Life at the hacienda

I’ve been reading more than normal lately — which is nice. I’ve been carrying a paperback with me at all times, and having another book at my desk for breaks. I’m also a fan of taking an e-reader with me on long journeys as it saves space in my bag whilst also allowing me to crack on with the book I’m reading (top tip: if you’re looking at how to use old phones, they make a great pocket e-reader for when you’re short on bag space). Anyway, a couple of these reads I’ve been reading were so good, I was even reading them at stoplights.

Gone Girl: three out of five bananas. I enjoyed this one and could not get over the twists and turns. The characters are great in the sense they are dark, dysfunctional and will stick with you for days after completing the story. I’m excited to see the movie. And I’m having a hard time not talking about the story. So, maybe it deserves more than three bananas. 3.5 then. Absoloodle. (Stoplight read)

Life at the hacienda

The Wildwood Chronicles: This young adult adventure story was recommended by a friend’s sons. They said it was one of their recent favorites, and I’d like the pictures. I took it thinking, “uh, huh. The pictures…” Sure enough, the illustrations — done by the author’s wife — are incredible. They add such another level of richness to the tale.

The author is also the lead singer of the band “The Decemberists,” who I happen to love. I did think the last 100 pages were too much in regard to the detail of battle scenes. It didn’t keep my full attention. That said, I’d probably read the next one in the series. 3.5 bananas, absoloodle.

Life at the hacienda

The Scarlet Letter: I am tutoring a high school student this year. She is required to read The Scarlet Letter for English. While I appreciate this is a classic piece of American literature, I think the story being on the curriculum today smacks of a school district pussy footing around discussions of healthy sexual relationships. Sex and shame are one in the same in this story — for everyone involved. Of all the great books they could be reading instead… Two out of five bananas.

I spent a good bit of the summer reading The Cuckoo’s Calling, which I thought was okay. Again, I’d likely read the next one if I had it on hand. I’m currently reading, Gonzalez and Daughter Trucking Company. It is fun and easy — about a woman who is in Mexican prison and is one of the few who is literate. As such, she starts a reading group but instead weaves a wild tale, pretending to be reading. It is left to the reader to decide if she is actually telling her story.

Next up: I am the Messenger, by the same author as The Book Thief. Very much looking forward to this story.

Life at the hacienda

What are you reading? What was your favorite book of the summer? Mine was, Where’d you go Bernadette? Loved it. (Stoplight read)

{Also: the sunflowers did well in the garden this year. Many of them tipped over from the recent heavy rains, but they did their jobs of purifying the soil nonetheless. Sadly, I’ll have to go without gardening anything significant for the next few months. My patio wall needs to be replaced and I’m not going to plant to have it ripped out for construction.}