Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Reading Roundup - March 2016

Book Day! I'm linking up with Stephanie and Jana for Show Us Your Books. This is one of my favorites link-ups. I love seeing what everyone else is reading and usually end up adding half-a-dozen books to my TBR list.


1) The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks. 3/5 stars. This is the story of King David from the Bible. We all know the story of David and Goliath, but I didn't realize how much more there is about him in the Bible than that. The author didn't really have to make up much of the plot. But she definitely fleshes out the characters and adds details and texture to make it seem so much more real. It's pretty grim though. So much death and destruction. So much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

2) The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. 4/5 stars. This novel is about Tom and Isabel, a married couple who keep a lighthouse off the coast of Australia in the 1920's. One day a rowboat washes ashore with a dead man and a living baby. Isabel, mourning a recent stillborn child and two miscarriages, convinces Tom to keep the baby as their own. The aftermath of that decision is devastating to all parties. This book was very good, and beautifully written, but VERY sad. I felt for the characters so much! I had to keep reminding myself that they were fictional.

3) The Lake House by Kate Morton. 4/5 stars. I enjoyed this book even though it's impossibly far-fetched and unrealistic. Despite dealing with similar issues to The Light Between Oceans (a lost child, the horrors of WWI) it didn't seem at all real and therefore wasn't nearly as sad. There is a fairy tale quality to all Kate Morton's books. This one is the typical Kate Morton plot, toggling back and forth between a mysterious and tragic secret in the 1930's, and the present day when it's finally unravelled. I do like the rose-colored glimpse into life on the grand English country estate in the first half of the twentieth century.


4) Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart. 3/5 stars. This book is based on the true story of "one of the nation's first female crime fighters!" Set in New Jersey in 1914, Constance Kopp becomes involved in a year-long battle with a ruthless factory owner (and leader of a "Black Hand" gang), and finds out that she's a surprisingly good partner for the town Sheriff. It sounds like a book I'd like, but I never really got into it. It was a little boring. Probably because it's based on real events which aren't often as truly sensational as fiction can get away with.

5) Vanessa and her Sister by Priya Parmar. 4/5 stars. The sister in the title is Virginia Woolf, but this book takes place before she is married, in 1905-1910, when the four Stephen siblings live together and host a weekly get-together of writers and artists later known as the Bloomsbury Group. The book is told through Vanessa's diary entries plus some letters and telegrams between other characters. It was an interesting glimpse into a more "bohemian" lifestyle in early 1900s England.

6) Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova. 4/5 stars. This is the story of an Irish-Catholic family in Boston whose patriarch, Joe O'Brien, is diagnosed with Huntington's Disease. It was an insightful glimpse into a terrible disease that I didn't know anything about before. Another of the main issues is that genetic testing is available for his four children if they want to find out if they'll get the disease. I read this book for the A Slice of Brie Book Club. Join in on April 20th for more discussion!


Swede's Book of the Month: Dinosaur Rescue by Penny Dale. What's better than dinosaurs AND rescue vehicles?! A winning combination for the two-year-old set, I tell you.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on any of these books if you've read them!

21 comments:

  1. I LOVED Girl Waits with Gun and I cannot wait for the next one when it's released later this year. I enjoyed Inside the O'Briens but the ending pissed me off. And, now that I know a bit more about The Light Between Oceans, it will probably be a hard pass for me.

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    1. I would have liked to know if the daughter had it or not at the end of O'Briens. I hate it when they leave a question unanswered like that at the end.

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  2. I love Swede's book of the month.

    I sobbed over the end of The Light Between Oceans.

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    1. Apparently there's a movie coming out. I couldn't even finish the preview without a tear coming to my eye!

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  3. oh girl waits with gun is on my list, as is inside the obriens and the lake house. i reall enjoyed the light between oceans, though i agree, it was so sad. i just read on someone else's blog today that they are making a movie with michael fassbender... swoon.

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    1. I just heard that and watched the preview. I don't know if I can handle it...

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  4. Yay! You read 'Light Between the oceans!' I thought I'd scared you away from it!

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    1. You did for like 2 years! But I finally mustered the courage.

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  5. The Light Between Oceans sounds really interesting!

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    1. Be prepared for all the feels. :-)

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  6. I just wasn't a huge fan of The Lake House. We've discussed it before, but I had a hard time getting into it. Loved Inside the O'Briens

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    1. Haha, Yes I got a little carried away with my critique of Lake house. :-)

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  7. Girl Waits with Gun sounds awesome, I want to read the lake house and Obriens now.

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    1. I think Girl Waits With Gun would be a good movie. I thought the book was a little slow but I know other people liked it.

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  8. Girl Waits with Gun is on my list as is The Light Between Oceans. Everyone raves about The Light and that it is so sad, which doesn't necessarily scare me off but I have to be in the right mood to read it.

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    1. It is so sad! I feel like I read my fair share of sad books but this one hit me extra hard.

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  9. Have you watched the trailer for The Light Between Oceans film? I can't even get through it without bawling my eyes out. I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

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    1. I just did! I don't think I can handle the movie. At least not in the theater. Too embarrassing to be sobbing in public.

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  10. Inside the O'Briens was such a powerful book. I love Kate Morton, but you're right, her books aren't always very realistic! Haha. I bought The Lake House but haven't gotten around to reading it yet!

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    1. Let me know what you think of The Lake House when you read it... Might be my favorite of her books. Not realistic at all but very fun!

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  11. I have yet to read a Kate Morton book but she is on my radar. Inside the O'Briens, The Light Between the Oceans, Girl Waits with Gun - all of these are on my to read list already.
    I really enjoyed Geraldine Brooks "Year of Wonders", and I have her "People of the Book" waiting on my floor at home.

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