Book Club is hands down the most active group in my Air Force spouses’ group I am in and I am so grateful! Knowing that I will meet with these ladies once a month to discuss a book – good or bad – is great. I highly recommend starting one or joining one if you enjoy reading. I don’t read as much now as I did in college, but book club has gotten me back into reading actively. Because of that – I’m back with some more reviews and books on my to-read list.
Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
One of the women in my book club had already read this young adult trilogy, comprised of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay and highly recommended it. We decided to read The Hunger Games for one of our meetings. If you haven’t already read it or heard the buzz about it, here is a short synopsis. In the future, North America has been destroyed by natural disasters and has risen out of the ashes as Panem. Panem is divided up in 12 districts and the very wealthy Capital. Every year, one boy and one girl (ages 12–18) are selected by lottery to compete in the Hunger Games – a reality-show-style competition where the 24 contestants are forced to eliminate each other until one is still standing while the rest of the nation watches. The first book follows Katniss, who volunteered for District 12 after her younger sister Prim was selected from the lottery. Katniss heads to the Capital with her male counterpart Peeta and we read as they are matched against those who have prepared their whole lives for the Games.
This series – thus far – has been awesome. Although there have been comparisons to the other young adult series – Twilight – that has taken the world by storm, that doesn’t even come close to the fantastic writing and storytelling in the The Hunger Games trilogy. Tons of suspense and a little romance makes for a very entertaining read. I could not put The Hunger Games down. I read a couple of chapters two nights in a row and then stayed up way too late reading the rest in one night. I wanted to immediately move onto Catching Fire, but didn’t want to have them confused for book club, so the night after our meeting I stayed up and read the second book right away. I am currently rereading the first and second books before I move onto the third and final one, which I hear is pretty heartbreaking. I highly recommend. Grade: A+++, a must-read
Saving Ceecee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
After her mother former Southern beauty queen Camille dies, Cecelia Rose Honeycutt moves from Ohio to Savannah, Georgia to live with her great-aunt Tootie. Cecelia’s life in Ohio had been marred by her mother’s mental illness and her father’s cold personality. While in Savannah, Cecelia becomes friends with the eccentric group of women in her aunt’s life. Ever since The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, friendships between Southern woman has been a hot topic for women’s literature. This book has some stereotypes and is pretty fluffy, but I did enjoy it as did most of the ladies in the book club. We read this following The Hunger Games, so the more lighthearted story was very welcome. Grade: B
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacey Schiff
A much lauded biography of Cleopatra, one of the most famous female leaders of all time. Everyone was talking about this book, so when one of the members of book club suggested we read a biography we all thought Cleopatra: A Life was a great idea. It was chosen as one of Martha’s Picks and it seemed everyone loved it. I am not normally much into biographies of historical figures – those are my husband’s first choice – but I figured we’d give it a go! That’s the best thing about book club, the opportunity to read things you wouldn’t normally and step out of your reading zone. Well, ha! That horribly backfired. I couldn’t get through 50 pages of it, and most of the ladies in my book club stopped right around there. The thing about Cleopatra that no one mentions is that – there isn’t a lot of recorded history about her life. This book was not told chronologically, jumped around from one historical figure to the next and just made for an incredibly confusing read. Only one member read the whole thing – she was a history major and is a huge history buff, and even she didn’t care for it. I’m guessing some might disagree, but this one just wasn’t for me! Grade: D
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana DeRosnay
Another historical fiction choice (which seems to be popular with my group of ladies), this book is a look at the 1942 round-up of Jewish families in Paris. The book is interlaced with a present day story of an American journalist living in Paris who is investigating the details of the round-up for her magazine. She discovers a secret her French husband’s family has kept for years in the process. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, but I have always loved fiction surrounding World War II. If you are into historical fiction, I definitely recommend this book!
I still have quite a bit of reading to do from the list I mentioned in my last book club post, but I still have some books to add to it.
I finally bought the first Harry Potter book and as soon as I am finished with the Hunger Games I will be getting started on it. I am hoping to get a lot of reading done this summer! I also recently joined Goodreads to keep track of books and see what my friends are reading. If you’d like to, you can follow me there.
What books are you reading while you’re on the beach this summer? What are your favorite summer books?