Thursday, March 5, 2015
One of my goals for 2015 was to read at least two books (for pleasure) every month. I plan to create a monthly post to talk about the books that I read to help keep myself accountable. If you are interested you can see my January reading here.
In the Light of What We Know by Zia Hadir Rahman
I had high expectations for this book. It received several high profile positive reviews (which I have not read) and it was recommended by the librarian when I checked out the book. It's quite an undertaking at nearly 500 pages, and I considered abandoning reading it at more than a few points (but once I start a book I have to finish it). It's definitely not a page turner. Usually I'm a pretty fast reader but this book took me nearly three weeks to finish. The writing is impeccable but the plot wasn't really discernible. Classism? Relationships? Betrayal? Religion? Economics? All of the above? I didn't love the book but I won't say that I hated it either. And I'm glad that I powered through and finished it. So my recommendation for this book-check it out from the library so you can decide whether or not you like it without spending money.
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
This book.....where do I even start. I picked this book up at the library because I thought it looked interesting. Yes, I am one of those people who picks out a book based on interesting cover art. I'll be upfront and say that I did not finish this book and will not finish it. This is only the second book in my life that I have not finished (The Hobbit is the other). The book does have a lot of good. The author is a masterful story teller. You really do feel like you're post World War I London. I was sucked in to the book and it was really a page turner (until it wasn't). Save for one not so little thing, I think that this could have been one of my favorite recent reads. But I couldn't finish it. Given the audience of my blog, I feel like I should give the following warnings (spoiler alert). First, the book does have one part that deals with a full term pregnancy loss. I think the author does a good job addressing this in a respectful and accurate way. I didn't take issue with this part but I feel like it's important for people to know it's there. Second, and this is the part where I stopped reading, one of the main characters, Lilian, finds out she's pregnant and decides to take some pills to induce an abortion. I read on for a few pages hoping that she would change her mind, but she does not, and I can only assume that the author goes on to describe it with the same detail as the rest of the book. I stopped reading at this point. I just couldn't continue. (I feel the need to point out that I am firmly pro-choice-I don't like abortion and would never chose to do it myself, but I think it is a necessary healthcare option that should be available to women-I just don't want to read about it.) So if not for that one little part this could have been a great book. So read it if you want but know that there may be triggers.
And finally, allow me to geek out on you a bit.....
Bitch Planet (Issues 1-3) by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro
Yes this is a comic book series, and an excellent one at that! The story is set in a dystopian reality where women who are deemed to be non-compliant are sent to a prison on a different planet (Bitch Planet). Non-compliance can be anything from being overweight to disobeying your husband to committing murder. It's an excellent look at how women in society are exploited and devalued. Honestly it makes my inner feminist and social justice advocate go "Hell yes!" De Landro's art isn't my favorite but DeConnick's story has me roped in and I can't wait for the next 24 issues to come out! Even if you're not the comic book type I can't recommend Bitch Planet highly enough! I think everyone should run to their local comic book store and pick up a copy of the first issue. Or buy it on iBooks or Amazon if you prefer. :)
So I did fall a little bit short of my two book goal this month, but I'm going to try really hard to make up for it in March!