reading lately 5.0

It’s been almost 2 months since my last update, so it’s time again to share what I’ve been reading and enjoying (or not enjoying, too) the past few months. I have no clue how many books I’ve read between since the last update but don’t think I read as many books as I normally would, thanks to first trimester nausea.

March – Geraldine Brooks
This was my second book by this author and I have to say, I was very impressed especially after struggling a bit with the first book. I’m a fan of the way she weaves history into fiction and really makes the characters come alive. Do you all remember the book Little Women? In that book, there is no mention of Marmie’s husband (and father to their daughters, the little women) except a brief mention that he’s off at war. That’s where the premise of this book comes from and it is based on what Mr. March’s life might have looked like, covering the time frame from before the war (before and after he met Marmie) up until the last parts of the war. March makes a few choices that shake him to the core and test his strongly held beliefs very deeply. At the end, we see characters redeemed and love conquering even the most dire circumstances. I gave this book 4 stars.

People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks
Again, another book by Brooks and it didn’t fail to impress me. I actually listened to this book on audio instead of reading it (which I don’t normally do) and in retrospect, I’m glad I did. There were so many story lines that sometimes it was hard to keep everything straight, but somehow listening to it made it less confusing. Right, so this book is a historical fiction piece based on the Sarajevo Haggadah. You can read more about what that is here. The book closely follows many of the historical facts, which I really appreciate. In one of the many stories in this book, the main one is about a young book conservator from Australia who is hired to restore the Haggadah back to its’ former glory without compromising any of its authenticity. It’s a compelling and thrilling narrative, often pausing at moments of climax to then move on to another part of the story. In the end, all the little mini stories and characters tie in together and it all makes sense. This book was certainly enjoyable! I gave it 4 stars.

A quick note about the next 4 books: These are part of a series called ‘Cedar Cove’ and the reason I started reading them was simply because after watching the television series based on the books, I couldn’t wait to see what ended up happening with all the characters. I skipped reading the first two books of the series, picking up right where the TV show left off. Normally, I don’t read books like these but they were a nice respite from all the other heavy reading I’ve been doing lately. Instead of writing separately about each book, here’s a link to an explanation of the series if you’re interested.

{Easy-to-read romance novels, part of a series of 12 books}
74 Seaside Avenue – Debbie Macomber
8 Sandpiper Way – Debbie Macomber
92 Pacific Boulevard – Debbie Macomber
1022 Evergreen Place – Debbie Macomber
1105 Yakima Street – Debbie Macomber

The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
The basic premise of this book is choosing to do what is right versus what is wrong. However, the story begins with a preteen boy and his mother (who by the end of the book is an adult in his late-twenties) who happen to be visiting a museum when a bomb goes off inside. Without giving away spoilers in case anyone wants to read it, his life after that museum event goes through of series of very dark, disturbing moments. It’s not just moments, but rather his entire life. The main thing that bothered me about this book was all the detailed descriptions of drug & alcohol use, among other things. Obviously, this either bothers people or it doesn’t but I didn’t think it was necessary in order to tell the story, which is supposed to be about the famous painting of the goldfinch. The book starts out innocently enough but it gets dark, pretty quickly after the boy moves to Vegas with his father. There are a few moments of light, but for the most part it’s just a never-ending narrative about how he chose (I believe doing drugs is a choice one makes) to make a big mess of his life, with no regard for anyone around him because he became obsessed with this painting, The Goldfinch. Usually, I wouldn’t finish a book like this (gosh, it was heavy and dark…have I already mentioned that?) but for some reason I kept thinking that it would turn around. In a moment of generosity, I gave this book 2 stars.

Current and upcoming reading: Boundaries, 1225 Christmas Tree Lane, Bread & Wine, The Last Letter From your Lover, I Shall Be Near to You

Like I mentioned last time, I’m curious to tally up my books and see how many books I actually read in 2014. Some days, it seems like I’ve read a ton of books but in reality I’m sure it’s less than I think. My random guess from last time was 27 books but I have a feeling that number is too low. Next time I post another reading update, it’ll most likely be the final one of the year so we’ll get to see that number.

Have you been reading anything fun lately? I love hearing your recommendations!

3 thoughts on “reading lately 5.0

  1. Lucy Pollard-Gott says:

    Nice format and summaries of your recent reading. In your discussion of People of the Book, you said it was “another” histfic on the Sarajevo Haggadah–what else have you read on it? Do you recommend another one more?
    I tried not to see all of your comments on The Goldfinch, which I’m currently reading–but it did catch my eye that there are parts of the book itself I may not want to linger on either.
    I’m glad you’re enjoying the Cedar Cove books, and why not! I wish I had picked up on the Hallmark series earlier, but I may try one of the books instead.

    • Urban Wife says:

      Ah! I apologize, that should have read ‘a’ instead of ‘another’. Sorry for the confusion and no, I don’t know of any other historical fiction books which cover the Sarajevo Haggadah — do you? I’d love to hear what you think about The Goldfinch, when you finish it. 🙂

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