Here are a few other books that I finished recently. I was reading a little more a couple months ago, but I’ve just been so tired at night lately that I haven’t wanted to read as per usual. I’ve just wanted to shut my mind off. I know everyone else gets like that on occasion. The good thing about borrowing books from the library on my Kindle is that they are due in 2 weeks rather than the 4 if I had a hard copy of the book. That pushes me to read them a little faster.
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
After I read the book The Paris Wife, it made me want to read the actual book that Hemingway wrote during this time period. It’s funny how the characters in the semi-biographical book morphed into the actual writings. Anyway, the book itself. I can see why people like Hemingway’s style of writing. Sentences are crisp and not overdone. They get to the point and it reads quite fast. I had a little trouble when there was a lot of dialogue because Hemingway didn’t use any Joe said or Frank said or whatever to distinguish who is talking. So, at times I had trouble figuring out which character was speaking.
As for the story itself, it follows a group what would seem to be 20 somethings in Paris in the 1920s (there’s that decade again!!). It is post WWI and all of the characters were affected at some point by the war. The story is told through the eyes of Jake and follows him and his friends through a ton of drinking and trying to find happiness in their lives, all culminating with a group trip to Pamplona to watch bull fighting (which Hemingway loved in real life). It seems the big themes of the novel were wanting what you couldn’t have, loneliness and drinking. Lots of drinking. I actually didn’t like any of the characters except for Jake. The others were pretty unlikable. I am interested in some other of Hemingway’s books.Probably this winter I will read another one.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
I think this was made into a movie, right? Nothing like being late to the party on popular stuff. Anyway, I had no idea of what this book was about. It’s the story of 14-year old Lily and her housekeeper/surrogate mother Rosaleen. Lily’s mother was killed when she was just 4 years old and Lily was raised by her abusive father in a racially charged town in South Carolina. After Rosaleen was jailed for getting in an argument with some white men, Lily broke her out and they ran away to a city that was on the back of one of her mother’s pictures. There they met a trio of bee keeping sisters and Lily learns a lot more than she bargained for about her family. The book has a strong mother theme and uses the bees to help symbolize family and what it takes to keep a hive going. It was a good book and read really easily. I found the dialogue to be heavy handed and cliche at times, which took away from the story. I did like how the women were all strong characters, too, each in their own way.
The Martian by Andy Weir
Yep, the popular movie! I had put myself on the wait list for this book months ago and it finally came about a month ago. For those that haven’t read it or seen the movie, it’s the story of Mark Watney, who gets left behind on Mars when his crew members thought he was dead. It’s the story of his fight for survival and resourcefulness to live to be rescued.
I have to say, I really wanted to like this book more than I did given how hugely popular it is. It was engaging at first, but then I started to get bored with all of the technical details of how Watney jury rigged everything to make what he wanted and it always worked. It seemed every other chapter was “I’m going to try something super dangerous. It could be my last day” Well, at halfway through the book, I doubt that. 🙄 I also found his character to not have a ton of depth. There was very little emotion in his diary writings save for jokes and an occasional thought about his coworkers or parents. He was quite flip most of the time. He never seemed to really break down and talk about the people in his life or anything. I get why this book is popular. It read like a movie.
Does anyone else see the similarity in the covers between the Hemingway and Weir books? Interesting.
What are you reading?