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What I’ve Been Reading

March 28, 2012

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

This was our book club selection back in the fall. I’d heard much about this book when it first came out because a lot was made of the teenage author. While it’s impressive that Paolini wrote it when he was 15 and 16, that’s all that impressed me. The characters were one-dimensional and the plot was basic adventure story ilk, formulaic, predictable, and derivative. I had about 5 [short] chapters left when we met to discuss (I read a summary so I was all good); I still wanted to finish it since I’d made it that far. However, without the pressure of a deadline, I just couldn’t finish it, already knowing basically how it ended. I’m mildly interested in what happens in the rest of the series (mostly to see if my predictions come true), but definitely not enough to keep reading.
(2 out of 5 stars)

Espresso Tales and Love over Scotland (Scotland Street Series) by Alexander McCall Smith

I listened to the first book in McCall Smith’s series set in Edinburgh, 44 Scotland Street, almost two years ago. When I was looking for some light reading that my post-baby, sleep-deprived brain could handle, I picked up this series again; I’m so glad I did. While I don’t love all the story lines and characters (Angus Lordie, for example), the ones I’ve become attached to make the others worth it. I have loved Bertie, the 6-year-old prodigy, from the beginning, and Matthew and Pat have grown on me. McCall Smith’s light conversational style is just what I can handle and enjoy to keep me awake during middle of the night feedings. My previous reviews of his novels include more about his general style so I won’t repeat myself again here. (You can see those reviews here, here, and here.)
(3.5 out of 5 stars)

The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler

Jeff has wanted me to read this book for several years; therefore, it seemed like an obvious choice when we decided over Christmas to continue our new practice of reading a book aloud together. It is the story of Macon Leary, an unassuming travel writer, of how he approaches life, and how he reacts and adapts to several big changes in his life. Macon is not your average fellow, and I see bits of my husband in him. I grew attached to him as the story progressed and he let life carry him along. The ending left me a little sad, surprised, and sort of hollow inside as I was disappointed in the final turn we see of Macon’s life. I still feel torn about the ending, but I did greatly enjoy the book and sharing it with Jeff.
(4.5 out of 5 stars)

Lost Horizon by James Hilton

This classic novel written in 1933 was my friend Amy’s pick for book club. It was a quick, yet engaging mystery story. I say mystery, but not in the whodunit sense. It’s mostly about the mystery and aura of a place: Shangri La, a utopian paradise of sorts tucked away in the Tibetan mountains. It was a fun, interesting read.
(4 out of 5 stars)



The Giver by Lois Lowry

When I saw that Amazon was selling the Kindle version for 25 cents, I jumped at the chance to finally read this modern classic. I read most of it in one sitting during a thankfully long baby nap as I couldn’t tear myself away. As a Lost fan, the set up of the utopian community reminded me of the Dharma Initiative in some ways. I didn’t know much about the story in advance, just that it was a dystopian young adult novel. Though short, it moved me to tears and made me see color in a whole new way. The ending is open-ended and ambiguous, more so than I cared for. I don’t need stories to be completely wrapped up with every last detail accounted for, but I do like things to be a bit settled.
(4.5 out of 5 stars)


I’ve just started two more fiction books: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Hemingway (Adam H’s book club pick) and The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie King (Jeff’s and my next read-aloud selection) in addition to some parenting-related books and our Bible study book. And I used to be a pretty strict one-book-at-a-time person. You can always see what I’m currently reading on the handy-dandy Goodreads widget over on the sidebar.

Have you been reading anything recommendation worthy lately?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2012 9:51 am

    I felt exactly the same way about the ending of The Giver. Fortunately there are sequels. Though I don’t care enough to read them, they do let you know what happened one way or the other.

    Agreed on Eragon.

  2. March 28, 2012 2:04 pm

    I pick the book for next month in our book club. Category is – Classic. Any suggestions?
    And, I just finished Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Found your review to be helpful (on GoodReads)

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