Whatcha reading?

Whatcha reading?

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Shadow Year: Jeffrey Ford

This started out reminding me of "IT" by Stephen King. the protagonist is a fifth grade Boy, Scott, his older brother, Jim, is sort of a punk and the little sister, Mary, escapes into imaginary worlds more than not. The mother is a drunk and the father is never home because he works all the time. The story begins with the disappearance of a boy Scott's class. There is a peeping Tom and a man that mysteriously shows up in town after the boy disappears. The little sister starts moving people around in the town Jim made of their neighborhood and we realize she knows what is going to happen. The man in white sits in front of their house like she shows in the "town" and the boy was found in the lake after being murdered. The story ends when the peeping Tom, who used to be a neighbor, sets up a trap for "Mr. White" the man gets cornered in the school and they discover he was a murderer in several states, we then learn that the peeping Tom was murdered by him when his family moved. This was a fast pace and enjoyable read.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Restoration : John Ed Bradley

This was an interesting Novel centered on a writer who quit his job with a magazine and falls in love with a woman who is as in love with paintings from a deceased painter as his father was. They uncover a work that everyone thought was destroyed and go about getting it back to its original condition. The story then exposes that the artist was actually the woman's grandfather and the protagonist's landlord was in love with the painter and saw him commit suicide. The story is intertwined with racial issues both in the past and present.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque: Jeffrey Ford

This was a really interesting, fast paced novel that at times I wasn't sure where it was going- it was VERY unpredictable. A painter in the late 1800's gets a commission to paint a portrait; however he is not allowed to see the woman. He has to paint how he sees her based on stories she tells. The stories she chooses seem farfetched and unlikely, but the artist discovers some truth to them. The story itself keeps weaving on the brink of becoming a Stephan King Sci fi, but then comes back to a realistic occurrence. It was very interesting and I was very pleased with how it ended, I was a little worried I wouldn't get closure and he would seemingly fail like the other artists before him.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Invention of Wings: Sue Monk Kidd

I love this author and this book was another deeply touching read. Based on the true lives of two abolitionist sisters, the story creates life in the South during the early 1800's. Sarah Grimke is given a slave,(Hetty aka Handful)to be her handmaiden on her 11th birthday. Sarah tries to refuse and free Hetty, but her parents are appalled and refuse. As she grows up Sarah's ideas become more and more distanced from her parent's and southern upbringing. She promises Hetty's mother that she will find a way to free her. The Book goes through both girl's lives as well as the little Grimke sister who is born when Sarah is a teenager. Sarah finally does find a way to free Hetty, though not as we predict. This was a very well written book that I had a hard time putting down, I love that the author provided additional information on the sisters in the back and that she chose this way to tackle their story.

War! What is it Good For?: Ian Morris

This isn't something I would usually pick up, but I was taking an online course and it was recommended. It was very interesting. The introduction talked about how human remains have been found from the Stone Age giving evidence they died violently. It goes through major wars through history and touches on what good came out of them. It started with Roman Conquests and considered how the conquered territories became organized and basically "civilized" and then ended with a prediction of what the future holds. The next 40 years could be the most horrific with technical advances and such, which isn't hard to imagine, but terrifying. He explains how the British and America's have created more peace than bloodshed and how the US is a "Global Cop" using violence when necessary to keep peace. He also predicts how the world will eventually be under one power... this was a very interesting read.