Friday, February 7, 2014

A Thousand Acres

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley...It was an entertaining read though it was slow moving in spots.  It is a retelling of King Lear which is why, I guess, I didn't appreciate it as much as others.  I have never read King Lear nor do I know the story.  It's a Pulitzer Prize winner and gets great reviews. I've got nothing was just OK to me.  

This book fulfills the USA Fiction Challenge (Iowa) and The Full House Reading Challenge (Published before 2013).


Synopsis found here.

Parts of this story were beautifully written and some parts felt more like the author was practicing "mind dump." There were sections that were heartbreaking and very realistic. I do think this book does a good job of highlighting how chronic illness can wear and tear on a family.  I didn't care for the sections of the novel where clock repair manual excerpts were used...I felt that those areas were just filler and I found myself skimming over those. The ending was confusing. Overall the story was just OK for me...I need to think on this one some more. It was a quick read so I might re-read it again later in the year.

Reading Tinkers by Paul Harding fulfills "less than 200 pages" for Full House Reading Challenge, "Award Winning" for The Eclectic Reader Challenge.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

It took me awhile to get into Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, but when I finally did, I really enjoyed it.  At first, I felt the author was too whiney and I quickly got tired of  the self-pity. I was however fascinated by the whole idea of her hiking the PCT by herself so I continued reading.  Fortunately, the author uncovers feelings about her life and the death of her mother and grows as she progresses on the trail.  I loved that she never gave up even when things got tough.  I caught myself thinking "now what are you going to do?" several times. I would certainly recommend this read.  It's a good book even though the beginning was a little hard to get through ( I do think the self-pity, etc at the beginning was necessary though so we could see how far she had come emotionally).  Plus, I think it sparked an interest...I might need to do some hiking this spring.

This book fulfills The Monthly Keyword Challenge for January ("wild") and the "Non Fiction" square in the Full House Reading Challenge.

Blue Asylum

Just finished reading Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall.  This book fulfills the "Blue" category for the Color Coded Reading Challenge , "Florida" for the State by State Challenge and "Historical Fiction" for the Full House Reading Challenge.

Honestly, this book caught my attention because it is about characters in an asylum.  It has been sitting in my TBR pile for awhile now though because it is set during the Civil War and historical fiction is one of my least favorite genres.  So, I reluctantly read this and enjoyed it!  There were several events that caught me off guard and I appreciate that.  I like Hepinstall's writing style and will probably read her other works.