Friday, September 12, 2014

100 Books 2014: 63-68

More books! I'm getting so close to 100!
63. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie This novel is about a teenage American Indian who lives on a reservation and has to make choices about his future.  He is an artist and likes comics so there are drawings scattered through the book, which I really liked. It was funny and sad and interesting. I don't think I've ever read anything about modern reservation life, it was a point of view that was new to me. Sherman Alexie has written quite a few books about reservation life, I'm going to try and pick up a few more.
64. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki My digital library lone expired while I was reading this, but it was so interesting I got back on the waiting list and finished it about 6 weeks later. The story is told by two narrators, a young Japanese girl who is writing in a diary, and a woman on an isolated island in the Pacific Northwest who finds the diary washed up on shore. The young girl, Nao, has decided to kill herself to escape bullying and her seemingly hopeless life but wants to document the life of her Buddist monk Grandmother first. The woman who finds the diary is a writer herself and is stuck on her own book. She reads the diary one day at a time and by about halfway through I was DYING for her to speed it up because I really wanted to know what happened. There are many twists and turns this book takes, the story ends up in a totally different place that you expect. I recommend this one if you like inventive fiction.
65. These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer This author was recommended to me because I like historical fiction and (interesting) love stories. I don't know if I just picked a bad one, but I wasn't into it at all. I'm not sure why I even finished it, it took me a long time. The protagonist is a foppish gentleman who is sharp tongued and it looking to get revenge on someone who wronged him a long time ago. Which sounds like something I could be into. But the wrong wasn't that bad, the punishment was way worse, and the love story was AWFUL. Basically he takes over a young girl in his charge who worships him and is a total idiot. Bleh.
66. White Oleander by Janet Fitch This book is beautifully written and very sad. Which is kind of my thing. It is about a young girl who gets shuffled through the foster system after her mother (a strange, beautiful artist) murders her boyfriend and ends up in jail. This is one I will probably reread sometime in the future.
67. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline The premise of this was very intriguing. Orphan children from the big cities put on trains to more rural areas in hopes of getting families. And it isn't like there were background checks, the children were just lined up and people picked them out like puppies. The people picking them out could make them part of the family or use them as free labor. Some parts of it were interesting, but it is bummer that the prologue gives you an overview of the woman's life so you know what is going to happen long before you are introduced to the characters the prologue is talking about. I would like to read more about the actual orphan trains in the future. I kind of can't believe that actually happened!
68. Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer This book is a non fiction look at fundamentalist Mormon culture and history. I mentioned earlier in the year that I am completely fascinated by fundamentalist Mormons and have read several memoirs of women who have escaped the lifestyle. I recommend Escape by Carolyn Jessop if you are interested. This book is meticulously researched and I learned a lot about the roots of Mormonism, and the way the fundamentalists veered from the main church. I'm not a huge non fiction reader but this was written in a way that kept me interested (and sometimes shocked!) Jon Krakauer is most known for Into the Wild. I have added his book Into Thin Air to my want to read list.


  1. I agree with Orphan Train. I was so disappointed. I actually did a paper on the orphan trains in college-- it's such an interesting subject and I feel like she could have gone so much further with it!

  2. I don't think I can say that I am reader because as of today, I've only read two books this year... I'm so glad to have this resources for recommendations; #64 sounds incredible!

  3. The Absolutely True Story book is a required textbook for an Aboriginal Studies class in the college I work at and I've been super curious about it. I'll add it to my "to read" list.


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