Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What I Read Wednesday

Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival
I was too young when Flight 232 crashed to remember any of the story, so this was all new to me. I think that being on an airplane that is crashing would be one of the most terrifying experiences ever, whether you lived or died. Knowing that those on board Flight 232 spent 25 minutes in the process of crashing made this book a harrowing read. However, It was also an incredibly powerful book. Of the 296 people on board Flight 232, 184 survived. Looking at the photos of the plane and reading the description of the crash, it is hard to believe that anyone survived--let alone over half of those on board. The author does an amazing job of juxtaposing the stories of the survivors and the immediate moments after the crash, alongside the years that have followed, in with the stories of those who did not survive and finally, the fatal flaw that brought down Flight 232. Some of the science behind how airplane engines are built and what caused Flight 232 to crash were a little dry, but the overall book itself was incredibly powerful. In this moment, people became superhuman, helping their fellow passengers to safety, while the rescuers on the ground assumed they were heading to a crash in which no one survived. This was definitely not an easy read, but I am glad I read the stories the author included in this book to better know the people who lived and died that day. [side note: the 25th anniversary was just last week, if you're interested.]

The Girls from Corona del Mar: A novel
The girls from Corona del Mar are poor. They have fathers who have lost jobs, mothers who drink too much and live in houses or apartments way too small for their families. Yet, Lorrie Ann carries herself gracefully, amidst the poverty and struggle, so gracefully that the other girls are never jealous of her--even Lorrie Ann's best friend Mia. Mia's life is not so pretty, with a mom who drinks too much and an abortion at fifteen. Mia thinks Lorrie Ann has it all, until it suddenly goes downhill for Lorrie Ann, starting with the death of her father. As the two girls grow up, they drift apart but always, Mia's life orbits around Lorrie Ann… however, good or bad that may be, Mia cannot let go of the connection they once had.
This book was not a happy read, but it was engaging. I think any of us with friendships that started in middle school can understand the connection between Mia and Lorrie Ann.

The Untold
I read this one on the recommendation of Barb, who said she flew through it.
Jessie Hickman is on the run at the age of 22. Having just killed her husband, she buries her baby daughter, born way too premature to survive. Her not meant for this world baby becomes the narrator of the book, pondering "If the dirt could speak, whose story would it tell?" In this case, it tells the story of Jessie, based upon a female bushranger in the late 1800s Australia. Although little is known about the actual Jessie, the author reconstructs and twists history to form a fascinating tale. Although Jessie and her trials and tribulations were engrossing, what really engrossed me was the voice of the very unique narrator--almost an old soul, not a life snuffed out before it began.

The Hurricane Sisters: A Novel
This is a perfect summer read. Set in South Carolina low country, this book tells a story from the perspective of many different family members of a tumultuous time during hurricane season. While some of the dialogue was a little stilted, it was still a very enjoyable book and I was pulled into the family drama and attempts to reconnect. I loved 80 year old grandma Maisie, who kicks off the book by walking a llama on a leash down the highway. Her voice brought the most personality and life to this book.

What are you reading?


Corrin said...

Just reading "Flight 232" gives me a panic attack.

jaime said...

I like these posts - they give me ideas of things I should read. (I don't read as often as I should.) Right now, I'm about 2/3 of the way through Emily Giffin's "The One & Only." I don't like how it's going and I don't even want to read the end.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I just finished The Virgin of Small Plains and I am debating what to start next, either Don't Try to Find Me, Favors and Lies or The Ocean at the End of the Line.

InTheFastLane said...

I love it when your book posts have lots of books that I haven't read so I can add to my "To Read" List.

I didn't get a chance to read very much last week (or at all ;)), but since I haven't commented in two weeks, I will tell you about those books too.

Bear: A story of a family attacked by a bear while camping, narrated by the 5yo daughter. This book was a quick read but frustrating at times because it was narrated by a 5yo who was also attempting to help her 2yo brother. It was a terrifying, yet sweet book, filled with the love of a family.

My Father's House: A sad but quick reading book, set in Ireland, centered around a dying father and the family dynamics of the past that brought the family to where the are now.

Currently reading Lisey's Story by Stephen King. When I picked this up off the reshelving cart at the library, I was surprised there was a Stephen King Book that I hadn't heard of. I just started this book, but it is intriguing as that it seems to be a personal story that incorporates much of Stephen King's life as a writer into the actual book.

Barb Ruess said...

I read The Unknown Americans (LOVED it) and am now reading The Son. It almost feels like a slog after how quickly Unknown Americans went but it's a good one.

So glad you enjoyed The Untold. That narrating voice is what grabbed me from the beginning and didn't let go.

Unknown said...

I breezed through The Storied Life of AJ Fikry this week, and I am now reading The Husband's Secret.

Anonymous said...

I just finished One Plus One by Jojo Moyes. It was excellent! It's chicklit, but very well done.

I started Stupid Girl, but it made me want to stab myself in the eye, so that's a DNF.

Theresa Mahoney said...

The Hurricane Sisters sounds really good. Grandma sounds like quite the character.

I just picked up the Infernal Devices books from the library. Hopefully I will find the time to start them this weekend.