Saturday, April 28, 2018

Reading Update

Book #33 of 2018 was another Beatriz Williams book, which I picked up after enjoying A Hundred Summers, reviewed here. But I didn't like this one, Cocoa Beach, nearly as much, and then I started another Williams title which I didn't even finish.

Book #34 was The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis. I dug out this book to quote it in this post and then realized it had been many years since I had read it last. It must have been before I started keeping track of my reading on this blog about eleven years ago. Time to read it again. Now I want to go back and reread all the Lewis books; there's just nobody like him. This one is a classic and highly recommended.

Book #35 was The Peach Keeper, by Sarah Addison Allen. Very rom-com, but a quick, fun read.

Book #36 was The Space Between Words, by Michèle Phoenix. This one was well-written and entertaining, with its surprising plot going from the Bataclan attack in Paris in 2015 to the persecution of the Huguenots in the seventeenth century. I say surprising because the depth and intensity of the story were beyond what I had seen coming. Recommended!

Book #37 was I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death, by Maggie O'Farrell. The conceit for this memoir is revisiting all of the author's near-death experiences. Although they aren't told chronologically, these vignettes do work together to give us an unforgettable portrait of O'Farrell, and in the process, a reminder of how fragile and precious we humans are.

Book #38 was A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle. I read this with my seventh graders, an experiment I don't think I'll repeat next year. The scenes I remembered from my first reading of this novel when I was about ten years old were every bit as exciting to me, but I had forgotten how talky this book is and how little actually happens. Most of the kids didn't really get it, but they liked the movie preview I showed, and begged to watch the movie next year in eighth grade when it's available. And I had forgotten that L'Engle used the image of a sonnet to illustrate human freedom - I love that.

Book #39 was Odysseus in the Serpent Maze, by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris. This was loads of fun, and I wish I had been able to read it the same year I first read A Wrinkle in Time, because I think I would have enjoyed it even more back then. Who could resist reading about the adventures of Odysseus, Penelope, Mentor, and even Helen of Troy as teenagers?

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