Author: Marcus Low
Published: April 1, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Barry James is detained in a quarantine facility in the blistering heat of the Great Karoo. Here he exists in two worlds: the discordant and unforgiving reality of his incarceration and the lyrical, snowy landscapes of his dreams. He has cut all ties with his previous life, his health is failing, and he has given up all hope. All he has to cling to are the meanderings of his restless mind, the daily round of pills and the journals he reluctantly keeps as testimony to a life once lived.
And then there’s an opportunity to escape. But to escape what? And where to? Can there be a life to go back to? Is there still a world out there in the barren wasteland beyond the fence?
A dystopian story of quarantine and death. Enough said. Of course I was going to read this book and I’m so glad I did! A hospital quarantining a group of men with a dangerous and untreatable strain of lung disease. Yay, hospitals! At first, I felt like I had no idea what was going on. However, the more I read, the more I understood. While there is some action that takes place, it’s a very philosophical and emotional read. There’s also a bit of conspiracy sprinkled in. Overall, it’s an interesting book and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a fascinating read!
Lord of the Flies
Author: William Golding
Published: September 17, 1954
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
As provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, Lord of the Flies continues to ignite passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. William Golding’s compelling story about a group of very ordinary boys marooned on a coral island has been labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, and even a vision of the apocalypse. But above all, it has earned its place as one of the indisputable classics of the twentieth century for readers of any age:
At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate. This far from civilization they can do anything they want. Anything. But as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far removed from reality as the hope of being rescued.
What. A. Read. I mean holy cow! I’ll admit that I should have read Lord of the Flies many years ago, but for whatever reason, I just read it recently. I’m actually glad I didn’t read it in high school, ‘cuz I guarantee you, I wouldn’t have understood, nor appreciated it. Plus, I wouldn’t let most teens read it anyway. It’s incredibly mature for teens and I’m not sure it can be justified as high school reading. Maybe senior year . . . Maybe.
It started off slow. I had no idea what was happening. As with much great literature, Lord of the Flies is all about the journey, the growth. I spent most of the book trying to understand what the heck Golding was trying to say. Ivan and my dad kept telling me to stick with it, the ending will be worth it, you’ll get it at the end. That’s the reason it’s getting 4 stars, it did get a bit monotonous in the middle and there was no end in sight. It did get a little frustrating. But I kept reading, and boy were they right! The end is everything! It all comes down to one line and it reveals the entire reason Golding wrote Lord of the Flies. I can’t quote it ‘cuz I don’t want to spoil it. I would absolutely recommend that every college student be required to read Lord of the Flies. And anyone who hasn’t read it yet, needs to! An excellent book!
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Published: April 1, 2014
Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dates Read: December 15-23, 2019
As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.
We are not quite novels.
We are not quite short stories.
In the end, we are collected works.
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island—from Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who persists in taking the ferry to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, he can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.
And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, though large in weight—an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J., for the determined sales rep Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light, for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world. Or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming.
Poor AJ Fikry has had a difficult time in his life lately:
His wife has passed away, his bookshop is not making sales like it should and now a prized possession is stolen! Life can’t possibly get any worse can it? No, in fact it can go in a complete 180!
This was a very enjoyable audiobook. At first AJ is not likeable at all, but over time he and his story grow on you. Maybe there are second chances after all.
If you are a bibliophile like me, you will enjoy this book as it is set in a bookstore! (Books Galore!) I would stay away from other reviews and even other book descriptions, as they give away what this mysterious package is. The book description that I first read did, and I wish I had not known. Go into this book knowing as little as possible and you will be sure to enjoy it![Top]