Sunday, December 2, 2018

Catching up

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman was the November pick for one of my book groups.  I have to admit that I wasn't really looking forward to appeared to just be "chick lit", but I was oh, so wrong.

Eleanor is a quirky odd young woman who appears to constantly struggle with living in the world.  She was befriended by Raymond, another rather odd character who was always kind and caring to Eleanor.  He slowly brought Eleanor into the real world, learning about eating out and having conversations and going to concerts, etc. 

Sounds nice, doesn't it?  But the Eleanor's story has a very dark side, that I had not expected from the description of this book.  It ended up being a good story and led to great discussion.  I recommend it!

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway was the pick for my other book group.  I had never read it before so I was anxious to do so.  It's a very short read (I read it easily in one afternoon while vacationing down by the beach). I liked it very much and it too made for good discussion.

If you haven't read it, it is about an old fisherman pursuing a big fish (could I have described that any simpler?).  First line of the book:

"He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish."

Hemingway certainly says it better than me!  Anyway, the book is about his journey alone catching a fish and reminiscing about his past.  One of the things that struck me most in the book was he often would say or think that he wished the boy was with him.  He had become a mentor to a young boy who often would fish with him, but the boy hadn't come on this expedition.

It's a incredibly well-written story, that I thought had a lot to think about.  No wonder it is a classic.

The other book that I read on vacation was Barbara Kingsolver's newest book Unsheltered.   The premise of Unsheltered was interesting.  It was about two families who lived in the same house in different times.  The first family lived there in the 1870's, the other family lived in the house in 2016.  Both families were living through presidential elections, and both were facing financial concerns, despite being educated, working families.  Each family's story was interesting, but I just didn't feel like Kingsolver did a good job pulling it all together.  I have liked some of her other books so much and this one just didn't live up to those, in my opinion.

I came across A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan at the used bookstore and thought that it sounded interesting.  It was.

The story is about five generations of mothers and daughters who were witches.  I love multi-generational stories!  The story began in 1821 and continued on to present time.  The women were strong, independent women and I enjoyed each of their stories.  I recommend this book!

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