April Reads (2014)

April 2014

I went on a walk with my dear friend Julie a few weeks ago.  She tried to soften the blow, but let it slip that my blog posts that list my monthly reading make her depressed.  She is in the phase of toddler raising when reading a postcard from start to finish is an accomplishment.

Oh, boy, do I remember that.  In fact, the pain is still fresh enough that I still look up from my page to make sure I am in the right house and that it is indeed my offspring entertaining themselves in another room.

If you, like Julie, are in a phase of child rearing that leaves little time for reading, please know that this too shall pass.  I promise, your child(ren) will someday be able to go ten plus minutes without you.  More than ten minutes is unknown territory for me, but I’ve heard rumors from parents of teens that someday you will be able to read well past your kid’s curfew without interruption.

In the meantime, I will start starring the ONE book each month that you shouldn’t miss.

This month it’s:

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Another winner from Rainbow Rowell.  This book gave me an excuse to spend an entire lazy weekend being nostalgic about the ‘80s, feel heightened fondness for all my geeky friends, and remembering the sweetness of first love and teenage lust.  With the author’s trademark banter and charming characters, this was a delightful book.

If you have time to read more than just one book, you might enjoy one of these other books:

Hyperbole and A Half by Allie Brosh

This book is an offline edition of the author’s blog.  If you read the blog, you will have some repeats in the book, but I think it’s mostly new material.  The book appears simple and frivolous but contains a deceptively complex mix of comics and narrative.  The author manages to capture touching, ridiculous, and darkly comic insights and stories with simple graphics and prose that packs a punch.

Son by Lois Lowry

This final book in The Giver quartet was, in my opinion, the best.  I was a little disappointed in the previous two books but felt compelled to finish the series because I’m Type A and that’s just how I roll.  I was glad I stuck with it.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I first discovered Rainbow Rowell with Attachments (loved!), followed that up with Eleanor & Park (loved!) and then proceeded to overdose with Fangirl (liked).  Rowell is a master of characters and dialogue and this story is no exception.  But, the fanfiction subplot in this novel didn’t hook me and I found myself skimming those parts.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

This was a beautiful story of the entwined lives of seventeen year old Molly and old lady Vivian who turn out to have more in common than they expect.  The Vivian character is especially compelling.  I didn’t want the book to end.  A lovely piece of historical fiction.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

There is plenty to like about Eugenides’ writing but this book didn’t win me over.  It was a little indulgent for me.  There were long detours of description compromised the pace of the plot.  Eugenides is great with descriptions but he overplayed his hand this time.  It was also difficult not to feel dumb while reading this book.  There was more than one obscure literary reference and plenty of ten dollar words where a nickel word would have sufficed.

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2 thoughts on “April Reads (2014)

  1. I totally agree that The Giver and Son are the best two. My least favorite was Messenger. I did like the series as a whole though. I find myself thinking about it from time to time.

    I’m working on my Eleanor and Park review for Great New Books!

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