08 August 2012

Six+ month review

Anyone want to explain to me how it is already August?! 

I have been reading a lot (ok and watching Game of Thrones, too. Have you seen series one?? So good!) but I am still struggling with finishing books. I have so many things going on and sometimes my books end up on the back burner. It doesn't mean I'm reading boring books, or that I don't want to read. Promise. Sometimes stuff gets in the way, life gets in the way, or I just choose to read slowly. 
However, I've just learned a very important lesson: apparently, I can finish a fairly long book if I just put my mind to it and choose to do it.

I check out a book called I am forbidden by Anouk Markovits sometime at the end of June...and didn't get around to reading it until about 4 days before it was due. I was busy reading Good Omens, trying to get through The Wizard of Earthsea and starting a new book was not in my plans. And then I got hooked on Eureka and lost about two weeks of my life.  Not that that is a bad thing...never! It just well...anyway. Back to the book.
I read two nights hardcore. I mean I went to bed early and propped myself up with pillows and just read. During coffee the next morning, I read. I would get comfy and read after work, get ready for bed and read some more. I put such a hurting on that book! I will confess that I was more in a hurry to finish the book than I was to understand the book at times. I did lose my place a few times in the narrative, but I was able to pick it back up. 

I first heard about the book from Goodreads (which tells me that though I am at 54% of my reading goal, at my current pace I am 2 books behind schedule. Thanks guys.). Actually, the Goodreads monthly newsletter accounts for most of my "new" finds these days. I love it. 
At first, the book seemed to be about a couple of Jewish kids during and after the war.  Not quite. It tracks the beginning of a Jewish family who takes in an orphaned Jewish girl, Mila, after the war. She becomes the oldest in the family, embracing and learning the ways of faith while the families natural daughter, Atara, questions the faith in a way that is only acceptable for men in the faith. She is repeatedly told that the questions she asks could be answered if she were a boy learning to be a rabbi. At the time and in culture, girls were raised with "enough" knowledge of the faith in order to raise a family in the proper Jewish way. 
Mila and Atara take different paths once they grow up and the book chronicles more of Mila's choices and legacy than her sister's. One reason I think this really works for the books is because even though Mila is supposedly the "better" daughter in keeping the Torah and the proper ways she is taught in order to raise a family, her choices aren't easy. How often are the stories we read about the rebel daughter picking her way through the tough of life because it is more interesting than the "perfect daughter" doing what is expected and having everything turn out ok? I think "I Am Forbidden" shows us that even the path that is considered right and proper has plenty of trouble and heartache of it's own. No one is safe. 

It was a bit of a juvenile read, but not to the point of being immature. There is a whole post I could write about the way Mila interprets the Torah when she is looking for answers, but I won't. If you do pick it up, let me tell you that there IS a glossary at the back of the book. I wish I had known that while I was wading through the many Hebrew & Yiddish words throughout the book.

I forgot to tell you that when it was all said and done, I was a few days late returning I am Forbidden. Oops. I am absolutely rubbish at library due dates. And when I just wasn't making progress on Good Omens, I broke down and headed over to my local used books store. One of the many benefits of Gently Used Books is that they have a search & reserve feature. So I emailed to see if they had Good Omens and The Wizard of Earthsea. They had both and reserved them for me to pick up later in the week. I own both now and was able to return my almost overdue library books without too much of a fuss. I'm trying to grow here, people. Really. 
I am almost done with Good Omens and when I'm done with that, I HAVE to pick up The Journal of Curious Letters...because it is due in 10 days. And I don't want another 3 days of intense reading with the purpose of "just getting through" a book. I want to enjoy and relish in the new adventures and characters without feeling rushed. 

Sorry the updates have been few and far between. I just have been behind on my reading. Though now I know that Goodreads is not-so-silently judging me about reaching my goal, I might just be a little more on top of my goals. 

1 comment:

sharon said...

Glad I finally found this blog. Now I want to read "I am forbidden" and maybe some of the others you talked about. I'll finish "The Confession" first and then we'll talk.