It’s July 1st! The year is halfway over! It’s also Big East Day! HOORAY.
So far in my infant blog I’ve written a lot about writing, but not so much about reading, the other all important component to being a writer. Since June is over, I thought I would update with the four books I read this month. First, the two fiction books.
My friend Cassie gave me this book last fall and she completely raved about it. She’s got wonderful taste, but I didn’t dive in right away. The size was a little intimidating. It’s like one of those books you have to prepare for. Slowly, I began reading it, taking my time with it, soaking it all in. Verghese’s prose is beautiful, even when he’s throwing down medical terminology left and right. The most captivating thing is the story— how epic it is, how it sweeps over multiple years, multiple continents, and multiple lives. The ending though, oh my goodness. My emotions were all over the place. At times I could predict part of the plot, and other times it threw me for a loop. Verghese doesn’t shy away from the reality of life and the reality of medicine. Also, I learned a lot about Ethiopia, which was super interesting.
Goodreads rating: 4/5 stars
Here we go again with authors toying with my emotions. This book was incredibly sad throughout. I should really know better by now, too, because Hosseini wrote The Kite Runner which is not exactly a pick-me-up sort of book. And he’s not writing about people living in the best of circumstances, either.
Despite the fact that I was so saddened by some of these stories, I really liked the book. I loved the rotating perspectives, and of course the brother and sister story woven through the novel was my favorite. And though the ending was not all sunshine and rainbows, there was a beautiful sense of satisfaction to it.
Hosseini is kind of a blockbuster author, and while that’s good for him because his stories are moving and wonderful, I think his talents as a writer are overlooked. He does such a wonderful job of evoking the tone of a story, of making the setting spring from the pages, and of making you feel.
Goodreads rating: 4/5 stars
After all the depressing reading, I decided to switch gears and read some nonfiction for a change.
Klosterman is an old standby for me, getting me to laugh and getting me to think. Eating the Dinosaur is another collection of essays delivered in a unique format that touches on all sorts of pop culture and sports subjects. Even if I’m not always interested in the topic at hand, I’ll still read that particular piece. Klosterman is so smart and so wildly opinionated (and in a few instances a little out there, which I love). This provided the perfect break from all the emotional reading.
Goodreads review: 4/5 stars, I liked it, but Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is still my favorite. It made me excited for his new collection of essays!
This was the first book I read on my iPad. I know, I know, I myself am shocked, especially since I’ve been so hesitant to try eReaders. Well, I have no excuse now. It really was so incredibly simple. I decided I wanted to read it, I downloaded the preview on my iPad, liked it, then bought it and read it in three days. I have a feeling this might be bad for my compulsive book buying habit.
Anyways, back to the book itself. I’ve read Jacobs’ other books (Drop Dead Healthy and The Year of Living Biblically which I highly recommend even if you are not religiously inclined) and decided to finally learn about his time reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. I’m so glad I did, too. Jacobs is self-depricating, but also charming, even when he’s being obnoxious in his real life endeavors to test his knowledge. Where the book really shines is when he connects it to his real life, such as his relationship with his father, and where he can draw conclusions about our world from the encyclopedia, which are both deep and irreverent.
Goodreads rating: 4/5, though if I could give half stars, I would have gone 4.5. It was the perfect escapist read without being a dumb read.
That’s all for this month. What have you been reading? Anything you’d recommend?