Teacher • Writer • Reader • Watcher of Movies • Player of Games • Lover of Animals
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian
This book has been on my reading list for a long time; actually, this book was the topic of discussion in my young adult literature class during college, but I never got around to reading it (despite the rave reviews by some of my classmates and my professor). As I was looking at the book list for my graduate course starting in a few weeks, this title appeared again, and I realized that it was finally time to sit down and read this book.
This book was actually recommended to me by one of my students. I have a few voracious readers who are constantly scanning the library shelves looking for new books to devour. Although most of my students who read enjoy reading contemporary young adult fiction, I try to encourage them to read titles that they may not typically pick up off of the shelf--and this was one of those titles. After reading the book overnight, my student practically forced it into my hand, encouraging me to read it.
Life After Life
This book came to me via Literati, and after reading the dust jacket I felt as though I was in for another great read. However, as I began to read, I found my mind wandering, and I realized that reading almost began feeling like a chore--like something I had to do simply to finish the book--instead of a relaxing pastime. There were parts of the story that kept me engaged as a reader, but there were parts that left me struggling to turn the page. In places, I found myself counting the pages left until the chapter would end just so that I could finish.
I picked this up because I had thought about teaching it to my students, and I found that I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. At first glance, I expected this to be a stereotypical “don’t judge a book by its cover” or “it’s what’s on the inside that truly matters” type of book--and it was--but I found that it was also so much more than that.
This was another mystery Literati arrival, and a title that I certainly don’t think that I would have picked out for myself. It took me longer than was expected to finish reading this because I was continually trying to figure out if I should give up and put the book down, or if I should continue reading and see it through to the end; ultimately, I did finish reading, but this book left me with a rather lackluster satisfaction. At first glance, this book has everything that I love to read: drama, romance, scandal, complicated relationships, and a search for a sense of belonging, but for me it just never delivered.
In the Dream House
This next read was another mystery book sent to me via Literati, and I will be totally honest with the fact that I didn’t think I was going to like this book. I am not a huge fan of memoir--unless it is a person that I am really interested in--so I started reading this book with a jaded opinion. However, as I kept reading, I found that I was falling deeper and deeper into the story as the twists, turns, and shocks unfolded right in front of my eyes.
City of Thieves
I’m going to be perfectly honest about the fact that this took me a lot longer to read than it should have. For some reason, I just couldn’t motivate myself to read, despite the fact that this book was incredibly good. This book came to me in my first monthly subscription to the Literati Book Club (which I received as an amazing birthday gift--thank you!), and I was hooked as soon as the package arrived in the mail. I have always been fascinated by the World War II era, and I have always had a love for all things Russian, so I figured that this would be a perfect fit for me--and I was right.
This book was like a slow boil. At first, I felt myself contemplating whether or not I would have to put it back on my shelf, but suddenly I found myself invested in the characters and truly engaged in their adventures. Over time, I found myself hanging on every word, desperately turning the pages to see how it would all end. Although it is different from some of Andrew Smith’s previous work, I once again found myself surrounded by tremendously written characters and a dramatic plot that left me reeling.
I want to start by saying that this is the best thing that I have read so far this year. Granted, we are only in the second week of February, but I would be remiss if I did not give this book the accolades that it deserves. It is no secret that I love reading Andrew Smith’s work, but there was something in this book that truly grabbed me and left me with an emotional connection the likes of which I haven’t experienced in quite a while.
The Marbury Lens
If you are looking for a book that will have you perched on the edge of your seat, furiously turning pages, only to leave you with questions upon questions that need answering, then I have the perfect book for you. Andrew Smith strikes again with his psychological thriller “The Marbury Lens.” I have always been a fan of Andrew Smith (those of you who have read some of my previous reviews already know that), but this book was an absolute adventure. I found myself completely sucked in and dying to see how it would all end.
The Size of the Truth
I have always been a fan of young adult books, and, as a teacher, these are often the books that I spend a great deal of time working with. In my personal life, I generally choose to read YA fiction because I think that it often involves a more inventive quality of storytelling. Because authors are trying to engage younger, developing readers with very complex topics and themes, YA books are often much deeper than people may assume. I recently finished Andrew Smith’s “The Size of the Truth”--one of his few middle-grade books--and I was blown away. I thought that the book was thoughtful, fun, and carried many difficult, heavy themes that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find in a book geared towards a young reader.
In the Path of Falling Objects
Andrew Smith strikes again! I’m starting off the new year by diving into the stack of books that I received at Christmas (and yes, they are all Andrew Smith). I decided to start with “In the Path of Falling Objects,” and I am glad that my 2021 reading journey is starting off with a bang. Smith, who is one of my favorite authors, has a way of crafting characters and narratives that completely hook that reader--and this book was no exception. Like a slow boil, I suddenly realized that I couldn’t put this book down; instead, I began furiously turning the pages in a desperate need to know how it would all end.