Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Book: About Grace

 Book: About Grace

Author: Anthony Doerr

Pages: 432


This is my 85th read for the year

This is the story of David Winkler.  David has dreams that come true.  Ever since he was a little boy he would have a nightmare about something bad happening to someone, and then it would happen.  Usually it is to people he doesn't know.  But when the nightmare is about the death of his infant daughter, he decides to make a big, life changing decision to protect her and make sure that she survives.  He disappears from her life for years hoping that by staying away, he is doing everything to protect her.  A daughter of a friend is what causes David to look for her and his long lost life.

This book was okay.  I loved Cloud Cuckoo Land and All The Light We Cannot See by the same author.  This one fell flat for me.  I didn't like the main character.  Most of the main characters, actually, except for the people David meets in the Caribbean.  David was frustrating and infuriating.  And he never improved.  Just....wishy washy the entire book.

This was Doerr's first novel, and you can tell from the writing how talented he is.  But I cannot recommend this one as compared to his other novels.

Stars: 2 1/2


Monday, October 11, 2021

Book: Cloud Cuckoo Land

 Book: Cloud Cuckoo Land

Author: Anthony Doerr

Pages: 640


This is my 84th read for the year

This book spans three timelines and tells 5 stories.  In Constantinople in the 15th century where a young boy with a cleft lip and palate Omeir comes into the world and isn't expected to live.  Near by an orphan named Anna begs a local teacher to teach her to read.  On a hunt one night, she discovers a book- the story of Aethon who longs to be turned into a bird.

500 years later - in a small town of Idaho, the stories of Seymour and Zeno unfold.  Zeno - an octogenarian who has taught a group of children the story of Aethon - has come to the library in his small town to rehearse a play the children will be doing based on the book.  Tucked away in the shelves of the library is a bomb that has been placed there by a troubled Seymour.

Decades in the future - Konstance is on an interstellar ship called the Argos.  Earth has become uninhabitable, and the ship is carrying humans to their new home.  At the age of 14, Konstance - like all other kids on the ship before her - gains her "library day" and can now ask any question she has and the ship will give her the answer.  As she starts to delve deeper, she discovers a secret that will change everything.

Soon it becomes clear how these lives all intertwine:  The book and the story of Aethon.

This was a fantastic book.  I am a big fan of Anthony Doerr - All The Light We Cannot See remains one of my favorite books.  This one was just as fabulous.  It is a slow burn, and you do wonder for a bit how these stories are going to fit together.  Be patient because it is worth it.  As the story unfolds, and we see how the people fit together around a book and story that is over 1000 years old, the magic is revealed.  The writing is superb.  The ending pulls it all together  (with an epilogue - my favorite ending).

Highly recommend.

Stars: 5

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Book: Billy Summers

 Book: Billy Summers

Author: Stephen King

Pages: 528


This is my 83rd read for the year

This is the story of Billy Summers.  A killer for hire, Billy has one more job he has agreed to take before he gets out of the business for good.  Little does he know what a long and winding path that job - and the fallout from that job - are waiting for him.  A simple, quick job that he has figured out down to the last detail backfires when a young girl is dumped from a van in front of his apartment one night.  Now Billy knows he must make it right.  For her - and for him.

This was an okay book.  I listened to it to pass the time while doing jobs around the house, but this wasn't one of my favorites of his.  There seemed to be a lot of overuse of words just to fill pages.  Over explaining that didn't seem necessary to move the story along.  I didn't like any of the characters.  King does insert a lot of political views that even I - (who whole heartedly agrees with him) got tired of.  It did nothing for the plot.  I want the old King back - a good psychological thriller that leaves me wanting to leave the light on at bedtime.  

