Too much time has passed since I did I quick rundown of what I've been reading! I'm not sure if this is really a popular blog niche of mine, but I just like writing about books so I miss it after awhile. Today seems a perfect time to ignore my dirty counters and neglected and unswept floors for some books.
The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand
I bought this in the airport on my way home from Atlanta this summer because I finished a whole chick-lit paperback on the trip to South Carolina and needed something easy and fun to read. I think this is the fifth Elin Hilderbrand book I've read and I just don't know why! She's very formulaic, and while her characters can sometimes be interesting there are occasional periods of prose that make my brain want to vomit. I can go along with the cheese, the melodrama, but start writing bad paragraphs describing sex and I'm out. Anyway! Just remind me next time I'm in an airport to pick any other kind of chick-lit than Elin Hilderbrand. (I just realized I didn't say anything about this particular book. So to sum up: a couple dies, they were having affairs, their friends have complicated histories they explore because of the deaths, lovers mourn, marriages are put to the test, the ending sappily wraps things up. You're welcome.)
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy O'Toole
This book is really in a class by itself because it is somehow a crazy mixture of satire and humour, while at the same time a piercing look at human nature and philosophy. It follows Ignatius Reilly from living with his mother and being generally insufferable while penning his Medieval masterpiece to being forced to find an actual job after an encounter with a policeman. What follows are madcap adventures that have acute commentary on society while showing the hero to be a combination of savant and helpless oaf. Walker Percy discovered this novel and I wish I could discuss it with him. Recommended if you're looking for something completely different.
Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar
An expertly crafted biography of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for almost 70 days. I'm a sucker for a survival story and this one was interesting in how it told the stories of many of these men as well as South American culture. I thought the book was very well done in how it described the many different aspects of the story from the trials of living underground, the problems that come from instant celebrity, to the role faith and even miracles played in the saving of these men. I feel this book allowed me into the South American culture while honestly describing extraordinary events.
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
I had such a terrible time trying to get into this one. I felt the first 100 pages terribly disjointed and didn't allow me to get close to the characters at all. But as I persevered I found the book left me thinking of the characters and story much more than I thought it would. It tells the life of a British fighter pilot after he survived WWII and it's after effects. His quiet life, his marriage, his relationships with his daughter and grandchildren. It was a thought-provoking read, I just wish the first hundred pages were as well done as the last hundred.
The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club by Dorothy L. Sayers
By the end of the summer I had read what felt like some major books in a row and needed to hit my store of classic, Queen of Crime stash of mysteries for a break. This novel by Dorothy Sayers follows our hero Lord Peter Wimsey as he solves the death of a 90 year old club member through the tangles of family connections. It's a perfectly paced mystery with loads of Lord Peter charm, and a perfect escape read.
Ok, there's five for today, I'll join up with Jenna for 5 Faves and Modern Mrs Darcy for Quick Lit when she puts that up this month!
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