Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What I've Reading Lately...

I've been reading some good books so I thought I'd share with you, because you know I love to talk about books!

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

I really liked this one, guys. It's a dramatic, touching story about marriage, family, loss, and dealing with tragedies in life you could never imagine. But the author succeeds in making the story readable by creating an atmosphere that is completely engaging. I especially loved the sense of place that is created; how the Australian island, the lighthouse, the ocean, become vivid while reading. The plot itself follows a veteran of The Great War who becomes a lighthouse keeper after he returns to Australia, he thinks he can only deal with the ramifications of the War through being alone but falls in love with a woman who changes his life. I won't give the rest of the story away because I didn't know anything about the plot, but couldn't put the book down once I was a few chapters in and I cried multiple times until I finished. (There is a trigger warning to go along with this book however, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who has dealt with miscarriage or infant death - there are scenes vividly described, and I cried buckets.)

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

I admire and love Patchett's writing. She has a unique style that creates a world unto itself, but at the same time brings strong themes and ideas of how love and relationship impact different lives. This novel is the fantastical seeming journey of a research doctor to the depths of the Amazon. She searches for a research camp in hopes of finding her colleague who has gone missing among a tribe of natives who have no end to their fertility. There are many strange things that come from this, and though the main character sometimes grates the nerves, the story is so foreign and original you can't help but want to know what will happen to the characters, the research, the natives themselves. A whole other-world experience.

We Were Liars by E. Lockart

This book has been touted as the YA book of the year, but I can't help feeling somewhat disappointed by it. It's well written, describing the summers of a teenage girl who has had an accident and is piecing together the memories of what happened before her accident. Of course, the teenage girl spends her summers on a private island off Nantucket with her wealthy extended family so the cast of characters includes her mother, aunts, grandfather and mysterious cousins and a love interest. It's a good book if you're looking for a quick, creepy mystery story filled with a good helping of teenage angst.

Momnipotent by Danielle Bean

I have a feeling that this book would have been far more impressive to me if I had read this with a group of moms. The writing is straightforward, approachable, and perfect for the busy mom who doesn't have a lot of time to read for herself. The way Danielle Bean brings together important theological ideas from St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body with mothering is really superb and necessary for Catholic moms today, but I felt that reading it by myself I just breezed through it. This is a perfect gift for a new mom, a great book to read with a mom's group or just with a friend, and will encourage any mom in any stage of motherhood.

Emma by Jane Austen

I'm running a wee bit behind with The Motherhood and Jane Austen book club, so I just recently finished Emma. I love Emma for all the usual reasons; her wit, Knightley's dashing brilliance, the matchmaking, but what strikes me the most in Emma is the theme of truly loving and accepting those in our lives. I love that Emma loves and cares for her father, not out of duty or obligation, not in blindness to his faults, but because of his weaknesses and love for her she has a deep, tender love for him. I love that the book wants to show us that people in our lives no matter how much they drive us crazy deserve our love and respect all the time, not just when we feel like it. I need to be reminded of this often, but Austen's genius is that she reminds me in an entertaining, thoughtful, and completely enjoyable way.

And linking up with the Jenna for 5 Faves, because there are conveniently 5 books here...

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  1. Excellent! Think I'll check out State of Wonder and Momnipotent :)

  2. Thanks for the reviews; always on the look for good books!

  3. My goodreads "to read" list has been updated accordingly. Thank you. As always.

  4. I keep hearing great things about the light between two oceans! I'll have to check it out!

  5. I am forever behind on my Jane Austen reading... :)

  6. I really appreciate the trigger warning. I was reading two books simultaneously a few months ago that both had miscarriage/infant loss in the them (Anne's House of Dreams and The Help) and I read both those sections within a few days of an emotional date for me. I was really blindsided by it and while I'm sure I would have read the books anyway, I would have just put them off until a less emotionally charged time.

    I've been wondering about whether or not to try to scrounge up a mom group with Momnipotent. I guess that's a yes!

  7. All these books sound really good! I am not doing very well at reading....especially with the time change....I MAY be passing out with the baby before 9 pm every night this week ;) I do love a great story though! Thanks for the recommendations!

  8. Love to see what you're reading. State of Wonder has been on my list for a while now. (Have you read her book Bel Canto?) // I, too, appreciated your trigger warning - thanks for being so thoughtful, Christy.

  9. Have you read The Ragamuffin Gospel? I feel like it is a book that you might like. ;)

  10. "The Motherhood and Jane Austen book club"? What? What? ...What?


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