Sunday, October 07, 2012

Reading Roundup: September 2012

Daughters of Jared by H.B. Moore

I have liked most of Moore's other Book of Mormon novels, but this one just didn't really work for me. I really liked the main character, Naiva, but her motivations weren't always clear to me. I also felt that the world-building in this novel was incomplete; her other novels based on the Book of Mormon had a fair amount of background taken from the scriptures and it felt like she included a lot more details about the characters and their world. In this book I felt like there were gaps and inconsistencies in the setting and elements of the story, which was made even more frustrating by the fact that the scriptural story the action is based on was fairly flimsy as well. I'm curious to see if Moore continues with the Jaredite-era stories or she will go back to her original series and continue from there.

Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson

I have heard a lot about Stephanie over the last few years and I occasionally read her blog. It was very interesting to read her story from her own perspective and I really admired her honesty in describing some of the very hard things she went through and how she overcame them. This was a beautiful book.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this book or not, given the subject matter (30-something women who has three kids and is in the middle of a divorce). Despite the somewhat serious subject matter and the fairly deep themes of the book, the light tone and genuinely likeable characters made this a great read.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

This was our bookclub pick for the month and I had never read it before. At first I wasn't sure I would like it because I've gotten a little sick of books about precocious, quirky children. After a few chapters Flavia won me over and I had quite a good time reading this. I'm not sure if I'll read the other books in the series but this one really was a lot of fun.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

I have read mixed reviews of this book and I think I agree with all of them. Strayed is an excellent writer and she does a great job of describing her long hike on the trail and all the reasons why she chose to take that trip. She does also deserve credit for writing about her stupid youthful self and all her bad decisions in a way that is honest but without self-pity or attempts to justify herself. This is a well-written and powerful memoir, but there were parts that made me uncomfortable simply because I would not have made the same decisions she did nor would I have drawn the same conclusions from her experiences.

Movies

10 Things I Hate About You

I watched this movie years ago when it first came out in theaters and I remember being disappointed by it. After watching it again, I was still disappointed. It has some potential, and some great acting, but the plot is really poorly-done. It is a good (or bad?) example of the difficulties of trying to adapt a well-known source into a modern context, and what happens when that attempt to adapt just doesn't work.

Juno

This was another re-watch of a movie I first saw in the theater. I think I actually enjoyed a little more this time around; I think one of it's flaws is that it has many interesting characters but the pacing is fast enough that you hardly get to see some of them. I think it might have worked better as a slightly longer movie. But, then again, maybe not. Who knows?



1 comment:

Lindsay said...

You should read the 2nd Flavia book, "The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag." I've read all 4 and I think that one is the best.