Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What I Read Wednesday

Rain Falls Like Mercy: A Novel
This is the final book in the Sun Going Down trilogy and like the previous two, loosely covers the author's family history and US history into World War II and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He also tied in Charlie Starkweather, which deviated the novel a little bit from the usual formula of just following the Paint family but it was still interesting. As with the previous two, I loved it and would definitely recommend this series to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Divergent (Book 1)
Because I teach middle school, I try to make a habit of reading Young Adult fiction so I can recommend books to students--and there's some really good YA fiction these days. This book (first in a trilogy) is set in dystopian Chicago, where Lake Michigan is now a muddy marsh and the Navy Pier ferris wheel is a rusted hulk. At the age of 16, kids choose to live in one of five factions based on their aptitude. This book was great! The story and the different factions were engaging, as well as the issues that followed as the plot unfolded. I don't want to give anything away, but I can't wait to read the second book, as it was definitely a cliffhanger ending.

The Inner Circle
Every now and then, I like to read David Baldacci or John Grisham because it enables me to shut off my brain and get lost in the twists and turns off the plot. This book was similar. Set in Washington DC and involving a conspiracy theory that possibly sets back to George Washington and definitely involves the current President, this was a good one to get lost in. It was very much a "National Treasure" type read with invisible ink, books hidden in the National Archives, and stolen files. Side note, I noticed that was pretty cheap on Kindle, so if you're looking for a good vacation read, this would be it. There is a sequel, which I'm looking forward to losing myself in.

This is another YA lit book. It's about a boy named Auggie who has a chraniofacial deformity that makes him immediately different from other people. The book follows his first year outside of homeschool, 5th grade, and the trials he goes through. What I really enjoyed about this book, aside from the honesty of the human reactions to people who are different, is that it was told not just from Auggie's point-of-view but from that of his sister, his friends, and his sister's friends, too. I also liked the reactions of his teachers and how they dealt with having a student like Auggie and the way they dealt with the other students and how they treated Auggie. It made me think about myself as a teacher and how I hoped I would be.

Rage Is Back: A Novel
When this book first started, I was kind of bored. I wasn't really sure what the point was--and then it all clicked and I loved it. It's one of those books... a slow start, then the wheels start rolling and it's brilliant. The narrator's voice is really strong and engaging. Once I found out that the author is the same guy who wrote "Go The F*ck to Sleep" I wasn't surprised. I'm not really sure whether to describe this is a battle between graffiti writers vs. the man or a science-fiction novel or a coming of age novel or a novel on race relations, because it's really all of the above, but you should read it.

What did you read this week?


One crazed mommy said...

I just finished a YA novel that was really quite odd, but interesting - "Ms. Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children". I had seen the book and thought it looked kinda creepy but intriguing, and it turned out to have a decent story line. Also, the book is full of these weird, fascinating photos, which are all real vintage photos donated by collectors. Apparently the book is the first in a series, so the second book will be coming out in 2014. It's truly a work of fantasy fiction, but it was an enjoyable read.

keli [at] kidnapped by suburbia said...

Look at you!!! I think I need to read more. No, I KNOW I need to read more. Work my brain a little bit more than the usual social media outlets do. Thanks for the inspiration and recommendations!

Molly said...

The Divergent Series is my new obsession. I read the first and second books in a day each and am now totally chomping at the bit for the next one to come out! and yeah, Wonder was excellent too! Oh man. I really need to do some grad school reading this week. No more fun books for me!

Barb Ruess said...

You, my friend, are a very fast reader! I finished Dog Stars (and you were right, I enjoyed it). Started Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani and have Divergent sitting here to read on request from my oldest.

Barb Ruess said...

Slight change - I am starting Matched at the request of Katie, not Divergent... yet.

InTheFastLane said...

Barb - I loved Dog Stars! Finally finished Sweet Tooth, it got better but I struggled with it. Now reading Wilderness: A Novel. This excites me.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I finished Those Who Save Us and Explosive Eighteen last week. I have The Dispatcher and Tripytch to start.

AJG said...

Wait, how quickly did you read all this? That's four books more than I've read since P was born. 3.25 years ago. Oy.

I miss books.