Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Monday, September 20, 2021

Book: Later

 Book: Later

Author: Stephen King

Pages: 272

This is my 79th read for the year

This is the story of Jamie.  Jamie, a now young adult, it telling the story of his unnatural ability and how it shaped his life.  His mom is a single mother who sometimes believes in Jamie's "gift" and sometimes thinks that her son is just making it up.  It isn't until she needs him one day that she realizes that he has always been telling the truth.  When an NY police officer draws JAmie in to use his gift to find a serial killer, Jamie is taken on a wild ride as a young kid that he will never forget.

This was a pretty good book.  There is no doubt that I am a Stephen King fan.  He has hits and misses, but I still feel drawn to reading what he writes.  I thought this was a pretty good one.  It is short, and I do miss the long stories that King is more known for, but in this case - shorter was better.  He didn't add "fluff" just to add pages, which I always appreciate.  Could it have been scarier?  Sure.  But I felt myself drawn to wanting to see where the story was going, and read it quickly.

Check this one out if you are a fan.  You won't be disappointed.

Stars: 4

Friday, September 10, 2021

Book: 56 Days

 Book: 56 Days

Author: Catherine Ryan Howard

Pages: 320

This is my 78th read for the year

This is the story of Ciara and Oliver.  The met in Dublin right on the verge of the pandemic and on a whim decide to ride it out together.  Now - Oliver is dead, and the detectives try to piece the story together to find out if it was an accident or a homicide.  The story bounces back and for between 56 days before Oliver's body is discovered, 35 days ago - around the time Oliver and Ciara decide to live together during the pandemic, and today - where the detectives have discovered the body.  

This was a pretty good book.  I liked the idea of a murder mystery during the actual pandemic and wasn't disappointed.  I "kind of" figured out where it was going midway during the book, but there was enough suspension and twist and turns to keep me wanting to read it quickly.  There is a lot of good banter between the characters.  I love a good "quick wit" dialogue.  I liked all of the characters and the story flowed well.  Glad I read this one.

Stars: 4

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Book: The Forest Of Vanishing Stars

 Book: The Forest of Vanishing Stars

Author: Kristin Harmel

Pages: 384

This is my 77th read for the year

This is the story of Yona.  Stolen from her German parents when she was a baby, she grew up with her kidnapper in the deep forest.  She never knew she was taken until her kidnapper reveals the truth on her deathbed in 1941.  Now Yona is alone in the forest - until she comes across a group of Jewish people fleeing the Nazis.  She has no idea that a war is going on.  She vows to help these people and teach them how to survive in the forest.  She continues to help as the group grows until one day she is betrayed.  She feels that her time with this group has come to an end and she wanders into a German village.  What happens there changes the course of her life forever.

This book wasn't that good.  I had hope for it in the beginning - liked the idea of someone being able to survive in the woods and then teach the terrified Jewish people to hide and survive.  The truth is - a lot of Jewish people did survive this way (the author reveals this at the end of her book in her author notes).  That would have been an intriguing story.  Instead, she develops a far fetched story that turns into a love story and she loses me.  I never really liked any of the characters.  Their emotions were almost too extreme to be believable.

Stars: 3

Friday, September 3, 2021

Book: Freedom

 Book: Freedom

Author: Sebastian Junger

Pages: 160

This is my 76th read for the year

This is the story of the author - a journalist and novelist - who took 2 Afgan war vets and a conflict photographer on a 400 mile journey from Washington DC to Connellsville, PA along the railroad tracks.  Their journey was to unteather themselves from every day life and reflect on the time in the war, and their lives since.  The author talks about what it was like to be free - to walk, sleep, eat, and journey where they wanted.  Along with the people they meet and the towns they visit (he talks mostly about the towns in Pennsylvania) he recounts railroad history and others who have walked the tracks.  

My husband bought me this book for mother's day when he found out it ended in our hometown of Connellsville, PA.  Our sleepy little town isn't the center of a lot of books by famous writers (Junger wrote "The Perfect Storm" - a novel turned movie many of us are familiar with), so I was excited to tackle this little book.  I LOVED the parts where he talked about his journey on the tracks, the people he met in the Pennsylvania towns along the way, and espeically the small sections about Connellsville.  But this book was like two novels in one.  Instead of having one track (personal stories/personal journey) he threw in a lot of history that just felt disconnected to the rest of the book.  Not always, but enough that I found myself wishing that he would have left those parts out.  The history seemed a bit "all over the place" which is the best way I can describe it and I never felt that it was connected to their journey in a meaningful way.  I could have skipped many of those parts completely and found an enjoyable story.

For such a short book, there was really no reason to throw in "beef" for this book.  I can imagine what he saw, heard, and the people he met along the way could have filled many books.  I am glad I read it for the Connellsville part of this story, but without that connection, this would not have been a book I would recommend.

Stars: 3