A Thousand Acres

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This was the second time I read “A Thousand Acres.” So many years had passed since the first time I read it, I didn’t remember many of the details of the story. But as the story enfolded, it all felt very familiar to me.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but the story is so sad. The book starts up slowly – the author spends much time building the setting, describing the characters, and does a great job describing the family dynamics. Around the midpoint of the book, everything starts falling apart for the families that are central to the story. It is compelling and heart breaking to see how the family’s carefully crafted façade begins to fall apart as the characters and family ties implode and eventually collapse.

Pulitzer Prize Winning Novels: Current Reading List

049 MiddlesexI started reading Pulitzer Prize winning novels in April 2009, with a goal of reading all of the winning novels.  I am working my way through the list, reading a Pulitzer Prize winner about every 4 to 6 weeks. Let me know if you’d like to join me!

I’m Currently Reading: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. I plan to finish it by 11/15/2015.

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Pulitzer Prize Winning Novels I’ve Read

18052I started reading Pulitzer Prize winning novels in April 2009.

Here’s a pictorial summary of the Pulitzer Prize winning books I’ve read over the years.

2015 Reading List

049 All the Light048 His Family047 Ironweed046 Lamb in His Bosom045 A Thousand AcresSo BigCaine Mutiny

2014 Reading List

Empire FallsForeign AffairsRead: 8/10/2014The Gold Finch038 Grapes of Wrath037 Collected Stories KAP036 The Executioners Song

2013 Reading List

035 confederacy-of-dunces034 Lonesome Dove033 Orphan Masters Son032 Arrowsmith031 Martin Dressler030 All the Kings Men029 Now in November

2012 Reading List

028 House Made of Dawn027 Laughing Boy026 A Death in the Family025 One of Ours024 Alice Adams023 The Fixer022 Killer Angels

2011 Reading List

021 Interpreter of Maladies020 A Visit from the Goon Squad019 Gone With 3018 shipping_news017 Stone Diaries016 The Hours015 Jamie McPheeters

2010 Reading List

014 Advise and Consent013 Tinkers012 To Kill a Mocking Bird 011 Color Purple010 A Summons To Memphis009 Breathing Lessons008 Confessions of Nat Turner007 Good Scent from Strange Mountain

2009 Reading List

006 Guard of Honor005 Elbow Room004 Keepers of the House003 Olive Kitteridge002 Gilead001 Oscar Wao

Breath, by Tim Winton

BreathHave you ever finished a book that was so beautifully written that all you could do afterwards is just sit and meditate for a while to let the story settle down into your soul?

That’s how I feel tonight after finishing “Breath” by Tim Winton. I didn’t actually read the book since I listened to the audio version of the book on my mp3 player, but, no matter, the story was profoundly shared, wonderfully told, beautifully written, and now I must sit and meditate on it.  I may have to go read the printed version of the book to get another layer of Mr. Winton’s glorious style of spinning a story.

Swamplandia! was a bust (for me, anyway)

SwamplandiaSometimes it just makes sense to cut bait and move on!

I read about 30% of the book before I was so bored with it I started skipping and skimming around, reading just enough to follow the storyline. Using that method I quickly scanned through to about the halfway point of the book and then decided I was done. I had read all I cared to read about the Bigtree family. Why waste any more time suffering through a book that I was not enjoying?  I didn’t care about the characters and, try as I might, I couldn’t identify with any aspect of the story.

This book may appeal to a different reader, but it holds no appeal for me. I was invested enough in the story that I searched around the internet enough to find out how the story turns out. What I learned finally happens with the characters in this story was not very believable or satisfying so I’m glad I didn’t suffer through to the end of the book. 

Now, on to the next book!

The Golden Compass

Golden CompassI decided to read The Golden Compass after seeing a sign at a local car repair shop that warned parents about letting their kids read this book….How ridiculous!

The Golden Compass is a great read, full of imagination, interesting characters and with a compelling plot. I especially appreciate that the heroine of the story is a little girl (versus a little boy – boys always seem to have all the fun in these kinds of stories). I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, the other books in this collection.

World Without End

World Without End

“World Without End” by Ken Follett has been on my reading list ever since it was published (October 2007).  I read Ken Follett’s earlier book, “The Pillars of the Earth,” more than a decade ago and I enjoyed that book too.

I got the electronic version of the book several months ago, and I decided it was time to give it a read.  I started the book last week and am about half way through it.  I expected it to be a good read, but I did not expect it to be such a fabulous read – probably the best book I’ve read in years!  I just wish I knew someone who was reading it too so I could talk about it with someone who is as captivated with the story as I am. 

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