Book Report vol.4

Monday, August 24, 2015

I read this Fast Company article recently about the benefits of reading. Did you know that reading can help prevent psychological and physical health problems, as well as improving our views on society and culture by opening our eyes to new experiences? I don't know about you but that makes me feel a lot less lazy about kicking back and reading a book for a few hours.

Here are a few tips the article gives on how to become a more committed reader (without locking yourself in a library).

1. Read what interests you, not what you think you "should" read
2. Find just 30 minutes a week to read
3. Create a challenge for yourself
4. Don't stick with a book if you're not enjoying it 

Here's what I've been reading this month:

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
I checked this book out from the library earlier this summer, but had to return it before I got around to reading it. This time, I flew through it two days time. If I had known it was such a quick and humorous read, I might have picked it up sooner!  I read most of the book in Sheldon Cooper's voice from The Big Bang Theory. Don Tillman is an Australian genetics professor who is looking for a wife. Not that unusual. But his quirks and probable-autism (that he is oblivious to) make his quest for a wife anything but normal. His behavior is Amelia Bedelia-like and while the ending is easy to guess, it is completely obscure to Don. A movie based on the book is currently in the works and I hear that Jennifer Lawrence is playing Rosie! Should be a good one, I hope.

"I want to spend my life with you even though it's totally irrational. And you have short earlobes. Socially and genetically there's no reason for me to be attracted to you. The only logical conclusion is that I must be in love with you."

Devil In The Grove by Gilbert King
This was a really interesting book, but I didn't finish it. I think I was near the halfway point when I quit. It focuses on the civil rights movement right as it was starting in the late 1940s. The Florida citrus groves were a hard place to work and there was an enormous amount of injustice and hatred towards blacks at the time. It was also the time when Thurgood Marshall was just getting his start as a  NAACP lawyer and making headlines around the country by defending blacks who were wrongly accused in Florida. Gilbert King certainly did his research before writing this book, but there were just so many court cases and names that it was a little hard to keep track. By the middle of the book, I was having a hard time keeping up with everything. It's a good read if you're interested in history and the civil rights movement, but be prepared for a deluge of historical facts!

"From 1882 to 1930, Florida recorded more lynchings of black people (266) than any other state, and from 1900 to 1930, a per capital lynching rate twice that of Mississippi, Georgia, or Louisiana. But neither Marshall nor Moore needed more statistics to know that by World War II, Florida still ranked high among the most violent states in the South. 

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
This might have been one of my favorites reads so far this year. I'd seen the book cover everywhere but I heard a bad review of it so it wasn't at the top of my list. Turns out, it is available for free through the Oyster app so it ended up on my reading list anyhow. I loved it! But then again, what's not to love about 1960 Italy. The story spans decades and includes several stories within stories which I liked. It's one of those books that makes you think about how small this world really is and how many lives and stories we come in contact with. Highly recommend!

"Stories are people. I'm a story, you're a story...your father is a story. Our stories go in every direction but sometimes, if we're lucky, our stories join into one, and for a while, we're less alone."

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