Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Reads

I have not shared a book review in a very long while. So I thought I would tell you about two of my recent favorites. The first is Little Bee by Chris Cleave. I really, really enjoyed this book! I have never heard a peep about it and while browsing in the book store I could not help but be drawn to this amazing cover! And then you open the cover to read the jacket and you are met with this...

"We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: This is the story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day, and one of them has to make a terrible choice. Two years later, they meet again. The story starts there. Once you have read it you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens. The magic is in how it unfolds."

Now tell me you would have been able to put that down! And so I will not say much since the jacket pleads with me not to. I will say the two women are from very different worlds. Everything from their country, culture, age, everything is different from one another and the author does an amazing job of alternating back and forth between the two ladies narrating the tale. You are perfectly aware of who is telling a specific piece of the story. Cleave is wonderfully descriptive and unfolds the story in a beautiful and painful way. There are nice touches of humor and plenty of moments that will catch your breath.
The one thing I didn't like is hard to explain and not a deal breaker by any means. Every once in a while in Cleaves efforts to be descriptive or touching or whatever, he becomes obvious or silly in what he is trying to achieve. I don't know if that makes any sense and like I said it does not happen enough to even think about putting the book down!
I give it ♥♥♥♥ out of 5

The second one which I just finished a few days ago is absolutely stunning! You sit down, read the first few lines and the pages start to fly by. Yours eyes gliding over Cormac McCarthy's masterful prose and captivating story-telling! It is beautiful and terrifying! The back of the book reads, "A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. They have nothing but a pistol to defend themselves against the men who stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food - and each other."
There is no sun because ash hovers over everything, they walk around with masks and run into terrifying situations that will have you quivering with the thought of actually being there. There are strong biblical themes throughout the book which added a deeper meaning and more interest.
The conversations between the nameless man and son are short, perfect, and poetic. The formation of words used to describe the bleak landscape, horrific encounters, or the moments of luck and hope shared between father and son are gripping and emotionally wrenching. Making you wonder if you could ever exist in this post-apocalyptic world! One review that I read so accurately described,
"the word choice and imagery is classic McCarthy yet is leaner and more honed, tighter and in turn more intense. The whole book follows this pattern. No word, not a single one, is extraneous." This last sentence is so true and perfect, because each word is used on purpose!
Some lines I fell in love with...
"The blackness he woke to on those nights was sightless and impenetrable. A blackness to hurt your ears with listening. Often he had to get up. No sound but the wind in the bare blackened trees. He rose and stood tottering in that cold autistic dark with his arms outheld for balance while the vestibular calculations in his skull cranked out their reckonings. An old chronicle."
"By day the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp."
He pulled the boy closer.
Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said. You might want to think about that.
You forget some things, don't you?
Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget."

"If he is not the word of God God never spoke." father, about his son
There were so many more but these were shorter so...
And I give this one ♥♥♥♥♥

I also wanted to apologize if my posts have been bombarding your blogroll! I am trying to organize my tags so that I can have them in the sidebar for easy access to posts. I don't know of any other way to do this except to go in and change the tags and republish the post. I would love a tag cloud but I can't seem to find a place where I can create one for blogger. Any suggestions? I hope you all have a fantastic Sunday and maybe get a little reading done!


Hollyrocks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hollyrocks said...

Wow, I really want to read them both! I love that you couldn't give very much away about the first one, it makes me even more curious. Which I'm certain will lead to me acquiring a copy and finding out for myself what happens. Thanks for the recommendations!

Ara said...

Thank you so much for the recommendations! I'm in short of a new book to read and you made me really curious about the first one.

tori said...

those sound great. i'll definitely check those out. thank you so much for sharing those!

elsiee said...

I was SOOOOOOOOOOOO needing some good book recommendations - look at you meeting all of my literary needs!!

Cassy said...

i just found your blog and i love it! I gave you an award on mine :)


Erin said...

I can't wait to read both books. Thanks!

byrheea said...

I really like the cover of the first book! Those quotes in the 2nd book sounds just as nice.
You love to read these kind of books, it's no wonder you're so good in writing. :)

Thanks for sharing!


Hoài Thu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoài Thu said...

woot!On the road is really worth reading.I don't know how original version is,but the Vietnamese version is slightly interesting.Anw,good book!It reminds me of The Music Of Chance by Paul Auster.

alexandra jane said...

FLL, i went to barnes and noble before i read this post and saw little bee there! i wanted it so terribly bad since the jcket description seemed to intriguing and mysterious to me. but unfortunately i did not have enough money with me! then today i went to the library to look for it perfectly knowing full well that the book was too new and wouldn't be in stock. oh i MUST read it now! thank you for your review. <3

linnea paulina said...

I loved your book reviews! Your blog always enchants me :o) Thank you for the great late-spring reading suggestions & have a great Wednesday.

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