Sunday, May 27, 2018

Reading in the AC

Y'all, I'm am so glad I have an indoor hobby (reading), and I'm even gladder I found my way to some of these books!

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore was absolutely phenomenal. It came via a recommendation, and without that, I never would have picked this up. Y'all, that would have been my loss. This is historical fiction (that veers heavily into nonfiction) about the development of electricity and the light bulb. It is the conflict between Albert Einstein and George Westinghouse with additional involvement from Nikola Tesla to expand the technology beyond their labs. Prior to reading this, I knew zero things about any of this story, and I also would have never in a million years guessed it could have been so captivating. I loved this story as I learned at the complexities of designing (and patenting) the light bulb to spread electricity throughout the country. For the time being, this book is definitely my, "You need to read this now! Just trust me!" recommendation to all.

Read this book if - You're a fan of historical fiction. You have either no, little and/or any level of knowledge about light bulbs and Thomas Edison (and Westinghouse and Tesla, too!), as this really can appeal to all crowds. You enjoy a book that makes an unexpected topic fascinating.

The Cay by Theodore Taylor is a re-read from my childhood that I wanted to revisit. I still can remember my third grade teacher Mrs. Riedy dramatically reading it aloud to us. The story revolves around a young boy Phillip who is marooned on an island in the Caribbean with Timothy, a slave after a torpedo hits the ship they were on. Oh, and there's a cat, too - Stew Cat. Shortly after being stranded on the island, Phillip goes blind which means he has to heavily rely on Timothy to get through his days. There is challenge throughout as Phillip and Timothy learn to navigate the island life together. 

Read this book if - You're also looking to re-read something you once read in grade school.

All We Ever Wanted is the upcoming release from Emily Giffin. I received this as an advanced e-galley, so this is me giving you a sneak peak of what will soon be on a shelf near you. Y'all, this one was so much more than I was expecting. I've read nearly all of Emily Giffin's books, and she's usually good for a love story. This one went in a very different direction - in a good way. This story revolves around a picture taken at a high school party. Through the exploration of what really happened in a drunken moment, there is an exploration of privilege in a number of different and impactful ways. The moment becomes more and more complex as three different characters involved explain what happened before, during and after that moment. I always appreciate a plot that makes me gasp out loud, and this one did on multiple occasions as characters make their choices of how to react -in great and not so great ways. The topic of this one is complex and provides a strong story that will make you want to talk about what you just read, as there are so many intersecting issues. I'm really looking forward to this one being released just so I have other people able to discuss it with me.

Read this book if - You're looking for a book that examines current events and issues through a well-told story. You want a book that will give you a story you'll want (and need) to discuss with friends. You're looking for your next book club read, and you want something that will really create some strong discussions around social issues.

Things Invisible To See by Nancy Willard is a book that's been on my to-read list for sometime. I finally found a copy at Powell's in Portland a few months back. It's hard for me to explain this one to y'all. Above all else, it's just beautifully written. The plot is two-fold. First, there's an incident where a young woman (Clare) is hit with a baseball in a freak moment. She falls in love with the hitter (Ben), but doesn't immediately know he's the reason she is seriously injured and must now use a wheelchair. The later plot involves a brush with Death where Ben makes a deal involving him assembling a team to play a baseball team of legends. That said, there are a lot of moving parts, but it's so well-told that I found I wanted to keep reading.

Read this book if - You just like a well-written book. You tend to like books that are a bit "off the beaten path" when it comes to reading.