While I did abandon a few books this past month, I also read some really great books I wanted to share with you.
Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg ~ out of 5
Summary: Pretty self-explanatory, this biography offers an insightful look into the life of our Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and how her influence has significantly improved women’s rights and changed our society.
Review: Fantastic book! Fun to read, kind of cheeky and very informative. All women should read this book. It is so easy to forget where we were just forty, fifty, sixty years ago. The strides we have made wouldn’t have been possible without brave, intelligent women like RBG. Being a hip hop fan, I chuckled every time I read/heard the new chapter titles. Each one was inspired by Notorious B.I.G. lyrics 😛
Kafka on the Shore ~ out of 5
Summary: If you have ever read a Haruki Murakami novel, you know that it is extremely hard to summarize. His novels are full of magical realism and the everyday events in our lives like death, regret, abandonment, love, lust, etc. You either love or hate Murakami, there is no in between. I happen to enjoy a seemingly pointless plot that reveals profound questions about the world or society in general.
This book in particular, starts off in WWII and some bizarre event that shapes the future of those later involved in the story. We jump ahead to the present day to a boy who runs away from home and sets off on a journey, that really just leads back to some alternate universe where cats speak and his father is murdered and he might end up sleeping with his own mother. It’s a funky metaphysical trip really. I think his writing turns some readers off because they don’t understand what they are supposed to be thinking.
Review: I absolutely love Murakami. I enjoy the departure from the typical style of writing. I don’t get lost swerving in and out of bizarre and normal. It’s a mind bender, a thought-provoking modern painting you see at the art museum that you don’t quite understand, but you can’t pull yourself away from. The layers of it are fascinating, the depth of it and shallowness of it, have you questioning your own feelings. I didn’t think Kafka on the Shore was as good as The Wind Up Bird Chronicles, but it was still quite an enjoyable ride.
Half of a Yellow Sun ~ out of 5
Summary: Set in Nigeria in the late 1960’s, this novel sets out to show the lives affected by the revolution and struggle to establish Biafra as an independent republic in southeastern part of the country. The decade unravels as our main characters show us the revolution from very different perspectives.
Review: I had the mp3 version of this book from the library and when I got to chapter 5, it started skipping whole chapters. I quickly put in my request for the cd version and jumped right back in after a few weeks, not forgetting a thing. For me, this novel played out like a gentle breeze, filled with sweet smells, idealism and sometimes sadness. I was not attached to any particular character, but I was transfixed by the history of this country and its people. This is why I love historical fiction novels more than any other genre. I learn and I am moved, and I become a better person for it.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter ~ out of 5
Summary: Two boys grow up in rural Mississippi in the 1970’s, one black (Silas), one white (Larry). They were friends and then they weren’t, and then the whole town went against Larry because of a rumor of a missing/murdered girl. This excommunication continued for Larry’s whole life. So when a girl goes missing in the present, he becomes the prime suspect and Silas is now on the police force. Of course there are some long hidden secrets and truths that need to be revealed, which pulls it all together.
Review: The story seems kind of basic, but this book grabs you right away and won’t let you out of its grips until the very last page. The author gets you emotionally invested in his characters quickly and writes so descriptively that you can easily see the characters sitting in a room with you. Very well done, I didn’t expect to like this as much as I did!
What have you been reading?