Thursday, August 10, 2017

I'll show you my books, you show me yours... vol.31

Here I am again with a late post.  I intended to get this post ready on time, but my canines had another idea.  They busted through our fence, got caught by the council rangers, taken to the pound.  I posted bail, picked them up from doggie jail, and dealt with putting together a temporary fix until I could get the fence fixed properly.  But, enough about my dog dramas, let's talk about books!

Again, much thanks to our hosts Jana & Steph for hosting this awesome book party.

The books I've read since our last link-up:

1.  We Are Okay by Nina LaCour - I loved every single character in this poignant YA book. 4/5

2.  An Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire Reading the synopsis, I assumed this book was a thriller/mystery. Yes, there is a horrific murder. But, this story focuses on the aftermath, the pain, the grief, and the life-shattering experience felt by the closest loved one of a murder victim. The parallel story about a novice crime writer becoming invested in the victim's story was less compelling to me. 
The author dabbles in discussion of crimes against women and the inequality of language, viewpoints, and treatment of females, particularly in a small town.  Overall, it was a satisfying read. 3.5/5

3.  Before the Fall by Noah Hawley - At times, I almost gave up on this one, but there were parts of this book and one character that kept me interested enough to stick with it. Overall, I was disappointed. I skimmed paragraphs, and I got bored too many times to call this an enjoyable read. 2/5

4.  Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough Nope. Nope. Nope. I hated this book, and I rarely say that. I can't really say a whole lot without spoilers. Apparently, many readers have enjoyed it, so I don't want to spoil it for others potential enjoyment. But, it did not work for me. 1/5

5. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - One of those books I've intended to read for years, but it took my book challenge to convince me to finally do it. So grateful I did. The madness and power of one's mind made this such a fascinating read.  Warning: could be a trigger for suicidal ideations.  4/5

6.  The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - Again, this is another book that I've been meaning to read for years, and it took this challenge to encourage me to finally pick it up. I'm so glad I did. It is a memoir that could be described as "stranger than fiction". The author is able to share so many layers to her life and upbringing by an intelligent, alcoholic father and an artistic, removed-from-reality mother. The experiences shared are full of poverty, neglect, hunger, and abuse. Yet, also described is a family's bond, their version of love for one another, and each's struggle for survival. An excellent read.
To touch on this being a "banned book"... it is banned because “it includes explicit language and references to child molestation, adolescent sexual exploits, and violence as it recounts the author’s experiences growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother who suffered from mental illness.”
Are the lives lived in this book beyond difficult? Yes. But, it is a reality for some. And, if we ban some children's reality, aren't we adding to the shame they already feel? I believe so. I support the notion "knowledge is power". When society becomes more knowledgeable about the strife of others, perhaps we can be more compassionate. 4/5

Have you read any of these books?  What did you think?