read anyone them yet but a few had been on my to-read list.

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