I’ve been on a huge reading kick lately! Instead of dedicating a post to each of these books, especially since I didn’t particularly love all of them, I thought I would sum up a few of my thoughts about each. I’m dying to know what you guys think about these books, so let me know if you’ve read them and tell me your thoughts!
1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist is the story of a boy named Santiago who embarks on a journey from Spain to Egypt to fulfill his “Personal Legend.” In the book, a Personal Legend is the thing you most want to accomplish in life. Everyone has a Personal Legend, but a lot a lot of people never accomplish their Personal Legend. Santiago’s is to find a treasure buried in the Pyramids.
The novel’s main message becomes clear early on: “when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Obviously the author wants to use this story about Santiago to inspire readers to follow their dreams and never give up, no matter what. It’s a beautiful idea, something that absolutely inspires me to push forward. So I can see how this book has inspired so many people, but I felt like the messages were a bit obvious, overly done, and, at times, condescending. Overall, I thought that this book read as more of a “self-help” book than a piece of literature, a little too preachy/cliche for me.
2. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Where to begin with this book? I remember when it came out and I feel like I had been wanting to read it for so long. In a post-apolyptic America that has burned to ash from an unknown cause, a father and young son try to survive. They walk toward the coast, not knowing what they will find, but hoping it is better than where they came from. That’s it. They walk.
I wanted to love this book. I love the concept for this book. So I feel bad saying this, but I did not like this book at all. I couldn’t connect with the author’s writing style. Sometimes, rules are broken for a reason, but there just didn’t seem to be a reason for so many fragments. Some sentences barely made any sense and the others just said the same thing over and over. I thought the characters were not developed at all and the plot didn’t seem to go anywhere. Maybe that was the point, but it just didn’t work for me. I was really disappointed.
3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I have a confession to make. I never read any of the books I was supposed to read in high school. When my brother was here, we wandered into a bookstore and told me that To Kill a Mockingbird was one of his favorite books ever, something that he thinks everyone should read. He couldn’t believe that I had never read it and bought a beautiful hardcover copy for me. I thought that was so sweet!
I loved this book. I loved the characters. They were real, and I feel like Atticus, Scout, Boo Radley, and Tom Robinson will always hold a special place in my heart. Even though I already knew the story and the outcome, I loved the writing and the way that Harper Lee made me feel as though I was a part of Scout’s life. The novel doesn’t leave everyone with happy endings; Harper Lee’s novel makes us comes to terms with the best and the worst that is in all of us. To me that’s what makes it such a great novel – it is honest and real.
4. Bossypants by Tina Fey
I absolutely love Tina Fey and I thought her book was very good. It was a quick read — I read the whole thing on a flight from New York to Hawaii! 30 Rock is one of my favorite shoes ever so I loved hearing her talk about the show, the way it almost failed, and how it turned around. I thought her discussion about the writers was fascinating too – she wrote about each of the writers and her favorite jokes that they wrote.
I respected the fact that she didn’t feel like she had to talk about every single aspect of her personal life. Yet she was surprisingly frank and open about other areas of her life. I love that Tina Fey is not afraid to do what she wants, is not afraid to be who she is. Again the friendship between Tina Fey and Amy Poehler continues to inspire me, and I really loved everything she had to say about Amy — particularly, a moment when Amy had first started at SNL made Tina so proud.
Favorite chapters: “I Don’t Care if You Like It,” and “The Mother’s Prayer for her Daughter.”
What are you reading lately? I always am looking for more books to read!