Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls

I really enjoyed Walls' Glass Castle and Half-Broke Horses books, so I knew I had to read this as soon as possible. I really enjoyed the story! It centers around Bean and her older sister Liz moving from California to Virginia after their mother abandons them in California when Bean discovers she is lying about a boyfriend. After their move, they take on jobs working for Jerry Maddox, known to most in the town as a bully. He sets up bank accounts for them, but when Liz goes to the bank to withdraw money, she discovers he had moved the money to T-bills without her permission. She goes to him, demanding the money, which leads to an altercation and a court case against Jerry.

Into the Wild by John Krakauer

Krakauer retraces the steps of Chris McCandless, a young man who walked into the Alaskan wilderness and never walked out again. The author speaks to people who took McCandless in and drove him to Alaska and around the west. He also discusses other adventurers who never returned to society and goes over the possible reasons why McCandless perished. To be frank, the book creeped me out, so I would not recommend reading it before bed unless you want to think of dead bodies in sleeping bags.

This was a book for my Couples Book Club-PDX Meetup group.

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

Love Anthony revolves around two women in Nantucket. One, Olivia, had an autistic son named Anthony who passed away two years prior. The other, Beth, finds out her husband is cheating on her with a woman he works with. They are drawn together by autism: Olivia by her son, and Beth with her rediscovered creative writing. The intersection of their stories seems entirely unrealistic, but if you can divest yourself of reality, you would be able to enjoy it.

This book was for my Portland Book Club for 20-Something Women Meetup group.

Prodigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu

This book picks up where Legend leaves off, if I could only remember where Legend had left me. As I have discussed in previous reviews of sequels of books, this one did not do a good job of connecting this book to the previous one and refreshing my memory of what had occurred. However, I was able to piece it together enough to still enjoy the book. Day and June are trying to escape to the Colonies, who they believe will keep them safe. Meanwhile, the new elector, Anden, is struggling to keep the Republic together and needs Day's endorsement for the people of the Republic to trust him. Will Day choose to endorse Anden or go to the Colonies to be safe with June?

The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan

I had previously read Maine by Sullivan and was mildly impressed by it. When I heard about this book, it sounded like a lot more interesting of a plot line and it did not let me down. The story spans over fifty years, from the beginnings of the tagline "A Diamond Is Forever," to the application to pro-marriage, anti-marriage, affairing, struggling couples. There are four couples featured throughout the book, plus Frances Gerety, who came up with the line. One couple has been married for thirty years and find out that their son has left his wife for another woman. A second couple lives in Europe and she leaves her husband for her lover. The third couple struggles to make ends meet, but love each other dearly. And the final couple doesn't believe in marriage. The story revolves around how diamonds are the connecting thread through all of the couples.

The End of Men and the Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin

I really enjoyed this book; it was a lot like The Richer Sex, but more readable/easy to read. Rosin discusses all the ways that women are surpassing men: education, careers, financially. I would recommend this book over The Richer Sex, but both are great reads if you want to learn more about how women are outperforming men.