Week 16

Of all the books I have read this year so far, the Underground Railroad, has been one of my favorites.  Whitehead has created such a beautiful character, with a voice so strong and so moving, it is hard to not feel what she feels on her way through the Underground Railroad.  It is not hard to see why this has been such a popular book, regardless of Oprah’s thumbs up for it.  The division between blacks and whites is so starkly shown throughout, yet it is the blurring of those lines intended or otherwise by every one of the characters that gives hope for change in the future.  And despite it being set in the 19thcentury, during the height of slavery, Whitehead reminds us that our racist history remains and affects us even today.

After last week’s disappointment in a book that was touted to be like Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen, I just went ahead and read another of her books, At the Water’s Edge.  It was a well written lovely story, with a bit of war, romance and magic mixed in, with the added bonus for me of being set in the Highlands of Scotland.  I wouldn’t say it was particularly deep or moving, but a good solid interesting story.

I am not very proud to admit this, but I had an urge to read something mindless, so I read The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, and then the Second Summer of the Pants, and the third, and the fourth and finally the fifth book in the series.  Ugh.  I couldn’t stop myself, and they were so short, 300 pages or so, and work has been so slow that I was able to read one a day.  They were fun, mindless, and I got a little nostalgic.  I have nothing in common with the characters, or even their version of the suburban high school friendship experience, but they were “born” the same year that I was, a few weeks after me, and they were in the same years as me, and in the last book, turned 30 the same year as I did.  I was able to look back on high school with a bit of warmer light, despite it not being my favorite time of life.

My Current Reads:

  • The World According to Garp : John Irving (audiobook)
  • Anna Karenina : Leo Tolstoy  (audiobook)
  • The Stone of Farewell : Tad Williams (audiobook)
  • A Storm of Swords : George R. R. Martin (audiobook)
  • Ready Player One : Ernest Cline (hardcover)
  • Pillars of the Earth : Ken Follett (audiobook) 
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows : J. K. Rowling  (audiobook)
  • At the Water’s Edge : Sarah Gruene (ebook)
  • The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants Series : Ann Brashares (ebook)

What are you reading?

28/52 – 52 Book Challenge
1/12 – Back to the Classics
1/16 – Dystopia Reading Challenge
4/12 – Flights of Fantasy
1/5 – European Reading Challenge
63/1001 – 1001 Books to Read

Jess

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