Because the little one no longer naps on me, nor takes long naps, I don’t have as much time to read, but here are a few things I have been reading lately.
This was described to me as “Harry Potter for Adults.” And it definitely is for adults. I was actually a little taken aback by how much cursing, sex, and violence was included, but I am, of course, a self-admitted prude. The story goes like this: Quentin Coldwater is a senior in high school, brilliant, about to interview for Harvard, yet he is not happy or excited. He always feels like there is something more. Enter a strange chance to take a strange exam that turns out to prove him a Magician. He quickly gives up his old life to begin anew at Brakebills. The magic here is actually not very magical. It is about hard work and rules and repetition. And perhaps why this book fell flat to me. Though the students here do end up doing amazing things and venture out to fantastic (in the true sense of the word) places, I just didn’t really care. There was nothing here that made me long to stay in this world. We see the world through Quentin’s eyes, and they are eyes of dissatisfaction. There is another book in this series, but I think I’ll skip it because I don’t really want to spend more time in this version of the magical realm.
These are the next Hunger Games if you want to put it in YA terms. These are the first two of a trilogy, and though not as poignant and relevant as the Hunger Games, it’s still a good, thrilling ride. Ted and I listed to this as an audio book, and I have to say that the reader’s voice fit the character perfectly. Tris Pryor lives in a future version of Chicago where everyone is separated into five factions, based on values: Abnegation, Candor, Erudite, Amity, and Dauntless. She has grown up in Abnegation, the faction that prides itself on being selfless, only she thinks she is no good at being selfless. Fortunately, when a member of a faction turns sixteen, they can choose to remain or choose another faction. Which will she do? You’ll have to read it to find out, but it’s a fast-paced story with a teenage romance written in a way that I would have loved when I was twelve, and a pretty fascinating and imaginative future Chicago. It’s worth the read, and I’m excited to pick up the last volume in 2013.
O Me of Little Faith: True Confessions of a Spiritual Weakling by Jason Boyett
I purchased this book because the subtitle is what I often feel like, and I thought it would be good to read someone with a similar faith journey to mine. And boy, was it. I loved this book for its honesty, humility, and … I feel like I need another “H” word, but instructiveness will have to do. Boyett not only tells you his journey, but how he has used doubt to his advantage and what practical steps he takes to not go over the edge. A must read for doubters and those who want to understand them.
The “Short” in this title must be sarcastic because I don’t consider 512 pages short. I have been working on this book for over a year because it is that kind of book you can read for a while, put down, and take back up and enjoy right where you left off. Bryson takes us through the history of home and houses, room by room, using the rectory he now lives in in Britain as an example. He goes into the purpose of each room and quite frequently takes the tangential opportunity to talk about the history of the spice trade in the kitchen, or the history of electricity in the drawing room. All of it is fascinating and told in Bryson’s pleasant, witty prose. But I’d skip the chapter called The Study, which has nothing to do with books and everything to do with those creatures who might eat them. Yes, definitely skip the chapter on rats and other household vermin, especially when reading at night before bed. You may encounter a brief bout of insomnia. And I may be speaking from experience.