Book Reviews · Other good stuff

Book Reviews: Look Alive Out There, Different Seasons, American War

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If you’ve read any of these I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.  Also tell me about what you are reading now. Anything good?

 

Look Alive Out There by Sloan Crosley

Look alive out there

If you are looking for the perfect summer read, look no further. My book club’s latest choice will leave you 100% satisfied. Sloan Crosley pieced together a collection of essays that had me laughing out loud, not just once, but often.

Sometimes I thought, “I could totally see this happening to me!”

Sometimes I thought, “This is outrageous!!”

Then sometimes I thought, “Well, that was unexpectedly poignant.”

Read it. You won’t be sorry.

 

Different Seasons by Stephen King; Novellas The Body and Apt Pupil

Different Seasons Apt Pupil and The Body

This was my pick for our book club a month or two ago. Originally published in 1982 it contains four novellas by Stephen King. We read two, The Body and Apt Pupil. I’m not an avid King reader, but my all time favorite movie Stand By Me is based on the novella The Body. I’ve known this for years and also know that books are usually better than the movies. I didn’t read it sooner because I actually thought the book wouldn’t compare to the movie. I was wrong.

While the novella and movie have their differences, each do the other justice. Even though there is lots of dirty language King also delivers some truly beautiful prose within the story, specially relating to the friendship of the two characters Gordy and Chris.  I’ve decided that the character Chris Chambers (played by River Phoenix) from the book and movie is my favorite fictional character. Not only was he my first crush, he was wise beyond his years.

Apt Pupil had a different affect. It made me squirm, which is probably more typical of other writings by King. It’s about a golden boy kid who discovers an older man in town is actually a Nazi war criminal in hiding. Instead of turning the old man in, the kid blackmails him. The two form a “friendship” where the old man is forced to tell and relive the crimes of his past. As the relationship continues each goes into their own downward spiral.

The other novellas in the book that we did not get to are Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption (film adaptation is The Shawshank Redemption) and The Breathing Method.

 

American War by Omar El Akkad

American War

The novel is set about 40 years in the future. The old divisions of the north and the south have resurfaced, and a second civil war has since been fought over fossil fuels. The map of the United States looks different thanks to climate change and political divisions. Chapters alternate between news clippings of how events progressed leading up to current day in the book and the main character’s story.

A young girl named Sarat lived on the Lousiana coast with her family until they had to relocate to a refugee camp on the Mississippi/Tennessee boarder. Life hardens Sarat, and as she grows up she becomes quietly instrumental in the southern rebellion.

I would not have ever picked up this book to read on my own, probably just based on the title alone. It was sent to me by a friend though; so I gave it a shot. I’m thankful I was pushed out of my reading comfort zone.

Even though the book is set in the future it often felt like I was reading about the past. It made me think of where we might be headed, how history can repeat itself, and why people end up making decisions that they do. It was thought provoking, and I’m glad I read it.

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16 thoughts on “Book Reviews: Look Alive Out There, Different Seasons, American War

  1. I agree Lacey– I need to be pushed out of my reading comfort zone now and then too. Like your varied list!! Look Alive Out There does sound like perfect summer reading– putting on my library list! So how are you feeling by now?? And loved the instragram photo of your girl by the pool!! the cutest! xox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I can’t wait to hear what you think of Look Alive Out There. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
      I’m okay. I’m the uncomfortable third trimester now. This pregnancy has been hard. I feel like I’ve complained through the whole thing 😦
      Oh my goodness, thank you. That girl cracks me up and keeps me on my toes!
      How are you? How’s your week going??

      Like

      1. Doing well, here. Super busy weekend– Today had a young girl from church for breakfast and a talk. off to baby shower in a bit and tonight to a friends house for supper. Our friend Tim started a “Supper Club”– every round of dinners has a there– This time it’s Last Supper– serving what you’d want if it were your last supper on earth. Will be fun to see what everyone picks. Hope you have fun at the lake!! Take care (and I DO NOT think you complain too much —anyone who’s been pregnant gets it!) xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  2. looks like a good list, I’ve never read any of them. I just started a new book last night, but I’m still finishing up Grit too

    Liked by 1 person

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