Stars: 2



Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Book: Neverworld Wake

 Book: Neverworld Wake

Author: Marisha Pessl

Pages: 336


This is my 83rd book of the year

This is the story of Beatrice.  She graduated high school a year ago, but is home to go to a weekend reunion with her friends.  Since a tragedy that ended with the death of Beatrice's boyfriend in high school, she has not seen these friends and is unsure if meeting up with them is a good idea.  While together with the friends, an accident happens and the friends are faced with a choice.  They are stuck at the mansion until they can come to a unanimous decision as a group.  Trying to figure out how they are going to do that, and continue to get along until they do, is the toughest part.

This was a good YA book.  It kept me interested.  The middle of the book started to become a bit "much", but the ending was good.  It isn't a long book, so muddling through the middle wasn't that bad. If you are looking for a mild YA thriller, then check this one out.

Stars: 3

Monday, September 27, 2021

Book: Falling

 Book: Falling

Author: TJ Newman

Pages: 304


This is my 82nd read for the year

Bill is a stand up guy.  A pilot, husband, and doting father of 2.  He has been asked by his boss to take an extra flight on a day he was supposed to be at his 10 year old son's first baseball game.  But when the boss calls, you have no choice but to go.

Bill's flight starts out like any other, but as soon as he takes off, he finds out that his family has been taken hostage.  Bill is given a choice - crash the plane, and his family lives.  Save the plane and his family dies.  He is told there is also a "mole" on the plane to make sure that Bill makes his choice.  Bill has limited time to decide the fate of 143 people on his plane or his family.  And he must figure out how to save both.

This book was just okay.  I listened to it while doing projects around the house,  It was quick but only slightly suspenseful.  I love a good thriller book that keeps me wanting to turn the pages to see how it ends.  This wasn't one of those books.  The best character in the book was the flight attendant called "Big Daddy".  It was leaning more toward cheesy than scary - the target of the plane on the ground tipping the scales to cheesy.  However - like I said - it kept me entertained.  

Not a book I would consider literature by any cost, but if you have some time to kill for an audio book while doing mindless tasks - this one can pass the time.  

Stars: 3




Sunday, September 26, 2021

Book: The Neighbor's Secret

 Book: The Neighbor's Secret

Author: L Alison Heller

Pages: 336


This is my 81st book for the year

This book is about the Cottonwood Estates book club.  The women come together once a month to discuss achosen book, but in between their lives are intertwined.  Lena, the one woman in the neighborhood who lived through a tragedy 15 years ago has found a friend in the neighborhood and decides to join the book club.  She has a secret that she plans to carry with her to her grave.  However, as she starts to get to know the other women in the book club, she realizes that some of their pasts mixed with hers, and things she never knew come to light.  The women rally together when a vandal strikes their neighborhood.  They will protect their children at any cost.

This book hasn't been released to the general public yet - I have received it as part of my Book Of The Month subscription.  It was an okay book.  It kept me entertained and I was curious to see where it was going.  The secrets keep mounting and it is one of those books where the writer keeps you in the dark for the sake of keeping you in the dark.  Not my favorite.  I did like the ending - love when a writer gives us a look into the character's futures.  But the over take away from the book is that it was just okay.  

Stars: 3


Friday, September 24, 2021

Book: Fall and Rise The Story of 9/11

 Book: Fall and Rise The Story of 9/11

Author: Mitchell Zuckoff

Pages: 624


This is my 80th read for this year

This book recounts almost minute by minute what happened on 9/11 with many people involved.  Back stories of people on the planes, in the towers, part of the rescue effort come alive in this book to paint a picture of who the people we lost truly were.  We get to hear many of their last words, and how ordinary people became extrodinary on a beautiful sunny day in September 20 years ago.  

This book was incredible.  After 20 years I cannot watch a single story or documentary, or read a single book without bursting into tears.  This book delves into details I never knew before, and brings to life the people who were lost.  We hear about their last days, their lives before 9/11, and what happened to them and their families on that day.  I was captivated by every word.  

This book will rip your heart out.  You will mourn for the people who were lost and the families who continue to mourn them.  But you will also celebrate the people they were.  Don't miss this one.

Stars: 5