Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Books I read in January 2017

When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin **

This book was OK.  We read it for book club.  I mostly liked it but it had the feel of a Hallmark movie (not my favorite).  There was A LOT of information in it about heart surgery and rowing which some people in my book club enjoyed and I skimmed because that's how I live my life.  If it's any indication of how far fetched things were, many in my book club were really hoping one of the characters would die.  Just for a little realism.

A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman*****

I LOVED this one.  One of the best books I've read in a while.  It's about a curmudgeonly man who keeps trying to kill himself but keeps getting interrupted by his pesky neighbors who need his help.  I absolutely loved the guy by the end of the book.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate ****

In my quest to read Newbery books, I read this.  I liked it.  There was a Stella in it and also a Thelma (elephant and bird respectively).  It was a beautiful book and tugged at your humane to animal heart strings without being preachy.  I liked the characters and the style of writing.

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo ****

Another Newbery and another book I liked.  It's about a sort of unhappy girl (she calls herself a cynic) who has unhappy divorced parents.  She befriends (begrudgingly) her neighbor's great-nephew who is also really unhappy.  Then Ulysses happens who is a superhero squirrel and everything rights itself as a result.  Nothing is automatically cured (it's not a Hallmark movie) but everyone reaches a measure of peace in their difficult circumstances.  It was a smart book.

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander **

Meh.  Book 2 in this series is a Newbery honor book so I felt compelled to read this one first.  I don't love fantasy books and this one gave me whiplash with it's constant jump from one big adventure to the next.  An upside of the book was that I had a window into Braeden's world as a grade school kid.  He read this book and he used a lot of the phrases in his normal life.  There was a lot of, So that's where he got that!  Much like Gurgi in the book, Braeden was on a constant hunt for "crunchings and munchings."

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