Well read

So, it seems like a thing for people to try to read 100 books in 360 days and then document their efforts. I have decided to try this because I think it sounds super easy. I am pretty sure that I read at least100 books in a year (especially if you count the books I re-read, which I plan to), so I am going to hop on that train and see if I’m correct, or if I’m a bit too big for my britches. (I suppose this is similar to the whole Julie & Julia thing – maybe that’s where the trend got started? Anyway, I’m definitely not up to the task of cooking that much Julia Child. I have one of her cookbooks on my shelf, but I’ve never used it.)

Where was I? Yes, books. Reading 100 books. Hopefully I’ll be able to read most of the books on my Kindle (which I am in LOVE with), since we have very little shelf space left. I guess it’ll be a chance for me to finally read from Michael’s very limited fiction section as well. Suggestions for new books will be greatly appreciated.

My plan is to give a little blurb/review of each book I read, with a preview of the next book on my shelf. I usually read more than one book at a time, but I’ll try to keep it short. 

To begin, I will start by counting the books I mostly recently finished (within the last week):

1. Day After Night, by Anita Diamant.
Anita Diamant wrote The Red Tent, which is by far one of my favorite books ever. I was pretty disappointed with her follow up works of fiction, The Last Days of Dogtown and Good Harbor, neither of which were as rich or moving as The Red Tent. Day After Night didn’t quite live up to The Rent Tent either (Honestly, I don’t know if anything will – it’s like everything Barbara Kingsolver has written since The Poisonwood Bible)but I really enjoyed it. This was the first book I officially purchased on my Kindle and I read it in about a day and half (I’m a fast reader, but I only read books that fast when I really enjoy them). The book is set in Palestine, just following World War II, at Atlit, which is like a holding camp for Jewish refugees who have entered Palestine illegally. The camp is basically like a plush concentration camp, which is obviously traumatic for many of the prisoners. No one dies and they all get enough to eat, but they aren’t allowed to leave. The book twines together the stories of several of the women in the camp, highlighting four particular women. I thought it did a lovely job of showing the various ways in which people survived the war and the ways in which they approach life after the Holocaust. I definitely was rooting for the main characters and was pleased with the ending.

Grade: B+
Recommended: Yes

2. The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown.
Okay, I know it’s totally gauche to like Dan Brown (at least according to the hipsters who write for The Stranger), but I thoroughly enjoyed The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. I’ve read most of Dan Brown’s other novels as well, but didn’t like them nearly as much as the Robert Langdon books. Are they totally implausible? Yes. Are the characters generally daft? Yes. Is it a work of staggering genius? No. Did I like the book? Yes, very much. The basic plot is pretty similar – something bad has happened to someone and Robert Langdon has to figure out symbols to crack the case. In this story, the “secret society” at the forefront are the Masons (this book really should have come out a couple years earlier – it could have been the readers companion to National Treasure). I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as The Da Vinci Code (I found it more difficult to get into the story – probably because it doesn’t start out quite as quickly as The Da Vinci Code.) but I still read it pretty quickly and found it satisfying. It’s definitely not a book that will stretch your knowledge of the world (or of Masons), but it was a great read for a slow Saturday.

Grade: B

Coming up:

The Host, by Stephanie Meyer (author of the Twilight series, which I -grudgingly- really liked)
Man’s Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl
Darkly Dreaming Dexter, by Jeff Lindsay (basis of the series Dexter, on Showtime, which Michael and I like to watch)

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