One of the best things about visiting family is that everyone wants to play with Violet, which gives me more time to READ! Here are my thoughts on the three books I read over vacation:
1. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
I loved this book. It was engaging, and I hardly put it down once I started it, but it was deep too. This is the second book I've read by Ann Patchett, and I have absolutely loved both. It is about these scientists that are doing research in the Amazon because they found this tribe of natives where the women are bearing healthy children into their eighties. So they are trying to develop a fertility drug. There are some really interesting themes of child-bearing and fertility, but also about social constructs and native traditions. Plus there were like 3 twists in the ending! I love twist endings!
2. The Death of Ivan Ilyich
I completed my mini-resolution to read something by Charles Dickens and something by a Russian by reading this book. And you guys were right. Russians are depressing.
3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
An oldie but a goodie! It has actually been years since I read this book. Probably since just before the seventh book came out. In my memory, the HP books got better and better with each one, so I always think of the first one as kind of childish and not that great (compared to the other HP books. Always great compared to most other books). But this time as I read it, I was struck by how awesome it was! There are some details in the first one that JK comes back to many books later and makes into an important part of the story. For example, in one part, Harry says that he thinks that Snape can read his mind. And then in the 5th book, it is revealed that he is a great occlumense. Cool.
I will leave you with a quote about Harry Potter that I read recently from an article titled "10 Books to read to your daughter (or how to keep your daughter from ending up like that horrid girl from Twilight)":
You’d be hard pressed to find a book series with better female characters. ... I love that Rowling can depict a strong, brave, capable, intelligent, and compassionate woman in such a variety of characters: a middle-aged stay-at-home mom of seven, a pink-haired dark wizard catcher, an elderly spinster teacher, and an overachieving teenaged student, to name a few. If my girl emulates Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Ginny Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks, Minerva McGonagall, or, of course, my beloved Molly Weasley, I’ll be a happy mama. And it doesn’t hurt that the whole plot pivots around the sacrifice of one amazing mother (Lily Potter) for her son.