This past week I have read five books, had to give up on one, and had many moments of excellent words given to me by wonderful authors who filled my week with tales of happiness, of courage, and of the ability to be a writer.
Let’s start with the ones I loved, those books that gained in my heart a five star rating.
First on this list is Our Prince of Tides written by a large number of people in homage to the author Pat Conroy. If you loved it you already know that this man was a wondrous author, a person who inspired many to know it was ok to rise above an abusive childhood and soar among the eagles. From my review: I have been a Pat Conroy fan for ages. I started my reading journey with him with his book The Prince of Tides. I was hooked and moved onto The Lords of Discipline savoring every word and every smile and tear I shed. Although I have read all of his books my favorite will always be Beach Music. I laughed out loud, I cried big ugly tears, and I found my love for this man increase with every page. In this love of Pat, I know I am not alone. This book points to that fact, as many wrote how and what they knew and felt about Pat. He was a master author, will always have that number one place in my heart.
Next five star book was Sea Prayer. I have read all the books written by the wonderful and gifted writer Khaled Hosseini . He has made the world and the people of the middle East come alive for so many. Khalid, born in Kabul, he went on to becoming a doctor, after coming to America in 1980 as his family was granted political asylum. He is well known for his books , The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns both of which were five star novels for me. In Sea Prayer, a short by ever so poignant look at a father trying to escape from oppression to his son, it fills one heart with gorgeous illustrations and words that will enter your heart and lodge there. From my review: This is a gorgeous book and the illustrations that accompany this book make the words even more poignant. This is a book that will take one five minutes to read, but send a message that will last quite longer than that. Find the time to spend some time with this book.
Long listed for the prestigious Mann Booker award, Snap is an intriguing look into a murder of a pregnant m woman and the impact it has on her family, in particular her son, Jack. The author Belinda Bauer who grew up in England and South Africa has written a taut family drama, a thriller filled with heart warming love a son had for his mother and his zeal to keep his family together. From my review: Left bereft by the murder of his pregnant mother, trying to hold his family together, Jack embarks on a mission to find out who killed his mother. Three years later, Jack has taken up a life of crime, taught by his mentor Louis Bridge, to break and enter people’s homes in order to provide food and basic necessities to his sisters. Jack is only fourteen and his father has left them, wallowing in his own world of despair. He needs to keep his sisters out of social services, trying to keep them together as best he can. That is a tremendous burden on the shoulders of a young man. He seems to be up for the challenge, being called the Goldilocks burglar, because of his sleeping in the bed of one of the children in the homes of the places he robs. Detectives are on the case and the trail of the Goldilocks burglar. Then something happens.
The Book of Essie was high on my list of wonderful reads for the week. Dealing with the illusions we live and see, it dealt with a family immersed in the world of reality TV and how the illusion we often see is very far from the reality of life. From my review: Meghan MacLean has crafted a novel that poses some fine observations about what we see on reality TV. The staging, the coverups, the lies are portrayed for the reader as we go behind the scenes and discover the true nature of what you present to the public is never really your true face. There is no such thing as perfection, especially when it comes to family life. People who think their family is faultless, are presenting to us an ideal to make themselves feel important, but we all know deep inside that their pretense rings false.
I Should Have Honor is a fascinating and revealing look into the world women lead who live with the tribal customs of a man’s world in Pakistan. From my review: Khalida succeeds though not without many struggles as she and other fight against a culture driven by men and centuries of believing women were the chattels of their fathers, husband, and any male relative. It was a sad but inspiring story as Khalida grows to adulthood, she fights to right the wrongs of the men. Khalida loves her country, she finds it beautiful in so many ways, and it is through working with this culture, this terrain that she brings to many the ability to feel pride and eliminate fear. Fom my review: “Khalida succeeds though not without many struggles as she and other fight against a culture driven by men and centuries of believing women were the chattels of their fathers, husband, and any male relative. It was a sad but inspiring story as Khalida grows to adulthood, she fights to right the wrongs of the men. Khalida loves her country, she finds it beautiful in so many ways, and it is through working with this culture, this terrain that she brings to many the ability to feel pride and eliminate fear.” Khalida Brohi succeeds in presenting a powerful and mesmerizing memoir, with her struggles to help not only herself but also all women who face oppression in the countries that they reside in.
Unfortunately, I did have one book that I just could not complete. The Little Shop of Founds Things was just a bit to slow for my tastes. As always I wish I could have liked it more but as in all things, we have different tastes and feelings for what we require in our books.
So, that has been my week of reading. Hoping you, too, had many fantastic moments of excellent reading with books you loved! Happy weekend eve!