Monday, March 31, 2014

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

This book follows Don, a geneticist, who has difficulty meeting women. To combat this, he begins The Wife Project, where he creates a questionnaire for potential mates. Questions are along the lines of when do you arrive at events and how much alcohol do you drink. Don's friend Gene sends Rosie to him after the questionnaire seems to not produce reliable results. Rosie does not know who her father is, so they begin The Father Project together. Immediately, Don decides that Rosie is not Wife Project material, so he focuses his energy on The Father Project. This takes them all the way to New York (the book is based in Australia) and slowly he begins to realize that maybe not all mates can adhere to a checklist.

If you liked the adventure of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

This book was my choice for one of the Meetup groups I am part of. The story is told from the point of view of 14 year old June and is set in 1987. Her beloved uncle Finn dies young and "unexpectedly" and there is a man at the funeral that her family avoids. June has an older sister named Greta who seems to know everything before June does, but doesn't try to explain what is going on to her. Eventually, June finds out that Finn had AIDS and the mystery man is Toby, Finn's longtime boyfriend. June finds out that not all initial perceptions of people or situations is true, and learns more about Toby as they bond together over their shared loss of Finn.

If you liked Eleanor & Park because of the 80s references.
If you liked The Death of Bees or The Silver Star because of the sisters' relationship.

Monday, March 10, 2014

American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard

I want to be clear: I am not a big fan of history, but I found this book really informative in a fun way. Granted, I could not read more than two chapters at a time before all the information started falling out of my ears, but it was interesting to learn what European countries settled where and how that culture still impacts America to today. I had no idea so many people died in the earliest settlements since they didn't know what they were doing (necro-canabalism anyone? digging up the dead after you have buried them for food? yum yum?). So fun facts such as that pepper the entire book. If this were required reading for a history class in college, I think it would have been really enjoyable.

Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu

Marie Lu finishes up her Legend trilogy with Champion. Day and June are back in the Republic, with June serving as Princeps-Elect and Day keeping to himself and keeping his brain tumor (?) to himself while he cares for his blind brother, Eden. However, a plague originally engineered in the Republic is taking over the Colonies, making the threat of war imminent. While the Republic is desperately trying to find a cure for the plague, Day has to help the Elector plan how to save the Republic against the Colonies if they do attack. I thought it was a really good ending to a series (unlike Mockingjay...huff).

Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative by Ken Robinson

This is my first book as part of my "creativity" series for this year, read in conjunction while I (hopefully) make my goal of book binding 40 books this year (I am currently on book #6). On that book binding note, my books will soon be in a brick and mortar store called Eclectic NW in Salem. Back to the book... This book seemed like it was mainly a critique on the American education system and how it fails students and the population as a whole. Robinson emphasizes that creativity and jobs is more than math and science; there are other options that schools are fazing out, like music and art, that certain people respond to better than the hard sciences. I thought it was really interesting and I am currently reading the second book in his series, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

This was another book for a different Meetup (I am part of two Meetup book groups). This one follows Franny, a wannabe actress in New York who is six months away from her 3 year deadline of making it as an actress or moving on. She lives with two friends who are encouraging of her pursuits. In her acting class, there is a guy that she has a big crush on and is flabbergasted when he shows an interest in her after he breaks up with his girlfriend since he seems completely out of her league. This relationship starts to overwhelm her and distract her from her goal of being an actress until she starts to realize things about herself and her beau. Apparently, a sequel is in the works and this will become a TV show.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

I read this book for a Meetup that I go to. I had never read anything by Khaled Hosseini before and after this book, I don't think I ever will. That is not to say the book is bad; instead, it is an extremely well-thought out book that keeps to it's title. However, I was very distracted through the whole book because I was trying to figure out what the plot was, and by the end when you actually find out what the plot really is, it was kind of an "oh..." moment. This book involves so many characters and places in the world that is it very hard to describe what it is about since no one single character matters more than the others. If you enjoy books that make you think for days afterwards, this is the book for you.