Tuesday, February 28, 2012

January/February Books

I've read 3 books in the five or six weeks and had pretty different opinions on all of them.  Water for Elephants was definitely my favorite among them, I would recommend In Cold Blood for people who like crime stories, and I wouldn't recommend Stern Men to anyone.  Have you read any good books lately? I'm always looking for suggestions!

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (3.5 stars)
I decided to read this because Capote is such a good author and I like crime novels.  The book is about the murder of a family in a small town in Kansas.  I liked it a lot, though it was slow in parts.  I never really connected to any one of the characters, but did enjoy the perspective from each.  People who don’t like crime novels wouldn’t enjoy this though, as there really isn’t another story line to it.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (4 stars)
This is a historical story told from the view of a elderly man in a nursing home about his experience working for the circus as a vet when he was young and how he fell in love.  I liked the book a lot, especially how honest it seemed about the negative aspects of the circus.  My mom read if first and said she didn’t like it because she doesn’t agree with how animals are treated in circuses and such – but to me, that’s exactly the point of the book – it’s honest that animals/performers were (are?) treated poorly and the consequences of that treatment.  The character descriptions were really rich and I was able to picture each one as I was reading.  I haven’t seen the movie yet.  I’d like to, but I think Robert Pattinson is in it and he kind of creeps me out.  I really glad I wasn’t picturing him as the main character while I was reading it – I didn’t actually know what part he played, but I could have guessed if I really thought about it. 

Stern Men by Elizabeth Gilbert (2 stars)   
I read this book because I liked Eat, Pray, Love (same author).  I did not like this book.  It was incredibly slow and there wasn’t much of a point to the story.  Most books either have mystery, drama, comedy, a love story, or a moral/life lesson, but I didn’t get any of that.  The drama was minimal, it wasn’t funny, no mystery, and I’m not sure what the moral/life lesson could have been.  It was basically just about an average girl who lived on a island.  It was really disappointing because the author could have cut out half of the middle of the book and added a love story for the main character in the second half – instead it was glossed over in the final chapter and the epilogue.  Or she could have at least included what it was like for the character to be sent away for school and her interactions with the non-island culture.  I just don’t even get a sense for what the purpose of this book was.  It was well written, but not interesting at all.  I couldn’t wait to finish it (I don’t really ever abandon books, and I was sure it would get good at some point). 

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