I’m in this fantastic book club that I found online.  I’ve been to three meetings now and have loved everyone.  The books are interesting, and not usually what I’d chose to read.  The people are smart and have insightful comments and takes on the books. It’s great to meet new people who enjoy reading and new books as much as I do.  The last time I posted I was reading My Name is Red.  I think at that point I was unsure if I would actually finish the book.  It was dense and filled with historical references that I was completely unfamiliar with.  Since that last post we’ve met about Cloud Atlas and have begun reading The Book Thief. Both books are described below.  I’ve also finished a few books- some on my previous list and some not.  And I’m looking at beginning another one. So, here goes:

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.  I liked the book in theory, but not how the author practically put it together.  It’s a series of six short stories that have a common theme of oppression.  Each story references the one before it, like a nesting egg.  It begins in the 1850s, then goes to the 1890s or so, then to the 50s, the late 80s/90s, the future, and then post apocalypse, and then back again to finish each story.  Each short story is written in completely different literary styles and dialects, which I actually liked.  It’s part Moby Dick, part Charles Dickens, part pulp fiction, part 1984.  If it were billed as a short story collection, rather than a novel, I probably would have liked it even more.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  A highly acclaimed young adult book. I had read about it about a year ago, and then recently found it on sale at a remainder store.  My book club picked it as their next book, due to how heavy and difficult the last two books were. Though the topic of this is heavy enough.  It’s narrated by Death.  It is the story of a young girl living in foster homes in Munich Germany during the Nazi regime.  She gets her hands on books, learns to read and starts stealing books anywhere she can.  I’ve only read the prologue, but it feels like it might be a tear jerker.  It’s well-written and interesting so far.


Still Missing by Beth Gutcheon

Breakfast with Tiffany by Edwin Wintle

I put these two seemingly unrelated books together because I read and finished them both in the last three days.  They are a testament to how bookwormy I get during the summer.  It reminds me of being a kid- my mom would take us to the library once a week during the summer.  I would inevitably check out 8-10 books and devour them before the week was up.  I still do that.  I spend my summers reading a book a day some weeks. Not great for the social life, but relaxing and oft needed.

Both books were quick reads.  Still Missing is about what mother goes through when her 6 year old doesn’t come home from school one day. It’s a page turner in parts, but mostly just a quick read.  The cover says it’s the basis for the movie, Without a Trace, which I thought was a TV show?

Breakfast with Tiffany is a memoir about the author’s troubled, 13 year old niece moving into his new york apartment. Ed Wintle is a successful gay man in the movie business in New York and he agrees to take in his 13 year old niece who is on the verge of being taken away from her mother.  He sets boundaries, listens to her and passes very little judgement.  It’s an interesting situation and very touching in parts.

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee- Recommended by a guy in my book club.  It won the Nobel Prize in Literature.  It’s a South African story of a professor who had an affair and then becomes a recluse.  A family tragedy brings him closer to his daughter.  While this all sounds very poingant and Hallmark channely, I’m told it’s quite the political voice of dissent against post apartheid south african government.  I believe the author was exiled to Australia?  I haven’t started it yet, but it’s next on the pile.

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