Book Report: August 2016

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong

I am completely fascinated by true survival stories.  While Shipwreck is short, it is definitely among my favorites in this genre.  Shackleton’s leadership and survival skills in the midst of extreme conditions was nothing short of incredible.   I knew very little about this expedition before reading this book, but I can already tell this won’t be the last time I pick up a book about Shackleton.

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

Peter Nimble is a little bit Oliver Twist, a quest, and a redemption story, all mixed up with a little bit of magic.  Definitely a fun YA read. Full of humor.  I can’t wait to pass it on to my 11 year old daughter.  It’s right up her alley. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 

This book has been highly anticipated in our home, as I’m sure it has in many of yours.  My sister finished it just as our plane touched down in Alaska and as soon as she closed the book, I nabbed it out of her hands.  I’ve heard lots of complaints about the play format of this book, but didn’t feel like that slowed me down or took me out of the story at all.  I feel like because I’ve read and loved all the previous books and immersed myself in Rowlings’ incredibly detailed wizarding world in the past, I didn’t miss the detailed descriptions. Hogwarts, and many of the other locations described in the book are vividly in my mind already.  I loved entering that world again and especially loved experiencing parenting along with Harry Potter.  Feeling like we’re failing and questioning our methods/reactions is a pretty universal parenting trait and I appreciated watching Harry go through the same doubts I’ve faced.

The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko

Fascinating look at the history of dams on United States rivers, the controversy behind the establishment of Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon as well as the true story of the fastest running of the Grand Canyon.  Loved it!

Cress by Marissa Meyer

This third installment in the Lunar Chronicles series was enjoyable and light and just what I needed during a busy season this month. A retelling of the Rapunzel story (while continuing the retellings of Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood that were begun in the previous two books) set in the dystopian future.  While the description doesn’t sound like something I’d normally read (cyborgs, genetically altered man-wolves, magic and space ships), I’ve really enjoyed all the books in this series.  Definitely one of the best fairy-tale retellings I’ve ever read.

Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

This book has been on my list for a long time, and I was finally able to get to it on our Alaska trip.  It’s a sweet, endearing family story.  Told in first person, Hannah narrates her adult life and she shares such a sweet lifelong love story and friendship with her husband. I loved getting a glimpse into their lives together and gleaning some insights into my own marriage.  

The Marvels by Brian Selznick

I have fallen head over heels in love with Brian Selznick’s previous books in the past, and The Marvels did not disappoint.  Both Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck are so visually stunning and the story is told in such a unique way with much of the details of the story being shared only through the incredible illustrations.  I won’t give any spoilers, but I was surprised by a major twist in the storyline and for a while felt like it was a bit of a cop-out, but in the end, and especially after reading the afterword,  I came to appreciate why the author chose to take the story in that direction. 

What have you been reading lately?

Head to Modern Mrs. Darcy for lots more book reviews.