Friday, March 13, 2015

Two books, two days

Book clubs are great in several ways, one of which is "making" you read something you might otherwise not have. This month, the group I belong to is reading Orphan Train: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline. I had some doubts about it. I mean, why the need to label it as a novel in the title? Isn't that a little disingenuous?

I started it yesterday morning and finished it by early evening. The story pulled me in, perhaps because I've taught a fair number of young women like Molly, the present-day protagonist. I've had many Goth girls in my classes over the years and, while each one had her own individual spark, there was a common thread that put them all on the same death-head necklace: none were content with the well-worn path through life. Molly isn't either, nor, we discover, is Vivian, a woman in her nineties who joins with Molly as a fellow protagonist.

SPOILER ALERT: (skip this paragraph if you haven't read the book. You have been warned!!!)
I didn't like the end of the book. It just stopped. I wanted Molly's story to have more of a closing and I wanted to see the reunion between Vivian and...well, someone important. Neither is shown and that ticked me off. Not a good way to end a book.

Back in November, my aunt sent me a book she thought I'd like, but at the time I was writing THE REVOLUTION OF CLARA SIMPSON and couldn't take my mind away from that. Then it was the holidays and things go moved and...suffice it to say the book resurfaced when I cleaned on Wednesday and I put it on top of my TBR pile.

What book? Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Yes, I know Juliette Moore was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for her work in playing Alice, but I hadn't seen the movie. Now that I've read the book - in a day, mind you - I would like to see how they handled it in the movie. The book is written from Alice's point of view and it seems that it would be difficult to translate her thoughts and actions to film.

But it, too, captivated me. So much so that, after a brief interruption to go see my nephews in their spring musical, I came back and finished the last 50 pages because I had to know how it ended. No spoilers here - I will recommend this book to my book club for next year, though!

It is, however, a quick read. I scrapbooked all morning and into the early hours of the afternoon in order to finish (finally!!) putting the journal and all the pictures together from our Alaska trip -- back in 2009. So I didn't start reading until mid-afternoon, took a several-hour break in the evening, and finished it before 11:15 pm. Yes, I'm a fast reader, but that was quick even for me.

Okay, off to add these two to my spreadsheet of Books I Read for 2015.

Play safe!

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