Saturday, April 2, 2011

February Reads

I'm seriously behind on this! Here's the books I read in February and what I thought of them:

1. Ape House - Sara Gruen    -  I had high hopes for this book because of her other book Water For Elephants. Alas, this book is just not at all up to the same standards as her previous book. I felt this book was rushed towards the end and everything works out just a little too neatly for my taste.

2. They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children - Romeo Dallaire  -  second book of the month and another disappointment. I thought it would be a very moving account of child soldiers and was shocked to find that he didn't really use any real accounts and instead resorted to inserting a fictional account of what it might be like for a child soldier. Just surprised me that with his knowledge and experience he didn't recount real stories instead. I learned from it but I think it could have been WAY more powerful.

3. Left Neglected - Lisa Genova   - Finally, a book I liked! Even though I don't have the 80 hour a week job I still felt I could identify with the main character. The craziness of trying to manage the schedules of your kids, work (or my case volunteering), and home life can be super overwhelming at times. Then her life gets turned upside down by a brain injury that I've never heard of yet find fascinating. I appreciated the writing style; you were able to learn a great deal without it seaming like a lesson. Good read!

4. The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery  - I found this to be a mildly depressing book because the main characters hide their true natures and put a front up for everyone around them. I liked the idea of the book but then found it was taking FOREVER for it to get to the point. When it finally got to the part of the book that I thought was the main focus on the book it was actually right towards the end. Then it took a turn I wasn't expecting so was left wanting in the end.

5. Unbearable Lightness - Portia de Rossi  - Wow. This was one incredibly depressing book. It just hit me at the wrong time and I struggled with the low mood of the book. She did write it well but most of the book focused on her developing the disease and how severe it got. It's good to see her life is turning around after getting so sick; it would have been nice to have a bit of a longer ending so we could see more of how her life is now and how she eats/stays healthy.

6. I am Number Four.  - Pittacus Lore  - So after reading Unbearable Lightness I was walking through Safeway and saw this in the 40% off bin. I grabbed it and started it right away. I REALLY needed something light, easy to read...basically fluff. It was interesting but not stellar writing but I wouldn't expect that with a teen novel anyway. It was a nice break from such a heavy topic.

7. In a Far Country - Linda Holeman - I found this book to be about 200 pages too long (it was over 600). It took so long for something to happen that I though it would have been a better book if she had cut it down and sped it up a bit. I knew what was happening in the beginning of the book and found it frustrating the main character took until the last 1/4 of the book to figure it out. Not my cup of tea but I know many that like her work.

There's my reads for February, have you read any of the above? If so what were your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. I'm reading the Elegance of the Hedgehog right now, and am not enjoying it. Like you I'm not sure what the point is yet, other than hiding one's true self. It's a book club read so I will finish it, but if it wasn't, I'm not sure I would bother.