Monday, September 30, 2013
September Book List
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (4 stars)
A twisty nautilus of a novel that kind of blew my mind. On a cold, snowy English night several years before WWI begins, Ursula is born. Several years later she drowns... and is reborn on the same snowy night. As this pattern repeats itself, she recalls her past lives with increasing clarity and makes adjustments to save herself and her loved ones. She doesn't always succeed. In typical Kate Atkinson fashion, these plot turns are subtle at times - you really have to pay attention. But it's worth it!
Boat Girl: A Memoir of Youth, Love, & Fiberglass by Melanie Neale (4 stars)
I received this one from Netgalley, so a review will be posted on its own later this week.
The Tofu Quilt by Ching Yeung Russell (4 stars)
A friend loaned me this book of free-verse poetry about a woman's childhood in Hong Kong. She thought of me because many of the poems are about wanting to become a writer. :) These spare, beautiful, sweet words about a loving family in a foreign place were like a palate cleanser for my brain. I've never been a regular reader of poetry, but this makes me want to start!
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg (4 stars)
I read this memoir/advice book for my women's resource group at work. Sheryl Sandberg, an executive at Facebook, shares her experiences and insights as a successful woman in the corporate world. Depending on what sort of culture you come from, you'll probably find her advice either too feminist or not feminist enough, but it really worked for me - I must be in a sweet spot. Among her sound observations: women must learn to "sit at the table," speak up for ourselves, and own the credit for our accomplishments; unlike men, women are usually forced to make a choice between being successful and being liked; choosing a supportive, equal-minded spouse is key to success. Overall, she emphasizes the importance of women helping and supporting one another if we're ever going to achieve true equality, in the workplace and everywhere else!
Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation by Aisha Tyler (3 stars)
I'm an admirer of Aisha Tyler in all her roles - comedienne, podcaster, writer, cohost of The Talk, etc. She's super smart, funny, ambitious, and totally unpretentious. In this memoir, she recalls her most embarrassing (and hilarious) moments and what she learned from them. I didn't love the book quite as much as I expected to, but it's entertaining and somewhat inspirational. Warning: if profanity bothers you, you'll probably want to skip this one (but then you're probably not a fan in the first place).
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (5 stars)
This alien-invasion novel is told from multiple perspectives and will keep your brain clicking and your heart pounding until the end. I read it in two sittings. It's 50% Ender's Game, 50% The Host, 100% awesome. I loved it.
Books for September: 6
2013 year to date: 56