Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer Reading

While on my brief hiatus, I developed a pretty large literature appetite. I quickly devoured four popular books, and thought I'd share with you all how I enjoyed each one. A lot of people are looking for "summer reads" right now, so here you all go!

Everyone's heard of Wicked (the musical), right? Well, this is the book that started it all. I've never seen the musical, so I can't attest to how true it is to the book, but the story in this book is pretty interesting. Think of it as Harry Potter, but set in Oz. If you're looking for a read on the beach, I'd recommend this one, but with the caveat that the ending kind of drags on. And on.

The Secret Life of Bees is a movie starring Alicia Keys and Dakota Fanning. It's also a quick read with a lot of summer imagery of the rural South. Just because it's a quick read, don't pick it up thinking it's going to be light-hearted though... there are definitely some heavy issues discussed in these pages, from child abuse to segregation and civil rights. Additionally, the author really did her research on bee-keeping, though, making this fictional book a pretty informative read!

While this book is the only non-fiction one of the bunch, I think it is definitely my favorite. The Glass Castle is a memoir of Jeannette Walls' childhood with her crazy parents, and how they helped her grow into the woman she has become. It's heart-breaking, but almost uplifting at the same time. Again, a quick read, but not a light-hearted read. Apparently I like depressing books. Ha!

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao has gotten so much critical acclaim that it'd be ridkculous NOT to put it on your summer reading list, right? So I read it. Oscar's character reminded me so much of bits and pieces of people that I know, right down to the Star Trek references, that I was captivated the entire time. Alternating between the Dominican Republic and the United States, the author discusses Oscar's inability to fit in with his peers and his isolation and lonliness that results, while throwing in a few history lessons on the Domincan Republic. This one definitely lived up to the hype for me.

Also, if you're looking for an economical way to acquire some summer reading and don't feel like going the library route, I highly recommend You can read more about my experiences with the service here and here. You'll notice that I got most of these books from PaperBackSwap; I'll be posting them for trading again soon!

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