Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Books I've Just Read

by Sariah S. Wilson

I've been sort of on this reading jag lately, and been devouring books on a daily basis (which is severely cutting into my sleep time). I blame my vacation. Had all that family to help, and thus, a lot of time to read. I'm realizing how much I miss being able to read to my heart's content.

My dad recommended this book to me a couple of months ago. I thought it sounded interesting, had intended to check it out, and promptly forgot about it. He brought it along on our family vacation and lent it to me.

He hadn't been kidding about how good it was. This is different than any other book I've read - it's a factual accounting of a once very famous explorer, Percy Fawcett, who disappeared in the Amazon (and prior to that had been THE MAN when it came to exploring it - he did it better and faster than anyone else). He wanted to find "El Dorado" - or the the rumored "City of Gold." Fawcett believed it to be a real place, and dubbed it the "City of Z." This story is broken up into parts; the recounting of Fawcett's life story, his final exploration, and then to all the people who have mounted expeditions trying to find him, including the author, a reporter with zero exploring experience. This is a true story, but written so well it reads like fiction. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical or suspense novels.

I read two YA series. I will not reveal the name of either series. The first, because it had the worst ending in history and doesn't deserve to be named and have any attention brought to it, and the other because it's embarrassing to admit reading it. I didn't finish though and had to stop when I found myself skipping over large blocks of content.

Graphic and disturbing. Nobody warned me about this one.

I wanted to read it because 1) I'm a fan of dystopian novels - I don't really know why, as they're typically dark and depressing (not my normal scene, and I like best the ones where the rebels overthrow the awful government) and 2) many new books that are coming out reference this book as a comparison (i.e., "It's 'The Handmaid's Tale' meets 'Survivor'" sort of thing).

Was it powerful, scary, dark, and enlightening? Yes. Will I ever read it again? No. Ambiguous ending. You know how I feel about those. Don't think I'd recommend it, and there are some scenes and language that are horrifying (as I'm sure they're supposed to be given the nature of the book). To the woman at Seagull who thought LDS romance books were smutty, you will definitely want to steer clear of this one.

I kept hearing buzz about this book and decided to read it.

I really enjoyed it. It had a fascinating question - what constitutes a human being? How do my religious views play into answering that question? There's a lot of pretty prose in this book, but still very readable.

I will warn LDS readers that there is a relationship the heroine engages in that would be considered, um, inappropriate, but feels normal to her given her genetic background and upbringing. There is a smattering of violence and I think probably some language, but it takes a Michael Crichton type situation and turns it on its head, which I enjoyed.

And it had an ending that I thought very satisfying and made sense. (You know how important that is to me these days.)

Next up to read:

Another dystopian novel, but in this series everyone over the age of 13 disappears. It sounds sort of like "Lord of the Flies" meets "Logan's Run." My son is interested in reading it, so I thought I'd give it a go before I give him an okay because from some of the reviews it sounds like it might be a little on the scary side (people describe it as a horror/dystopian novel). Has anyone else read it?

This is a book I keep hearing about as the next "big thing" - movie rights were sold before the book was even bought by a publisher. Another end of the world type story, and the reviews on it are excellent.

Book I can't wait to read:

Coming out AUGUST 24.

And Jeff, if you get an ARC of this one and don't, wrath, brimstone.

Read any good books lately? Or any bad ones? Anything you're looking forward to reading?


At 7/18/2010 11:56 AM, Blogger RobisonWells said...

I was excited to read GONE, but really disappointed with it. The premise was great, but the execution was really lacking. My biggest complaint was the lack of realistic consequences, but there were a lot of other weird little problems, too.

At 7/18/2010 9:54 PM, Blogger Jolene said...

I used to love a bad ending, or an ambiguous ending - gives rise to imagination, right? The older I get, the more I needed some closure. I see and hear enough about bad endings and ambiguous endings in life, especially with my husband's job as a prosecutor. I'm not into tragedy when I pick up a book anymore.
Thanks for adding to my books list, sorry I can't add to yours!

At 7/18/2010 10:40 PM, Blogger annegb said...

I didn't read the entire Lost City, but I skimmed it toward the end. I thought it was interesting, as well.

I want to read The Passage, but I'll have to wait for the library because I shot my wad on a new rug for the kitchen.

Have you read The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell? I just thought it was fascinating. I'm reading The Tipping Point and it is interesting but not as interesting as The Outliers.

At 7/19/2010 1:18 AM, Blogger Taffy said...

I just finished Incarceron. WOW. That was such a different story for me that I totally enjoyed it.
(Did that make sense??)


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