The past two weeks have been rather strange for me, reading-wise. I started six books but found it difficult to get any momentum to keep reading them…reading slump indeed!
But starting July 25, Unexpected Readathon Time will begin a weeklong event that I plan on participating in, partly to try to shake off this slump and partly because it’s going to be too hot to do anything else! I haven’t decided on my TBR, but I do have one more July pick and a library book to finish before the 31st, so we’ll see how that goes.
The Week in Books
Aue by Becky Manawatu — 4.5 out of 5 stars
An absolutely amazing debut from New Zealand author Becky Manawatu. Inspired by a tragedy that hit the author’s family, Aue is the story of two Maori brothers and a family split apart by drugs and gang violence. It’s violent, it’s heartbreaking, and it may be difficult to read at times, but the trials of these “stronger than they know” characters captured my attention and kept me reading well into the night. I will remember Ari, Beth, and Taukiri for a long time. Highly recommend.
Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of The Office by Brian Baumgartner and Ben Silverman — 4 out of 5 stars
I am a die-hard fan of The Office, both the British and American versions, so finding this at my local library was a must-read for me. This is a compilation of podcast interviews, featuring not only the actors (most of them, anyways) but some writers and producers as well. Sorry folks, there’s no dirt dishing here, but it does give fans a glimpse into the making of this beloved series and the strong relationships between the cast and crew.
You Will Be Safe Here by Damian Barr — 3.5 out of 5 stars
One of my July selections. Set in South Africa, this is a story in two timelines. The first is 1901, told through the diary of a woman who was forced from her home and relocated to a notorious concentration camp during the height of the second Boer War. The second part starts in 1976 and travels forward through 2015, where a “school” for troubled boys, New Dawn Safari Training Camp, will alter their lives forever as well. I agree with some of my fellow reviewers in that the first part of this book set in the concentration camp was much stronger and more engrossing than the modern storyline. The second part just seemed…detached is the only word that comes to mind. I would still strongly recommend giving this one a try, though, as it does deliver some powerful scenes.
Stay safe and Happy Reading!