Today we are continuing my reviews for the April Book Challenge Update! If you missed yesterday’s post, click here!
For those of you who missed my initial post on this topic, I have decided to embark on a most enjoyable challenge to read 52 books in 2013. I have chosen to participate in the Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge in which I select my own goal, and a book a week is what I came up with as truly doable this year. Each month I will give you an update on where I am in the challenge and what books I was lucky enough to indulge in. I’ll also include a link to Amazon.com for each book in case you would like to pick a read up for yourself.
In the month of April I have read eight books and according to the graph on Goodreads, I am at 50% of my goal, which is ten books (18%) ahead of schedule! At this time last year I was nowhere near this far ahead. It feels so good to be half way to my goal o early in the year!
Without further ado, here are my reviews of this month’s last four Book Challenge reads.
The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Dais- Completed March 30th
Dawn Dais is not an athlete, but she is damned funny. This guide to all things marathon related is part instruction manual, part inspiration and encouragement and part diary of a couch potato-turned-runner. Dais lays it all on the line in telling her story and gives excellent insight and advice along the way. I’m sure you could get more solid training plans and tips from an actual elite runner, but this book is written by a mortal for a mortal and I loved it. In between chapters full of wise advice from someone who’s been there are hysterical journal entries chronicling her journey. I’m currently training for a half-marathon myself and appreciated the sarcasm and wit Dais brings to the book. More than a few times I found myself nodding in agreement. Whether you’re actually training for a long distance race or merely contemplating getting off the couch, this book is motivational and funny.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte- Completed April 22nd
This is a book I’ve wanted to read for a while and never quite got around to it. I’m thrilled to say that thanks to school it landed on my reading list. I loved this book! Don’t get me wrong, on the surface Cathy and Heathcliff are dreadfully unlikeable characters, yet I found myself longing for their happiness. The deeply gothic tale spans eighteen years of tumultuous relationships and is never dull. I loved the way the story is told through the narrator Ms. Dean’s voice. The emotionally-charged romantic language is enthralling and really brings to the forefront the passions of each character. The novel is all dark, brooding gothic romance and passionate betrayal. Wuthering Heights is a classic novel that simply must be read.
Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody- Completed April 11th
Anne Moody has written an unforgettable autobiography of growing up as a poor black woman in the rural South. The book begins with Moody as a child playing with white children and not understanding how they differed from herself. As she grows older and comes into herself she is overcome by the differences that keep her separate. Moody is smart and motivated and makes her place in the world using her education. In the last section of the book Moody recounts the struggles of a young black woman fighting for her freedom in a movement bigger than herself.
This book is incredibly well written and it captivated me from the very start. I just cannot imagine living in a world where a person is condemned solely for the color of their skin. I felt Moody’s outrage and cried with her in times of great stress. Thus book should be required reading in order to better understand and appreciate the everyday freedoms we all enjoy.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce- Completed April 26th
The novel covers the childhood and young adulthood of Stephen Dedalus, who waffles from hedonism and outright denouncement of his Catholic upbringing to complete and total devotion to his faith. In the end he settles for a middle ground, where aesthetics and true beauty are his true religion.
This classic coming-of-age novel was a difficult read for me. I’m not sure if it was the nearly stream-of-consciousness style or the male narrator that threw me off, but it was hard for me to get into the story. I found it bogged down with too many political and religious references and wasn’t all that interested in the outcome of the protagonist, Stephen Dedalus. All that being said, this was a book assigned for a college survey class and not one I chose on its own merits.
I did appreciate this edition of the book for its helpful essays and historical background. The footnotes in the main text are invaluable in understanding the story
So, there you have it! April’s reading all boiled down to eight tidy reviews. I finish up my school semester this month, so you can look forward to some simply sinful pleasure reads for next month’s reviews. Romance and steampunk are sure to play a role!