Well, I haven't been reading as much as I would like now that Chelsea is more & more mobile (translation: trouble maker). Here are a few books I managed to eek out at the end of last year and into 2014:
It's been months since I finished The Light Between Oceans and I still think about it once in a while. It is exquisitely written; I haven't read a book with such vivid imagery in a long time. The plot captures your attention from the start and is, ultimately, heartbreaking. Discussing the particulars of the plot gives too much away so I'll leave it at that. I highly recommend this novel.
I was disappointed with Beautiful Ruins. Maybe my expectations were too high because, with such a beautiful cover, it has to be the perfect novel, right?? Well, the cover photo is very pretty but I found this book to be so-so. This is the first book I've read where I actually skipped a chapter (it wasn't totally relevant to the main plot). The chapters, in fact, jump around and cover different decades in the lives of the characters, which was an interesting literary device but I found it too distracting from the storyline. Also, I wasn't fond of the Hollywood/movie-making portion of the plot. I finished this book -- that's really the only good thing I can say about it.
We made a super fast stop at the library recently and after checking out a dozen kid books, I decided to quickly swing by the "new book" shelf on our way out. With Chelsea squirming in my arms and Nate asking "how long are we going to be here?" I decided to grab a book and go, solely basing my item on cover photo and title. Yea for me. Anyhoo, this book was fascinating and I would recommend it if you're interesting in British history. Pamela Hicks is the great, great granddaughter of Queen Victoria and she's lived a very interesting, very privileged life among the upper-crust of British society. She was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth for a time, lived in India for a spell and was friends with Gandhi. I can only assume by the very abrupt ending to this book that Mrs. Hicks is planning a second volume to her autobiography. Fascinating story.
What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said? I finished it 2 weeks ago and I think about it constantly. It will blow your mind. I can't decide who I love more -- Laura Hillenbrand or the book's subject, Louis Zamperini (I might love Laura a smidge more because Louis is a USC alum....) The movie based on this book comes out in December. I highly recommend reading this book first; Laura's attention to detail (research!!) is impeccable and there's no way the movie can cover the entire story unless it's a 4+ hour film. My only other comment would be to warn future readers that the POW abuse and other elements of the story wore me out at one point. It's difficult to read about someone's suffering day after day and not have it affect you. I had to put the book down for a couple of days because it was taking me to a dark place. After my self-imposed break, I finished the book just fine. I will definitely make my kids read this book at some point in their future ("20 books your mom wants you to read as young adults "-- hmmm, that's a list I need to start working on).