Book Review · Vacation Reads

A mini book marathon

In my last post I mentioned that I read four books over my week vacation.  It felt like a little marathon, how many books can I get through? I started out at the airport, bright and early, 6am.   I’ll just give brief synopses of the books, without giving too much away.

I began with Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.  The story is set in a futuristic society in which young genius children are bred for space warfare.  It focuses on a boy named Ender who goes through many trials and tribulations while in “Battle School” learning the ways of the warriors and the fight against the Buggers (an alien race).

I forget who mentioned this book to me, but I kept it in the back of my mind for a few months and then bought it on my Kindle a couple of weeks ago. First, I had no idea how old the book was. Second, it was kind of hard for me to remember how old, or rather how young, these kids were.  BUT I really enjoyed it nonetheless. I felt bad for Ender and the other children, but I think it was more because they were so young and that they never knew what it was like to be regular children. I kind of kept hoping that Ender would defy the adults by making friends with some of the other kids (and keeping those friendships) instead of just having the commander-subordinate relationship that resulted. (But I think that’s just my emotional self talking). It’s interesting that Card would make children the warriors in this society. Makes the phrase “the children are our future” have a bit more meaning, no?  I definitely recommend this book!
I have added Speaker for the Dead to my Kindle.

Next I moved onto Yoga Bitch: One Woman’s Quest to Conquer Skepticism, Cynicism, and Cigarettes on the Path to Enlightenment by Suzanne Morrison. Morrison regales readers with her story of a short period of time in her life when she questioned things and was scared while on the cusp of big changes in her life.  She enjoys yoga and decides to attend a 2 month yoga teaching retreat in Bali with her favorite yoga instructor.  Part narration and part journal entries, this book really takes readers into the mind of Morrison and, as a 26 year old woman, I can relate to some of her story.

Funny, last year when I went to Aruba I read Eat, Pray, Love which also talks about yoga. Morrison is funny and easy to relate to.  The copies of her journal entries while on her 2-month retreat in Bali were very entertaining.   I’m still not sure how I feel about the whole “pissdrinker” thing, I definitely don’t think I’d be able to do it; though I suppose one might never know what situations one can get into.  Whenever I’m done reading a book about yoga, it really makes me want to get back on my mat and go full force. I lack self-discipline, however.  But I’m really trying!  I’d recommend this one as well.

Then I moved onto Locked in Time by Lois Duncan.  Young adult novel about a girl who goes to live with her father and his new wife and 2 step children and learns that there is something strange about her new step family.  Through some detective work, she discovers a weird secret and must convince her father to escape before it’s too late.

I’m pretty sure I’ve read other books by Duncan in the past and I probably liked her others better than this.  Then again, I was much younger when I read it. It’s your average young adult novel.  It was a short read.  But I think I have outgrown these types of books.  It’s an easy-to-follow plot and the reader can figure out what’s happening early on (especially if you read a summary beforehand!).  Like I said, it was pretty short, so the whole issue is resolved pretty quickly.  I know an adult novel would probably be twice the length with more twists and turns and a little more depth to the characters. Overall, it was fine.

The last book I read on my trip was If Jack’s in Love by Stephen Wetta.  Jack is a young boy from an ostracized family. His dad is constantly out of work, his mom is ugly and his brother is a huge bully and trouble-maker. Jack is a bright young boy but no one but a girl classmate (and Jack’s crush), Mrya, realizes his potential. When Myra’s brother Gaylord goes missing not too long after Jack’s brother Stan threatens him, Jack’s family is ridiculed even more; did Stan do something to Gaylord?  (Set in the 1960’s)

I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about it.   And I haven’t really figured out the title yet…

Oh I forgot in my earlier post: I also read the December issue of Yoga Journal. 🙂

(all photos are from goodreads.com. Click the image to be taken to the page)

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2 thoughts on “A mini book marathon

  1. The only book you listed that I’ve read is Ender’s Game, and I absolutely loved that book. The biggest problem with the book is that the kids are so young, it doesn’t really work in some ways because of that. There are something like 8 or 10 books set in the Ender’s Game universe, and I’ve read the first four (which really complete the first cycle in the series, the 5th book goes back to tell the same story from Ender’s Game from Bean’s point of view).

    As much as I enjoyed Ender’s Game, I’m one of the few people who seems to think that Speaker for the Dead is even better. There are a lot of different storylines and themes running throughout Speaker for the Dead, and all of them are well done, it’s a brilliant book.

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    1. Yes, the children’s age was hard for me to wrap my head around sometimes, too.

      I’m looking forward to reading Speaker of the Dead. I also saw Ender’s Shadow (the books from Bean’s perspective) and will definitely read those at some point too 🙂

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