Sunday, March 6, 2011

Books I Read in February

Some of you may remember that my New Year's resolution is to read 44 books by the end of the year. Here are the books I read last month. Click here to read about books I read in January.

Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte

Jane and Mr. Rochester are madly in love, but he has hidden secrets that threaten to separate them forever.

I don't usually read romances, not because I don't like them, but because I like them too much and can't handle them. This book almost killed me. It took a whole week to find out what happened to Jane and Mr. Rochester, and I couldn’t bear it. I lost sleep over this darned book. I hesitate to recommend it because I don't want anyone else to suffer the same agonizing suspense. It was so good, though.

Devolutionaries
Shallee McArthur

The government has taken everything from Ash, but when it starts gathering people with telepathic abilities and they take his grandfather, they've gone too far. Ash will do anything, including join the Rebel armies to learn how to use his own telepathic skill, to get his grandfather back.

This is probably my favorite YA novel. Sadly, it hasn't been published yet: I was a beta reader for Shallee McArthur. It will be published, though, and when it is, I'm going to advertise it like crazy.

 
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This Nobel Prize-winning book was a difficult read, especially since I know nothing about Latin American history or its literary tradition. I did some research to help me understand and appreciate it, and I encourage you to do the same. I recommend www.gradesaver.com.

Here’s a summary of what I learned from Wikipedia: One Hundred Years of Solitude is a fictional parallel of Columbian history. It had a large impact because it assists Latin Americans in defining their cultural identity (apparently a difficult feat considering the political and historical unrest of the continent). The author utilized the new “magical realism” style in which reality is seamlessly mixed with imagination. One of the main themes is that ideological illusions create entrapment and underdevelopment, much like how the dream of South America became a complicated disappointment. Another major theme of the book is fatalism and the inevitable repetition of history. The characters suffer from destructive cycles in the same way Latin America suffers. The characters make a transition from selfish to loving, which helps them escape from themselves in the same way Marquez hopes Latin America will. Regarding solitude, Marquez wrote: “The interpretation of our reality through patterns not our own serves only to make us ever more unknown, ever less free, ever more solitary.”

Seabiscuit
Laura Hillenbrand

This is a non-fiction about the unlikely triumph of the best racehorse America has ever seen.

I don’t know what possessed me to read this book. I have no interest in racing, and I’ve decided after finishing this that I don’t like non-fiction. The book was lying around the house and I was curious about how a book about a horse could have been so popular. This book was fun when it talked about the dynamics of racing culture and the characters’ back-stories, but then it was just race after race after race and I was bored. Seabiscuit got incredible reviews, so I recommend it to anyone who actually wants to read it.

3 comments:

  1. Ah, thanks for the love for Devolutionaries! You made me blush.

    I LOVE Jane Eyre. It's one of my favorite romances of all time. I love the gothic undertones and the brilliant characters. I'm glad you enjoyed it too!

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  2. It's always interesting to me to see what people are reading. I never read Jane Eyre--I think because when my older brother had to read it for school, he HATED it. But if other writers love it, I might have to check it out.

    Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

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  3. Oh man Becca, everyone I know who's read Jane Eyre raves about it. I can't figure out what it is that makes that book so much greater than other romances, even though I agree it's the best romance I've ever read. Readers: any thoughts on this?

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I love hearing from my readers!

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