Monday, October 3, 2011

Books I Read in September

Happy October everyone!

As is my new tradition, I want to kick off the new month by telling you about all the great books I read last month. As always, I'll link to the best price I could find on Amazon, to make shopping/updating your wishlist easy. However, if you've found a great local bookstore, I also encourage you to continue to support them.

Little Children by Tom Perrotta

I found this book about parents in their 30s and the sacrifices they make to raise their young children truly riveting from page one. Each character is flawed in his or her own way: they enter into affairs, isolate their spouse, sacrifice their own needs constantly, or give into every little temptation. However, each character is truly human, and on some level, I could empathize with all of them. This book is humorous and scary. It makes me re-examine my own thoughts about what it takes to be a parent, and how a person can maintain an identity while focusing on the needs of someone else constantly. I recognized these characters from my own experiences. Whether or not you have children, Little Children is a book you won't be able to put down. The situations presented in the novel are full of complexities, and at times, you may not even know what outcome you hope for, but that's my favorite kind of novel: one that is illuminating, but doesn't undermine the complexities of the human experience.

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow 

Durrow's novel about a bi-racial girl from a diverse cultural background (half black, half white/ half Dutch, half American) who is the only survivor of a tragic family incident is a portrait of suffering. While this book is painful to read at times, we follow Rachel (and secondary characters Brick, Nella, and Laronne) as they explore questions about what makes us belong, how we grapple with shame, doubt, and our own concepts of self, and most importantly, how we forgive and survive. Each character plays a unique role in unraveling the mystery of Rachel's past. This is a survival story inside a coming of age story and mystery, and one you'll remember long after you finish reading it.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This YA novel has taken the world by storm, and it's no mystery why. Collins' dystopia takes place in a world where a capital rules 12 districts (all that is left of North America after a series of horrific incidents that kill off the majority of the population). 74 years before the start of the book, the districts rebel against the cruel capital and the grossly unjust distribution of wealth and resources. As punishment, the capital introduces the hunger games. One girl and one boy from each district must enter a complexly designed "arena" and fight to the death on national television for the entertainment of the citizens of the capital. The last one standing, wins. When Katniss takes the place of her younger sister in the hunger games, she has no idea what she's getting into. The result is sickening, shocking, but mostly, captivating. It's no wonder this trilogy will be made into a series of movies soon. As for how I like it? Well, I already ordered the last two books with two day shipping.

Happy October everyone! I hope you enjoy these selections and take advantage of this beautiful Fall weather to do some reading outside.

<3 S, L&Z

P.S.- Like our September selections? Make sure you didn't miss out on these picks from August.

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