22 April 2019

Books - March 2019

During March, I finished reading six books. That seems to be becoming an average for me, eh?

The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia

I read The Murmur of Bees to review at Books I Think You Should Read. I thought it was a little long and wordy, but I wonder if it may be better in the original Spanish version? I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.
You can get The Murmur of Bees, All This I Will Give To You, and seven other international books free for your Kindle by visiting this link. Yay for free books! Anyway, on to the official synopsis for The Murmur of Bees.

"From the day that old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican town forever changed. Disfigured and covered in a blanket of bees, little Simonopio is for some locals the stuff of superstition, a child kissed by the devil. But he is welcomed by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, who adopt him and care for him as if he were their own. As he grows up, Simonopio becomes a cause for wonder to the Morales family, because when the uncannily gifted child closes his eyes, he can see what no one else can—visions of all that’s yet to come, both beautiful and dangerous. Followed by his protective swarm of bees and living to deliver his adoptive family from threats—both human and those of nature—Simonopio’s purpose in Linares will, in time, be divined.
Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and the devastating influenza of 1918, The Murmur of Bees captures both the fate of a country in flux and the destiny of one family that has put their love, faith, and future in the unbelievable."

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One had been on my library Kindle waiting list for a while. I saw the movie some time in the last year, and I love books and their movie tie-ins. Unfortunatly, I saw it so long ago that I can't remember any striking differences. So I'm saying I liked both the book and the movie. I give the book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

"In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. 
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape."

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Yet another library waitlist book/movie. As far as I remember, the book and movie were different in tone on this one. The movie had such great costumes and characters to see, while the book had some amusing asides from the author about growing up with the very people and places that inspired the book. The book or the movie could stand alone well, and I enjoyed them both. I may even get to read further books in the series. I'd give this one 3.5 out of 5 stars.

"When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor. 

On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers."

Time's Convert by Deborah Harkness

Deborah Harkness originally wrote the All Souls Trilogy, but then this one came out as a fourth in the series. Which can no longer be called a trilogy, right? The first three were wonderful and imaginative. I don't know if I just lost interest in the gap before the fourth book, but it was definitely a slower read, and a big book. I'd give it 3 starts out of 5.

"On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus's deeply held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood.

Fast-forward to contemporary Paris, where Phoebe Taylor--the young employee at Sotheby's whom Marcus has fallen for--is about to embark on her own journey to immortality. Though the modernized version of the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable than they were in the eighteenth century. The shadows that Marcus believed he'd escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both--forever.

A passionate love story and a fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities not just for change but for revolution, Time's Convert channels the supernatural world-building and slow-burning romance that made the All Souls Trilogy instant bestsellers to illuminate a new and vital moment in history, and a love affair that will bridge centuries."

The Tattoist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

This book came recommended from several people who have read it in the last year. I waited my turn through the library's online lending and finally got to read it on my Kindle. The story was based on a true story, so I feel really heartless for not really enjoying it. It just felt more optimistic than I expected, given the subject matter. I later read that the author really wanted to present it as a screenplay, which may make a little more sense. When you're writing about the actual activities, and not accessing the expected dispair... I don't know. It just didn't ring true for me, like it was presented more cheerfully than would be realistic. I'd give it 2.5 out of 5 stars, but I'll still see the movie, if she gets that done.

"In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a T├Ątowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions."

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

I first watched the Netflix movie, Dumplin', before I realized it was based on a book. But you know me, I headed over to reserve the book once I found out. I think the movie was wonderfully done and kept the spirit of the book. I enjoyed both, and I look forward to reading the next book, Puddin', based on another character in the story. I'd give Dumplin' 3.5 out of 5 stars.

"Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body.
With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any girl does.
Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all."

1 comment:

Nicolle said...

Love all of your suggestions. I have Crazy Ricg Asians on my book list. I can't believe how many movies are getting made into movies right now. I think I'm going to add Dumplin' to my list of books to read.