3 March, 2017

Sister Reads February Book Reviews

My reading definitely picked up speed in February. Amazingly I managed to complete two 400+ page books meaning I am doing well at my Big Books Challenge. In total I read five books in February.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell.

I loved this one, even though sometimes I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. In a way it reminded me of The Wind Up Bird Chronicle because of the interesting combination of regular life plus fantasy. At times I’d be lulled into the feeling that this was just a regular book (and the writing and story line are superb), and them wham! out of nowhere something fantastic happened. If you don’t enjoy books that make you have to look back at previously read pages to find an important detail you might have forgotten, this one is not for you. This is probably one I’d read again as I think I’d discover more information on a second reading.

The story spans the life of Holly Sykes, who we meet at age 15 and follow through to old age (the book ends in the year 2042). While each section of the book tells the story of a different main character, Holly is the common thread that ties it all together.
Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead

A sweet coming of age story about a middle class black teenager spending the summer in the Hamptons. The story is set in the 80s, and what kept me hooked, was that though I grew up in a very different place there were so many things I could relate to about this kind of lazy hazy summer. Benji and his friends hang out at the beach,work mindless summer jobs, have their first summer romances and basically grow up without much interference from their parents. I learned about a particular demographic I was mostly unaware of, and enjoyed remembering all the music I loved from this time as a teenage.
I am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

I was a big fan of The Book Thief, so of course I really looked forward to reading this. It was not at all what I expected, but it kept me interested all the way through. Ed is living a pretty aimless life, but then it all changes and he finds a purpose. A mysterious purpose, that takes him a while to discover, but a purpose all the same. Because as the reader I was also ignorant to what this purpose might be, I pretty much raced through this book to try to figure it out. A quick read.
Britt-Marie Was Here by Frederik Bachman

Well he did it again. Brit-Marie is as lovable a character as Ove was. The setting for this story, in a dying town out of the city is quite different, but it also includes a motley cast of interesting characters, and even some romance!

Brit-Marie is extremely organised, thinks baking soda fixes everything, is not at all judgemental (she just speaks her mind), and while going through a personal crisis, finds herself the unwilling coach of a children’s football team. Lots of laughable moments, but also some hard truths.

The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh

This is a sweeping historical and family saga that takes place in Burma and India. While reading it I realised that it wasn’t what I was expecting, but I did enjoy it because I learned a lot about this particular region, as well as information I didn’t know about the second World War. The story follows three families across three generations and ends in the 1990s/early 2000s. The story is beautifully written, and quite engrossing, not covering only the family stories but also aspects of colonialism and the fight for Independence. I wasn’t a fan of the latter part of the book though. The bulk of the book covers a relatively short period of time, but the last part sped through 30+ years in only a small section. I missed the depth of the story at that point, so was left feeling pretty unsatisfied.

So I’ve picked up some speed with my reading this month. I probably shouldn’t read two 400 pagers in one month though, that was some heavy going! I still haven’t figured out my TBR for March, gotta get hopping on that this weekend. On that note, help me decide which book our Sister Reads book club should read by voting in my previous blog post.

Now it’s time to see what Vernell read in February!