The only reason I read as much as I did this month (36+ hr work week and the rest of LIFE are getting to me!) is that I have a love affair with bubble baths and even if it's super late and I have to be up at dark-thirty in the morning, I gotta have my bubble bath to relax and stay sane :)
Here's what I read in May:
"The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" by Rachel Joyce
Harold and his wife of some 40-odd years don't get along very well. They don't speak and don't even sleep in the same room. One day, he receives a letter from a woman he used to carpool to work with--she is dying of cancer and wanted to say goodbye. He writes a very pathetic attempt at a response letter and sets out to put in in a post office box. And he keeps walking. And walking. And for whatever reason, he feels that if he can keep walking, she will keep living. Along his way, he makes a lot of mistakes, of course has no provisions, cell phones, or money, and his wife is livid with him. He is making something like a 480-mile trek to where Queenie lay dying, and only phones home on occasion. He attracts some attention along the way and eventually ends up with Pilgrims joining him on his journey. As he walks, he reflects on life, mistakes he's made, choices that turned his life one way or another.
The story started out a bit quirky, funny, strange...just so weird that he would have this, what, mid-life crisis and decide to walk for the next three months? He meets some funny people and says and does funny things. But all along, as the reader, you don't really understand why he's walking or what his relationship was with this other woman, and why he and his wife barely speak any more.
It actually turns quite serious, a bit heavy, a bit unexpected.
I listened to this on audio book, and as I was listening, I thought, "that narrator sounds like Professor Slughorn from Harry Potter." Sean was in the car with me at one point and said the same thing. Sure enough, I looked on the CD "book" jacket and saw that it was him, Jim Broadbent.
This isn't a must-read. I give it a solid 3.5 stars. But it was very original and I'm glad I read it.
*caution, there are two or three chapters in which the characters Harold meets use really strong language. It was unnecessary and disappointing.
"The Mountain Between Us" by Charles Martin
Charles Martin is a favorite of mine, and this one did not disappoint!
It is about Ben and Ashley who hop a puddle-jumper plane to get out of Salt Lake City late one night. The plane crashes and they were marooned in the Wasatch mountains in the middle of winter, literally 75 miles away from any civilization. Both are hurt, they have no food, and no way to get help--no one even knew they were on the flight and the flight plan was never recorded. The remaining story is one of survival, loyalty, and a growing love and respect, which is complicated because Ashley was engaged to be married and Ben was separated from his wife at the time. The resulting story is fascinating and beautiful, and will surprise you.
I loved it. I can't say much more than that. I love Martin's style, I love how his stories often take place in two different times (in this one, the flashbacks occur as he is talking to his wife via casette recorder), and I love the bit of medical knowledge he adds to most of his stories. (Ben is a doctor in this case). This is a must-read!
(Best book I've read since "Blackberry Winter" back in October)
"The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles #1)" by Rick Riordan
After 13 chapters I still didn't really care about the characters, nor was I able to follow what was going on. I listened to this on audiobook, which can sometimes give you a disconnect as your mind goes to other things. But just like his Percy Jackson series, it just wasn't my style.
No mucho. But one muy bien. :)
What are you reading?