I am now ashamed at the rate I read books. I used to cruise through novels (well, compared to people who don’t read at all) and now I hardly have time to read a chapter a day. The struggle is real.
I picked up the book Where’d You Go, Bernadette? a while ago simply based on the cover. This decision-making tactic is usually followed by regret and remorse. This time, however, I was pleasantly surprised.
The author, Maria Semple, tells Bernadette’s story through both Bernadette herself, and her daughter, Bee. Bernadette is a washed up architectural genius of sorts that has given up her passion and dream to living in a stuffy Seattle suburb with her Microsoft CEO of a husband. Because Bee excelled in school, her parents promised her that she could choose any reward she wanted. In turn, Bee decided a trip to Antarctica was a suitable present. That’s when the drama starts to erupt from Bernadette’s life and begins to spill onto those around her.
To be honest, the book was slightly cheesy. It’s one of those books like, The Rosie Project (Graeme Simsion) or Me Before You (Jojo Moyes) that will definitely make a great chick flick. I really loved the character development and back stories but I didn’t really like the characters themselves.
After that I picked up The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. I wanted to give this one a try because I really liked reading The Maltese Falcon in high school. But I also wanted to give this one a try because it was only $5.
The story follows old-school detective Phillip Marlowe into a troublesome case involving a dying millionaire and his two cheeky daughters who have been blackmailed. Marlowe finds himself in a tangled web of liars, cheats, and addicts all trying to get the upper hand.
That’s probably the worst, most vague description, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t remember much of what I read. I was confused for the majority of the book. I don’t know why, but I had trouble following the characters and keeping track of who was who and what they all did. It’s not a very big book, but I still managed to get lost. I should probably just watch the movie.
After those two less than spectacular books, I’m happy to say that I picked up a good one. Well, my friend picked it out for me. That’s the beauty of book clubs, my friends.
The book City of Thieves by David Benioff (who has a really cute author photo, btw) is a story told about David’s grandfather during the German occupation in Leningrad. The somewhat short book takes the reader on an exciting journey through Russia during a horrifying time. Yet it also has the upbeat and often funny outlook that teenage boys tend to have. At the time, Benioff’s grandfather, Lev, was only 17. Through some very odd events Lev was paired up with the unlikely companion of an army deserter and forced to go on a daunting task in order to save his life.
A couple chapters in I was very unsure about how I liked the story. There were a lot of Russian names and events that kept flying over my head that I couldn’t keep straight. However, once I really delved in, I thoroughly enjoyed it. A fast, sweet, and rewarding read. It also teaches you something about the war as well. Always a bonus.