Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another book post

In my continued struggle to come up with something to write about, I thought I'd share what I've been reading. I did this a few months ago, and I found that it was at least helpful for me to remember what I've read.

I have indulged on actually buying a lot of books over the last few weeks, and I have a lot more to work my way through.

The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies
I just finished this one, and I'm still not sure what to say about it. It's historical fiction, which is one of my favorite genres, but it was a pretty slow moving book. It's about a POW camp in Wales during WWII and a relationship that forms between a girl and a German prisoner. It had some really great themes, and as I was reading it, I kept thinking it would be a great book to write an English paper on in school. But in terms of pleasure reading it was hard to get through. I felt like the plot didn't really develop until the end, and a lot of the book was wasted on unnecessary side story lines.

Promises to Keep by Jane Green
This falls into the chick-lit category for easy reads, but it was deeper than the typical chick-lit novel. It is a story about a woman with cancer, and it also shows the impact she has on the people and relationships around her. It also contains recipes throughout the book, since one of the main characters is a chef. I've loved and hated some of Jane Green's books, but this definitely rose up above all the rest of her books.

Olive Kittredge by Elizabeth Strout
I had seen this a lot of places and recently read a good review of it, which was motivation for me to pick it up to read. It's definitely different than most novels I read, but at the end I could definitely say I enjoyed it. Most of the first half of the book gives you a picture of Olive, the character the book is named for, while the second half is told from her point of view, and somewhere between the two you get a good picture of this woman and the circumstances of her life. I picked up another book by the same author in hopes it will be as good as this one.

Going Home by Harriet Evans
I'm not sure when this author started writing novels, but I was in Barnes & Noble and saw four or five she had written. I started with the first one, and it does fall under the frivolous chick-lit heading. But it was set in London and the English countryside, which will pretty much convince me to read anything. It was a good story, and when I'm looking for another light read, I'll probably pick up one of the other books she's written.

The Big Short by Michael Lewis
I don't read all fiction and chick-lit (though mostly). This book is about the financial crisis but looks at it from the view of the people that saw it coming and profited from it. Even though I read a lot about the financial world at work, I didn't mind reading this outside of the office because there was some storytelling to it. Also, hindsight is 20/20, and it's fascinating to see the problems that should have been obvious in the years leading up to the crisis. Of course, it would have been nice to have invested funds with these guys that figured it out.

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I know I mentioned that I started reading this a few months back, and I did finish it before seeing the movie. I can honestly say that I liked the book and the movie, which usually doesn't happen. The movie left out some details, but all in all I think it was a good representation of the book. My mom and I discussed the movie after we'd both seen it, and she made a good point: The story is about not being satisfied with ordinary and seeking something extraordinary, which I think is what makes both the book and the movie inspiring and popular.

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