Thursday, April 14, 2016

I loved this book!

The Golden SonThe Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book! I read it right after reading Secret Daughter by the same author, which I also loved. The story was very engaging (I listened on Audible, by the way) and I really like this author's writing style. I also feel like I learned a lot about medicine and found it quite interesting! The ending was not what I expected/hoped for, but it was satisfying, nonetheless. I look forward to more books from Shilpi Somaya Gowda in the future! Highly recommend.

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a fairly interesting book about the brain!

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical TalesThe Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I probably would not have read this book, except that it was a book club pick. It is a series of case studies by the doctor/neurologist, Oliver Sacks. The patients have a variety of neurological disorders. Some of the stories were pretty interesting; in others I think he went on too long about stuff I wasn't interested in. It was well written and informative, yet entertaining, at the same time. Learning about how the brain works was pretty incredible. In parts, it almost read like fiction - it wasn't dry and too medical at all. I can't wait for the discussion this weekend at book club to see what others thought about it.

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A good psychological thriller!

Pretty GirlsPretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book; lots of twists and turns. The graphic scenes did not bother me. If you like suspense and psychological thrillers, this is the book for you! I WILL read more of Karin Slaughter's books, as I have become a fan.

Basically, it's about a teenage girl, Julia, that vanishes, and also about the murder of a middle-aged man about 25 years apart, and what connects the two events. It's about the girl's two sisters, Lydia and Clare, and their search to find out the truth about Julia's disappearance. The family fell apart after Julia's disappearance, the parents divorce (the mother remarries and the father spends his life searching for Julia), Lydia gets involved with drugs and alcohol and is estranged from Claire, while Claire marries a rich guy she had known since her school days.

The book is pretty disturbing in parts, with graphic scenes of psychopaths and their twisted desires, and deals with brutality against women. It is a page turner, however, and I did like it and I recommend it.

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My favorite book read in 2016, so far........

Circling the SunCircling the Sun by Paula McLain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is in my top five of books read this year, 2016, so far. It is a historical fiction book, based on the life of Beryl Markham, who wrote West With the Night. It's about her life (born in England) in Kenya at the beginning of the 20th century. Her mother abandoned her and their father when Beryl was 4, leaving for England with their son, Beryl's brother. She was 20 before she met her mother again. Beryl grew up when the land was known as British East Africa. Her father, a British colonial, raised Beryl himself, and trained racehorses (eventually - they struggled at first in the harsh land) and became famous. Beryl worked with him once it was clear that school wasn't for her. Beryl married young but the marriage wasn't a good one and they eventually divorced. She became famous in her own right for her training of race horses. Eventually she also because a pilot, the first and only female pilot in Africa. She was the first female to fly across the Atlantic, from east to west, also. She lived during the time of, and was friends with Karen Blixen (who wrote the book Out of Africa - Meryl Streep played Karen in the movie), known as the author Isak Dinesen. They both loved and had a relationship with the famous big game hunter, Denys Finch Hatton.

I learned so much about early 20th century Africa/Kenya and it made me research Karen Blixen and Denys Finch Hatton myself - fascinating people. Beryl ended up marrying twice more (Markham was the last name of husband #2, which she kept). I loved reading about the land and the people that Beryl was a part of, more so than her British homeland and people. She grew up speaking fluent Swahili and her childhood friends were the local tribes people.

The author writes brilliantly and I can't wait to read her other book, The Paris Wife, about Ernest Hemingway's wife.

I liked this book so much, that I am now listening to Beryl's own book, West With the Night, and I will follow up with a book called The Bolter, by Frances Osborne, which also takes place in Kenya (a true story; a non-fiction book of the same time period). I highly recommend this book.

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