Saturday, June 30, 2012

Reading Recap {June}

Book: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
This is a classic coming-of-age novel about a young girl living in the tenements of Brooklyn. The story is set at the turn of the century (1902-1919) and contains many historical elements of that time period. However, it has a message that transcends the ages. The first part of the book was slow moving and hard to get through, but I was hooked after I got over that hurdle. I came to love the main character, Francie Nolan. She is one of those characters that you remember long after you’ve finished the book. Betty Smith writes in a way that you live life with Francie and I felt like I was transported to the streets of Brooklyn while reading. I loved this classic and would highly recommend it.

GileadBook: Gilead
This is not a book that I would have picked out on my own. I read about it on a blog that I follow, so when I found it at a local thrift store I immediately bought it. It is a fictional autobiography of a minister living in Iowa during the 1950s. The preacher is in his mid-seventies and writes to his son a collection of thoughts and memories in the form of journal entries. It truly is a father’s dedication of love to his son. He covers topics like faith, love, jealousy, etc. in a contemplative yet simple way. There are no chapters and the storyline moves slowly. I liked this book, but I didn’t love it.

Book: Like Water for Chocolate
This story takes place in turn-of-the-century Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. Tita De la Garza is the youngest daughter of a well-known rancher and is destined to remain single in order to care for her aging mother. The plot heightens as she falls in love with a man who is forced to marry her older sister. The story became stranger with each chapter as it incorporated more and more fantasy. It seemed like a mystical soap opera. I wanted to like this acclaimed classic, but I struggled to connect. I wouldn’t recommend it.

The Glass Castle
Book: The Glass Castle
Jeannette Walls recounts the very unconventional way that she was raised in this memoir. Her father was brilliant and energetic, but was also an alcoholic. Her mother didn’t want to be responsible for her children, and devoted most of her time to her art. They lived like nomads in the southwestern desert towns, and would move on to a new town whenever bill collectors came or a problem arose. She tells shocking stories of fires, hunger, injuries, cold, neglect, and taunts from her peers that she faced along with her siblings while growing up. There were a few times while reading that I had to remind myself that this was real and not fiction!  She tells her story without an ounce of pity in tone. I was captivated from the first page and would highly recommend this memoir.

Book: Bloom
Kelle Hampton was ecstatic about the birth of her second child. She had everything planned to welcome her second baby girl in the world, so she was shocked to the core when her daughter, Nella, was born with down syndrome. In this memoir, Kelle recounts how she worked through her initial grief and denial  to acceptance. I was in tears as she told the story of Nella’s birth. She is completely honest and doesn’t gloss over anything to make it sound better. The memoir shows her progression from a heartbroken mama to a mama utterly in love with her baby girl. Kelle is a passionate writer and I felt like she captured every detail perfectly. Also, this is one of the most beautifully designed books I’ve ever read. She included photographs all throughout the book. I would recommend this one. {Check out Kelle’s blog here.}

What have you read this month?


Tiffany said...

Wow! I've been trying to read more this summer but busyness has prevented that. I think the only book I finished this month was The Pact by Jodi Picoult. If you've read any of her books you know she's not a Christian author but her stories tackle controversial issues without hiding the mess. I might borrow this idea from you for July if you don't mind :) It might motivate me to read more.
Enjoy your Saturday!

Sarah Rogers said...

I my goodness! I was in a small used book store in my town the other day and picked up "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" for a few bucks. It sounded interesting enough to buy, but after reading your description, I may have to bump it to the top of my reading list :)


Jasmine said...

Before I knew Kelle Hampton had written a book, I checked out her blog and read her birth story of Nella. To be honest, I never connected with Kelle. I didn't pity her and wasn't sure what she was trying to get across with her story. Maybe it was because I knew a handful of mothers with down syndrome kids and all of them had different initial reactions to their own births of their children. But, I just might give her a second chance and read her book. Hopefully, I will fall in love with it like you did.

Allie said...

Dang girl how do you find the time to read so much in one month? I can barely get through one or two books haha. That's pretty awesome. I've been wanting to read The Glass Castle since I was in like high school, but I always forgot and never got around to it. I may push it up on my list a little more. And I had never heard of ' A Tree Grows In Brooklyn' until recently, so I'm kind of really interested to read that now as people have been saying good things about it.

The Cavallaro's said...

I loved The Glass Castle. Read it a few years ago!

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