Tuesday, December 31, 2013

reading roundup: 2013

I read 39* books out of my goal of 40 this year.

*I wrote a book for Nano and proofread it, which makes this number actually 40, based on this technicality.

I would have to say my favorite books for this year would be:
1. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison
2. Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie
3. The End of Men and the Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin

My least favorite books of the year were ones that were actually pretty popular:
1. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
2. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
3. The Stand by Stephen King

I love SK, but I did not love that book!

Looking forward to another year of reading!

11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King

I just finished this book last night and read most of it in the last week. It centers around Jake, a schoolteacher in 2011, who finds out through a local diner owner, Al, that there is what is termed a "rabbit hole" in the back of his restaurant that takes people to 1958. Al is dying from lung cancer and has Jake go through the rabbit hole a couple of times to experience it before telling him his idea: Al wants Jake to go and live in the past and prevent JFK's assassination. Initially, Jake doesn't think he's up to it, but eventually agrees to Al's persuasion. Al gives Jake money, a fake ID (Jake becomes "George"), and a notebook he has written on Oswald and his movements in Dallas leading up to the assassination. Jake takes all of this information with him and tries to lead as normal of a life as possible in the past, but doesn't always quite blend in due to some catchphrases that don't exist yet, which makes some people suspicious. I think how King blended everything together worked well, but I will admit I was disappointed by the ending.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park is set in the 80s. Sometimes the point of view is from Eleanor, others it is from Park. Eleanor is new at school and stands out because of her hair (she is nicknamed Big Red), size, and men's clothing she wears. Park, on the other hand, is the only Asian in school. They ride together on the bus after Park is the only one who offered Eleanor a seat. She reads his comics over his shoulder and eventually that starts a friendship. However, Eleanor comes from a broken home with an abusive stepfather and four younger siblings. Being in a relationship is essentially not allowed, so she has to hide her budding romance from her family.