Saturday, April 15, 2017

First Quarter Reading

I read a lot of ridiculously good books this quarter. I technically finished When Breath Becomes Air on April 2, but I'm including it with my first quarter books because it will be much easier to write about now while it's fresh on my mind. Including that one, I read 7 books this quarter.

1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Out of desperation, Louisa takes a job caring for quadriplegic Will who lost his successful, happy life in a freak accident. The two become friends and Louisa makes it her mission to convince Will that his life is still worth living. When I first heard about this book, I had no interest in reading it. While we were in Colorado for Christmas, my sister had just finished reading the book and she convinced me to watch the movie with her. Well of course I loved the movie, so I started reading the book as soon as I could get my hands on it and I loved it too. It is definitely a book that gives you a lot to think about since it deals with weighty moral dilemmas, but it was also very enjoyable to read.

2. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. Paul, a neurosurgeon at Stanford, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer at age 36 during his last of seven years of residency. This book about facing his own death was published 10 months after he died. I had been meaning to read it since it came out and ironically I was about halfway through it when my mom told us she has breast cancer again. (Fortunately breast cancer and lung cancer are very different animals and we have every reason to believe she will be just fine.) It is beautifully written and includes many incredibly profound observations about death and living.

3. Paris for One by Jojo Moyes. Nell is a 26-year-old control freak who never travels or does anything even a little bit adventurous. She uncharacteristically plans a weekend getaway with her boyfriend to Paris, but her boyfriend doesn't show up for the trip and Nell finds herself alone in Paris. I read this book right after Me Before You because I needed a book set somewhere I've never been, but would like to visit for my reading challenge and I saw it on the Lucky Day display at our library. It was a fun, old-fashioned, feel-good love story.

4. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. A pig named Wilbur befriends a spider named Charlotte who lives in the rafters above his pigpen. Wilbur is devastated when he learns his destiny is to be killed for his meat. Charlotte spins webs with words describing Wilbur as being no ordinary animal in an attempt to save his life. This is a classic for good reason. I've started reading to Peyton and this was our second book together.

5. After You by Jojo Moyes. A year or so after Me Before You ends, Louisa has traveled around the world and is now living in London in a flat she bought with the money Will left her. She's working a pretty pathetic job in an airport bar, her relationship with her family is somewhat strained, and she's not exactly moving on. Then she accidentally falls off the roof of her apartment building and takes in Will's daughter he never knew he had. The subject matter of this book (grieving a significant loss) makes it less fun to read and compared to Me Before You, it just wasn't as good. But I did enjoy reading it.

6. Matilda by Roald Dahl. Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl who has to deal with obnoxious, idiot parents who think she's just a nuisance. If that wasn't already enough, when Matilda starts school she also has to deal with Miss Trunchbull, the Head Mistress of Matilda's school, who has terrorized students and teachers for generations. Matilda discovers she has a rather unique gift that she uses to make things better for herself and Miss Honey, her teacher, who is the one person who supports and believes in Matilda. I originally started reading this book with Corbyn, but Peyton soon became interested in it and I ended up reading it to both of them.

7. How to Seize a Dragon's Jewel by Cressida Cowell. We're nearing the end of the How to Train Your Dragon series (this was book 10 out of 11) and I have mixed feelings about finishing them. I'm ready to read other things with him, but at the same time sad to see them go since they've been me and Corbyn's special thing for so long!

Here's to another quarter of reading. All my holds came available at the same time, so my nightstand is piled high with more books than I have time to read right now! 

Not the worst problem to have.


Britt Hanson said...

Oh man. I hate Me Before You and feel like I'm the only person who felt that way! Ha! I've heard such good things about When Breathe Becomes Air though -- I can't wait to read it!

tracy said...

Yay for reading! I just finished a really good book you might enjoy "Small Things Great" by Jodit Picoult, one of my favorite writers. About a black nurse and a White hatred couple who finds out she may have care of their very good.