One of my dance instructors, Kyle Limon regularly brings a book to class to share. He is either reading it or has finished it. He gives us a quick explanation of what it's about or why he's reading it. Towards the end of the year he talked about how good reading is for you and for dancers how it can help you improve your retention (for choreography).
I was just beginning to enjoy books a little more frequently either in audio or traditional format, but it was a little inspiration to get back to it.
Here is what I've read so far this winter.
Beneath a Scarlet Sky: Honestly I love the story and the adventure. I was really intrigued how this story came to be. Here's a reference. There is a bunch of other stuff out there about this title too. I don't mean to be a snob and yuck someone else's yum, but as much as I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the writing was a bit flat for me. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't exactly prose. Does this make sense?
Britt-Marie Was Here: I was so charmed by a Man Called Ove (thank you reading knitters!) that I wanted to read something else by the author. I loved his ability to turn out a quirky character that could be both annoying and self sabotaging but good enough in their own way that you were cheering for them. This one incorporated a mature woman going through a pivotal transition in her life and soccer. Well ... seemed like the one for me. It was entertaining and enjoyable. However it felt familiar even with the new characters and setting and I love a Man Called Ove and I can't help but compare. If you were to choose go with a Man Called Ove, but this is good too, just um, not as good.
The Alienist: A historical fiction of the development of early forensics and it featured a strong woman in a time where it's hard to imagine such independence. I had been meaning to read this for a while but I actually watched the TNT series before I read the book. I liked the series enough to seek the source material and see if it matched up. I have to say I knew the series took liberties and I was a little sad that they felt the need to modify some of the characters but I understand that they like to add side plots and complexity and consolidate other things for the sake of visual story telling. Cary Fukunaga wrote 2 of the episodes and was an Executive Producer on the series and I like his work so I may be a bit biased.
This is a dark story and not for the squeamish. The most vulnerable are hurt in this story and you really need to be able to get past that in order to appreciate that it is a look into how life experiences shape human behavior and character and how they can manifest in horrible violence.
This was my favorite of that photographed stack.
Meanwhile I finished this last weekend:
I know what you're thinking ... Ellen, really, MORE serial killer stories? Look it's actually somewhat humorous and it's really good story telling. It's more about the relationship between sisters and how family experiences drive the dynamics of a family no matter what age you and your siblings are. You know how people will talk about their youngest sibling or their youngest child and call them the baby and how the baby has always needed help or has always been the most affectionate etc? Generally it's because the family has always treated them as if they are the baby and often helped or offered to help without the baby even asking. Not to say these people aren't their own capable independent people, but in the FAMILY they are the baby because they've always been babied not because they are the youngest. (True confession, I'm the eldest.)
Hmm, I'm reading that back and I'm still not making a decent point. But I'm leaving it because there's a point in there somewhere that you might be able to suss out and win a prize for.
Anyways I really enjoyed it. I think I read about it in the Times. There is a reason it gets a lot of buzz. Really enjoyed it and am recommending it constantly.
Have a good weekend folks. Use it to enjoy yourself the best way you know how. Be good -- even to your big and little siblings that may or may not deserve it. Remember when all else fails blame bad parenting. These books are giving me a complex.