Wintertime (well, every time, really…) brings the dilemma of whether I snuggle up with a book, or with my knitting. I try to keep it balanced, but as my knitting production went down in the latter part of the year, my reading increased. Go figure.
My young adult / nonfiction “kick” is still going strong. Here’s what I have been reading lately… all reviews link back to my full GoodReads reviews.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson -
Riveting and heart-breaking story of Lia, an 18-year old high school student with anorexia, who also cuts herself. In the opening pages of the book, her life is irrevocably changed when her best friend dies (due in part to this “game” they have about who can be the skinniest girl in the school). The book is told in first-person narrative with some stream of consciousness passages – the language is so vivid and so heart-wrenchingly descriptive. Very memorable piece of work – Anderson’s book left a mark. (GoodReads)
Speak – by Laurie Halse Anderson - I need to come up with a more descriptive word than “powerful” for Halse Anderson’s books. The word just doesn’t get to the heart of it. This one was great. Although this book is several years old, it is still getting quite a bit of press… the controversial/banned book kind. Makes me all the happier that I read it. (GoodReads)
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian – by Sherman Alexie – Great book in so many ways. I really liked Junior’s voice and first-person narrative. I loved the humorous drawings interspersed throughout the pages. Coming-of-age tale, social commentary, sports drama… the book spoke volumes in less than 200 pages.
Junior, as a character, reminded me of the main character in a book I read and enjoyed last year: Oscar Wao in *The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao*. Perhaps there are some major similarities or there are just too few teenage males in fiction that is is inevitable for the reader to be reminded of the handful of others. (GoodReads)
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – by Rebecca Skloot – Compelling and fascinating page turner that weaves the unique and groundbreaking story behind the HeLa cells that have revolutionized medical science in the last century. Skloot puts a name, a face, and a rich family history around the cells of Henrietta Lacks, who the “immortal” cells were essentially stolen from in the 1950s after she started treatment for severe cervical cancer. Medical records, archival research, and oral history paint a vivid picture of the Lacks’ family’s struggles in 1950s Baltimore. (Full review at GoodReads)
The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival – by John Vaillant – It’s one of those books that you get so absorbed in and you learn all of these interesting facts that you want to share with people… At the core of the story is the investigation of a unique mauling in the remote forests in coastal Siberia in the mid-1990s. The team that is dispatched to look into the killing is very similar to a forensics team at a crime scene; they read the snow, see how the attack took place, follow the tiger’s entrance and exit paths, and begin to formulate ideas based on what they find. (Full review at GoodReads)
What are you reading this winter?