Friday, January 22, 2016

Three Good Ones

Yes, I have been busy reading this month and thoroughly enjoying it!  The only think that could be better would be sitting on a warm beach reading!  I have to be content in the thought that at least good books make the long, cold winter bearable for me.  Of course, we will see what I have to say about it by March!  Not a winter person here.  However, I have read three good books over the past couple of weeks:

1. Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson-One of the author's books was on the list that I challenged
myself to read in 2016.  That books wasn't available when I went to the bookstore, so I got this one instead.  This is the author's first novel, so I am anxious to read more of his/her? work.  It is a "psychological thriller" about a woman who wakes each day with amnesia and spends her day trying to figure out who she was and what happened to her.  Once she begins to write in a journal each day (her doctor has to call her each morning to remind her where the journal is), the pieces began to come together slowly.  And she realized that some people now in her life may not be trust-worthy.  It was a good read! I didn't find it predictable at all.

2. Plainsong by Kent Haruf-this was the January read for one of my book groups.  I had read it several years before, so was glad to read it again.  It was interesting to realize how I remembered the book. It turned out that my memory was only a part of what all was going on in the story!

This book takes place in Holt, Colorado, a small town in the middle of prairie life.  It tells the story of
eight different characters over the course of one year.  My memory of the book was that it was the story of a young pregnant girl, Victoria, going to live with Harold and Raymond, two elderly brothers who were farmers.  Well, those were only three of the eight characters!  There were also Tom Guthrie, a high school teacher, and his two boys Ike and Bobby, along with Tom's depressed wife who has left him.  And then there was Maggie who is actually the one who pulls all the characters and the stories together.

This is really a simple story that is quite beautiful.  And unknowingly to us (book group), the book is the first of a trilogy! I have already ordered the second book.  We were all curious about how the characters evolve in the future! There are many emotions going on in this book: grief, love, anger, loneliness, caring...and, in the end, "the possibilities of grace".

3. The Revenant by Michael Punke-yes, the book that the movie was made from.  I had read about
half of the book before seeing the movie.  I really enjoyed (if that could be the right word?) the book (and the movie), mostly because it was based on a true story.  I found it fascinating.  Yes, some of it is rather gruesome, but it was 1823.  Things were tough back then. I have had people comment on how unrealistic it all was.  My response?  How do you think the Indians lived back then? That's how it was.  It was fascinating to learn the early history of Hugh Glass before he headed out west and it's too bad that the movie didn't include any of that, becasue it really put a different perspective on who Hugh was . The book is a fictionalized account of what happened during a 9 month time of his life while out west, but at the end of the book there is a four and a half page historical note telling  what actually became of the characters. The movie also "Hollywooded" some of the story....the book was better.

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