I am honestly blown away with how quickly the time, days, weeks, and months are passing through this pandemic, and priorities seem to change on a daily basis. Hence, why posts haven’t necessarily been happening on this platform. But that is OKAY (at least that’s what I tell myself…)
My reading has slowed down quite a bit. I have found a new daily grind and sadly it includes way too much time on my social media apps on my phone instead of reading or creating music. I think it is that desire to connect that everyone is talking about?? That being said, posts are planned and will be posted. I hope someone will read them…
Speaking of reading? Here are the books that I delved into in the month of April 2020 AKA Month 2 of Quarantine Books.
Also read Quarantine Books (March in Books)
WE RIDE UPON STICKS by Quan Barry
Get ready for some literary gushing…This book was an absolute gem to read and I am oh-so-grateful for my bestie, Diana, and the Fantastic Stranglings Bookclub by the Jenny Lawson. I am so glad I read this when I did because I discovered that two of my Top Shelf Vocal gals were also reading it. We started our own little book club over email and it made my heart happy.
Overall, the vibe of the book is funny and realistic with some dark paranormal elements that may or may not be real… The reader spends an entire summer/school year with a high school field hockey team in the 80s. There is every 80s reference one could want as well as teen topics that we all have dealt with. There are hints of feminism, the importance of friendship, and what happens when teen girls grow up. Even though I suffered through high school in the 2010s, I felt that the issues and situations were still very relatable (even now in adulthood) and the jokes were genuinely funny. I was lol-ing in just about every chapter.
The writing was astounding. At first, I had a hard time following the flow. There always seemed to be a lot going on at once without much direction. It wasn’t until I had realized that the POV was not from any one character, or even as third-person, but from the team as a whole. Their entire psyche was connected and telling the story. It added to the vibe and created a seamless storyline.
The characters were the biggest gems (other than the writing). I highly related to Becca, because…the name 😉 and big boob probs. I had definitely worn more than one sports bra to PE and was a proud, secret, member of the BBC (Big-Boobs-Club.) I also loved and related to Julie, since I too grew up in a conservative household, and I thought her very funny. I LOVED that “The Claw” and “Splotch” were their own beings and characters and the “Philip” situation/resolution was to die for.
The setting of the Boston North Shore brought me joy since the previously mentioned bestie is from there. I fell in love with the area when I visited years ago and I miss said bestie. So it was like having her closer, especially since she gifted the book club subscription!
All this being said…I loved it and was genuinely surprised that I loved it so much. My favorite Quarantine Read so far. Boom. You go Quan Barry.
“Hit the Earth three times with your stick. Lift your eyes to the hole in the night. Remember that darkness simply requires another way of seeing. Be your own light. And just like that, you’ll find yourself everywhere and instantly.”
Read I am Completely Fine…
MANSFIELD PARK by Jane Austen
An absolute classic that, surprisingly, I had never read before…
While not my most favorite Austen novel, it had all the qualities and characters that you can’t help but love in her works.
In my experience, every Austen novel is slow for the first hundred pages or so with long and expressive character development. Some necessary and some of it not. This book seemed to be extremely slow with it not capturing my excitement until the last hundred pages. The ending had the elements that I was hoping for but it seemed sudden and not satisfying. Not like P&P.
The characters were not my favorite and quite annoyed me really. The only redeeming one was Fanny Price, who may be my favorite heroine so far. I absolutely loved her and personally related to her. She had growth and thoughts that have been recorded in my little quote book.
I will say, the 1999 film rendition was absolute perfection, which I watched immediately after finishing the book. While straying from the book it still had that “Austen” essence. Fanny, in the film, was much more outgoing and outspoken. She had much more personality, which made me like her much more in general, but I was still in love with Austen’s original Fanny Price. Scenes were cut or reordered, but it allowed the flow and the themes to shine more. The humor was there and the men were oh-so-dreamy.
Overall, Mansfield Park‘s storyline was very similar to P&P, in my opinion, but still worth reading. There is nothing quite like Jane Austen on a rainy day.
“Her own thoughts and reflections were habitually her best companions.”
Read To All the… (a book review and a love note)
WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen
*DISCLAIMER* – My reasoning behind reading this novel was based on the fact that I adore the movie. So much so that I purchased the DVD in college, despite not owning a playing device at the time. Also, Robert Pattison is a dream and Reese Witherspoon is a queen.
This was a nice, blissful, read. I love romantic period/historical books and movies so I was already sold to begin with. The storyline feels complete with the characters, events, the climax, and the ending. I will say that I loved the book’s switching back and forth in time in Jacob’s POV.
Jacob, Rosie, and the minor circus characters were by far my favorites. August was an alluring but somewhat boring villain and Marlena was kinda “eh” for me. Jacob was a lovable protagonist who had growth, both in the storyline of his past and future. I especially loved his kooky, somewhat negative, but sweet older self. Rosie was just a joy and I wish she had more moments in the book.
The themes were subtle but very apparent. Animal abuse, human cruelty, human kindness, family – both by blood and chosen, sex, growing up, circus (or outsider) culture, were among the few. There wasn’t one stand-out theme overall but they did add to the story. Overall it was an enjoyable read, simple in some ways but still good. Admittedly, I still like the movie better…
“Keeping up the appearance of having all your marbles is hard work, but important.”
“Life is the most spectacular show on Earth.”
Read Thanks for the Bucketlist #2
Although sometimes I have added a pressure to “read faster” and “read more,” because of my little Bucketlist goal – Books have still been a joyous thing to have. I love stories and different worlds. And sometimes delving into a different one is quite necessary.
Go enjoy the sun, Spring/Summer seems to be coming. Read more. Call more. Write more. Listen more.
Anyways, as always…
Thanks for the adventure, (Quarantine) Books.
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