Saturday, May 4, 2013

What I Read {April 2013}

Hi Friends--

Looking for some good book recommendations?  Here's what I read in April:
The Newlyweds, Nell Freudenberger (3 1/2 stars).  This is a beautifully written story about family and all its entanglements and how each generation tries to do better than their parents.  Amina, a 24-year-old from Bangladesh moves to Rochester, NY to marry a man she meets online.  Freudenberger does a great job giving insight into how foreigners look at our country.  This book is about dealing with the fallout from one's personal choices. 
Before I Go To Sleep, S.J. Watson (3 1/2 stars).  Whoa!  I didn't see that ending coming, but I have a feeling the John would have.  A woman (who suffered a traumatic brain injury) wakes up each morning not remembering anything that happened to her since she was in her 20's.  This book is definitely a page-turner.

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance, Elna Baker. (3 1/2 stars).  This fun memoir details Elna's struggles as a Mormon girl living in Manhattan.  I thought Elna was delightful, and I hope she finds "the one".
 Every Last One, Anna Quindlen (2 1/2 stars). This book takes a sharp left turn about 1/2 way through.  I thought I was reading a book about a mom helping her depressed son, and then everything changes.  While there were some very good parts of this book, I just didn't feel like the story fully resolved itself in the end.
 Wash, Margaret Wrinkle (4 stars).  This is a big, beautifully-written novel about slaves and slave owners right after the American Revolution.  Wash really got me into the heads of all of the characters.  This book is definitely not one you can plow right through;  each section took some time for reflection before I could move on.  I am still thinking about the complex characters in this book, especially Wash.
 Inside, Alix Ohlin (2 1/2 stars).  A therapist (Grace) stumbles (literally) across a man (Tug) right after his failed suicide attempt.  The book revolves around 4 main characters:  Grace and Tug, and Mitch (Anne's ex-husband) and Anne (one of Grace's patients).  Parts of this book were very good-especially the insight into why Tug acted the way he did.  However, Anne's story felt awkward and not crucial to the story.   The characters of Mitch and Grace fall some place in between, as far as character development goes.  I wish there was a resolution between Anne and Grace.  Anne's future ends up being completely unclear.
 May We Be Forgiven, A. M. Homes (4 stars). I love a good, long book full of flawed characters who make life-changing decisions.  May We Be Forgiven has an incredible cast of memorable characters, especially Harold, the hapless brother who eventually figures it out.  When Harold's brother kills his wife, Harold is left to look after the children the best way he can.  I found myself cheering for Harold.  He had an incredibly hard year.
Looking for Alaska, John Green (3 1/2 stars).  This was another recommended Young Adult book written by the guy who wrote last month's An Abundance of Katherines.  This one's about 4 friends who meet at a boarding school in Alabama.  This book had better characters and an engrossing story.  It would be great for the mother/daughter book club.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree about "Every Last One" and isn't John Green a great author! Love to read other people's book reviews. I just started posting mine monthly too.