Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What I Read Wednesday

All That Is
I wanted to love this story. I really did. And in some aspects, I loved it. The story itself was incredibly engaging, but parts of it fell flat. It was one dimensional. I found myself getting confused and burdened down by certain things, like the author's habit of sometimes referring to a character by his last name, sometimes by the first name. I couldn't connect with the characters like I wanted to. It just didn't click for me on the huge level that I felt like a storyline of this caliber should, one that spans from WWII to the 1980s, and that was disappointing. I really just wanted this one to end.

An Abundance of Katherines
This is another one by John Green, who is arguably one of the best YA lit authors out there and definitely one who can transcend the genre. The protagonist is a boy prodigy who has been dumped 19 times by girls named Katherines and sets out to create a mathematical theorem to determine if romantic relationships can be graphed and predicted from beginning to end. Although it's a coming of age novel, it's definitely the most original coming of age novel I've ever read.

The Interestings: A Novel
This was the novel that resonated with me this week. Six teenagers meet at a creative arts summer camp and remain friends afterward, though those friendships aren't without strings and troubles. What I loved about this novel was that it followed the character, but it also followed the time periods, too: Nixon's resignation, the AIDs crisis, and so on. It was woven together so seamlessly that you almost didn't notice the way the author worked it in. This is my must-read suggestion for the week! I definitely fell in love with the characters (or with some of them, not so much).

Gatekeepers (Dreamhouse Kings)
This is the third book in the Dreamhouse Kings series. It's a YA series about a family who lives in a house where the third floor is made up of portals that transport back into the past--but not just randomly into the past, always into dangerous places in the past. Onto the sinking Titanic, into gladiator arenas, in the line of a tank during WWII and so on. Although not the most brilliantly written books, they are enjoyable and I like that the two main characters are boys and that it's magical while still teaching about history.

Timescape: Dreamhouse Kings, Book #4
Not much to say here; it's the next book in the Dreamhouse Kings series and since I just told you about it, I won't repeat myself, as I assume you listen better than my students. I bought this on Kindle because I was annoyed that the person who checked it out at the library before me was a week overdue and hadn't yet returned it. So if you have a Kindle and are reading this series, let me know and I can loan it to you!

The Drunken Botanist
I love science that is interesting and easily understandable to the common person, making this book right up my alley. I've always found it fascinating how many plants go into our traditional medicines, so plants that make alcohol? Sign me up. This is a book that I wish I'd bought because it's not really the type of book that you sit down and read straight through because while the various facts are interesting, it's also chock full of recipes for not only drinks but simple syrups and herb garnishes. I loved this book because it was full of all sorts of random facts that I've now filed away to pull out at times that I need to prove that I'm smarter than other people.

What are you reading?


Barb Ruess said...

I gave The Abundance of Katherines to Miss E for Christmas. I might have to dig it out of her random book pile and read it myself. I finished Keeping The House and enjoyed it very much both as a fun, small town family scandal that crosses generations type of read and an interesting take on the role of a housewife. Getting back to The Piano Teacher now.

Kassandra said...

I'm reading Switched, the first book in a series by Amanda Hocking. When I had two different students bring it in for me because they insisted it was so good, I decided to give it a try. As I am not finished, the jury is still out on what I think about it. :D

Becky said...

Have I mentioned how your blog posts are one of my favorite things about Wednesdays?
The Interestings! Adding it to my list.

Bari said...

I'm not reading anything, but I think I'm going to see if my library has either The Abundance of Katherines or The Interestings. Sometimes YA lit is about all I can handle.

Stephanie Wilson she/her @babysteph said...

Oh now I must read The Dinner!


The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I'm reading the end of your life book club and I like it.

One crazed mommy said...

I FINALLY finished The Angry Woman Suite - actually once I began reading, and committed to finishing, it became much more interesting - I would definitely give it a go...although it can be a little confusing. It has 3 main characters, and they jump back and forth between them, and also jump back and forth between years.