Saturday, June 20, 2015

Recent Reads - 6/20/2015

Another round up post, since I haven't read deeply enough for a substantial review lately. Audiobooks have been my go-to, keeping me moving through books when I can't find the time to sit down with a paper copy. All three of these had spot-on audio narration as well!

"The Room" by Jonas Karlsson, translated by Neil Smith

I'm glad Michael on Books on the Nighstand pointed me in the direction of this quirky little gem. Bjorn works in an office in Stockholm, and doesn't fit in too well with his co-workers. He's delighted to find a quiet room in the office where he can get his work done efficiently. His co-workers insist the room doesn't exist, however. Are they messing with him? His Bjorn delusional? This is a quick, fun read that will keep you pondering through the end, and Bjorn is a chuckle-inducing protagonist who manages to be both grating and endearing. Recommended for friends of "Office Space" and "The Office," or anyone looking for a brief palate-cleanser or something different.

"The Lifeboat" by Charlotte Rogan

Grace survived the sinking of the ocean liner carrying her and her new husband to America, only to be put on trial for the events that occurred prior to her rescue. Lucky enough to snag a spot on a lifeboat as the ship sank, Grace must navigate both the interpersonal perils and basic survival while awaiting rescue with only a few dozen others. As the struggle to survive becomes more dire, impossible choices must be made, and those choices result in the trial in which we first meet Grace at the onset of the book. She is a fascinating heroine who is trapped by the conventions of her time but so determined to survive that she will pick and choose the conventions that best promote her personal survival. This would make an excellent book club pick, with its fast-paced, slightly mysteriously plot, and weighty moral questions.

"The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey" by Candice Millard

A colleague recommend this book, and I checked it out from Overdrive immediately. The perfect example of non-fiction that reads like a novel, this book describes Teddy Roosevelt's journey to explore the River of Doubt in the Amazon jungle following his failed bid for re-election to the presidency. I knew going in that Roosevelt did not die in South America, yet this book was so well-written and engaging that it had me concerned over his immediate safety and re-thinking my knowledge of American history. Kyle even ended up listening along for the last two hours, every bit as enthralled as I was. Highly recommended for history buffs and fans of adventure tales.

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