For the months of May & June, my book club gave us the option of reading one of two books (or both): Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen or I Heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk. Since I’ve been up to my ears in Lindsey Kelk (the first two selections were Lindsey Kelk’s first two books in the series) and I have had Water for Elephants on my shelf and to be read list a while, I chose Water for Elephants.
I just started to read the book on my lunch break today, and so far, I love it. Jacob’s narration is cantankerous and funny. Even though Gruen is building a world, you don’t see any of the heavy lifting in the language. The introspective and wisened speech fits an older person perfectly, whereas in another book with another narrator, she couldn’t get away with imparting such wisdom and reflection without any real catalyst. Suffice it to say I like the narrator.
There are so many little vignettes in the first few pages, jaggedly put together pieces like watching footage from a shaky camera, you’re just as disoriented as the narrator. It’s been a while since I’ve read something that employed its structure to convey feeling along with its words. Kudos to you, Gruen.
The characterization is believable and done with flair. In the first few sentences introducing a character, you instantly get a feel for who he or she is: the retired barrister, the old ladies, the nurses, the tease, the police superintendent–all distinct and clearly drawn by their introductions. It’s hard to say how the characterization will go as characters continue to be introduced, but so far, I like how this is shaping up.
In short, I was hooked from the first page. I can’t wait to crawl back under the big top!
Needless to say, The Help has been moved down a space or two in the two be read list. I’m thinking of posting my reading list so you can read along with me. Research reading for the Marriage Kit project has been slow going lately. I don’t know if the book I am reading is going to help me along any, anyway. Our church has an upcoming gospel meeting/marriage seminar that may prove to be more indispensable.
I’ve been asked by a woman at church to help her with English. We tutor the children on the second and fourth Saturdays in their school work right now, and have extended the offer to anyone interested. She wants help with business writing, vocabulary building, grammar. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. I rarely have anyone to talk to about writing, let alone grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. I’ve been mentally going through what resources I have at hand and what resources I still need to get.
The other day, I was talking to my boyfriend and used a word he didn’t know. I don’t know if this happens to anyone else, but I always feel a little…embarrassed when this happens, as if I’m not supposed to know words that other people don’t know. Certainly, the last thing I want to do is beat people over the head with my vocabulary. I try to keep my conversational vocabulary toned down to everyday words, but I have a hard time with this when I know a better word for something. Sometimes I use words that people don’t know even without trying. Odd predicament to have, I’m sure.
Have any of your read any good books lately? What are your book clubs reading? Anyone want to read Water for Elephants with me?
- Rebecca Reviews “Water for Elephants” (cherylandrews.wordpress.com)
- Review: Water for Elephants (anietzerck.wordpress.com)
- Week Ten: Water for Elephants (kscian.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (imjustmea.wordpress.com)
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (caughtbetweenthepages.wordpress.com)
- Water for Elephants? More Like Meh for Elephants (pspostscript.wordpress.com)