Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February Books

I'm really reading a lot this semester, mostly because I don't have much reading to do for my classes, so all of my bus time is devoted to fun reading. That is one positive about riding the bus. I'm mainly doing these summaries for myself. Posting it on the blog just helps me remember to do it regularly. So thanks for bearing with me. I realize this is probably quite boring. :)

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
by Jonathan Safran Foer
Darby bought me this book for my Kindle since he knew I wanted to read it. Much of it is told from the perspective of a highly precocious 11-year-old, so it's an interesting read. I loved Everything Is Illuminated, and this reminded me of that book. Both deal with how people cope (or don't cope with tragedy) and both have a kind of magical realism feel. It was a bit of a downer but very beautiful. I really want to see the movie now.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
I had heard a lot of good things about this first book in a detective series set in post-WWI Britain, and it did not disappoint. The heroine is incredibly intelligent and truly cares about the people she works with and for. I enjoyed learning more about World War I (Maisie was a nurse). I look forward to reading more books in this series.

Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman
Darby and I have both become interested in the history of the Bible (that is, how we came to have the form of the Bible we have today, not the historical accuracy of the Bible, although that's another interesting subject). This book explores some of the changes that were made to manuscripts of the Bible by scribes, especially those changes that appear to have been intentional. It was very interesting to read about how controversies of the day might have shaped the text we currently have. Some people view this kind of research as antithetical to faith, but I don't. (In fact, the author was a believer when he wrote the book, though he has since, for different reasons, become agnostic). I would like to read more on this topic from different perspectives.

Meant to Be by Walter Anderson
The author of this memoir found out as an adult that the abusive man who raised him was not his biological father. His quest to find out more about his real father and his Jewish heritage is compelling and sincere. A very quick, uplifting read.

A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein
I think this was a free (or cheap) Kindle offering. While engrossing, I wouldn't recommend it. It's pretty dark and ended rather negatively.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
This one's been on my shelf for a long time. I always buy "classics" and then put off reading them, expecting them to be a bit dry. This story was very engrossing, though; I particularly enjoyed learning more about Nigerian culture. It raises interesting issues related to colonialism and forced assimilation.

Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider (not a misspelling, Tsh is really her first name)
I'm really into self-improvement blogs/books right now. This one had a lot of practical tips for simplifying your routine and making your home a welcoming, stress-free place. While it's mainly directed at people with kids, it did inspire me to do some decluttering around here.

1 comment:

Clint and Whitney said...

Kayla, I'm loving reading your book reviews! Very insightful. You have a gift for it! Thanks for taking the time to post them.