Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Recent reads that I have enjoyed

I'm not only an author, but I am also an avid reader of many genres. I've decided to share with you some of the more recent reads that I have enjoyed over the past year or so. There are more than I have listed here. These are the first few that have stuck out in my mind.


Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who's always taken orders quietly, but lately she's unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She's full of ambition, but without a husband, she's considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town...
Comment: I loved this book. It made me sad in places, but it also had many laugh out loud moments. The characters are original and endearing. Set around the civil rights movement, this is a read not to be missed. Minnie's pie was one of my favorite scenes!

Tommy and Nathan Bishop are as different as two brothers can be. Carefree and careless, Tommy is the golden boy who takes men into his bed with a seductive smile and turns them out just as quickly. No one can resist him - and no one can control him, either. That salient point certainly isn't lost on his brother. Nathan is all about control. At thirty-one, he is as dark and complicated as Tommy is light and easy, and he is bitter beyond his years. While Tommy left for the excitement of New York City, Nathan has stayed behind, teaching high school English in their provincial hometown, surrounded by the reminders of their ruined family history and the legacy of anger that runs through him like a scar. Now, Tommy has come home to the family cottage by the sea for the summer, bringing his unstable, sexual powder keg of an entourage - and the distant echoes of his family's tumultuous past - with him. Tommy and his lover Philip are teetering on the brink of disaster, while their married friends, Camille and Kyle, perfect their steps in a dance of denial, each partner pulling Nathan deeper into the fray. And when one of Nathan's troubled students, Simon, begins visiting the house, the slow fuse is lit on a highly combustible mix. During a heady two-week party filled with drunken revelations, bitter jealousies, caustic jabs, and tender reconciliations, Tommy and Nathan will confront the legacy of their twisted family history - the angry, abusive father and the tragic death of their mother - and finally, to the one secret that has shaped their entire lives. It is a summer that will challenge everything Nathan remembers and unravel Tommy's carefully constructed facade, drawing them both unwittingly into a drama with echoes of the past . . . one with unforeseen and very dangerous consequences.
Comment: I really enjoyed this book. The characters were refreshing and interesting. Each character had their own story, and I was kept turning the pages as one dramatic scene unfolded after another.

This book isn't for anyone who's easily offended. There's incest frank and scenes of child abuse that could be disturbing to some. I did find that the author handled the topics well, and they weren't just tossed in there for shock value.
Army Medic, Private Michael Crest, is quite content in his life with the exception of one thing—he’s in need of a good man and has his sights set on another medic, Specialist Jared Prophet. The problem? Jared’s in deep denial about his sexuality. After an unexpected, erotic exchange, Jared decides his only recourse is to distance himself from Michael and plans a trip to his family’s lake-house with friends, which would have worked, if one of his friends hadn’t invited Michael to tag along. As a tropical storm hits the Texas Gulf Coast, the two men give into unbridled passion. But more than the weather gets rough when the storm passes and Jared learns his parents are among the missing. Can the lovers endure the fallout or will unearthed truths prove more devastating than any natural disaster? After all, just because they aren’t gonn a ask, doesn’t mean they want you to tell… 
Comment: I liked that practically nothing was perfect for either character. Both had their own stories, and issues which came out as the story progressed. At times Jared came across as an ass, but I can see where he was coming from as certain things about his past were revealed.
In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele -- Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor and Ray Charles.
Comment: This is a great autobiography. It gives great insight and shows readers what it was like to have the stigma of mental illness attached to a person(Especially a woman) during the 60's. I'm glad to say that things have changed immensely since then! It shows that as a whole society has come a long way to understanding mental illness.

This book was made into a movie. The two are vastly different in many ways. Lisa is in the book, but her story isn't much like the movie portrayed her. If you're looking for a carbon copy of the money, this book isn't it. So keep that in mind.