More Great September Reads

Last Monday I blogged (Some Great September Reads) about five of the nine books I read in September. Today I’ll tell you about the other four books I read.

The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman

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The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. I chose it to fulfill an item on my 2017 Reading Challenge – a book set in Australia in the 1920s. It was published in 2012, so I’m a little slow getting around to it.

The Light Between Oceans is a story about good people making bad decisions for all the right reasons. Tom and Isabel Sherbourne live alone on a remote Australian island where Tom is the lighthouse keeper. Their world is turned upside down the day a boat washes up on the shore. In the boat are a man’s body and a wee baby.

Isabel has been unable to carry a baby to full-term, and her multiple miscarriages have taken an emotional toll on her and on tom. Do they keep the baby and claim it is their own, or do they report the incident and risk having to return the baby girl to her biological mother?

The Gifts of Imperfection, by Dr. Brené Brown

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The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown, Ph.D., L.M.S.W.

My niece recently introduced me to the writings of Dr. Brené Brown. In September I read her book, The Gifts of Imperfection. Dr. Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston. She has studied courage, vulnerability, empathy, and shame for 16 years.

I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Brown speak in Charlotte on September 14, thanks to my niece. It was a wonderful evening. Dr. Brown “tells it like it is,” as the saying goes.

Here’s a quote from the book I read:

“The greatest challenge for most of us is believing that we are worthy now, right this minute. Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites.” – Dr. Brené Brown in The Gifts of Imperfection

I look forward to reading other books by Dr. Brown.

The Saboteur, by Andrew Gross

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The Saboteur, by Andrew Gross

I rarely listen to a book on CD but, as I mentioned in my blog last week, I listened to The Saboteur, by Andrew Gross. It is a thriller based on a true story about a mission by The Allies in 1943 to destroy a “heavy water” laboratory the Germans had built in Norway. “Heavy water” is another name for a hydrogen isotope called deuterium oxide. Germany needed to produce just a small additional amount of heavy water in order to have enough to make an atomic bomb.

The Allies and the Germans were both trying to create an atomic bomb. If this German plant in Norway was not destroyed, the Germans could have developed the atomic bomb first and won World War II. To say that would have changed the course of history would be a vast understatement.

The descriptions of the training and experiences this team of Allies had – which included traversing on skis and surviving in dangerously cold conditions – reminded me of a 91-year-old friend of mine. He served in the United States Army, 10th Mountain Division in Europe in World War II.

The Saboteur is the second of Andrew Gross’s historical thrillers I’ve read. Having read The One Man, I expected to enjoy The Saboteur. I was not disappointed.

Gone Without a Trace, by Mary Torjussen

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Gone Without a Trace, by Mary Torjussen

Gone Without a Trace is Mary Torjusussen’s debut novel. From the blurb on the back of the book, I thought I knew what I was getting into by checking it out from the public library; however, this book was full of surprises.

This is a psychological thriller that turned out to be about domestic abuse, but it takes an unexpected slant on the subject. Is one of the main characters suffering from mental illness or is someone trying to make her think she or he is? I’ll just leave it at that. If you like psychological thrillers, I think you’ll like this one.

Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read. I’m still reading Love and Other Consolation Prizes, by Jamie Ford and listening to A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles on CD.­­­­­­­

If you’re a writer, I hope you have productive writing time.

Janet

Description Written by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors. She has a talent for addressing difficult topics in her fiction writing that makes the reader wrestle with a moral issue. In her most recent novel, Great Small Things, she tackles race relations in America.

Great Small Things focuses on a nurse of one race and a couple of another race whose baby is in a life-or-death situation. If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend that you do.

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Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult

In Small Great Things, Turk Bauer is a white racist. Ms. Picoult could have written pages of prose to describe Mr. Bauer’s personality and demeanor, but she was able to sum it up in the following sentence:

“Turk Bauer makes me think of a power line that’s snapped during a storm, and lies across the road just waiting for something to brush against it so it can shoot sparks.” – Jodi Picoult in Small Great Things.

What a vivid picture! If you read nothing else about Turk Bauer, that one sentence would tell you pretty much all you needed to know about him. I hope I can write character descriptions like that some day!

More and more I’m learning that in order to be a good writer, a person needs to read a lot. I’m so absorbed in reading books this year that I have spent very little time writing. I need to strike a happy medium and make time for both, but the public library has so many good books and a number of my favorite authors have new books being released in October. As the saying goes, “So many books, so little time!”

Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read. I’m listening to a novel on CD, The Saboteur, by Andrew Gross. I read The One Man, by Andrew Gross, last year and blogged about it (What I read in November.) I’ve wanted to read some of Mr. Gross’s other books ever since.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I generally don’t like to listen to books on CD. The waitlist at the public library for Mr. Gross’s latest novel was shorter for the CD than for any other format, so I decided to give it a try.

Listening to a book on CD usually gets on my last nerve; however, I’ve worked out a routine, with The Saboteur. I listen to one disc each day, which takes a little more than one hour. I use that time to do my physical therapy exercises for my shoulder. I like being able to get two things accomplished at the same time, and I’m finding that the length of one disc is about my attention limit.

What about you?

Do you prefer to read a traditional paper book, listen to a book on CD, or read a book on an electronic device? There is no right or wrong answer. Aren’t we fortunate to live in a time when there are books available in many different formats?

Janet