I had made a goal to post at least 2 times per week this year, but that did not happen in January. Maybe I didn’t have time to blog because I was spending all my time reading! I managed to read ten books this month, so my Book Banter post will be broken into two parts. Follow along with what I am reading on Instagram or Twitter @whitksmith and tag your books too! Use the hashtag #bookbanter2017 .
Here are my first five reads of 2017! All books are linked using my affiliate links, so if you purchase them I will get a small commission that supports the content of my blog.
This is the second book in the C.S Lewis Space Trilogy and I liked it much better than the first. This book takes place on Perelandra (Venus), and the main character, Ransom, is on a mission to allow humans to begin to populate Perelandra without the interruption of evil forces. There are quite a few philosophical conversations in this book, so despite its small size, it took me a bit to get through it. I found some parts to be laugh out loud funny, and other parts to be dark and scary. As usual, I found the descriptions of the natural world to be absolutely mind-blowing. They way Lewis is able to capture beauty with words is almost unparalleled. I always find myself re-reading passages because the images they conjure up are too delightful not to relive. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Creation stories and Science Fiction!
This is the third book in the Cormoran Strike Private Investigator series written by J.K. Rowling (under a pen name of course). I LOVE these books. This particular book follows the investigation of a serial killer than has a personal grudge against Strike. The killer decides he wants to ruin Strike by killing his assistant investigator, Robin. When Robin and Strike realize her life is in danger they disagree on how this case should be investigated. Of the three books in the series, this was probably my least favorite because a lot of the descriptions of Strike were repetitive. I kept thinking, “I get it, he only has one leg, you can stop telling me now.” I didn’t feel like Strike’s character was advanced at all, and the other characters were just passing him by. I did enjoy the mystery and Rowling’s creativity serves her well in this series. The cases are always interesting and full of detail.
This is the second book in Follett’s Century Trilogy. This series follows the same families in England, Germany, The United States, and Russia over the course of the twentieth century. Winter of the World is set around the time of WWII and shows how the devastation of the war impacts so many lives. Follett is amazing at weaving real-life events into his fiction. I love how seamless it feels, even though you have to suspend disbelief a little when the people he is wiring about seem to end up involved in every big event of the era. I love how his characters are varied in their level of evolution. Warning: there is a lot of adult content in this book. Like an uncomfortable amount. At times it advances the story, but it feels gratuitous in some situations. I listened to this as an audiobook which I would recommend. The narrator does great accents and it really helps you to keep tack of the characters. It does make skipping the adult content harder though. If you like historical fiction and don’t mind graphic scenes I highly recommend this series.
I had never heard of this trilogy until I came across it listed as “an unputdownable book.” I was in the market for a read that would keep me up at night, so this book jumped to the top of my To-Read list. In this series the human population has been genetically modified into color groups and these groups are ranked by class. The problem is, the lowest class, the Reds, believe they are finding a way to make Mars habitable for the other humans, but they find out they are not any better than slaves for the higher classes. When the protagonist, Darrow, loses his wife and discovers the truth, he infiltrates the highest class, the Golds, and that is when the story takes off. What happens next reminds me of the Hunger Games, but if you can believe it, more brutal, so be mindful of that if you pick it up. I really enjoyed this book and it had just the right amount of twists and turns to keep me engaged. I already have the second one checked out from the library.
My best friend gave me this book for Christmas and told me it is in her top twenty favorite books of all time. That is high praise because we are both avid readers. This book seems to be about a teenage girl dealing with the death of her favorite uncle. Along the way you find out it is about so much more. The protagonist, June, is grieving, forming new bonds and questioning why old ones no longer seem the same. For a debut novel, Brunt really handles complex teenage emotions deftly. She also weaves in a narrative about the turmoil and confusion surrounding the AIDS epidemic during the 80’s that seems honest, but doesn’t hit you over the head. I was especially impressed with the different types of love that were explored. In the category of “Coming of Age” novels, this is among my favorites. And, isn’t that cover gorgeous?!?!
Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments and stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!
I love you more than heart-racing action and heart-wrenching love,