Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What I Read Wednesday

Saint Odd: An Odd Thomas Novel
I feel like I've been reading the Odd Thomas series for my whole life, but it turns out the first was released in 2008. Still, a long time. Odd Thomas is a man who has many supernatural powers, such as the ability to sense when deaths will take place. He uses his powers to try and interfere, but he is often times too late. Saint Odd was the last book of the series and came from full circle from the beginning. What I enjoy about this series is that although it's a continuation and builds, each novel can kind of stand alone and has enough filler information that I didn't feel like I was totally lost.

A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention
This book was fascinating. It interweaves the story of the first texting and driving manslaughter case alongside scientific studies and personal stories. It makes a case that technology splits our brain so much that we're unable to fully focus. Even if you aren't texting and driving, your brain might be wandering still from sending a text at a stop light. Or maybe you hear your phone and your attention is now split wondering what the text you received was, and it takes a full 10-15 seconds to fully return your attention to the road. It also brings up just how much time kids are spending with technology, an interesting and somewhat frightening number, considering how many kids are now using one-on-one devices in schools. For a non-fiction book, this was anything but dry and I would recommend everyone read it.

See How Small: A Novel
This is a book that people will either love or hate because it's written in a unique prose and that can be dividing. One evening after closing up the ice cream shop at which they work, three girls are attacked by two men and mercilessly abused at gunpoint, after which the shop is lit on fire and the girls die. This story is told from the survivors and from the three girls, often hovering just at the edge of their loved ones' vision. The whole truth behind their murders is left untold, but what is told is haunting.

The Secret Wisdom of the Earth
After the death of his brother, 14 year old Kevin and his mom go to live with his grandpa in coal country. This novel encompasses a lot: coming of age, environmental issues, human rights issues and the complexity of life after tragedy. At times, it seemed a reach in a few areas, but it was overall an absolutely engaging read. I loved most of the characters and I liked that it maintained a realistic tone of life through the end.

Black River
Wes returns to Black River with two things: an urn of his wife's ashes and a letter from the parole board, stating that the inmate who trapped and tortured Wes for almost two days is up for parole. He arrives to a town that is both changed and unchanged and to a stepson with whom he still cannot relate. Throughout the pages, he feels out his role in his stepson's life and tries to make amends but can't quite let go of the past. He struggles with the belief that people are born a certain way or made a certain way and cannot change, despite what they say. This is one of those reads that leaves you equally sad and happy all at once. Wes' story is powerful and dark but not without hope.

What are you reading?


Barb Ruess said...

Two of your books from this week are on my to-read list already! Now I'm looking forward to them even more.

Last week I read:
2 a.m. at the Cat's Pajamas - on page 3 I fell in love with the main character (9yo Madeleine) and the pages flew by. The story starts at 7am on Christmas Eve Eve and ends 24 hours later. Chapters (really just breaks in the story) are given by the time of day. A quirky, fun, and altogether entertaining cast of characters.

Lost Lake - a predictable story but one with good characters, a little bit of magic, and a warm summer setting - the kind of story that's fun to lose yourself within on a cold winter weekend.

InTheFastLane said...

I finished Girl on a Train, most recently. And the Fever before that. Both quick entertaining reads.

Lyndsay W said...

I'm reading Shine, Shine, Shine because my mom told me to but I'm not really enjoying it.

Next is The Rosie Effect.

Unknown said...

I am headed to the library at lunchtime today to pick up a couple books. I just finished The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow. It was an easy, breezy fiction book. The story had a lot of convenient coincidences in it, but it was entertaining.

One crazed mommy said...

Just started reading You Are One of far it's okay. Have a whole list of books to follow, but I literally am having to go Eenie Meenie Miney Moe...there are so many of them...

Theresa Mahoney said...

I just wrapped up Perks of Being a Wallflower. Love, love, loved it! I don't remember the last time I tore through a book like that. I just placed a hold on Me Before You. I think that was one of your recommendations also? (I have an ongoing list of books I pick up from many bloggers.) I am hoping to have that before our car trip to Castaway Bay on Friday.