Friday, June 1, 2012

2012 reading: Catch-up (Part 1)

I have been such a slacker with reviewing books since my son was born ... uh ... more than a year ago. I've actually managed to get a decent amount of reading done so far this year, partially thanks to my Christmas gift of a Kindle (Yes, I finally jumped on the digital train), so I'll try to catch up on reviewing what I've read in a series of short reviews.

Title and author: The Help - Kathryn Stockett
Source: Library
Rating: 7 out of 10

I put off reading this book for a long time because I just tend to not read really popular books, but I decided to read it after seeing the movie. I thought the book was really well-written and had a great concept. It showed a side of pre-civil rights life that not everyone thinks about. That being said, I think I would have liked this book more if I had read it before seeing the movie. I just didn't feel the connection with Skeeter that I felt I should have as she was the main protagonist.

Title and author: Room - Emma Donoghue
Source: Library
Rating: 10 out of 10

This is one of those books you hate to love due to its subject matter. Kidnapping and imprisoning a woman, impregnating her and then keeping her and the child locked in a room for five years isn't exactly a feel-good, happy topic, but Donoghue's choice to tell the story through the eyes of Jack was a brilliant one because he had an innocence about the whole topic so the reader didn't feel beaten over the head by the negative subject. I adored Jack. He is probably on my list of Top 5 Favorite Protagonists Ever. I want a 5-year-old just like him (Minus the fact that he's been locked in one room his whole life). Donoghue manages a feat not often mastered: She employs a young, innocent narrator but his narration is not annoying or difficult to read, and I never felt talked-down-to. Jack is just Jack, and he absolutely makes this story. Highly, highly recommended book!

Title and author: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs
Source: Library
Rating: 8 out of 10

The thing that intrigued me the most about this book was the vintage photographs which inspired the story scattered throughout the text. I kept looking back at the photos! Though I didn't really feel a particular connection to any of the characters (I'm not sure why), I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It had a unique concept, it was well-written and made an easy, fun read.

Title and author: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness in the Fair that Changed America - Erik Larson
Source: Kindle edition
Rating: 8 out of 10

I'm not usually one for non-fiction, but a serial killer during the World's Fair in Chicago? Sign me up! Larson actually helped me to like non-fiction because his writing isn't dry. This book read more like a novel than history. My usual Kindle-reading time is when putting my son to bed at night, and I found myself sitting long after he was asleep, reading this book because I wanted to find out what happened. I would recommend this to anyone who is wary of non-fiction. This may just be a gateway book!


nomadreader said...

Hooray for Room! I love that one!

Michelle said...

It is a great book, isn't it? I've recommended it to everyone I can think will be able to handle the subject matter.

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