This is the first week of 2019 reads. I set a Goodreads goal of 200, matching the number of books I read last year, and I only had two finishes, meaning that I’m reading a little more slowly than I should if I’m going to make my goal. It’s okay though. There will be other weeks. So, these are the books I read:
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend-–Katrina Bivald. I’m currently going through a thing where I like reading books about books and booksellers. This book does deliver in that respect, as it focuses on a young Swedish woman who comes to the United States to spend time with a bookish penpal. The town that Sara comes too is a small town that is almost broken, and this is the story of a bookstore, many odd and fractured relationships and the healing of a whole town.
I loved the premise and I loved that much of the book was spent interacting with real books. I even went through my home library and my Kindle and pulled books out to read based on the books discussed in this book. (The list is in my traveler’s notebook, just waiting for me to start checking it off.) I love the way that the penpal letters from the American penpal are sprinkled at just the right moments during the book. That structural decision is one that I can really appreciate, and I found it inspiring for some of my own work.
On the other hand, many of the characters are stereotypes and aren’t completely fleshed out. I would have liked to have known so much more about the town and each of its people. I felt that the story was very predictable, and it would have been a really fun read if the characters had been more developed. (#vtreadingchallenge a book you think you can finish in a weekend)
Dracula–Bram Stoker. This is the classic novel that most people know about or some of the plot line to because Dracula is such an iconic figure in our culture. I had a real love for vampire novels as a teenager, and I attempted to read it as a teenager. At that time, I had found it boring compared to the Anne Rice and other authors I was consuming at the time. My sensitivity to the subtle violence and sensuality of the original book had been dulled my exposure to much greater levels of both. I also, at that time, was in love with the idea of the vampire in a way that meant that I did not appreciate the evil of Dracula)
After reading Dracul last year, I decided that I wanted to give Dracula another try. I loved this time. I loved the epistolary form, and the continually shifting perspectives. I enjoyed the strongly Christian morality of the book, and found that, for the most part, this was truly a book that expresses what it means to fight against evil and what our duty is in the face of the evil. (I hope to write a longer blog post addressing these themes, so it’s on my list to do before too long.) If you’re looking for a classic to read that is not boring for 2019, Dracula might make a great a choice. (#vtreadingchallenge book more than 100 years old).
Currently, I’m reading two books, The Books That Changed My Life and Liberty’s Last Stand. I hope to finish those quickly and then turn to Harry’s Trees and probably The Insanity of God.
Hope everyone has a great week and great reading!