It's Monday! What are You Reading?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Today I'm participating in a meme hosted by Book Journey.  Here's a look at what I've been reading lately and what's coming up for me.

Finished Last Week:


 
It took me a while to get into The Miniaturist.  I was really thrown off by the third person present tense narrator, which you don't see much of in literature.  The book also has a fairly slow start, but it picks up a toward the middle, and I thought that the latter half was quite rich.  It explores a number of subjects and behavior that were fairy taboo in 17th century Amsterdam, and I loved all of the descriptions of the city.

I read We Were Liars in a day.  It's not really long or dense, but it's very engrossing, and I wanted to know what happened.  It's a bit on the stripped down side in terms of character, setting, and plot development, but I think that actually kind of works and makes the story stand out.  In this regard, We Were Liars reminded me a lot of an Agatha Christie mystery, where not everything is explored in great detail and given multiple layers of complexity.  I thought it was an interesting choice, and the twist in We Were Liars is very satisfying.  

Currently Reading:


A lot of people seem to be reading this one, and I've heard very good things about it.  I'm interested to see how the dual narrators work in I'll Give You the Sun, and I'm excited to delve into the relationship between twins Jude and Noah.  The book also just won the 2015 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.  

Coming Up:


This is another one that everyone seems to be reading, though more people are split on how they feel about it.  It's so hard to pull off a successful mystery/thriller, raising engaging questions that keep readers interested and then giving satisfying answers that aren't readily apparent and obvious.  The Girl on the Train is another book that is frequently compared to Gone Girl, but I'm going to do my best to set that comparison aside.  I want to judge Hawkins' work on its own merits, and I don't want to begrudge it for doing something different from Gone Girl.

What have you been reading lately? 

11 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed The Girl on the Train, I had a couple of minor quibbles but overall very compelling. I wasn't quite as thrilled by We were Liars as I thought I would be, but so many people loved it. I loved The Miniaturist. Nice to discover your blog, happy reading :)

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    1. I'm glad to hear it! I'm really looking forward to The Girl on the Train. And glad you enjoyed The Miniaturist! My review should be going up later this week. Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  2. I love the covers of all of these books! The Miniaturist looks fascinating. I may have to check that one out!

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    1. Aren't they beautiful? I know we're not supposed to judge books by their covers, but it's hard not to with such great covers. :) And yes, The Miniaturist is very fascinating! My review should be going up later this week.

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  3. The Miniaturist is in Third person present tense?! That is one of my least favorite pov-tense combos. Here is my list of favorite narrative-tenses from least to most favored:
    1. Any second person narration… they are all horrible, I don’t like books telling me what I did, am doing, or am going to do. Really breaks the suspension of disbelief.
    2. Any future tense narration … very creepy and prophetic sounding.
    2. Third Person Present … ok in some instances, but always feels clunky.
    3. First Person Present … less clunky than third person present, and can be used well with frame narratives.
    3. First Person Past … great for mystery novels, very engrossing if you have a good main character (oddly makes the action feel more immediate than first person present.)
    4. Third Person Past … the bread and butter for most narratives, and I prefer a limited subjective perspective over third person omniscient.

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    1. Haha, this is a great list! And I agree that third person past is probably my favorite narrative style.

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  4. I just started The Awakening by Kate Chopin, and so far it's pretty good. It was selected for a book club, so I'm going in with no knowledge of what the plot's supposed to be about, which is kind of cool.

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    1. I read that one years ago, I think right after I graduated from college. I remember enjoying it, though I thought it was a little overrated. I hope your book club has a great discussion about it!

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  5. I will be very curious what your final thoughts are on The Girl on the Train. I am so glad you enjoyed We Were Liars. I loved that book when I read it. I think the sparse language and development fits the story perfectly, as you said.

    Have a great week!

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    1. Me, too! I'm excited to read it! And yes, I agree that the sparse language and structure of We Were Liars was great. It made it feel like a really focused and tight mystery. I loved it!

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