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?




19 comments:

  1. I've read all of Walls books but Glass Castle is still my favorite. My co worker couldn't stand it. Too dark and sad for her. I'm listening to Before the Fall and I'm right there with you. What am I missing? I want to give up but it's like I kind of want to Finish it too. Which character were you intrigued by?

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  2. AN Isolated Incident sounds so good!

    The Bell Jar is one of those books I feel like I *should* read but never have.

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  3. I need to read some classics: 1984, The Bell Jar... I need more time!

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  4. I returned Before the Fall as DNF...I just couldn't get into it but I loved the Glass CAstle.

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  5. I loved We Are Okay. Gosh it made me sob and sob, but I really liked it a lot. The characters were great, so real, and I enjoyed it a lot. The Bell Jar is on my list, but I often struggle to reach for serious or sad reads. Not sure if I can handle the glass castle, but I'm glad you enjoyed it so much, and I share your sentiment about not adding to the shame of children in this situation. Maybe I'll read it someday. It all goes back to Audrey's post about a "Mental Diet" (link: https://audielou.com/2017/08/10/a-mental-diet/ ) and why she doesn't watch certain shows. I agreed whole-heartedly. Some things are just not good for my brain, and that's why I stay away. Bummer about the 1 star! XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  6. I liked a lot about Behind Her Eyes but was totally WTF at the end. I hated some things about it too.

    Before the Fall was a struggle to get through. I felt like everything was extraneous and was also only interested in one character.

    The Glass Castle and The Bell Jar both killed me, for different reasons.

    Definitely going to check out We Are Okay.

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  7. I wanted to read The Glass Castle ever since I saw it was becoming a movie.

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  8. The Glass Castle and The Bell Jar have been on my list forever too and I still have never got around to it. I am off to go read the plot for We Are Okay. I feel like Before the Fall was a book that got a lot of hype initially and then most reviews I have read since have said it wasn't the best.

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  9. None of your books seem like my cup of tea, but I'm glad you enjoyed the two classics and that first one! Bummer about 'Behind Her Eyes.' I checked it out on GoodReads because you made me curious. Haha- definitely lots of mixed opinions.

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  10. We Are Okay has such a fantastic cover, it always makes me want to read it. I read Before the Fall when all I'd read about it was the synopsis and was sorely disappointed. I was expecting it to be much more engrossing. I've never read The Glass Castle before but it is on my list, and partly for the reason you described, that knowledge is power. The more I know about others' situations, the better understanding and empathy I can grow.

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  11. I enjoyed Before the Fall, sorry that you didn't. But, at least it was a quick read so not too much time wasted! I loved Glass Castle, as well. I want to see the movie, but I'm worried that I won't like it because I did love the book (this happened to me with Big Little Lies recently...couldn't even finish the miniseries)

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  12. I was definitely in the camp that loved Behind Her Eyes but I knew it would be a story that wouldn't be for everyone (granted no story is) and as you noted, it's hard to review without spoilers. And those spoilers are definitely best kept secret but also, unfortunately, a fairly big guidepost to whether you will like the book. I personally just loved the misdirection of it. And I'm 100% in agreement with your comment on my post. I love seeing why people love or dislike or quit a book because I find it fascinating.

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  13. Sorry to hear about your canine troubles! We Are Okay sounds like a good book. I've heard good things about Before the Fall but haven't felt inspired to read it. I was one of the ones who enjoyed Behind Her Eyes!

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  14. The Glass Castle is one I'm planning on reading sooner rather than later, so I was pleased to see that you liked it so much. We Are Okay wasn't on my radar, but it is now!

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  15. I really didn't care for Before The Fall either and also thought it was pretty boring, though I did really like Behind Her Eyes even with the annoying ending. We Are Okay is pretty high on my TBR so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it so much!

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  16. oh my goodness! the dogs!! poor babies. thank goodness they were okay.
    i will definitely skip behind her eyes lol.
    i agree about knowledge is power. banning books helps no-one.

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  17. I read "The Glass Castle" years ago at the recommendation of a former professor. Such a great story. I'm interested to see how they handle the movie adaptation.

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  18. I love that you read an older classic, the bell jar, although I don't know if I could read that one...

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  19. I've gone to the movies a few times recently and I saw a preview for The Glass Castle both times, so I'm really interested in it. I know the book will be better than the movie, but we'll see which I get to first.

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