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