I'm still reading. Ever since starting up again last fall I always have a book on the go. I don't always read them as fast as I'd like since I don't have much time, but I try to read a little bit every night before bed. This means that I get less sleep and am pretty tired, but it's worth it to have that little bit of escape.
So the last time I posted about reading, I was just getting through The Kitchen House, which was as I suspected very sad and disturbing but a good read. Not my kind of book but I did find it hard to put down.
After I finished that I read The Book of Negroes, which was a bit slower but I did really enjoy the story. Many sad parts as well but it was rather uplifting and it was a good book. It was interesting to read the history that went along with it, and the main character though she suffered many hardships, was so likeable and her courage was inspiring.
Then onto The Help which was highly recommended by my friends and it was an excellent book. I can see why it was made into a movie (Academy Award Winning at that). I haven't actually watched the movie yet (I saw the first little bit at our 'girl's movie night', but had to leave because Lily woke up and I had to go home!), but I would like to finish watching it some time. It was a great book, it touched on some very serious issues but in a rather comedic way. The characters were fantastic. I would recommend it to others.
I think the next one I read after that was Life of Pi. It is not a new book and I had heard of it but didn't know what it was about. Then I saw a trailer for the movie which had just come out, and I really wanted to see it but not until I read the book. Another friend had said it was amazing, so I ran out and bought it, and it really was amazing. I loved it. It wasn't even that it was particularly gripping, but the main character, Pi was so fascinating and it was such a cool story which a twist at the end. The very night I finished the book we watched the movie and I was happy with how it was adapted to the big screen. I felt the movie did the book justice and was just as powerful and moving. I think I would put Life of Pi right up there with some of my favourite books.
Finally we got our book club started, and the first book we read as a group was The Paris Wife. It was a work of fiction based on Ernest Hemingway's first marriage to a woman named Hadley. It basically followed their whirlwind romance, marriage, and time together in Paris. It was good, and very sad because it shows their decline as Hemingway becomes more engrossed in his budding career and less interested in the relationship with his wife. I was so sad for her as she learns of his infidelity and the way he treats her after that. Even though the book was fiction, all the characters and events really did happen and I found myself a little bit obsessed with Ernest Hemingway after reading it. My heart broke for Hadley and what she had to go through, but in the end she came out of it stronger and had a wonderful life so that made having to read her heartache worth it.
In between book club books I read another Margaret Atwood book called Life Before Man. It was actually one of her works from the seventies and I picked it up at the local book store. I don't know why I chose that one, I guess because I had like the other book written by her that I had read. This one was ok. It wasn't gripping, or fascinating, or particularly anything really, but it did portray a very real story about three people in a love triangle and what they were feeling while going through it all. I didn't think it was horrible but I wouldn't recommend it.
Our second book club book was In Between Oceans and it was another heart wrenching story, this time about a lighthouse keeper and his wife who suffer the loss of several children (two miscarriages and a stillborn), and then one day find a baby alive in a boat that washes up on their island, and against better judgement decide to keep her as their own. They discover their choice had devastating consequences when the child's real mother was in fact alive, and throughout the story must make the decision to return the child after raising her as their own for 4 years. This book was very hard to read as a mother, both for the adopted mother (who suffered so many losses) and the real mother (who believed her child to be dead). It was so sad but it was a beautiful story, and I could appreciate it very much.
So many books that I have read have been so hard to read and have been so depressing in many ways. I wouldn't normally choose books like this for myself, I tend to like to read things that are so far from reality that I can't identify with the emotions. It's just easier that way. That is why I like fantasy and sci-fi. But I am happy that I have branched out and read more of this kind of literature.
However now I feel like I need a break from the intense stuff and so I have started the Harry Potter books, something that I have wanted to read for awhile and I know I will love. I love the movies and I know the books will be great too. I have read the Philosopher's Stone already and enjoyed it. It was a very easy read (obviously since the books are for children and young adults) and pretty much exactly like the movie (or should I say they did a wonderful job making the movies exactly like the book). I really like getting into these books because it makes me feel like I am watching the movies all over again. I can't wait to start the next one.
I think I will continue with the book club selections in between reading the Harry Potter books, just to keep up with the girls. Though we haven't picked out our next book yet.
Once again I am so glad I have rediscovered a love of reading, and am a regular bookworm these days!