Putting the kids back in school put me back in the mood for non-fiction. My Summer Reading Bingo card was fiction heavy, and there was still quite a bit of fiction in my reading pile for September, but it was fun to mix it up a bit.
I wish I had read a paper copy of this rather than listening to an audio book because I found it hard to soak in all the data without seeing the numbers on a page. Even still, I loved this book so much I listened to the audio twice through and suggested my book club read it. I want to discuss the material with as many people as possible. Senior presented research and information in a way that both helped me understand and helped me feel understood.
Elephant Company by Vickie Croke
This story of “Elephant Bill” and his time in Burma before and during WWII was my Book Club’s September selection. I enjoyed reading about British colonialism and the use of elephants in the teak jungles of Burma but struggled with the mysticism, anthropomorphism, and portrayal of J.H. Williams as a nearly perfect hero. The things that made this book hard for me may not bother other readers. In the end, this was a worthwhile read but not one that I’ll be forcing on friends.
Labor Day by Joyce Maynard
Thirteen year old Henry is a charming narrator for this story about the weekend the life he was living with his reclusive mother was disrupted by a misunderstood convict. Maynard’s prose and characters are good enough to help readers overlook the implausibility in the premise and relax into this compelling and often moving tale.
Before I Go by Colleen Oakley
I thought this debut novel about a woman with terminal breast cancer determined to find a new wife for her husband before she passes away was the right blend of sincere and sentimental. There were plenty of times I wanted to shake the main character, but in some ways her pigheadedness was part of what made the story work for me.
The Selection by Kiera Cass
This Hunger-Games-Meets-The-Bachelorette novel is as delightful as it is predictable. A perfectly enjoyable read and a fun enough first book to make me curious about what Cass will do with the rest of the series.
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
I’m a sucker for debut authors, epistolary novels, and YA. So, I was predisposed to like this book about a student who takes her English assignment to the next level. The emotional pull and writing was a little uneven, but overall I enjoyed Dellaira’s fresh voice and flawed characters.
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
I read this story about the big repercussions of small actions too close on the heels of John Green’s Paper Towns and struggled with this book for similar reasons. I couldn’t convince myself that one person could successfully dictate the actions and compliance of so many characters.