Following my husband around the world for the summer is quite a lazy lifestyle. Yes, I’ve been studying and volunteering, but still my days are pretty relaxed. So I’ve had lots of time to read some of the books I brought along with me.

I started with Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen which I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. I missed the film earlier this summer but I’m not too disappointed because I prefer to read the book first – there’s usually a lot more detail to the story and the characters, and you get the unique pleasure of imagining everything the way you want to, rather than the way the casting director and locations scout wanted you to.

I LOVED this book. It’s a suspenseful romance set on a circus train. What’s not to love? It also is written in the form of flashbacks by the main character, sitting alone in his nursing home chair, and I tend to really enjoy stories written that way because things unfold just a little slower and more suspenseful (is that a word?) than otherwise. And as with most books, I was completely surprised by the ending, although more astute readers could probably see it coming a mile off. :)

 

The second book I read this summer was The Postmistress, by Sarah Blake. It’s set in the Second World War so is unsurprisingly not the most upbeat of books. It’s three main characters are the postmistress of a remote town on the American east coast, a young newly married wife of the doctor in the same small town, and a young American radio journalist in Europe. The story works itself on the connections between these three and the men in their lives, and is quite beautifully written. I found it interesting and quite poetic, but not hugely gripping.

I’ve started two books since then that I haven’t been able to finish: Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky, and Snow by Orhan Pamuk. The former surprised because a number of people had specifically recommended it to me, but I’ve been finding it too slow and the characters too annoying. Maybe it improves? The latter I picked up from the library bookstore for a dollar and I can understand why the author is a nobel prize winner but there’s just a little too much new politics and history to wrap my head around for me to enjoy the story fully.

So, I was stuck for anything I really wanted to read two days ago when we headed down to the pool (me to the pool, Rasmus to the gym – don’t look at me that way, I’ve been doing pilates three times a week and it’s kicking my…) Rasmus told me to take the one he’d just finished, I am Number Four, by Pittacus Lore (actually the name of someone in the book). So I did.

And then couldn’t put it down. I finished it last night. Rasmus snapped this picture of me while I was reading…

Do you see the tension in my face? I basically ordered Rasmus not to speak to me until I was finished, although I’m not sure I would have heard a word he said anyway. I’m not usually a big science fiction fan but this book had me hooked from page one. It’s an easy read and sometimes the writing is a bit, um, bad (mostly just the romance scenes, the rest is good) but the story is great and the plot moves fast and I was physically unable to look away from the page as it neared its end…

It was also fun to read a book that Rasmus had read before me. I think that’s the first time it has happened and it was fun getting to exclaim “The Mogadorians are right there!!!” and “What is up with that dog?!” and have him laugh and nod knowingly and rub my shoulders to get the tension out…

Unfortunately we still have to wait ten days for its sequel, The Power of Six, to be released. In the meantime we could watch the film, but the actors all look a little too blonde and the story a little less detailed than the book. I guess that’s to be expected. It could still be fun…

For now I’m back to square one with nothing to read. Any recommendations?

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