Saturday, July 7, 2012

June Reads

This year marks the 50th anniversary of "A Wrinkle in Time".  I had never read this book and so thought what better time than this year to read it.  I enjoyed the story and I really enjoyed the main character, Meg Murry.  She is a great female protagonist and to me the book's heroine.  The story, as many of you already know, is about Meg's quest/adventure to find her missing father.  Calvin O'Keefe, a classmate from Meg's school, and her youngest brother Charles Wallace join her on this adventure.  Charles Wallace, what a great name.  It is a name for a young man in an old soul's body.  These three characters all bring different personalities and strengths to the story.  Now the story definitely has one subject I'm not a big reader on: science fiction- especially tesseract (time warp/space warp).  It also has another subject that I sometimes pass over- Christianity in reading. Don't get the wrong idea I enjoy my life as an above average "church goer", "church circle" member, and lover of traditional church hymns, but I've never been into reading about other's views on Christianity.   I noticed the biblical quotes and religious undertones, but I didn't focus on these when reading this book and so didn't get the "message" I was maybe suppose to be getting. I read this book more as a story/adventure and didn't get involved in the science-fiction or religious undertones.  Maybe I missed the greater part of this book, but until I started talking to others who had previously read this book, I didn't know of the "controversy" that is found with Madeleine L'Engle's message.  I prefer to stay in my "own little world" and just enjoy the story for the pure story it is.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who hasn't already read it.

This book was amazing!  My friend, HB, had recommended this book due to my love for historical fiction.  It is a moving novel filled with mystery, action, suspense, love  and overall great plot.  The main character Daniel is a lover of books and this book starts and ends with the book "The Shadow of the Wind".  This book is followed throughout the story and could be called one of the main characters.  The author of the book, Julian Carax, could be called "the shadow".  As the reader you read about him and his life throughout the book, but Carlos Zafon (author) does a great job of holding back just enough so that you feel like you never get to see the real Julian.  The ladies in the book also have strong stories and personalities.  It is a lengthy read, but flies by as I continually tried to figure out who, what, where, and most importantly "why".  This book is a love story too and it speaks to both male and female readers.  So not too mushy and not too visual.  It was a great read and I look forward to reading Zafon's other books "The Angel's Game" (prequel to "Shadow") and "The Prince of the Mist".    I always feel like I just don't do these books justice when I write my little posts on them.  I hope that my summary entices readers to read these books and enjoy them as much as I have.

 Lastly, this book was not read, it was listened too.  I'm not an audio book person at all.  I struggle with listening to books  on tape because either the narrator drives me nuts, I can't focus on the story and so end up rewinding to find what I missed, or the content isn't appropriate for my kids to listen too when in the car, which is where I've tried before to listen to books on tape/cd.  Well enter long solo runs training this year and I'm trying to find ways to keep me mentally sane while running- Enter Pat Conroy.  Pat Conroy is the author of my all time favorite book "Beach Music".  I've read the book once in my 20's and once in my 30's.  It is an amazing story and  I enjoyed it both times.  So when I found this nonfiction audio book at the library the other day I thought I'd give it a try.  Each chapter is titled and follow a different subject in Pat's "reading life". I have, of late as an old lady reader, enjoyed reading books about what other people like to read.  It gives me more books to add to my "to read" list and I enjoy hearing about how these books have impacted that particular reader's life. Pat Conroy stated that since he was a freshman in high school he has minimum read 200 pages/day.  He has read a lot of classics and a lot of southern authors.  By reading this book he has added more authors and books to my "to read" list.  To add to my enjoyment of this audio book Pat Conroy himself narrates the story.  His southern voice, aged but experienced, made listening to this book all the more enjoyable.

Listening to this book on many of my runs this week made my runs in the hot, humid summer weather a little more tolerable.  Plus I thought it appropriate to be listening to an author's life of reading in the South, primarily, during hot weather when I started sweating the minute I walked out of the door.  I liked the book so much that I discussed this book with my mom and told her to read it.  Funny- we are too alike- my dad had just finished reading it last week and she was starting it now.  I look forward to discussing this book with my father and get his perspective.

So if I had to choose I'd probably recommend reading this book, because that is "how I roll", but listening to Pat read it himself was enjoyable and who knows this may be the start to another way in which to get more books "read" in a month and stay sane during my long runs.

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