February Reading

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So I’ve been a bit MIA the past couple days due to it being the end of the trimester and all. (Seriously, I was at my school until almost 10 o’clock on Thursday night finishing up all my grading. It was awful.)

But I couldn’t resist posting about the books I’ve been reading because they were both just so delicious. So here you go: two short reviews that will hopefully whet your appetite to pick up one of these little beauties.

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Okay, so I might be about three years behind the bandwagon on this one. Truthfully, when I first heard of the book, I wasn’t even sure I’d pick it up. I mean, a woman who decides she just doesn’t want to deal with her life anymore, gets a divorce, and then runs off to go “find herself” in exotic locations? It definitely sounded like a self-centered, “woe is me” kind of book.

VERY happily for me (and for all who have read it), it is not like that [hardly] at all. I actually found the writing charming, intelligent, and ultimately motivating–it encouraged me to look at my own life and whether or not I’m fully pursuing pleasure, spirituality, and balance. I also loved the fascinating bits of religion, culture, and history that were interwoven throughout all the stories of her time spent in Italy, India, and Indonesia. Surprisingly, I actually learned a ton while reading this book.

My only complaint? Well, there are two. I disliked her usage of explicit language sometimes throughout the text, and I thought the whole thing got a little, well, weird at the end. A bit TMI, in a lot of ways.

But other than that, this is a book that I have been recommending right and left because I think it can by life-changing, if you let it.

My Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Room by Emma Donoghue

Okay, I’ll admit–I actually finished this book yesterday (in March). But I had been reading it for half the month, so I figured it was okay to sneak it into my post on what I’d read in February.

Room is the story of a mother and her five-year-old son who have been living in an 11 x 11 foot shed ever since the mother had been kidnapped seven years before. Their captor has escape-proofed the room so that the two would never be able to cut or dig their way out, and he only provides the minimum for them to live on. Although the mother has to deal with the brutal reality of being raped multiple times every week and not being able to escape to the world she knows is out there, she creates a breathtakingly beautiful (and normal) life for her son by making do with the little they have, teaching him all that she knows, and more than anything, giving him her unconditional love.

Room is told through the son’s perspective, so this book really does not go into explicit detail on the more disturbing aspects of the story (for which I was grateful). Even though I was wary of picking this book up because it seemed so, well, depressing, I am SO glad I did. Room is the story of the power of perspective, the power of a mother’s undying love for her child, and the power of the human imagination. It has a Life is Beautiful feel to it, and you will come away uplifted and inspired about the ability of the human heart to overcome even the most difficult of circumstances.

I highly recommend it.

My Rating: 5 stars

Have you read either of these two books? If so, what did you think?

And, just as important . . . what should I read next?

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