This month was EXTREMELY slow because I went on vacation. And contrary to my belief, I found basically zero time to read. I didn’t pack any physical books (except the two for the Goodreads give-away-day) and was reliant on my Kindle, which (of course) died on my long flight. Thus, I only got a few hundred pages into Outlander. Once I reached Germany, I went from one family gathering to another: two weddings, one baptism, grandparents, parents, siblings, and cousins do really take up a lot of time. I don’t want to sound like I am complaining though, I had a wonderful time and really enjoyed my family. Plus, I did get a lot of knitting done – both, mom and sis, joined me on several occasionss, so it became kind of a family affair!
Sing, Unburied, Sing (Jesmyn Ward) ♠♠♠♠
This is a tough book to read. Ward’s way of creating haunting images is extraordinary. Her knack for language really shines through as she tells a sad story of despair. Jesmyn Ward provokingly conveys what it feels like to struggle with your inner demons while facing what life demands of you. Her characters are often lost and helpless. They feel alone despite the fact that they’re surrounded by family. The author tackles concepts like addiction and interdependency in a too-real fashion that makes you want to shake the characters until they wake up and face the facts. This book was slow-going for me as I often felt overwhelmed and lost myself. As I said in my Goodreads review, I think this novel will become a classic one day, and with her nomination for a National Book Award, the author is well on her way.
It (Stephen King) ♠♠♠♠♠
Well, hot diggety. This book blew my mind. Stephen King is an underappreciated wizard of words. He slays with language. He creates and takes away. This is a very long novel but yet it didn’t feel that way. I know people often complain that he is wordy and has plot points that are completely irrelevant to the story, but I’d argue that those are what make the book. These interludes and tangents force you to get to know the main characters and that became really important for It. His character development in this book was simply genius. He believably conveys what it means to grow up in a town like Derry, the importance it takes to have friends when you feel hopeless, how puppy-love can turn into so much more, and how ignorance is sometimes the best solution. He spins a tale that is frighteningly fascinating, a villain that you want to hate but can’t, and a feverish need to remember what was so easy to forget. And you, the reader, are along for the ride. You meet The Losers when they were young and you get to know them again as adults. The story is frantic, doused in chaos, and full of twists and turns, and yet you always know where you are and what’s going on. This is a slow read, one to savor, with lots of pauses but it never feels that way. My heart was pounding at times, I gasped on several occasions, and yes, at times I was scared like a little kid. King’s dedication of this book to his children was perfectly fitting and really captures the essence of It.
Select (Marit Weisenberg) ♠♠♠
This book felt immature and parts of the story were just not believable. Marit Weisenberg shows promise as a writer and her ideas have potential. I am expecting more to come as she grows in her profession. Don’t get me wrong, this is a decent series and I will probably read sequels. I enjoyed the characters and the premise. It just was missing something, the important je-ne-sais-quoi, the thing that takes a good novel over the top and makes it great. Fingers crossed the author will get there in the future.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Carson McCullers) ♠♠♠♠
The best description for this books is ‘language over content’. This is right up my alley. I loved Carson McCullers writing. It was beautiful, imaginative, interesting, and quirky. She is capable of making the mundane special. There is no real plot here but there is no need for it. Her characters are what carry the story. You will laugh with them, cry with them, hurt with them, grow with them. You will question their motives and you will praise their courage. You will wonder why and then go ‘ah, I see’. This is not a feel-good piece of work. This is a critical view on 1930s American small town society. You should read it because your life will be better for it. Also, I adore this cover!
Kinderland (Mawil) ♠♠♠♠♠
Guys, I couldn’t be more excited about having found this book. This was like a walk down memory lane IN GRAPHIC NOVEL FORM. I found myself in Berlin in this eclectic comic book store – Modern Graphics (side note, you should check it out if you ever find yourself on Oranienstrasse). I had a fun conversation with one of the clerks there about our mutual admiration of Neil Gaiman until I asked him to recommend a local Berlin author – and here he led me to Mawil. I was immediately drawn into as it is about a young boy growing up in East Berlin, dealing with East German fallacies/idiosyncracies/quirks and the sudden fall of the Berlin wall. I devoured this book and essentially read it in one night. The illustrations are exactly what they should be given the topic. All in all, this is a home-run of a book.