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Saturday, August 04, 2012

July Books

I cannot believe that it is already August! It seems that as I get older life takes on the character of a hurdling freight train, and time passes too quickly to even make out all the scenery. I'd prefer the feeling of a leisurely ride on one of those kiddie trains that goes around the zoo.

Anyways, here is my July book list:

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson. I listened to this. It is the true account of the American Ambassador to Germany and his family in 1933, the year Hitler ascended to power. They consorted with some of the upper echelons of the Nazi party. The ambassador's daughter even dated one of the senior SS officials. It was an interesting story from a unique perspective.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I loved this when I read it in high school. I listened to it last month and I'm still thinking about whether or not I liked it after the second time. I was more dismayed with the characters and how genuinely miserable and terrible most of them are. I don't know, it's kind of a weird book. But I'll always love the Brontes because what could be cooler than a trio of sisters that managed to each write a classic novel? Charlotte is my favorite.

Lit! by Tony Reinke. This is a Christian guide to reading books. I was a little disappointed with this because  I had very high expectations. But, upon reflection, I'm glad I read it and I'd recommend it. Partly this book is to encourage people to read. I need no inducement in that direction so that angle was somewhat lost on me. What I did appreciate is that he essentially presents a theology of reading. He uses psalm 36:9 as a Christian readers's motto: "...in your light do we see light." . Meaning that if we hold to the Bible as our ultimate truth, through that lens we are free to interpret and appreciate the beauty, truth and experience of secular literature. He expounds on that in the first half of the book. In the second half of the book he offers practical suggestions to increase and improve your reading.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth. This is the sequel to Divergent and there is a third due Fall 2013. I liked Insurgent better than Divergent. I don't know why I'm comparing this series to the Hunger Games except for the fact that the person recommended them to me did so that seed was planted in my mind. So far the Divergent trilogy seems to be following a similar arc as the Hunger games in that the books move from an individual's story to more complex societal conflict which is what happened in Insurgent. I liked it and I'll read the third one when it is released. These books are young adult, so they are very quick to read. Since this book is part of a trilogy, I haven't formed a final opinion of it.

Midnight in Peking by Paul French. This is the true story of the shocking murder of a British expat living in Peking in the late 1930's and the investigation to find her killer.The author used the murder as a metaphor for the state of Peking at the time which was shortly to fall to Japanese occupation and then endure something of a civil war. This was a fast read. It was very intriguing and I liked it, but I wanted it to turn out differently. It's a true story so obviously it couldn't have turned out any differently than it did, but I would have liked more resolution. Nevertheless it was an interesting tale of a city and group of people in a dangerous and interesting time.

2 comments:

Laura said...

Wow, mama! You've gotten some impressive reading done in one month! I am lucky to get 2 books done a month... so impressive. Glad you're all back and had a good trip!

Peter and Leslie said...

Laura,

I often do get a lot of reading in but it's because I listen to a lot of audio books. Often I listen when I'm cleaning or folding clothes, etc. It's a fun way to make chores interesting!