This month I read good books. They were very different, but solid. If you are looking for something to read this holiday season, any of those below are worth it to pick up. Also, next month I have an interview with Kendra Highley, author of Sidelined! The Circle by Dave Eggers - Dave Eggers makes you think about the world we live in and the future with his book The Circle. The book is a work of fiction, but it easy to see a parallel future in our world of technology and social media. Essentially, Eggers wants us to think about the important of privacy in this new world of technology. The novel follows Mae, a young woman who gets a job in customer experience (or service) at The Circle thanks to her friend Annie. As the novel progresses, Mae gets further involved in the Circle and ultimately decides transparency is the only way. I though the writing was good, but the characters could have used more depth. I didn't like Mae as the novel progressed, but that didn't stop me from reading. The Circle makes you think and its definitely worth the read. 6 out of 7 stars
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini - Khaled Hosseini is a great storyteller. I have no doubt about his ability to create intricate characters and beautiful sentences. But, it's impossible for me to not compare this book with his earlier works. The Kite Runner is one of my all time favorites (and I recently read it again - holds up). And the Mountains Echoed is a solid book, but not on the level of The Kite Runner. My main complaint is Hosseini spent time with many different characters who are loosely tied together, but I wish he spent more time with the main characters - Pari and Abdullah. I wanted more about them. But overall, it's another great book about life, set against the backdrop of Afghanistan and tough situations. 6 out of 7 stars
Sidelined by Kendra C. Highley - Sidelined is a contemporary young adult novel about a basketball star, Genna, who suffers a serious injury. She loses basketball and struggles to piece her life back together as she also battles an addiction to painkillers. I thought the book was a solid contemporary YA book. Genna is a flawed character, but realistic character. At times, I thought Jake seemed a little too good to be true, but I suppose his backstory made up for it. I think this book could really help other teens or young adults who face a similar situation where they need to rethink their future. 5 out of 7 stars
Writer Dad by Sean Platt - Writer Dad is a memoir of Sean Platt's journey into writing full time. I follow Sean's podcast and was eager to read his book to learn more about how he got to his current writing life. He is extremely honest about the mistakes he made along the way and he pressed through the rough times to become a successful indie author. This book is more memoir then writing or publishing advice although he does give some helpful tips along the way. The book gave me hope knowing a successful writing career takes time, hard work, and support from your loved ones. 4 out of 7 stars
What are you reading this holiday season?
Rating System Guide
7 stars = Phenomenal book - one of the best book's I've read
6 stars = Great book - worth your time to read
5 stars = Solid book, if you like the genre pick it up
4 stars = Okay book, maybe lacking something in the way of language, character development, story
3 stars = I probably should have stopped reading this book.
1 or 2 stars = Serious issues with plot, structure, language, or not a book for me.