books i read last month!
1. the lonely polygamist by brady udall
this novel took most of the month to read...not only is it 602 pages and freakishly heavy, but the subject matter was very dense. the story is about a large complicated family told through the eyes of the father, one of the mothers (AKA sister-wives) and one of the teenaged sons. the author did a great job of getting me to think (at points) that polygamy was not so bad for some people or rather drew the characters in such a way that i understood why THEY choose this way of life. i appreciated that the story did not dwell on the religious aspects of polygamy with a heavy hand, but instead explored how difficult basic communication can be between 1 husband, 4 wives and 28 children. i am not giving much away in saying that this was a sad book, i caught myself crying more than once...but i also caught myself rooting for the quirky characters.
2. claire dewitt and the city of the dead by sara gran
i realized a few months ago that i never read "mystery" type books...with detectives and what not. after i finished this book i knew why. i have no PATIENCE. when there was major foreshadowing in the story i basically skimmed ahead until i found out what was happening and then went back and read the sections that i skipped over. argh. maybe i would have enjoyed this book if i had more patience with this genre of storytelling? but to be honest the murder mystery was only slightly interesting. the main character was a snotty lady PI named claire who kept going on and on about how horrible new orleans is. OK, i get it...new orleans is a dangerous sad place. i was more interested in her back-story, but since this is the first in the series, the author kept alluding to claire's crazy parents, her drug addictions and her abducted friends - but never really delivered on explaining any of it. not a total waste of time, but kinda.
3. heart and soul the story of florence nightingale by gena gorrell
i think this is a young adult book and I DON'T CARE! what i do care about is knowing that florence nightingale was a bad-ass! seriously, i had no idea what she did during her lifetime regarding reforming the british military medical system and establishing the profession of nursing...to name only a few of her accomplishments. her strength and belief in herself and her ideals went against societal views of what women were capable of doing during the victorian age...and against what her family deemed respectable. although women could not vote she sounded like an amazing politician and a bit of a bully...but she knew when she was right (cleanliness, fresh air and water, healthy food) and fought for it. she was also a statistics freak and made tons of charts regarding patient care, death rates, etc.
4. sea of lost dreams by ferenc máté
this novel is part of a series...which i did not realize until i actually looked closely at the cover while i was reading it. i picked it up because it was about a group of quasi-pirates, sailing to tahiti in 1921 and to my delight, the author spent a lot of time making the ship and the ocean a major part of the story. the descriptions of life on the boat were some of my favorite passages. it was a quick read and in general i did like the characters and the anti-colonialism bent to the story. amazon describes it as an "anthropological thriller"...hmmm.
Posted by sara.ann at 7:38 AM