I sped through these last three books. They all seemed to keep my attention and progress quickly. I mean, the fact that it’s been raining a lot here might have something to do with it as well. When it rains there isn’t much else to do besides read and clean. And we all know that I don’t do the latter.
My mom recommended the book The Secret History by Donna Tartt to me. This one being much slimmer than her recent release, The Goldfinch. The story takes place in a small private university town in New England. The main character, Richard Papen, travels there from his home state of California looking for a change of scenery and life direction. Having studied Greek, he applied for the course and met 5 strange students that he would get to know intimately. As his university career continued, Richard was met with a darkness that he couldn’t escape, all thanks to his peers.
I really liked this book. There were areas that seemed a little dry in my opinion, but I’m extremely annoying when it comes to books keeping my full attention. However, the way it was written, the various east coast accents and descriptions made me feel like I was fully enveloped into their world. I also appreciated a lot of the Greek, Latin, and classical references because, believe it or not, I was forced to take Latin for 6 years. So what I’m trying to say is that I know what true pain feels like.
I picked up The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan next because a.) it was short, and b.) I really like books that take place in Asia. I was a big fan of The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan written by Lisa See. Check those out if you haven’t already done so. The Joy Luck Club is essentially a group of four women who joined together in San Fransisco after immigrating there from China in the 1950’s. There are different stories told through each of the women’s eyes–stories about their childhood, adolescence, and eventually adulthood. Paired with them are the more modern, American stories of their daughters.
I liked the way this book was written. I enjoyed comparing and contrasting the behaviors of the mothers vs their daughters and the mothers vs their own mothers. That being said, it was hard for me to keep all of the stories straight. There were 8 voices overall and I kept having to revisit past pages and chapters to make sure I had the right person in mind. It might have been easier for me to balance less people. Regardless, the stories still left me with shivers.
And lastly, today I finished the book Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I had heard a lot of good things about this one. So much so that I felt confident recommending it to a friend before I had even picked it up myself. The story is about 26-year-old Louisa Clark who lives in a little tourist town in England. After suddenly getting let go from her job, she lands a temporary position taking care of a quadriplegic man. Their unique friendship causes them to see life differently.
I don’t want to ruin any of the book, but it’s pretty predictable. I mean, it’s great, entertaining, and surprisingly funny. A perfect beach read that will likely turn into a chick flick. I know this because it’s already on IMDb so they must have something in the making. I really enjoyed reading it and felt like I knew the characters all very well, but I just can’t help but feeling like there’s something missing.
Have you read any good books lately?
23 thoughts on “Lily’s Literature #13”
Gracious, I’m first! No prizes, eh? Ah, well, no matter.
I started Dragonfly in Amber, since all of the books are now available. I may make this into a binge read, we’ll see. I’m also reading Andersonville–about the infamous Southern prison, and Unbroken. I think you’d like that one, Lily.
I loved the Tartt book, and you may also enjoy the film, The Joy Luck Club. I liked both.
Ah no. I’m out of prizes. But congrats nonetheless!
Wait didn’t you say you read a couple of them already? Are you re-reading them? I think I might start Dragonfly in Amber soon. It seems like a good one. Not sure if I’ll read all of them though. I will check out Unbroken, thanks! Andersonville sounds cool.
Yeah I’ll have to compare and contrast the book and movie. Thanks for that!
I did read three of them, but, gave up because they were released so far apart, you’d have to re-read the prior book before starting the new one. Dragonfly is pretty good so far, and starts with a big reveal.
Ahh I see. Yeah, unfortunately I made my friend ruin most of the books for me so I already know the big reveal. Annoying! But still juicy!
The Good Earth is one of my all time favorite books. I went on a Pearl Buck jag and read every one of her books a couple years ago. And while some of them are a little disjointed and not as good as The Good Earth they all thoroughly immerse you in that same China experience. You might also like The Ginger Tree too. I didn’t read the Joy Luck Club but I liked the movie. I’ll keep the other two in mind for this summer. It’s always fun to have something good to read.
Mine too, Linda! I will check out The Ginger Tree as well! My mom also told me that The Joy Luck Club movie is pretty good. Summer reading is definitely a good thing. Yeah check them out for sure!
I loved the Good Earth.
Joy Luck Club is the only one in your set I’ve heard of.
Right now, I’m reading a history of President James Garfield.
I know, fascinating, right?!? 😉
The Good Earth was such a great one. The ending gave me shivers!
For some reason I can’t do nonfiction! I get so bored. You would think since I have a history degree I could handle it, but nope!
Six years of Latin? Dear woman, why? Smarty!!
Dude, don’t ask me. I wanted to take Spanish. Or even French. Possibly German. But noooo. And nope, not smarty. I’ve forgotten almost everything I’ve learned except the names for certain animals. Haha
Well I could only do two years do you’re a smarty to me 🙂
Thanks lady. You’re a smarty to me too! 😀
Always looking for book recommendations. Hope all is well with your mom! Tell her Sandee says hello!
Nice! Any of these are pretty good. What are some of your faves? I will tell her! I know she loves you, Sandee 😀
Aw, thanks for passing along my good vibes to Lisa — she was one of my favorite bloggers, very intuitive, no pretensions!
I’m reading a lot of short fiction featured in the New Yorker Magazine, But I resolved to read non fiction books lately — I just finished The History of the New Netherlands by Adriaen Van der Donck, an early Dutch settler — I loved it, so enlightening about the world then and now. Now I’m reading a collection of Washington Irving’s fictional and nonfictional stuff — I’m a docent at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where he’s buried, and he established the cemetery, so I want to be very knowledgeable 🙂 I have waiting for me on my book shelf, The Rise and Fall of the British Empire — good Lord! I gotta get back to fiction — whew! Then I’ll come back into your site to see your recommendations again 🙂 See you later Lily!
That’s so cool that you’re reading all of those impressive books! I’m so not a nonfiction kind of gal. I get so bored with them. BUT the ones that you’re reading do sound very interesting. That’s so cool that you’re a docent at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery! I want your life.
Nice reviews! I remember reading the Secret History a couple of years ago after a friend lent it to me and thinking that even though it was really creepy, it was also surprisingly engrossing. A good sign for a book huh?
I actually read The Goldfinch recently, and I would only recommend it if you like really long books and/or Donna Tartt. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, but there’s multiple times when it drags on a bit.
Thanks girlie! Yeah, I definitely agree with you about The Secret History. Really creeps, yet fascinating. The character study was well-developed.
Oh nice! The Goldfinch intimidates me because of it’s girth. I think one of these days I will give it a go. Good to know that it has some lulls. I’ll probably read some others before I attempt it. Thanks for the info!
Oops! — That would be “A Description of New Netherland.”
I do so love your reviews. They make me wish I could drag my ass back into the world of reading and glue my eyeballs permanently into something wonderful.
Haha thanks dahhhling. It helps that I don’t work so I have a whole lot of time to be reading and sitting around doing absolutely nothing. However, that is going to change soon so I need to get a lot of reading in before that happens. But yeah, if you have the time, read your little heart out. I’m making up for lost time because there were so many years that I didn’t pick up any books for pleasure.
I’ve been too busy catching up on your blog to read any good books lately, Lily!
Well thanks Hook, but there are better, smarter things to read out there! 😉