16 April 2013

Pregnancy Reads

I found out I was pregnant on Valentine's Day, but I was pretty sure we were having another baby about a week before that because I felt just like I did in early pregnancy with The Bairn and because (I'm not kidding) I found myself browsing the Ian Rankin novels at the library.  I spent a lot of my first trimester reading and I either hit the jackpot with my reading selections or I'm very easily pleased with books at the moment.  A number of things I read are pretty popular, so you probably already know about them, but here's my take on some books I've enjoyed the last little while.

Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier- These are the first two books in a teen time travel trilogy and I am very eagerly anticipating the third book.  The start of Ruby Red was a bit slow for me and I found the writing a bit clunky (it's in translation), but I forgive the first book any shortcomings for being so well plotted.  The story was obviously considered in its entirety before it was written and its full of mystery and suspense and blooming love.  All very satisfying.  Loved it.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene- I already mentioned this contemporary teen novel, which everyone seems to have already read and loved.  The leading man, Augustus, is right up there with Dexter from Sarah Dessen's This Lullaby in my affections.  I read Steve one of Augustus's quotes from the book to show him why I found the character so charming, but Steve wasn't feeling it and just wanted reassurance that I like him better than fictional teenagers.

Swept Off Her Feet by Hester Browne - Chick lit set in a Scottish castle with an antiques appraiser as a protagonist.  This was the best chick lit I've read in ages.  The protagonist didn't bother me by having an overwhelming love of shopping or a darling clumsy way about her or whatever.  It was just a fun, clean, romantic story.

Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin - I browsed into this story of a cake baker in Kigali shortly after the Rwandan genocides.  Some of the blurbs on the back of the book compared it to the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, which I never really enjoyed, but I did like this one.  It had a good voice and an interesting story of an African woman very involved in the lives of her neighbors, but I particularly liked that the genocide was addressed in a serious way without making a dark, heavy book or seeming out of place in a domestic novel.

Standing in Another Man's Grave and The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin - Ian Rankin's novels are so well crafted, but they're especially enjoyable if you're familiar with Scotland and maybe met your husband at one of the important locations in one of the novels.

Faith by Jennifer Haigh - Fiction about a disgraced priest from the very talented Jennifer Haigh who beautifully writes about her characters' interior lives and family relationships.  This may be my very favorite of the author's work.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Is this a mystery or a psychological thriller?  I don't know.  It's not the type of book I usually read but it got so much good press and so many recommendations from friends and family that I read it.  I had the first half all figured out so one of the twists was not unexpected, but I was not really expecting the ending.  This was a really compelling read and it was only when I was completely finished and away from the book for a day that I started thinking, "This book is super creepy."


Amy said...

I've just requested all of these (except Fault in Our Stars and Gone, Girl since I read them already). Thank you, thank you! Book recommendations are my very favorite things to find.

Augustus just didn't do it for me, though. Maybe because a friend read it before me and quoted all his lines before I read them in context? Mind you, I cried while I read, but Augustus is not invited to my literary episode of The Bachelor.

Anonymous said...

As you know I am an Ian Rankin Fan. I've read the two Rankin books. Loved both of them. I kind of see Fax as a more purified Rebus or maybe who Rebus may have become if not for his vices.


Jefran said...

Just finished Gone Girl, very gripping it was too. Not tempted to try her other books yet as there's a limit to how much creepiness my head can take at a time.If you're missing tartan noir, you might like to try Denise Mina. The Garnethill trilogy is what she's best known for (worth reading in the right order). I like her Paddy Meehan books better (not such heavy subject matter), the first one is A Field of Blood.

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