Fiction Read in March :
Kim by Rudyard Kipling
My first time for this classic. I was surprised by how much I thoroughly enjoyed it. John and I each read it and then discussed it together as part of his schoolwork. The discussion might have contributed to the enjoyment.
13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
I had heard great things about this debut novel. I came away thinking that Mona Awad is a powerful writer that I would be interested in reading again but that I wasn’t in love with this book. The main character is Lizzie, the eponymous fat girl, who we see in a series of 13 sketches at different points in her life. Lizzie is not likeable for many reasons. I’m ok with an unlikeable protagonist but I was bothered by the lack of insight she gains in the end. She starts out a weight-obsessed, needy, bitter fat girl and ends a weight-obsessed, needy, bitter thin girl. Perhaps realistic, but it was just depressing to see her remain the same without any small glimmer of redemption.
Jar City by Arnaldur Indrioason
I enjoyed this mystery set in Reykjavik although the city is depicted as a bit too gloomy, cold and rainy to make me excited about our fall trip there. A good, solid police drama type of mystery.
A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George
I keep returning to George’s Inspector Lyndley novels like a moth to a flame. The last few have been a little too graphic for me but I keep coming back because I love her characters, even when I don’t always love what she does to them. I liked this book a lot more than the last few in the series EXCEPT for two fairly major plot points at the end that still kind of bug me. But maybe that’s why I keep returning, even when I’m annoyed by the ending, I still find myself more engaged than with other more satisfying but forgettable books. (Did I just describe myself as having a co-dependent relationship with a mystery series?)
Non-Fiction Read in March:
Lit Up: One Reporter, Three Schools, Twenty-Four Books that Can Change Lives by David Denby
Denby spends a year sitting in on an English class in a small public magnet type of school in New York City. He also visits two other high school English classes. Along the way he meets teachers who are managing to engage students as readers in a world that supposedly is saying that kids of their age are no longer interested in books or reading. Much more an ode to reading and education than a “how-to” manual, I put this in the category of enjoyable books about books.
Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D. A. Carson
Finished this month, but read slowly over the past 6 months with a group of women from church. Carson inspired and transformed my thoughts about prayer.
With the Kids:
Ruth and I continue to work our way through Ann M. Martin’s Doll People books. We are also enjoying the Ivy and Bean series as team reading during school. The boys and I are reading A Pocketful of Murder (reviewed on Semicolon’s blog). We are still happily ensconced in the world of the Melendy’s as our car audiobook.
I am almost finished with In a Different Key: The Story of Autism. It is very long, but fantastic and well-worth the time spent. I’m listening to Anne Tyler’s In a Spool of Blue Thread in the car. And like most of you, I expect, I have a stack of books on my nightstand waiting and calling out to me to be picked next.