Title: Eat, Pray, Love
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Review Summary: A humorous and relatable story with such great characters it’s hard to believe they weren’t invented just for this book.
What do you do if you have everything you “should” want and are still unhappy? In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert shares her story of leaving it all – a promising career, a comfortable home, and even her marriage – to travel the world in search of happiness. Like Cecilia Ahearn, I expected Elizabeth Gilbert to be too “girly” or emotional of an author for me and was pleasantly surprised. Of course, the book includes many emotional topics, such as the author’s agonizing divorce proceedings, but she describes everything in a relatable, humorous way. She comes across as very down-to-earth and comfortable laughing at herself and never became too angsty. Continue reading
Title: How the French Invented Love: Nine Hundred Years of Passion and Romance
Author: Marilyn Yalom
Source: from publisher for a TLC Book Tour
Review Summary: A fascinating read, with unbelievable anecdotes and captivating stories. Lacking a cohesive theme, but still interesting, elegant, and insightful.
How the French Invented Love is a history of love in French society, particularly French literature, from around 1100AD to today. The author summarizes classic stories to give you a feel for the era, but leaves out just enough that you desperately want to read the complete work. These glimpses into each era’s literature are spiced up by the addition of true anecdotes from the author’s personal experience in France. Some of these stories are not for the faint of heart, as they include adultery and other even more unusual romantic situations, but there are very few explicit sex scenes included. I would rate this one PG-13. Continue reading
Title: The Talented Mr. Ripley
Author: Patricia Highsmith
Review Summary: Slightly creepy but intriguing story about a supposedly likable murder, but I found him an unsympathetic main character which made it hard for me to really care where the plot went.
The Talented Mr. Ripley is not a book I would have picked up on my own for fear it would be too dark. However, I’ve been enjoying doing group reads a lot and this was the next book for the Constant Reader Group on Goodreads. The book tells the story of Ripley, a man sent to Europe to talk an acquaintance into returning to the United States. Instead, he begins desperately wishing he has his acquaintance’s life and even murder won’t prevent our amoral protagonist from achieving his goals. I’m sure you can see why I was worried about it being too dark! Continue reading
This last month was my first time participating in the Reading Buddies discussion run by Erin Reads and I’m already looking forward to next month’s read! The adult fiction books which seem to be popular in the discussions she leads are definitely outside my usual reading bubble and at least with this first book, I really enjoyed that. The March read was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. When I first started carrying this book around to read I was worried someone would ask me what it was about because I wasn’t really sure how to sum it up nicely. Then I looked up the genre for my genre-based reading challenges and discovered the wonderful German word, “Bildungsroman”, meaning a coming-of-age novel (or directly translated “formation novel”). It makes me happy that there’s a word that so precisely describes what this book is about. Continue reading
Even ignoring all the awesome information I’m learning from reading so much non-fiction, I’ve been learning a lot from this project. In particular, I’m learning to do things for the journey instead of the destination; to be patient with myself; to indulge my interests; and to see where life takes me. I have zero self-control in the library, absolutely none. Which is why I ended up with All Creatures Great and Small, a book from a section I’d already read a book from! I’m absolutely amazed at the number of books I can find to desperately want to read in even a small section of a small library in Ames, Iowa. But I constantly remind myself that I’m not going to finish the project in a reasonable time frame anyway, and you know what? It doesn’t matter. Because finishing is not the point. The point is to read books I wouldn’t have read otherwise and become a more well-rounded person. Plus to enjoy myself of course, which is usually enough all by itself to make me glad I picked a book up. Continue reading