Pre-Holiday reading catch up

December 18, 2016

I have been reading up a storm, but I have been negligent when it comes to reviewing. To make up for it, here are some of my thoughts on a few of the books I’ve read in the past couple of months. I’d call them non-denominational stocking stuffer reviews, but that’s a bit long…

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah was an absolutely amazing read. Set in France during WWII, the story was kinetic and engaging. The characters are complicated individuals with complex relationships, and as the war progresses they must make increasingly difficult decisions. It took me a bit longer to get through this book than usual. You see, I got to the part where the SS was taking over and things were getting increasingly more violent and troubling in France…right around November 9. It was an upsetting time and I had to take a step back for a while, but eventually I finished the book and it has stayed with me. It was at times a difficult read, but a very good one.

 

I have sort of mixed feelings about The Mothers by Brit Bennett. The storytelling and writing style are magnificent, but many of the characters really annoyed me. After a while I got really frustrated wight he decisions they were making — not frustrated enough to stop reading, but frustrated nonetheless. I wouldn’t say the ending felt particularly satisfying for me, but since I struggled with other parts, that isn’t surprising. Even though the characters and their choices bothered me, I liked the book because I really enjoyed Bennett’s narrative style.

 

Jhumpa Lahiri (of The Namesake and Interpreter of Maladies fame) wrote In Other Words in Italian. She writes of her love for the language, her experience learning it, and why and how she has chosen to write in this new (to her) language. This book is about language and identity and belonging. It is quiet and lovely and I really liked it.

 

I read What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi in one day, in one sitting. I always love Oyeyemi’s writing, but the stories in this book are on another level. The all felt complete, yet I didn’t want them to end. I might be re-reading this one soon, just to re-immerse myself in Oyeyemi’s fantastic prose.

 

So there you have it. A few of the books I’ve read recently and non-denominational stocking stuffer sized reviews. As 2016 draws to a close, I will be pulling together my stats for the year and making my goals for 2017. Once I have everything tabulated and decided, I will write some sort of end of the year mega-post.

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