I am so sorry! I have been absent for far too long and I really have no excuse. In November I took a break to do NaNoWriMo. While I did not complete it, I did learn a lot about making and keeping writing habits. Now I just have to put this into practice. As you may have noticed, it’s almost March, so my track record is not great. That being said, I am working every day to be a better writer and make better habits in general, so I present to you a blog post. Aren’t you lucky? 🙂
One of the many things I have been doing lately is reading, of course. I got a couple of good books for Christmas, and have hit a couple of my favorite used book stores in the last couple months, too. So this blog contains a list of the books I’ve read lately, with a brief overview and recomendation. These are in no particular order and they have nothing in common, except that they are all fiction.
The 12 Tribes of Hattie By Ayana Mathis
This book is a novel but, it is also 12 short stories. Each chapter is one of Hattie’s childrens’ stories. Hattie herself is quiite aloof as a character. We learn more about her through her sons and daughters then through direct cotact with Hattie. In this way, Hattie haunts the reader as much as as she haunts her children. Mathis writes beautifully, capturing the feeling of toughness and love Hattie attempts to bestow on her children, while also giving the reader an idea of the impact of the political, social, or economic issues going on during the decade each chapter, or story, is told in. This book deals with class, race, place, family, motherhood, and so many more really good themes. I reccomend it for anyone who likes to read books on Oprah’s List.
The Bean Trees By Barbara Kingsolver
I adored this book, like I adore all Kingsolver books, but this one even more so. She explores themes of identity, through names, family, place, people, race, and food. She also tackles the extremely current topic of immigration. To me, this book is a modern classic and should be required reading in high schools. The characters are familiar and lovable. The feelings evoked are universal. A very basic plot summary, no spoilers, is that a young woman fresh out of high school leaves home to find herself, finds a toddler, breaks down in a podunk town, and discovers a life. I reccomend it for anyone in their twenties who feels like they have no idea where their life is going.
Fun fact! There is also a sequel called Pigs in Heaven. I’ll let you know what I think when I get to it 🙂
A Shiver of Light By Laurell K Hamilton
Mom! Stop reading now! Skip down to the next book!
Ok, A Shiver of Light is the 8th book in the Merry Gentry Series. They are… a bit of a guilty pleasure. They revolve around Merry Gentry, first fairy princess born on American soil. She’s also the reincarnation of a fertility and love goddess, she has a bunch of hott guards, and she is allowed to sleep with all of them. Yeah, these are steamy romance novels, and they are freaking hot! Even better than that, they are actually well developed and have really likeable characters, and a cool supernatural element. Hamilton also writes the Anita Blake series, which I have heard are also steaming hot, but very well written. I reccomend this for anyone looking for a bit of hanky panky with their literature.
Wither, Fever, Sever The Chemical Garden Trilogy By Lauren DeStefano
I really liked these books for what they were: A bit over the top, totally cliche, young adult novels. The idea that sometime in the future a virus would kill everyone once they reached 20 (girls) or 25 (guys) is compelling and I really enjoyed reading this series, but I felt like something was missing. Themes tackled were sickness, cost of health, mortality, time, adulthood, maturity, motherhood, siblings, friendship, and freedom, but none of the themes were explored as fully as they could have been. When I finished the book I felt lacking in answers, or wanting more from the story.
The Kept By James Scott
This book starts out with Elspeth, our main character, coming home to her entire family dead. It is a very serious thriller and pageturner. You never know what’s going to happen but you’re dying to find out. You can’t stop rooting for poor Elspeth and Caleb, from the tragic beginning to the tragic end. This book explores many themes including indentity through names, gender, family, religion, as well as nature vs. nurture, revenge, violence, isolation, good vs. evil, and motherhood.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City By Ransom Riggs
I originally saw these books on the shelf at the bookstore and they caught my eye because of the black and white photos sprinkled throughout. They were all oddities and trick of the light pictures, and that intrigued me. I soon discovered the story was not only equally interesting, but it coincided well with the pictures. It doesn’t even feel forced. This is a very rare art to get right and I value it highly, coupling visual and literary arts in a novel, because I’d like to do it one day. This novel has magic and the supernatural, but is grounded in history and emotion. Additionally, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is going to be coming out in theaters this year so you know you’re probably about to love it. I reccomend it if you love to have a jump on the newest trends.
The All Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion By Fannie Flagg
This book is a classic Fannie Flagg book, maybe minus some of the lesbian undertones. Full of middle aged identity crisis coupled with an exciting hidden story from the past. A story that involves fierce female bonding and women succeeding in a man’s world, in any ways they can. Fannie Flagg may be formulaic, but sometimes it’s exactly what you need. I love to pick up one of her books for some easy, feel-good reading.
That’s all I have for now. Til next time,