Read These Now!

Yes, I have been reading a lot lately. I’m proctoring the Ohio Graduation Tests this week without internet. That means 2.5 hours of sitting and being quiet…reading, blissful reading! The great thing about testing teenagers as opposed to elementary school students? No requests for bathroom breaks, Kleenex or questions about what the words mean! Which translates to more uninterrupted reading time!

One of my FB friends started a Book Recommendations page which is where I learned of the two latest books that I’ve read. I’m so thankful she did because these books were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I’m anxious to hear if you have read and liked them as well.

The first was “We Need to Talk About Kevin” by Lionel Shriver. Before I tell you about the book, I must tell you that her writing style in unusual. I read another book by her, “The Post-Birthday World”, that was very good but set in England and used their vernacular which was hard to get used to. She’s also very verbose; what would take another author five words takes her 10 and seven of them are $1 words! But once you get used to it, she certainly tells a good tale.

“Kevin” is written in letter form. The narrarator is the mother of Kevin who has murdered his fellow students and a teacher in a school shooting. She is writing letters to her husband, Franklin, to help digest what led Kevin to this point. It is haunting, it is devastating and it is powerful. I can tell you that the mother, Eva, did not want to have Kevin. Throughout the book, I didn’t like her much, especially as a mother. I really didn’t like Kevin. Eva’s husband really wanted a child. So she did it for him. And it didn’t turn out so well. The whole book I kept pondering, “Is Kevin evil because he was born that way? Or did he turn evil as soon as he could feel that his mother didn’t want him?” I don’t want to tell you too much else about the book because I don’t want to wreck any of it for you. Even in spite of the grotesque subject matter, it’s a riveting book and the ending will leave you breathless.

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The Red Tent by Anita Diamant was a bit of a surprise to me. After reading the description of the book, I wasn’t sure I would like it. But my FB friend and I seem to have the same taste in books so I gave it a try. I’m really glad I did! It’s a story set in biblical times and it’s actually a unique re-telling of the story of Jacob and his four wives. Snoozeville, right? No way! It was a wonderful book!!

I don’t really know this story from the Bible at all. Evidently, Jacob had four wives and they bore him 12 sons and one daughter. In the Bible, the daughter, Dinah (pronounced Dee-nah) does not speak. Ms. Diamant decided to tell a fictional story of Jacob and his family from Dinah’s point of view. I really was caught up in the way they lived, from having four wives, to the work they did daily, to the differences between the men and the women, to their style of worship. The Red Tent is where the women go when they are menstruating. This intrigued me. How I would like to go to a place during this time and just rest and hang out with my “women”. The book chronicles Dinah’s entire life and it is fascinating. At first the biblical names were hard to keep straight, but I got used to it. The relationships between the women was the backbone and the best part of this story. The ending is very satisfying and I couldn’t put it down. I promise you will love this book!

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5 responses to “Read These Now!

  1. Thank you for the recommendations! I just reserved both. Kind of jeal of your time to read… 🙂
    Have you read The 19th Wife?

  2. I loved The Red Tent! I have recommended it several times to friends. I think it’s one of those books you either love or hate. It made me see the Bible differently though. Now when I read the Bible I try to flesh out the story a little like Anita Diamant does.

  3. I have read both of these and LOVED them, especially The Red Tent. So good. Have you read Sarah’s Key? I just finished that not too long ago. It’s a heartbreaker, but it’s definitely a page-turner.

  4. Going to get thm tomorrow. I am never disapointed in your reecomendations!

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