Friday, May 02, 2008

Recently Read

I've been meaning to write a few book reviews for a while now. There are a couple of websites (Shelfari and GoodReads, to name a couple) that people have invited me to join, but I haven't gotten around to posting my book lists on either of those yet. It's not that I don't want to share book recommendations, I'm just managing so many other things right now that adding another website to the list seems daunting. I'm positive that it's easier than I am making it out to be! One of these days...

In the meantime, you'll have to suffice with a couple of reviews right here on the good ol' blog. :) Since I know that some of the people who read this blog are a little more discriminating about content than I am, I decided to add some content warnings in small print below the reviews.

Nineteen Minutes, by Jodi Picoult
This book, about a high school shooting, was pretty good-- fast-paced, interesting, with a few little twists. Perhaps it's because I've read Jodi Picoult before, or perhaps I'm a genius (or both!), but I did guess the surprise twist at the end within the first few chapters. The story itself is very sad, and Picoult takes you through the shooter's life, where all of the bad memories and disappointments finally lead up to the shooting. There were a few scenarios that felt a little contrived, and I didn't feel very hopeful at the end, but overall, it was a good read. If you haven't read Picoult before, I'd recommend My Sister's Keeper first.
Mild sex, Language, Adult themes

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Another sad story, but I would say that this book was excellent, rather than just good. The writing is incredible and raw, and although the story of an Afghani boy and his friend is difficult to read in parts, it is an excellently crafted story. I found myself thinking a lot about prejudices, about the things we do to protect ourselves, sometimes at the cost of others, and ultimately, about forgiveness. I definitely recommend this book and I'm excited to read another Hosseini novel.
Adult themes, violence

Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen
Those crazy circus freaks! Really, I liked this book. It was quick and interesting, and I found the main character likable and genuine. Some of the things that went on in the depression-era circus in this story are kind of scary, but definitely entertaining. I don't know that this book caused any serious contemplation, but it was a fun read.
Mild Sex, Language, Mild Violence


Christy said...

You really should join GoodReads and be my friend...I love that website, and it really is SOOO low maintenance. The biggest challenge is getting started -- creating your book list. After that, it's just plain fun to see what others are reading.

Sherrie said...

Read my sisters keeper, sad. Read kite runner, gutwrenchingly beautiful. Read a thousand splendid suns, painfully powerful.

Ashley said...

FUnny! I read 19 minutes and never guessed...also I have the other two waiting on my shelf to be read! I will let you know what I Think!

Caitlan said...

Hahaha I loved the small print. Those books look good though- my goal for this summer is to become well-read, so thanks for the recommendations!

Elena said...

I'm with Caitlan, the small print is the best. Thanks for all the reviews. Don't know if I can mentally handle the sad ones, but everyone is talking about them, so I might have to jump on the bandwagon.

jOni lAnE said...

I too adored the Kite Runner. Amazing writing. If you liked it, you should read his other book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, I couldn't put it down. From the women's perspective and equally heart-wrenching.