Some Mini Book Reviews

Aside from my normal, pastoral non-fiction that I’m always reading, I love (and I mean love) to read fiction. It is such a good escape for me that genuinely enriches my soul. So I thought I’d mention some books you might want to check out (and also ask you for some recommendations).

Home, by Marylinne Robinson

I read this book a while back, but oh, I just can’t not talk about it. It is written so beautifully, with characters so haunting that there’s really nothing I can say to measure up to how much I loved it. To be clear, it is not a thriller. It is not The Hunger Games (which I also read this summer and enjoyed). I tried to get Kristi to read it and she couldn’t get into it, said it was “boring,” to which I almost throat-chopped her. It is a stunning book that’s kind-of-but-not-really a modern retelling of the prodigal son story. If you read it I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

Eastbound Sailing, by Todd Foley

Todd Foley is a friend that I’ve been chatting with for a while, and he just released his first novel. I read it while at the beach last month and enjoyed it. I’m fond of stories full of the mistakes and regrets of growing up (and it certainly is that). It is a heartbreaking coming-of-age story with a surprising and tragic ending. The main character, a young man named Aiden, is a character that many will find themselves in. Great start Todd, I hope you keep writing!

East of Eden, by John Steinbeck

I know, it’s a crime that I’m just now reading this classic. I should be shot. My friend Travis Wright made me want to read it, and I almost got bogged down in the ocean of description at the beginning. It took me months to read the mammoth, and (I still can’t quite believe this), I read the entire thing on my iPhone. And at the end I absolutely loved it. The last half is the meat of the book, and I was amazed by the echoes of the Cain & Abel story. The Bible really does have the best, most moving stories ever told, and classics can be born on their coattails. Incredible book.

The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak

I listened to this book in my car, and when I first started I thought I would hate it. I thought about turning it off, but I’m glad I didn’t. It is a very unique book, first off in the fact that the narrator is Death, and that it is set in Nazi Germany. The main character is an orphan named Liesel Meminger who is adopted as a young girl by a German family. It goes on to tell how the family struggles through living in Germany at that time while not at all buying into Hitler’s regime, even risking their lives by hiding a Jew in their basement. Pretty incredible story told in a brilliantly unique way.

Let me know if you check out any of these, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Also, how about you? Read any good fiction lately? I’m looking for some good reads so I’d love any recommendations.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/TravisWrightSC Travis Wright

    i still can’t believe you read it all on your iphone…that’s just crazy. Also, I loved your last sentence – very true! “The Bible really does have the best, most mov­ing sto­ries ever told, and clas­sics can be born on their coat­tails.”

    • http://www.brandonclements.com Brandon Clements

      Thanks Travis, I do think it’s very true.

  • http://jaredrypkema.com/ Jared Rypkema

    Thanks for the suggestions! I haven’t read any of these yet, but will look into them for sure.

    As for a recommendation, last year I read the fiction novel The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. Really great book.

    I’m not very good at giving book reviews, but this is a great work that takes a familiar storyline and transforms it with a deaf son, dog breeding, and a really good narrative. I really couldn’t put it down.

    • http://www.brandonclements.com Brandon Clements

      Interesting. Thanks for the suggestion Jared. Hope to see you guys soon!

  • http://www.eloranicole.com/ elora nicole ramirez

    East of Eden has GOT to be one of my favorite books. Katherine/Cathy/Catherine legitimately scares me.

    Have you read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close? That’s another favorite. I always loved seeing my students fall in love with that book.

    • http://www.brandonclements.com Brandon Clements

      Yes Elora, she is a terrifying character!

      No I haven’t read that yet but I’ve been wanting to. I’ll check it out soon.
      Thanks for the recommendation!