On Goodreads, my “To-read” list has 1,237 books. I already own a few of these books (but nowhere near the entire list!) and in my remaining years, I can never hope to read all of the books on the list. Yet since January, five new books have made their way into my home. Why? Because if there is one thing I cannot resist, it is a book I want to read.
Lorraine Berry wrote an interesting essay on the history of compulsive book buying which posted to The Guardian in January. Read the entire essay. It is wonderfully written, but when you reach the end make sure you savor the last sentence. Berry’s essay only fuels a bibliomaniac’s excitement and interest in acquiring more books and that ending justifies your compulsion.
Business Insider published an article this morning on Amazon’s best book picks for the month of February. Some of the books that had already made it to my “To-read” list were also on Amazon’s list — Paul Auster’s novel 4 3 2 1 and Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. I’ve never read a book by either author, but both have been on my radar for some time. If you are a Book of the Month Club member, you may want to chose Pachinko, an epic novel that follows several generations of a Korean family.
The Booklover’s Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥
It took me months to read this book and the problem started right at the beginning. The horror for me began with the euthanasia of a cat in the beginning of the book and I just found it too much to read. Ms. Fink won a Pulitzer Prize for her work on reporting the crisis at Memorial Medical Center when Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005 and deservedly so, but this crisis made for a slow and arduous read for me. This book is not for the faint of heart.
Ms. Fink’s book begins with an account of the preparations at Memorial Medical Center begins as Hurricane Katrina approaches New Orleans. Little did the staff, patients and families know that weathering the storm was only the beginning of a crisis that would last several days and ultimately result in 45 dead.
The book recounts the storm, its aftermath and the investigation into the events and deaths at Memorial Medical Center. Fink forces readers to consider what is right and what is wrong in times of crisis, to examine how we would behave if put in the same or similar circumstances, and perhaps most importantly what is the role of government (local, state, and federal) versus the role of the individual in ensuring their own survival.
Five Days at Memorial is a thought-provoking and difficult read.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Book Details: Published by Broadway Books (January 26, 2016), 592 Pages, ISBN: 978-0307718976.
Although I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, I have resolved to read more in 2017. Last year was a bust for me. Only twelve books made it on my “Read” list. This is probably a personal low for me, so you can understand why this year I might resolve to read more. So far it is working out well. Three books have made it to my “Read” list — at this rate I am well ahead of 2016.
Bustle posted an article yesterday entitled “5 Ways To Read More Intentionally in 2017.” One of the more interesting ways was to keep track of the year’s book releases with a weekly calendar. The Booklover will explore this option and try to help its readers keep track of book releases in 2017. Watch for a new feature on this Website!
One of my favorite ways to read more is to always carry a book with me. This is easy if you read on a smartphone, but if like me you prefer a paper book, it is one more thing to carry. It is so worth it though! With this habit of many years, I find that my list of book “To-read” gets whittled down (only temporarily until something new is added!) and my “Read” list gets longer.
Happy reading in 2017!
In June 2009, the very first post on this blog was entitled “Do you love reading or do you love books?” The post was about which “book” format was preferred by readers. In the seven years I have been writing The Booklover not much has changed. It appears that in 2016 readers still prefer books. Results of a new study conducted by Pew Research Center show that while Americans are increasingly using digital media to read, they still prefer a print book. You can read the entire study here.
PrinterInks.com put together an infographic of how long it took authors to write their literary masterpieces. It took Victor Hugo twelve years to write Les Miserables and John Boyne only three days to write The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Check out the infographic and see how long it took to write your favorite book!
The Booklover’s Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I frequently lament mysteries, thrillers, or suspense novels that I figure out ahead of time. It’s not that I am so smart, but that many of the plots are formulaic in nature — therefore it is easy to come to a conclusion before it is revealed in the narrative. Wilde Lake is not easy to figure out. Laura Lippman has one plot twist after another, and before you know it you’ve been reading and the novel took a turn you didn’t expect. It was easy to give this book a four-heart rating.
Wilde Lake weaves back and forth between two different time periods and does this effortlessly. One part of the story is Lu Brant’s personal account of her childhood in Columbia (planned as an inclusive utopian community), where she and her brother AJ grew up and attended Wilde Lake High School. The story opens with her memories of AJ’s attendance at a graduation party which was marred by a suspicious death.
The other half of the story is contemporary and recounts Lu’s life as a single parent and prosecutor. Lu’s first case is the murder of a local woman, Mary McNally, who didn’t report to work after a week-long vacation. It is quickly determined that the murderer is Rudy Drysdale, a local misfit and former classmate of Lu’s brother AJ.
Wilde Lake is an engrossing read — hard to put down. Just when you think you have it all figured out, Lippman throws in another plot twist. The end wraps up nicely though, and the book keeps you guessing. My only fault with the novel is that some of the story just doesn’t seem entirely plausible, but I wouldn’t let that get in the way of an entertaining read.
Book Details: Published by William Morrow (May 3, 2016), 368 Pages, ISBN: 978-0062083456.