Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Book reviews: Alice, Dave & A Lost Boy

Whew! I'm finally caught up on book reviews. Now you probably won't get one for another month or so, seeing as how I'm moving in a week! Enjoy :) 

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

This was on my to read list and I have no idea where it came from but I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It was written in the 1950s about an Englishwoman, Jean Paget, who lived through World War II as a prisoner of war in Malaysia. She ends up inheriting a large sum of money and goes on quite the whirwind adventure (travels back to Malaysia and Australia). It's told from the perspective of lawyer turned friend which adds an interesting point of view and aspect of the story. I feel like I can't say much more because I'll ruin too much. I really did enjoy this book and feel like you should read it if you like books written in the 1950s (which I realize is a sweeping generalization about books written in that time period, but it's late and I'm not sure how else to sum it up). 
The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebowitz 

By now you know my affinity for food & travel books. Since this book is about a famous dessert chef living in Paris I figured, "what could be wrong with this book?" The answer: so much. Lebowitz's recipes may be outstanding but honestly his writing is not. He write trite chapters about how life in Paris is either horrible (the protests out side his window on a weekly basis) or awesome (the cheese). He ends each chapter with a redundant, rhetorical, "humorous" question in the most predictable way. I struggled through it in the worst way possible. I would definitely recommend other books instead (Toujours Provence by Peter Mayle perhaps).

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

I actually read this because it kept popping up in my search results for another book on my to do list (The Long Walk, which I still haven't read, if you are wondering). It's a young adult novel, based on the true story about a Lost Boy from Sudan named Salva. Park writes about Salva's life in a simplistic way while telling an excellent story. While I didn't love it I think it would be a great book to give to kids/teens to introduce them to the war in Sudan. Also, there is an excellent redeeming end to the story that is quite inspirational. Verdict: doesn't take long to read but isn't entirely compelling. 

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