The Compulsive Reader: Reading Rants: Adult Books I've Enjoyed Recently

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Reading Rants: Adult Books I've Enjoyed Recently

You know I'm all about the YA, but expanding your TBR list to include a little diversity is good, too, and I've read a lot of very, very interesting non-YA books lately that I think you all will enjoy too!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

You've probably seen the movie trailers, or maybe even the movie itself. I think that the book is a lot more serious than the trailer, or the movie, portrays. To speak up about being a black maid in 1960's Jackson was a very, very dangerous and very, very brave thing to do, something that the book gets across well. It's set over the course of almost three years, and I learned a lot about what life was like, for both the maids and their rich bosses. This is a really important, well written, and smart book that's mostly serious, but with its funnier moments, and I suggest reading it before seeing the movie.

Room by Emma Donoghue

This book intrigued me from the moment it came out. I heard a piece on NPR with the author, and the bit I listened to didn't divulge the big "secret" of what's REALLY going on in the book, so I went into this one blind. It's told from the point of view of five year old Jack, who lives with his Ma in Room. It's all he has ever known, and the only glimpses he's ever had of the outside world he's seen on TV. But with his fifth birthday, all that is about to change. I figured out what was going on in the story pretty early on, and when I did, it was like a punch in the gut. I had to stop reading, but was compelled to pick the book up again moments later. I devoured this book--it will give you a lot to think about.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

This one is a very, very popular book at the bookstore these days! Most Americans don't know the story of the Vel' d'Hiv roundup, and Sarah's Key will be a very enlightening book for them. It's the story of a young girl named Sarah, daughter of Jewish immigrants living in Paris at the start of World War II. Just before the Germans take control of the city, the Vel' d'Hiv round-up, organized by Paris officials, occurred, resulting in the deportation and death of almost all Jews captured that night. Sarah hides her little brother in the secret cupboard in their bedroom, thinking she'll be back in the morning. When Julia, an American journalist living in Paris in 2002, discovers Sarah's story, their lives become linked. This is a book that sells itself, and is impossible to put down. It will consume you, until you learn of Sarah's fate and how Julia deals with it. It's a remarkable story, but also a vital reminder to never forget about what happened in Paris in June of 1942. I can't recommend this book enough.

A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay

After I finished Sarah's Key, de Rosnay's style seemed to haunt me. I picked up A Secret Kept at work one day, and it immediately sucked me in. It's the story of Antoine, a disillusioned architect who has been miserable since his wife left him for a younger man and his children stopped communicating with him. He takes his younger sister on a trip to a childhood vacation site for her birthday. Neither have been back since their family stopped going there after the death of their mother. The weekend awakens many memories for both, and on the way home, Antoine's sister is on the verge of telling him something vital she has remembered about the last summer they spent with their mother when she drives the car off the cliff. If that doesn't hook you, I don't know what will. I love de Rosnay's writing, and her portrayal of all of these characters and their pasts and secrets. it's absolutely riveting.

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsly

I bought this book on a whim when it was on sale, and I am so glad I did! It's the story of novelist Carrie McClelland, who is successful and famous for her historical fiction. She wants to write her next novel on the Jacobites, but can't seem to make the words flow. But one day, as she's driving up the coast, she sees the ruins of Slains castle, and is inspired. She settles in a cottage nearby and begins writing, playing with characters from her own ancestry, believing that she is taking liberties with history. But throughout the writing process, she begins to have strange memories, and when she writes down things she never read about, but later prove to have actually happened, Carrie is disturbed. Could such a thing as genetic memory exist, and what does that mean for her ancestors? I found this book to be very intriguing, entertaining, and so easy to become lost in. It's not quite as cheap as it was when I first bought it, but if it sounds interested, it is on sale still! Click here.

And...that's all I have for now, though there are hundreds more on my wish list! What books have you been reading and loving lately?


Anonymous said...

I've only read The Help, and I thought it was quite good but a bit long-winded for me (18 hours in audiobook!) I've heard of the others, and I sort of want to see Sarah's Key (the movie) but I don't know about the books, I usually don't enjoy adult books even though I'm technically an adult :P

Liss Martz said...

Great books. I want to read Room, I've heard good things about it. I read Memoirs of a Geisha, it's really good and if you like fiction Angels and Demons is for you. There are lots of great books but so little time! Lately, I've been reading Atlantis from Gena Showalter =)

Anonymous said...

The only adult books I've read are book one and two of the mercy tompson series

The book girl said...

Oh, The Help1 I love this book, so much I even got my whole family to read it, and then we went to see the movie:) And Sarah's Key is wonderful-- I'll have to check out her other book too.