I’m Alive…

I know, you all thought I gave up on this blog. Not true. I won’t, however, sport with your intelligence: no excuses. I’m just lazy. Let’s move on…

I’ve read 11 books since I last wrote a post. (I know, I’m sorry, ok?) Don’t worry, I won’t subject you to a post about every single one. Some of them weren’t that great — no need to have written record of that hanging about.

First, I’ll write about two more books I read that are on everyone’s lists right now: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. Not my typical material, I’ll tell you (ok, I may already have told you, in my post about The Help). Both were loaned to me by my sister (thanks!) with very good disclaimers about them not fitting The Mandate. So I was forewarned and had a chance to steel my nerves before cracking the covers.

Water for Elephants reviewFirst, I will say that I do not like the circus. I don’t like books about the circus, or movies about the circus, or clowns, … you get it. I’m not talking about Cirque du Soliel -type circuses. I’m mostly fine with those. I’m talking about creepy, weird-ringmaster-having, sad-animal-displaying, scary-clown-ridden circuses. Shudder. So I was rather surprised that I kind-of enjoyed this book. I guess that’s the thing about good writing, hey? Imagine that.

For those that don’t know the general drift (crawl out of your hole, the book is everywhere and there’s also a movie…), here it is: boy goes to fancy veterinary school, boy’s parents die, boy leaves veterinary school, boy joins circus, boy falls in love with unavailable girl as well as with elephant. I know that doesn’t make it sound like a very good book, but it’s actually good. In spite of many things that I thought I wouldn’t like about it (and in spite of the difficulty I had reading it without picturing reese witherspoon as the main girl), it won me over.

This next one I sandwiched between a few superficial happy reads, cuz I knew it would be a doozy. I mean, it’s about the holocaust. Not exactly fitting the mandate. But again, I steeled my nerves and plunged in — and found that it, also, was very well-written. This time I really admired the main character, Julia.Sarah's Key review

Once again, if you don’t know the gist of the story you’ve probably been on the tundra for seven months but here’s the abbreviated version: Julia is an American journalist living in Paris, married to a Parisian, and is asked to write a story for the 60th anniversary of the Vel d’Hiv, when the French rounded up a veledrome full of Jews and sent them on trains to concentration camps. Julia becomes very involved in the story, and finds someone that links that event to her current life in Paris. This was definitely on the sad side, but I found myself liking it, and not wanting to put it down, even so.

After these two, I was in the mood for something very much the opposite. Back to the mandate, for a good few books in a row now!


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