Get out of the Winter Doldrums and Into a Good Book

We’ve had a mild winter this year with just enough snow for my little gal, V, to make her first Frosty the Snowman (and his snow child, and the child’s  snow baby doll…).  With some erratic 60+ degree days, we’ve spend more time out of doors than usual, which makes for a happier winter.  With the cold snap at the start of  February, though,  we  hunkered down inside with some good books.  Here’s what’s been on my bookshelf:

Recently Read:

The Company We Keep by Robert and Dayna Baer:  A non-fiction memoir jointly written by two former CIA operatives who met on the job and fell in love.  It chronicles both their experiences within the CIA as well as the development of their personal relationship.  I found it to be a fascinating read into a life that I can’t imagine experiencing.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins:  AMAZING!!!  I haven’t been this excited about a series of books since Harry Potter.  I literally read these each in a day, squeezing in reads during my daughter’s nap and after her bedtime.  They remind me of a futuristic Lord of the Flies, but with more appealing character development and modern storytelling.  Both the political themes and the romantic aspects of the novels would be great discussion topics for a book club.  I’m telling everyone I know who reads about these ones!

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brasheres:  I checked this out at the advice of a fellow blogger who had also read the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series; this is the latest/last? of the books in the series.  I’m still on the fence about whether I really liked it.  The story took an unexpected turn for me, and I felt the gap between books left some question marks about how the characters developed in certain ways (ex:  how Bee went from studying Archaeology and being a soccer star to the more significantly erratic character in this last novel).  For those of you who love the characters from the first four books, expect this one to be an emotional read for you.  I found myself re-reading parts to fully absorb the impact of the story.  It was a good book, but the overall series storyline just took some turns that left me wondering if I was fully satisfied with the trajectory of the series.

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James:  A murder mystery spin-off of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  (So far, I’ve also noted some fleeting appearances by characters from Persuasion as well!)  I was unsure whether I would like this or not.  Coming off of the Hunger Games books, it took me a bit to get past the first chapter.  About halfway in, I was wondering if the story is going to be predictable or take an unexpected twist.  I do enjoy entering into James’ take on Austen’s world, and in the end, felt the paths that James established for the characters was not a complete deviation from the classic (I had initial concerns about this.).

Currently Reading:

The Brethren by John Grisham: I’ve had this on my shelf since my grandmother’s death in 2006; it was the last book that she read and as we always shared books, I wanted to finish the last novel she enjoyed, especially since I have read many of his novels.  I’ve started this book many times, but just couldn’t get into the story.  I finally got in just the right mood to see it through.   I am not quite finished with the story, but I’m finding it to be one of the most mediocre of Grisham’s novels.  I find the plot a little farfetched and the characters rather uni-dimensional.  I can’t really get attached or interested in them.  I’m going to see it through to find out what happens in the end, but I have to say, I enjoyed his earlier works a lot more.

What are you reading right now?  Share your favorite new reads in the comment section!

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