Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What I Read Wednesday

The Handmaid's Tale
I'm basically the last person in the world to read this book. It was good, but I enjoyed the Mad Addam series more. In a dystopian future, society as we know it has collapsed and women are classified into categories. This story is told by a Handmaid, who serves the purpose only of trying to provide children to the Commander and his wife. This story was a little disjointed but very eerie and left me hoping that the Handmaid made it out okay. The classification of women in this story was, honestly, frightening.

Seveneves: A Novel
It's hard to review this book because at some points I loved it, some points I liked it and at some points, I hated it and just wanted to be done. Not the best review, huh? Stephenson begins his book with the moon breaking into seven pieces. From this point on, life on Earth as we know it is forever changed. Shortly after the moon splits apart, scientists realize that in--give or take--two years, something called the Hard Rain will begin. Once the Hard Rain begins, there is no hope for survival. Aside from a select few who will be sent to dock with the space station, everyone on Earth will die once it becomes inhabitable--a situation that will continue for at least 5000 years. This was fascinating, though somewhat bogged down by an overly scientific approach. I don't actually need to know detailed instructions for asteroid mining, but I do love character development which this book lacked. The losing point for me, however, came when the book jumped forward 5000 years to discuss the inhabitation of New Earth. This is where it really fell apart for me. Character development was weak, I didn't understand how the new planet was developed or why the technology of a race of people who could survive in space for 5000 years and genetically engineer women to get pregnant without the help of a man didn't have that great of technology. Then at the end, the author threw in some fairly interesting facts about some things that happened right after the Hard RainĂ¢€¦ but that was it. The book ended. This was a novel with such potential, but it lost me.

Plum tries to blend into the crowds, but as an overweight woman in a materialistic world, she deals with stares and comments. She endures it silently, knowing that it'll all end when she get gastric bypass and becomes the skinny woman she knows lives inside of her. All of this comes to a confusing halt when she gets caught in a world of women who strive to convince her that life is worth living regardless of size. In the midst of this is a subplot about gender equality and treatment of women in our world, women of all sizes. I really loved this book and at 300 pages long, I was still wishing for more of Plum's story.

Eight Hundred Grapes: A Novel
It takes 800 grapes to make one bottle of wine, or so the author tells us. This book is split between the first person present narration of Georgia and the past narration of her father, Dan. At stake is Georgia's upcoming marriage, her brother's marriage, her other brother's ruination of that marriage, her parents' marriage and her family's vineyard. There's a whole lot at stake her, to sum it up. As the novel unfolds so does the family history and the stories behind why everyone is the way they are. This book was an easy chick lit read. Predictable plot but still very enjoyable for a summer read.

What are you reading?


One crazed mommy said...

Is it already Wednesday? Yeah - same book, same busyness going on in life. I do have both the Handmaids Tale and Dietland already in my wish you are NOT the last person to read the Handmaids Tale...I am. ;)

Stephanie Wilson she/her @babysteph said...

I could have sworn you were the one to recommend The Handmaid's Tale to me years ago LOL. So, at a school near where we are moving, a mother is fighting to have it removed from a public high school (it's a book the kids have to read in class). I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. I think it's ridiculous for her to fight this, especially when we're talking about high schoolers. But I am curious what you think having just read it.


Lyndsay W said...

I finished 'Before I Go' last night and cried until my throat was all wet.

Theresa Mahoney said...

I did get to read Never Let Me Go on our CP trip this weekend. I liked it a lot, but found some of it a little repetitive. Like, when she goes on to say "that happened at the cottages, but we'll talk about that later." So much back and forth, but still a great read. I see there is a movie version on HBO. I scheduled it on my dvr. We'll see if I like it as much as the book.

Barb Ruess said...

Oh the Handmaid's Tale... That was one of my favorite books when I first read it. I wonder how it would stand up now. I may try to read it again.

This week I read:
- A Spool of Blue Thread and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was going to be terribly sad but it wasn't. I like good family/generation stories.
- Bed and I didn't really enjoy it. I loved Whitehouse's other book (Mobile Library) but this one was just depressing... even appalling. Every character in it has given up on life in one way or another and they all revolve around one character who chose to not get up on his 25th birthday and now weighs over 1,000 pounds and hasn't left has bed in decades. Blech.

Unknown said...

I am reading Say What You Will. The description says it's like a cross between The Fault on Our Stars and Eleanor and Park. I loved those, so hopefully I'll love this one too.