February’s Book List

February 29, 2012 § 3 Comments

This is a series of brief book reviews of literary works that have been read by Ben or myself. The book list will be published at the end of the month and will include titles that have been finished in the previous month. All books are rated using the following system:

5 Stars – Excellent. Couldn’t put it down, a real page turner. It’s easy to be a bookworm when the material is this good!

4 Stars – Very Good. Liked most of the book, a little slow in parts. Was an enjoyable read overall.

3 Stars – Average. Nothing really made it stand out. A bit boring. Unrealistic plot.

2 Stars – So-so. Blah. Could only read a few pages before I fell asleep.

1 Stars – Poor. So boring…why did I even finish this??

Even though it’s technically Wordless Wednesday, it’s the last day of the month and that means it’s time for my monthly book reviews! This month was mostly a fiction month for my reading – I do have some non-fiction pieces in the works but I was a little slower going on those. Here’s my reads for this month:

Image via Amazon.com
  •  Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
  • Read in paperback, available as an e-book
  • 3 Stars

This novel showcases a medical malpractice trial of a lay midwife working in rural Vermont in the 1980s. I would mostly put it in the mystery category, more than any other genre. I mostly just wanted to read it because it had the word midwives in the title and I’m fascinated with all things birth. I don’t think I quite knew what to expect from it but it held my attention and was good entertainment. I was frustrated by the ending as it wasn’t very tidy or conclusive. Fair warning: it’s a little gruesome at times so it’s not for the faint at heart.

Cry, the Beloved Country

Image via Wikipedia

  •  Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
  • Read in paperback copy, available as an e-book
  • 5 Stars

A classic novel by Alan Paton showing the parallel lives of a black priest and white businessman both living in South Africa in the 1940s. The story highlights many of the racial issues that South Africa (or just ‘South’ if you want to sound cool here in Zambia) has dealt with and to a large degree still remain present. I found it particularly enjoyable to read since I am living in Africa but I believe it could be enjoyable to someone that’s not as well. The writing is beautiful with a quality rarely seen in writing today. It took me a bit to get used to the stylistic way of showing quotes but I don’t think it detracts from the book. My favorite aspect of the book was that it got Ben and I thinking about the issues presented in the book – race, family disagreements, development in a tribal/village based society, etc. Highly recommended!

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