Sunday, November 23, 2014

Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell

This book was also at the library, so I figured I may as well read it too. I can see why this book gets praised - it tackles teen romance and first love but is balanced with a sensitive portrayal of some tough subjects as well. I am not the target market for this book, but I found it enjoyable enough, and the 1980s setting made me feel very nostalgic.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

What can I say, this book was at the library and so was I, so I checked it out. It was a fast read for being a thick book. I'm still not sure how I feel about the main character - on the one hand I could sort of sympathize with her a little, but on the other hand she reminded me of an acquaintance from years ago whose timid affect got old very quickly. I am not the boldest extrovert - au contraire, I am an introvert and I can struggle mightily with certain social situations. But even so, more than once I wanted to grab the main character by the shoulders and give her a shake and tell her to get over herself. I would have liked to hear more about some of the other characters too. The story gets repetitive and I think it could have been shorter without losing any of the main events, etc. The dialogue was good and there were times it made me laugh audibly. So although I found this book reasonably enjoyable, it was also something of a mixed bag.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Lost in Shangri-La - Mitchell Zuckoff

Wow, what an amazing story this book tells - and it's all true! This suspenseful story of a plane crash and subsequent rescue effort mounted during World War II on what is now New Guinea is equally horrifying and inspirational, but is above all gripping. The author tracked down a treasure trove of photographs and first-person accounts of the events, including diary entries made by the people involved at the time. What an amazing story. Highly Recommended.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Attachments - Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell is an author I feel like I see a lot on book blogs, so I decided I should check her out. I'm glad I did, this was an enjoyable, light, fast read. Looking forward to reading her other books.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Krabat - Otfried Preussler

Another book I couldn't resist on NetGalley. This was a really enjoyable fairy tale/fable/fantasy that was originally published in 1971. It's based on a Wendish legend, which explains the Slavic-sounding character names. There was a clarity and a simplicity to the writing that reminded me of books I read when I was a kid - the story is straightforward and told well but there is still a lot of mysteries to discover and solve. Recommended.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Billy Bones: Tales from the Secrets Closet - Christopher Lincoln

This book has a cute skeleton illustration on the cover, so I couldn't resist it on a recent trip to the library (don't ask). I love skeletons, skulls, and bones so the concept - a skeleton family that keep secrets in a mansion - was irresistible. The story was fun and I have to make a special mention of the illustrations by Avi Ofer - they were charming and added a lot to my enjoyment of the book. Apparently there is a sequel that I can look forward to reading; I'll have to add it to my list. This was a creative, enjoyable book for young readers. Recommended.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Child's Past Life - Cai Jun

If I had to describe this book in one word, I would have to use the word "spellbinding." It's part ghost story, part revenge tale, part (non-traditional) love story, part murder mystery, and I was absolutely captivated from the first page. The plot is an intricate puzzle that explores the concept of karma and consequences while weaving a supernatural tale that is melancholy and yet hopeful at the same time. Highly recommended.