Well, I’m way over halfway through the 2015 Reading Challenge and I’m about four books behind schedule. Oh dear. I may have to pick up some children’s books to make up for it. Har har.
These books have nothing to do with fall. Suckaz. But hey if you’re looking for new reading material, check ‘em out.
Also, I just started reading Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda and holy HECK I cannot put it down. It’s so dark and twisty and fascinating. Canadian authors rock.
So here’s what I’ve been reading.
THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN BY PAULA HAWKINS
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
Is The Girl on the Train the new book that’s now cool to hate? Haha. I actually really loved it, and was hooked from the first page. It’s been a long, long time since I finished a book in one day. People kept comparing it to Gone Girl but I didn’t find it to be that way at all. As infuriating as the main character is, I felt rather sympathetic towards her. Alcoholism is no joke.
☆☆☆☆☆ / ☆☆☆☆☆
Qualified for a book that scares you.
PALESTINE BY JOE SACCO
Based on several months of research and an extended visit to the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early 1990s (where he conducted over 100 interviews with Palestinians and Jews), Palestine was the first major comics work of political and historical nonfiction by Sacco, whose name has since become synonymous with this graphic form of New Journalism. Like Safe Area Gorazde, Palestine has been favorably compared to Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus for its ability to brilliantly navigate such socially and politically sensitive subject matter within the confines of the comic book medium.
I’m so thrilled that I found this book at the back of my bookshelf — leftover from a former roommate. The best understanding of Palestine I’ve been able to glean from the media so far. Sacco is brilliant, even more so for using comics as his medium. If you want to understand a little about the situation in Palestine, read this book.
☆☆☆☆ / ☆☆☆☆☆
Qualified for a book that is a graphic novel.
CURSE OF THE RED CROSS RING BY EARL B.PILGRIM
Azariah Roberts, the author’s grandfather, was a respected fishing captain and community leader in the small town of L’Anse au Pigeon. Living in a remote community on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, “Uncle Az” and his loved ones were unprepared when a murderer came to town. Sod Mugford, whose name resonates with infamy throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, had perpetrated a heinous crime in 1928. And it was only a precursor to the horrific events that were to follow. The Curse of the Red Cross Ring is that story.
I don’t know, I didn’t love this book. The writing felt kind of juvenile or lacking to me. The story is interesting, though. My uncle suggested that I read this book, and since he’s terminally ill, I felt like it would be a last good way to connect with him. I’m glad I did.
☆☆☆ / ☆☆☆☆☆
Qualified for a book you can finish in a day.
THE INFERNAL DEVICES SERIES BY CASSANDRA CLARET
In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to The Infernal Devices, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.
The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…
(Giving myself a bit of liberty with this one since it’s a full series.) I’ve been really into YA lately and I think there’s SO much good reading out there. I actually really really loved this series and was hooked from the first book, despite the cheesy love triangles and general expected tropes in this genre. But I absolutely HATED the final book and it kind of ruined everything in me. The story literally ends halfway through the book and then just keeps going on for absolutely no reason. Make me so angry. I may be overthinking though, as per usual. Everyone else seems to love it.
☆☆☆☆ / ☆☆☆☆☆
Qualified for a trilogy.
THE ROUGH GUIDE TO GERMANY
The Rough Guide to Germany is the ultimate travel guide to this dynamic country. Now in full colour throughout, dozens of colour photos illustrate Germany’s stylish cities and beautiful landscapes, its meandering rivers and picture-perfect castles. Detailed accounts of every attraction provide all the information you need to explore the country’s exceptional museums, iconic architecture, and its many rural escapes, from the soaring Bavarian Alps and dense woodlands of the Black Forest to the beautiful beaches and islands of the North Sea or the idyllic Rhineland vineyards where you can sample some of the country’s many world-class wines.
I’m a big fan of Rough Guides and I picked up this book before moving to Germany. Although I’ve only been able to use it so far for Berlin, I’m loving the content. Well researched and well written, and beautifully laid out. Downside: Not as budget friendly as I would have expected.
☆☆☆☆ / ☆☆☆☆☆
Qualified for a book set in a different country.
SIXTY DEGREES NORTH BY MALACHY TALLACK
The sixtieth parallel marks a borderland between the northern and southern worlds. Wrapping itself around the lower reaches of Finland, Sweden and Norway, it crosses the tip of Greenland and the southern coast of Alaska, and slices the great expanses of Russia and Canada in half. The parallel also passes through Shetland, where Malachy Tallack has spent most of his life.
In Sixty Degrees North: Around the World in Search of Home, Tallack travels westward, exploring the landscapes of the parallel and the ways that people have interacted with those landscapes, highlighting themes of wildness and community, isolation and engagement, exile and memory.
Welp, I’ve added about 5000 new destinations to my bucket list after reading about Malachy’s travels in search of home. While dense in history and research, the notions of home and life on an isolated island are all too familiar.
☆☆☆☆ / ☆☆☆☆☆
Qualified for a book I started but never finished because my friend gave this to me as a birthday present and I didn’t want to read a book I started but never finished because that’d mean it was likely horrendous. Run-on sentences for the win!
Have you read any of these? What are you reading lately?