Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

My rating: 4.8

In the 1950's, Elena and Lila are growing up in Naples. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. 

For me, this book captured girls, women, friendships, Italy, childhood and so much more. I think Ferrante is such a gifted writer and she transports me to the streets of Italy where I feel know all the charactes and can empathize with their feelings. It brought Italy and the dialect back to me. I can't wait to read more in this series.  I realize that Ferrante's writing is not happy or uplifting but her elegant but simple prose makes me want to return to it again and again.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The One And Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

My rating: 4.6

Ivan has spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall and has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

I listened to this on audio.  At first I wasn't sure if I was going to get in to a story told by a gorilla but, the narration soon had me enraptured and caught up in this wonderful Young Adult novel. I can see why it was a 2013 Newbery Medal winner and a #1 besteller on the New York Times list. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 2.0

Two sisters, Laura & Iris.  Laura dies in mysterious circumstances. The story of the two sisters is intermingled with excerpt from Laura's novel which was published posthumously. 

This book came highly recommended from two friends that I respect and generally align with their ratings. Unfortunately, not so in this case. This book was not for me. I stuck with it hoping it would somehow redeem itself and I regret every last minute I spent on it.