Short month means short books! Ha! I read four books this month. Three were fairly short, under 300 pages while one was over. Two of the books I read with my teenage students, who are studying literature with me online, which means the other two were for my nighttime reading.
First up was Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis. You know how after you read a really good book, it’s hard to find a follow up? That’s how I felt about The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama. Sometimes I still get faint dreamy impressions of the novel.
I started reading some books on my Kindle but couldn’t get into anything, so I kept going farther and further back in my library until I found Out of the Silent Planet. It was different and weird enough to get my attention.
It’s a sci-fi novel first published in 1938 (!) but it holds up well like other vintage sci-fi greats like The Time Machine by H.G. Wells and The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is wonderful. I was gobsmacked to learn that Susan wrote the book when she was in high school. Published in 1968, it tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis, a greaser, and his family & friends, and their fights with the ‘socs’ or socials (rich kids). The book was also banned for its gang violence which these days seem quaint in comparison. Highly recommend.
When doing research on what to read with a 16 year old girl who doesn’t like to read, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky came up. It’s considered the most re-read book among young people. So I was taken aback by its content: drinking and drugs, making out, sex, rape, abuse, but it’s such a good story. I recommended it for my nephew via my brother. Chbosky does a remarkable job encapsulating those teenage years and feelings.
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman was recommended by my dear British friend, Henry, who has introduced me to British panel shows and P. G. Wodehouse.
So when texting, he asked if I knew Richard Osman, the comedian, freaky tall like Greg Davies, from all those panel shows, and I said yes, wears glasses, famous for saying ‘there’s strength in arches’ on Taskmaster. Yes, yes, yes! He wrote a book. What?
So impressed with little Richard. As soon as you start, you fall in love with the geriatrics trying to solve a murder, and I started to think about how good this will be as a film or TV adaptation, and how this needs to be a series, so I was over the moon to see that book 2 is in the works. Some good laughs, surprisingly touching, and despite my adoration and fascination for all things British, I still had to look up some vocab specific to the Isles. Dang it!
How were your February reads? Any recommendations?