Saturday, December 29, 2012
Book reviews 2012
Back in June I was engrossed in reading The Invisible Bridge, a story about a young Jewish man who is caught up in the horrors of World War II and beyond. The more than 600-page-long book took me into another place and time, and the author Julie Orringer created a world I couldn't leave behind. I highly recommend it. My sister Norma Jean also recommended that I read The Warmth of Other Suns, another tome, this one on the subject of the migration of blacks from the Deep South to other parts of the United States during the twentieth century. Isabel Wilkerson follows the lives of three people from their original homes to where they ended up. I loved this book. All three of the individuals were real people. A truly wonderful story.
I also read a book I enjoyed on introversion, which was recommended by a blogging friend: Quiet: The Power of Introverts. As a pronounced extrovert, I have always been curious about the inner lives of introverts, and this book confirmed a belief I have long held that introverts have many advantages over us extroverts. It was very educational. Then I read Jonah Lehrer's book on How We Decide, which I enjoyed very much (although the author has now become rather controversial, since he apparently seemed to plagiarize much of his work). However, the book was really engrossing and well written.
The last two books I recommend are Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, a very honest and revealing book written by Cheryl Strayed about how she decided to try to clean up her life by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail solo, when she had never backpacked a day in her life. It became an Oprah Book this year. And finally, I read The Life of Pi after seeing the movie. Since I saw the movie first, I had several aspects of the story clarified for me when I read the book. I think I actually enjoyed the book much more than the movie, although the movie was really good. I can understand how people must have wondered how the book could possibly be captured on film. But it was.
I will also do one of these reviews for my favorite movies of the year, but for now, this is already plenty long enough!