Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Forced relaxation: time well spent

Today's Blogtember prompt: Review a book, place, or product.

When we moved, C and I added a good bit of time to our commute. We are getting settled into our new routine, and one of the things that both of us are actually liking is the extra time on the train in the afternoon. We have both been rediscovering our love of reading - me via free books from the library on my nook, and him via a few iTunes gift cards we found laying around, which he's using to buy books (for now).

We are taking advantage of the "forced relaxation" that the train ride provides, and I've been flying through books that have been on my reading list for (truly) years - which is partly embarrassing, because I haven't been reading, but partly exciting, because I finally am!

Here's what's been on my nook lately:

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
5 stars

This book was recommended to me by a dear friend, and I'm so glad I followed through and read it. It was such a touching story, and the author was able to create a deep connection for me with the characters. I'll admit - I found myself laying in bed in the middle of the night, tears running down my face, unable to put the book down until I finished it. There was so much awkwardness in this story, and it made me uncomfortable to read, but in the best kind of way. (Does that make sense?) It was the kind of writing that just sucked me in.

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
3.5 stars

This is the book that has probably been on my "To Read" list the longest, and I was really excited to find it in the library. It was a very different take on World War II, which is my favorite historical-fiction subject, and I really liked the direction that Sarah Blake took the story. The writing was good, but I just didn't love the book like I wanted to. Mostly, I think the ending didn't do anything for me. I kept expecting something... else... to happen, and it just never did. Still a good read, though!

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
2 stars

I wanted to love this book. I really, really wanted to. I had such high hopes for it... but it fell flat for me. The premise of the story is awesome: a little girl can taste feelings in food; she can taste whatever the cook was feeling, or didn't know they were feeling. Sounds great, right?! And yet... it was awkward. The story got weird in the middle, the characters were hard to relate to, and there was just too much going on. I felt awkward while reading it. I was happy when it was over. 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
4 stars

This book was recommended to me by several different people over the past year or so, and I finally got around to reading it. It was wonderful! An intense story, beautifully written, with incredible imagery and word choice. I truly enjoyed the writing in the book. As far as the story itself, it was a little hard to follow, as it jumps around in time a lot, but the characters were well-developed, and the plot moved along with a good pace. My only real issue with the book was that it went on just a little too long for me - there was a little too much "wrapping up" in the end, whereas I felt that it could have ended a few chapters sooner and left some mystery for the reader.

Have you read any of these books? What are you currently reading? Any recommendations for me? I've got lots of free time these days!


Athena said...

What about the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum Series. I wasn't much of a reader before I moved here to Virginia. I really enjoyed this series, but have to admit I haven't read all of them, work got in the way. I too need to get back to reading. Did you read Harry Potter or Mitford Series as well.

Emily Fette said...

I loved loved loved the Night Circus! Thanks for checking out my blog!

Stephanie @ My Freckled Life said...

That's one of my FAVORITE things about taking the train now too!! I'm totally rolling through books like no one's business, which I haven't been able to do in forever!! Recently I've read The Paris Wife (very interesting, very REAL read), Divergent (for like the 5th time, I love me some dystopian novels), Game of Thrones, and The Next Big Thing by Jennifer Weiner (LOVE her!). Now I dont know what to read next!

Amanda @ Eloquent English said...

I like forced relaxation! I feel like that is what flying is versus driving while travelling. I mean relaxed as I can be since I don't like flying, but it can def be better than driving sometimes. (: However, we do enjoy audio books when driving.

Amy said...

I read The Night Circus and had the same impression of it - loved it, but found that the ending kind of dragged. I just finished The Light Between Oceans and it was really good! Reading Girls in White Dresses now!