The House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus
I was really surprised that a novel about a real estate mishap could’ve engrossed me as much as this did from the start. The switching points of view between recovering alcoholic/drug abuser Kathy Nicolo and former Colonel in the Iranian military Massoud Amir Behrani are written quite masterfully. The last 100 pages or so let me down somewhat. I finished reading it, but felt like the first half of the book was so much better written. I could’ve done without switching to Lester’s 3rd person point of view later in the book. As I was reading the last few chapters, I kept asking, “What!? But why? Seriously, why? WHY?!?” The characters reached a point where I just wanted to shake them. It’s a long read and can be quite tedious at times, but an interesting character study.
Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and The Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan
The Peeshwank and I read all of the Percy Jackson books together way back when they first came out. They were some of the first “real” books he read, so they hold a special place in my heart. Add to that how sweet Rick Riordan is in person and I can’t help but love the books. I decided to revisit this one in particular because the trailer for the long-awaited movie (seriously, these kids are gonna be 40 by the time we get to the last movie at the rate they’re going) was released this week and although it looks like Hollywood did a typical chop job of the source material, we’ll be going to see it because…
Captain Tightpants himself as Hermes. Y’all. Seriously.
And yes, they totally changed up the scene where Percy meets the Greek God of B
ringing Sexy Back Thieves (and fathering lots of half-bloods), but I prefer my Captain in a suit anyway. But, I digress. We’re talking about the book here. The book is… oh, who am I kidding? Captain Mal as a Greek God. Y’all. The swoon is strong with this one.
The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3) by Rick Riordan
The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #4) by Rick Riordan
The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #5) by Rick Riordan
Yeah, I ended up re-reading the rest of the series once I finished “Sea of Monsters”. It really is a fun children’s series. I always loved studying Greek mythology in school, so it’s amusing to see how Riordan plays with it and makes it work in our modern world. Sure they follow the Harry Potter formula – three friends battle evil and just when you think all hope is lost, some deus ex machina swoops in to save the day, but it’s fantasy fiction for kids so it doesn’t bother me. I think my favorite of the three is Labyrinth because, Briareus y’all! Last time I heard about how he was doing was when I read Dante. It’s always nice to run into old friends.
Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix
I was looking for something to transition me back into more grown-up fare and grabbed this one out of The Peeshwank’s library. This is one of the hundreds of YA novels The Peeshwank has picked up at book fairs over the years. The cover intrigued me as soon as I saw it. (I’m a DNA/genetics nerd, big time.) It also clued me in as to what the big secret was regarding the main character’s identity. It’s a little predictable, but it was a quick, read-in-one-sitting book. It would be a good one for a tween/teen girl that likes to read about strong heroines. It also tackles some deeper themes like science vs. religion that I truly appreciated seeing in a book meant for a younger audience. That just doesn’t happen enough in YA lit.
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
Murakami loves to bend reality and send his readers on a metaphysical journey. I read 1Q84 last year and fell in love with it. I enjoy going into a book having absolutely no idea what to expect. This one did not disappoint. Murakami’s not for everyone, so unless you enjoy reading along and all of a sudden a main character is having a conversation with a cat, you may want to skip this one. His descriptions of Japan and Japanese life are absolutely beautiful. The settings in this story made me want to pack up and jump on a plane and follow in 15-year-old runaway, Kafka Tamura’s footsteps.
I’m almost done reading a sweeping epic of a book, but I don’t think I’ll have it finished today, so it’ll go on the May list. Until then, read a book or two and let me know if you find any that you positively adore.
Like these. (Another one will hopefully be joining them soon!)