Although the "project" (aka the new (old) house renovation) is winding down, I still found some time to read and work on my New Year's resolution to read more books this year. Actually, this is probably the only resolution that I could continue this long because it is something I really wanted to do. It might be said that this isn't a valid resolution, but to me, it is!
Regardless, here are my reads for August:
The Help Kathryn Stockett
Tell Me Where It Hurts Nick Trout
Mistress of the Game Tilly Bagshawe
A Room Swept White Sophie Hannah
Again, it is a diverse set of books. The Help by Kathryn Stockett is the story of three women living in Mississippi in the early sixties. Two of the women are maids in well-to-do households. Since they are African-American women, this is about the only job that is available to them. The third woman is a woman who has just graduated from college and is expected to get married. She'd rather become a journalist, and these three women come together to write stories...stories of the "help", that is stories from these maids' point-of-view. While the novel is fictional, the reality is that the stories are not and makes for a very compelling read. I have to say that I actually rooted for Minnie and cheered the comeuppance of her previous employer. Or to quote Harry Potter (from the third movie), "She deserved what she got!"
Dr. Nick Trout, author of Tell Me Where It Hurts, writes a nonfiction about the day in the life of a veterinarian. Drawing on all of his experiences as a veterinary surgeon, he starts his day at 2:47am with an emergency surgery of Sage,a dog, with a dangerous gastrointestinal condition. Throughout the book, Dr. Trout discusses different situations including euthanasia. He continually updates Sage's touch-and-go condition throughout the book. Although there are some sad stories, there are also humorous and upbeat stories about his patients and their families. The book ends with one last update on Sage. All in all, it was a thoroughly interesting, enjoyable read with some heartfelt moments.
Switching gears, I read Tilly Bagshawe's Mistress of the Game. Writing in the style of Sidney Sheldon, Tilly Bagshawe writes the story of the next generation of the family first introduced in Master of the Game. Some of the characters may be new, but the same intrigues play out as the Blackwell grandchildren are pitted against each other in the quest to run Kruger-Brent, the company started by their ancestor. While not written as well as Sheldon, it was still a thriller that was worth reading, and I intend to read her next "Sidney Sheldon" novel.
Last, but not least, I read Sophie Hannah's A Room Swept White. This is the second novel of Hannah that I have read. Once again, she wrote a very compelling, intricate story. Like Little Face, it is written about young mothers and their children. In this one, it is about SIDS, or cot death, as it is called in the United Kingdom, and the women who are accused and convicted of killing their infants. Several women are eventually released in what is called "miscarriages of justice", but someone has killed at least one of them, and others appear to be next. A woman, Fliss Benson, is trying to get to get to the bottom of the mystery, and it is a mystery until nearly the last page. I received this book as a book ring book from another bookcrossing.com member and I was glad I participated in it.
As August ends, I am starting two novels, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa Yee (another book ring book from another bookcrossing.com member) and Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell (The Book Exchange* book for September). Based on just these two books, it looks like it could be another month of diverse reads while we finish up our "project".
* The Book Exchange is the name of the library book group in which I participate (and has helped me to get out of my comfort zone and thus, more willing to read more diverse material).
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association