Saturday, November 10, 2012

October Book Reviews

As per the usual the fall tends to offer less opportunities to read. Even so I did finish five books so here's what I thought of them:

1. My Left Foot - Christy Brown: This is one of the 501 Must Read books as well as our book club selection. I'm so glad I finally got to read this book. I remember when the movie came out and I thought it sounded interesting but I never got a chance to see it. The book is the story of Christy Brown, an Irish boy who was born with cerebral palsy. He recounts the courage and determination of his mother as she f0ught to keep him in her care and show the world that he was of value. His remarkable life really started when he realised he could paint with his left foot. From there he began to explore writing. The book follows his life from birth until around age 20ish. It's very interesting, and encouraging. I'd certainly recommend it!

2. Bobcat and Other Stories - Rebecca Lee: This is bad. I only read this book less than a month ago and I don't have much recollection of it. I do remember that it's a collection of short stories that are not at all related. There does seem to be a theme of infidelity and there's teachers involved in many of the stories. I remember they were all fairly depressing stories. Well, there's not much more I can say when they didn't leave enough of an impression to discuss in detail.

3. Gold - Chris Cleave: Well timed Chris, well timed. With the Olympics having just wrapped up I was certainly in the mood for this book. This story follows 3 main characters and a child over the span of about 20 years. The adults are all Olympic cyclists and it covers their journey through training and setbacks over the years. The characters are enjoyable and the story is interesting, though at times a little predictable. Though cycling is a major focus of the book it's really the story of the friends/lovers that make the book. Pick it up if you liked his other best seller Little Bee.

4. Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling: This book is a far departure from her Harry Potter series. Certainly it's an adult themed book with much swearing, drugs, sex, etc. The premise is that after the sudden passing of a town official there becomes an opening on the Parish Council. It follows the fallout of his passing and the fight for his spot on the Council. Really that aspect is quite small as compared to all the side story lines of the multitude of characters. It's a bit of a hodge-podge but still enjoyable.

5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky: I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Many people like to use the term 'coming-of-age' when they read books like this and I can see why. Where the Breakfast Club was popular for this in the 80's, this book would have similar themes for kids of the 90's. The main character narrates this story through a series of letters to an anonymous person. He relates the span of about 1 year of his high school life. Pick it up.

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