In January I shared about my 2016 reading resolutions. I am LOVING this challenge so far.
In January I suggested that we re-read a favorite book. One of my favorite books is Anne of Green Gables. I loved it when I read it as a kid, I loved it as a college student, and now I love it as a mom. It speaks to me differently in these different life stages. I love the humor, the relationships, and the life lessons.
If you haven’t read them before, I highly recommend the whole series, although the first three are my favorite. So far I have made it through to Anne’s House of Dreams. I hope to read the rest of them later.
February brought a new challenge so I took a break to read a book that I haven’t read before by an author that I love. I chose The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling. I’d been eyeing it for a while. She is such an amazing author. I love how she has such complex stories that come together so beautifully. Harry Potter was absolutely amazing…how she created a whole other believable world right within our own world. She has a very impressive talent of writing incredible characters. You find yourself caring about and understanding her characters, even if you don’t like them.
This talent carried over into her adult novel, The Casual Vacancy. Wow. What can I say about this novel? If JK Rowling was trying to show the world that she could write something other than young adult fantasy novels of good vs. evil and magic…she succeeded. This story dug into the deepest, darkest thoughts of the many characters living in a small town who are affected by the death of a prominent town figure. Although interesting and thought provoking, the vulgarity of it was a huge turn off for me and made it so I really can’t recommend it (seriously, if my mother or mother in law are reading this…do NOT pick up this book!) I read several reviews and read the back of the book with no idea what I had gotten myself into. There should be book ratings like movie ratings. This one would be R…if not worse. But luckily, I am an excellent skimmer 😉
Most of the characters were not likable at all at first, but as I read more, I understood them more. In the end, even though I didn’t necessarily like them, I at least really felt for them. The issues brought up are relevant…the politics of whether or not to help people who aren’t really helping themselves but need help so badly, hurting marriages, abuse, lies, addictions, teenage boys and what happens to their thoughts when sucked into pornography, mental illness, poverty, childhood innocence being stolen…it’s all so very real and something more people should be aware of. I did not enjoy the book…it was horrible…but I couldn’t put it down. Like I said, it’s incredibly thought provoking and incredibly well written…and if you can handle the language and the crude sexual content, I think the story is rather important. It appealed to me, with my communication studies and social work background, for sure. And although she doesn’t end with any sort of moral or lesson, she leaves us with story that broadens our perspective and challenges our way of thinking. It was a book I will not easily forget, although I will not be reading it again.
I am now in the middle of an amazing book that I am excited to share with you later. I’m glad to read an uplifting book after such a crazy first book this month.
My husband read Ender’s Game in January, by Orson Scott Card, another of my favorites. And he read Ender’s Shadow this month. I haven’t read that one but my husband said it was a story about Bean, a side character of Ender’s Game. I think it’s so fun to read stories like that…from another perspective.
Wouldn’t it be great fun if JK Rowling would write more Harry Potter books…perhaps from Snape’s perspective? Or Harry’s parents. Or another series that happen many years later that involve their children. One can hope! 😉
What are YOU reading?!