Jul. 7th, 2017

sarahmichigan: (Default)
Book No. 37 was "The Book of Strange New Things" by Michel Faber. It's the story of Peter, a liberal Christian minister sent off to be pastor to a flock of aliens on a planet called Oasis. While he's gone on his mission trip, things don't go well back home on Earth for his wife, Bea. I hate to say too much more about this book and spoil plot points, but I will say that though it's ostensibly about a Christian pastor's relationship with aliens, it's just as much about human relationships with each other. I cried a couple times and found this book affecting and beautiful. I'd like to read more by the author.

Book No. 38 was "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt, as an audiobook. This book won a Pulitzer Prize but was controversial among critics, with some of them raving about it, and others criticizing it. It tells the long (26 discs on audiobook/500-ish pages in print) rambling story of Theo Decker, starting as he's a 13-year-old boy who loses his mother in the bombing of an art museum. The title of the story comes from his relationship to a painting, "The Goldfinch," thought lost during the bombing. I felt the earlier passages of the book were the strongest because Theo as a grieving young teen is immensely relate-able and sympathetic, so that carries you along through the story. Later, when the story jumps ahead to Theo in his 20s making a lot of the same mistakes his father did, my sympathy began to wear a bit. I really loved some of the support characters, particularly his mentor Hobie and his teenage best friend Boris. I think this book is imperfect but there's a lot to like about it. Recommended.

The other books I've read so far this year: )

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