Welcome to the Weekly Reading Fix!
Each week I will be sharing the books I’ve finished, abandoned, and am currently reading, as well as discuss books I’m looking forward to reading next. Each book that I finish is given a rating between 1-5 stars. Most books I read seem to receive 3-4 stars, which means I thought they were worth the read. (So far this year, I’ve read 60 books and only given out 6 five star ratings.) If you see a book that you’re interested in, I’ve provided the links to Amazon and Amazon Kindle. If you’d like to share what you’re reading this week, feel free to comment on this post – I love to get book recommendations!
Books finished this week:
Published 2014, 308 pages
This is a work of fiction, but loosely based on the actual disappearance of a New York State Supreme Court Judge, Joseph Crater, in 1930. To this day, he has never been found. The author imagines what happened to him and tells the story from the points of view of three women in the Judge’s life – his wife, his maid, and his mistress. This was a true page turner, and the kind of mystery/thriller that I love to read. As you’re reading, you think you know what happened to the Judge, and then near the end you realize that you really had no idea the entire time, and the actual events come as a true surprise. Each of the three title characters are complex women, trying to live their lives on their own terms in a society that doesn’t reward independent women. You can’t help but root for each of them throughout the story.
This is one of those books that it seems like everyone is talking about. It’s a love story, but also a look at what it’s like to leave your home for a new place, where you may not be welcome. The main characters, Nadia and Saeed, meet in their home country which is being ravaged by war. As the situation becomes more and more dangerous, the two leave their country, not by a normal immigration process, but through a magical door that opens up into London. Doors like this are appearing all over the world, and people are fleeing poor, war torn countries for safer areas. Sometimes they are welcomed into their new countries, and sometimes they are not. I love Hamid’s writing; it is somehow concise and descriptive all at once. I flew through this book and up until the last ten pages or so would have given it four stars. But something about the ending threw me. It isn’t so much that I didn’t like what happened, but that I was left feeling that it was somehow unfinished. We know what happens to the characters at the end, but the larger picture that I thought the author was trying to show was just dropped. Overall, it was a good book and I look forward to more by Hamid.
This is the imagined story of the second civil war in America. In the book, it’s the year 2074 and the effects of climate change are being felt all over the country. Florida and much of the east coast is under water and there has been a mass migration inland. The U.S. capital has been moved to Columbus, Ohio. The federal government has passed a law banning all fossil fuel, but four states (Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina) refuse to go along with the law and a ten year civil war begins. Throughout the book we follow the story of Sarat Chestnut and her family, and how their lives are affected by the war. This is not a happy book, but is also not depressing. I listened to a podcast where the author was interviewed. El Akkad is a journalist, who for most of his career has covered wars around the world. He said that everything he wrote about in the book has happened in real life, somewhere in the world. This book is a warning – not just about climate change, but about how we allow war to change who we are. I particularly liked the ending of this book and how it tied everything together.
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
That’s all for this week. What have you been reading lately? Leave me your book fix in the comments below.