Reading Roundup: March 2015

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

If anyone has been keeping track of my reading habits over the years, they will have noticed that I have a weakness for the "literary thriller of the month" (as I like to call it). I don't read a lot of mysteries otherwise, but every now and then I grab something like this book because it sounds fun. I figured out most of the plot twists in this book before they were revealed, but the ending still managed to have a few more that surprised me. Not the best thriller I've read, but certainly not the worst.

The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit

This is the first time I've read anything by Rebecca Solnit, and I fell in love with her beautiful writing and powerful insights. This book is hard to describe; it's a series of essays that are interconnected, and somewhat chronological. It's not quite a memoir and not quite a simple collection of standalone essays--the chapters describe a period of time in her life, with themes and images that connect them to one another and give the book some forward momentum. She talks about family, memories, and stories, as well as concrete things like apricots and ice (yes, I know that sounds weird). This was a lovely book that immediately made me want to re-read it, just to savor the images. It also inspired me to spend more time pondering and writing about my life, to perhaps find some connections and recurring themes of my own.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

This was another lovely book (March was a good month for reading this year)--although "lovely" feels like a strange word to use to describe a book about an unhappy family and the death of a teenage girl. This book has some similarities to The Lovely Bones in its mood and themes, so if you liked that one, you probably would like this one. 

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

As I read this book, I kept asking myself, "why didn't I read this book a few years ago?" I also spent a lot of time telling people I know all about how amazing this book and Brown's thoughts are. Even though I wish I had read the book sooner, I also don't know if the impact would have been the same because part of the reason why I liked it so much was the way it fit in with things I discussed with my therapist last fall and other changes I've been trying to make in my life. Even if you think you don't have problems with self-esteem or shame, I'd still recommend reading this. 

The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook

I read a lot of historical fiction, and particularly historical fiction about World War Two. I always like it when I find a book that either describes an aspect of the war I had not considered before. This book focuses on the British occupation forces in Hamburg in 1946--a time period I had not really read much about previously. The plot did not hold very many surprises and some of the characters are more developed than others, but this was still an engrossing and thought-provoking read.

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