Thursday, November 29, 2012

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Persuasion makes 5 out of 6 in my quest to read all of Jane Austen's novels.  I did not know anything whatsoever about the plot and found it entertaining.  Anne Elliot, our heroine, let the love of her life get away when she was 19 at the advice of a family friend.  Seven years later, as the novel begins, Anne is still single and now dangerously close to spinsterhood.  Lucky for her, circumstances conspire to bring her hero back on the scene.  This was a quick read compared to the other Austen novels and I appreciated that!  Next up, a re-read of Pride and Prejudice!

Read: November 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian

This was a good book!  The story picks up pace pretty quickly as Laurel, a social worker in Vermont, tries to uncover exactly how a homeless man's photographs are connected to her life and to Jay Gatsby.  I really enjoyed how the story weaves in The Great Gatsby since I just read it.  The story picked up speed quickly and twisted around in ways that I did not anticipate.  I'm still thinking about how it ended.

Here's the summary from Amazon:

When Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle through Vermont’s back roads, her life is forever changed. Formerly outgoing, Laurel withdraws into her photography, spending all her free time at a homeless shelter. There she meets Bobbie Crocker, a man with a history of mental illness and a box of photographs that he won’t let anyone see. When Bobbie dies, Laurel discovers a deeply hidden secret–a story that leads her far from her old life, and into a cat-and-mouse game with pursuers who claim they want to save her. In a tale that travels between the Roaring Twenties and the twenty-first century, between Jay Gatsby’s Long Island and rural New England, bestselling author Chris Bohjalian has written his most extraordinary novel yet.

Read: November 2012 via CD from the library

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Lots of people were talking about how fabulous this book was and the previews of the movie looked interesting so I downloaded it to my Kindle app.  Honestly, and I know some people will disagree with me, I did not like it at all.  In fact, the only thing I liked was that it was a quick read.  

The book is written in the form of letters from a boy during his Freshman year of high school to an unknown friend.  He is an nerdy kid dealing with puberty and the suicide of his best friend.  Two Seniors befriend him and bring them into their circle of friends.  I just did not connect with the main character and never wanted to go that deep into the psyche of a troubled teenage boy.  I found out after finishing the book that it is on the Top 10 List of books that are protested at school libraries.  And I can see deals with suicide, drugs, alcohol, sex and other stuff.  I just didn't like it.  I don't think I'll see the movie now either, which is a shame because I like Emma Watson...

Read: October 2012 via Kindle

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I decided to re-read The Great Gatsby since it is being made into a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby.  I thought the movie was coming out during the holiday season, but it will actually be out in glad I rushed to read it.  Note to self, check release dates first!  Anyway, I had forgotten a lot of the details of the story since I read it in high school and enjoyed it this time around without the pressure of dissecting it for themes and motifs.  Definitely worth re-reading if you haven't picked it up since 11th grade!

Read: October 2012

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Ooo, this is a hard one to describe because I don't want to give anything away! Amy Dunne disappears on the morning of her 5th wedding anniversary. Things look fishy and her husband Nick makes several mistakes as police and media scrutiny intensifies.  As time passes, Nick begins to look guilty of foul play. Gone Girl is full of suspense as you try to figure out what is really going on. The narrative flips between husband and wife, each telling the story from their perspective. Did Nick kill his wife? He seems innocent, but there are no other suspects...

I couldn't put this one down because I just wanted to know what happened! I also appreciated that it was suspenseful but never scary or anything like that. I will also say that I didn't love the ending, but I'm not really sure that there is an alternative that would have been more satisfying.  Overall, a quick fun read that was a good change of pace from Jane Austen!

Read: September 2012 (on my Kindle)