Friday, August 25, 2017

BOOKS: Summer (really good) Reads

I read a few very good books this summer. Very good. All are books I'll take to school and share around with my colleagues.

My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante (audiobook)
First in the Neopolitan series, I listened to the story of two young girls growing up poor in Naples in the1950s. Lila and Lenu are rather more like frenemies with their love lives and schooling rivalries. The next book, The Story of a New Name, is in print for me, so it will be interesting to see how the story changes. I liked it, not loved it, but know that many readers have become obsessed with the friendship. It was also listed on Modern Feminist books to read.

Redshirts - John Scalzi, 320 pages
What a hoot! The premise is from the old Star Trek shows, where the expendable crew member was always dressed in a red shirt. The beginning of the book, new crew members are getting leery of being chosen for an away trip in a futuristic world of space exploration because so many are killed. But never the captain or first officer. Eventually, things get weird(er) as new information develops. Some space time travel later, the book ends very cool. Fans of science fiction or meta-fiction will greatly enjoy this one.
Girl at War - Sara Novic, 336 pages
Bailey Prize for Women Longlist 2016
I heard good things about this book and it did not disappoint. Set during the Serb-Croatia war in the 1990s, but written in two time lines, Girl at War was done very well. War stories are horrible, and this is a war story. But the recentness of the war while simultaneously being a war that wasn't in the news enough made me think about wars 'over there.'
Tiny, Beautiful Things - Cheryl Strayed, 368 pages

A book of advice columns? Not my usual cuppa, but based on rave reviews and best of lists, I picked it up. Part memoir, part advice, Cheryl Strayed relates her life with bad decisions and early death of her mother to connect with her readers. It's a good book to pick at, like a short story collection as each letter and answer are powerful. It's all about living your best life, communicating with your loved ones, and not being afraid of doing scary things.