Friday, November 18, 2016

Wrap Up 11/18/16

As promised, today I am going to start doing weekly wrap-ups. So this post will cover the last almost 3 weeks, from November 1 until today. In that time period I read 5 books, all of them new to me.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
The first book in a relatively new mystery series set in England around 1950. One of the things I found most interesting about this book is that even though it is marketed for adults the protagonist is an 11 year old girl. Flavia de Luce is a self taught chemist who is fascinated by poisons so when she discovers a dead body in the garden she is convinced of foul play. I  really appreciated how clean this book was. I am always looking for books to pass on to my nieces and nephews but so often adult books, even if they aren't inappropriate, have adult themes. I love having an adult book that I would give to my 14 year old niece. This was an enjoyable read, nothing earth shattering, not my new favorite series, but just something fun and entertaining. 3.5 stars

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
I loved this book. It is a simple story of a stereotypical grumpy old man who yells at people and is a stickler for rules. The story begins when new neighbors move in and force their friendship on him. You slowly learn more about Ove's past, his childhood and his relationship with his wife. In almost every chapter of this book I went from laughing out loud to tears. It is beautiful and hysterically funny and deeply touching. Very possibly my favorite book of 2016. 5 stars

The Alabaster Box by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
This book was given to me as a gift. It is a story of how bitterness can impact an entire community and the power of forgiveness and letting go of past harms. Overall the was a pleasant book with a leisurely moving plot line. 3 stars

The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett
It is amazing to me that I have never read this book before now! The good news is I thoroughly enjoyed it. The rest of my thoughts I am going to save and I will be posting a more in depth review next week. Nope, not even going to give you a star rating...

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
I know this book is considered one of the great American novels and it has long been on my list of books that I want to read. But now that I have read it, the question emerges, why? I find myself not exactly sure how I feel about this book. I like the writing style and I think Toole has a unique way of stringing words together that I enjoyed. I understand why people find this book humorous. However, I really disliked the vast majority of characters. Ignatius J. Reilly is a millennial before the days of millennials. He was whiny and obnoxious and rude and I really didn't even want to know what atrocious thing he was going to do next. Many of the lesser characters were blatant stereotypes. Overall, though it was a reasonably interesting read, it is not something I would pick up again or recommend. 2.5 stars (Don't hate me...)

As always, thank you for taking time to read my ramblings.
Happy Friday and Happy Reading!!!

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