Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Summertime Reads

I have not been posting here this summer because I have been spending my vacation creating a blog that follows the remodeling of my kitchen.

However, I thought that it was time for me to list some of the books that I have been reading during the summer break. Reading is always a big part of my summertime plans.

For book group (comprised mostly of retired English teachers) I read Case Histories by Kate Atkinson.
It was a detective novel that followed several cases that happened 10 to 20 years prior to the current time period of the book. I didn't like the first couple of chapters and would never have finished it, if it was not for book group. There are two more books with the same detective; I might even try to find those and read them as I enjoyed the book once I got into it.

I read Little Bee by Chris Cleave as it was recommended by a friend. It had some disturbing imagery, but it was so well written. I really loved it. It is told from the point of view of two characters. Little Bee is a refugee from Nigeria who has fled to England. She is about 16 years old and a very likeable character. The other narrator is Sarah, the English woman who meets Bee on the beach in Nigeria. Sarah is on vacation, and Bee is on the run from the men who destroyed her village. There are horrific stories of the atrocities inflicted on the refugees, but I loved reading the same story from two points of view.

After by Amy Efaw is a fairly new young adult novel about a teen who gets pregnant. She is in total denial about the pregnancy, and only comes to grips about what happened after she enters the juvenile detention center upon dumping the baby in the trash. The scenes about the birth are fairly disturbing and occur throughout the book as Devon begins to remember what happened. I almost put the book down a couple of times, but I am glad that I made it to the end.

I have been wanting to read The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky for a long time. It is a ten year old young adult novel that has been on banned lists numerous times. There are drugs, language and sexual situations in the story of Charlie the brilliant boy who often chooses to observe rather than participate in life. It's Charlie's first year in high school; he tells his story through letters that he writes to an unknown recipient who he believes is a good listener. When a couple of seniors befriend him, he begins to find out how to live his life rather than sit on the sidelines and let life happen to him. It is funny and poignant, and I recommend it to high schoolers.
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