Monday, November 17, 2008

Three Books Worth the Read

Since having children rare is the time I actually have to read during the day or even evenings. So, I've taken to staying up, past when I really should, in order to actually finish a book. In the past month or two I have read three books that were worth the lack of sleep.

1. For One More Day by Mitch Albom; The story explores the question: What would you do if you could spend one more day with a lost loved one? Charley Benetto loses everything and plans to commit suicide. He begins a drive to his small hometown and ends up in a terrible car accident. He ends up somehow in his childhood home, talking to the mother he had lost years earlier. Charley ends up learning things about his mother and their family that he had never known before. He realizes how much she sacrificed for him. This book is touching and encapsulates all that mothers are willing to do or sacrifice in order to give their children the lives they think their children deserve.

2. The Secret Life Of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd: I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but it turned out to be fantastic. It is set in South Carolina in the early 1960's. A young girl flees her father's home (her mother died when she was young) with her black housekeeper after the housekeeper insults one of the biggest racists in town and seeks refuge with a group of black beekeeping sisters. They once knew her mother and Lily, the main character, learns much about her mother's past.....some of it very painful. It was a terrific book about the bond between women, specifically the bond between mothers and daughters, even if those mothers are "stand ins" and not biological. One of my favorite lines from the book that really encapsulates the overall feelings of Lily was, "The first week at August's was a consolation, a pure relief. The world will give you that once in a while, a brief timeout; the boxing bell rings and you go to your corner, where somebody dabs mercy on your beat up life." Isn't that the truth?

3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini: For whatever reason I passed this book over at least a dozen times. It never really seemed that interesting to me based on the jacket description. However, I was at the library a week ago and I decided to grab it. I stayed up until 2:30 am last night just to finish it. It was that powerful. Hauntingly so. It is set in Afghanistan and tells the story of two young boys, Amir and Hassan. What ultimately ensues sets both on a path that will alter their lives forever. Amir will have to learn how to let his overwhelming guilt go and seek redemption in one of the most selfless of ways, by returning to his war-torn home in Kabul to rescue a young boy. There was page after page of insighful observations, but this stuck with me: "Perspective was a luxury when your head was constantly buzzing with a swarm of demons."

Have you read any of these? If so, what did you think?


Joanne said...

I read Secret Life of Bees, loved it. Haven't seen the movie yet though. Have you? Didn't read your #1, but did read Albom's 5 People You Meet in Heaven. Amazing story. Haven't read Kite Runner. I just finished Alice Hoffman's Ice Queen, very good, and am now reading Cost by Roxana Robinson, a family drama, intense.

Moxymama said...

I haven't seen the movie. I would like to, though. I loved 5 People You Will Meet in Heaven and also Tuesdays with Morrie. I like Alice Hoffman and have read a couple of her books. I haven't read Ice Queen though.

Nancy said...

I read Secret Life of Bees and really enjoyed it.
I haved read any of Mitch Albom's books - at the time I just felt like there was something so sappy about 5 People You Meet in Heaven. Maybe I'll have to try again.
My sister loved The Kite Runner - I think I have it here at home.
I'm on a run of non-fiction/memoir type books right now but I'll add those to my list!

Moxymama said...

So, Nancy what memoirs are you reading right now?

Robyn said...

Read and LOVED The Kite Runner. Read his other book "A Thousand Splendid Suns" it's even better!

I started The Secret Life of Bees and couldn't get into it -- but I'm definitely going to see the movie.

I didn't read that Mitch Albom book, so I'll have to try that.

Right now, I'm reading "A REspectable Trade" by Philippa Gregory, which is about the slave trade in the 1700s. It's incredibly graphic and raw, but I can't put it down.

I'm also partial to the "Twilight" series if you want an addictive read.

Can you tell I love books?

Moxymama said...

I want to read A Thousand Splendid Suns. I'm glad to hear it is good. I have also heard nothing but good things about the Twilight series so I will have to check it out!
Thanks for the suggestions....I'll read pretty much anything!!