The Call of the Wild by Jack London

So this story takes place in Alaska so it might not be the best summer read, unless you’re very overheated and want to pretend your brain is frozen.

IMG_5795

“Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and as often as he heard this call, mysteriously thrilling and luring, he felt compelled to turn his back upon the fire and the beaten earth around it, and to plunge in to the forest, and on and on, he knew not where or why; nor did her wonder where or why, the call sounding imperiously, deep in the forest.”-pg. 57

The Call of the Wild tells the story of Buck, removed from his cushy life in California, and finds himself sold into the dog sled life.  He experiences the difficulty of working his way to the lead of the pack and surviving the harsh weather conditions and owners.

Written by the same author of White Fang, Jack London expertly captures struggle to survive in the cold Alaskan air during the Gold Rush from the perspective of a sled dog.   Compared to the first book I read by Jack London, I liked this one from the get go.  Read more about that review here!  The story keeps moving in a short and concise way, while still touching on the importance of the heritage of wolves and dogs share.  If you are a fan of Jack London, or just enjoy dogs and the outdoors, you will enjoy this book.

 

 

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

It’s been a really long time since I’ve gotten lost in a book they way I got lost in ‘The Leavers’ by Lisa Ko.  The story she weaves is so artfully and purposefully unraveled.  You are discovering new things about each character as they realize them about themselves.

I picked this book up on a site called Book of the Month.  If you’ve never heard of this subscription box service, it’s pretty great.  They select five books every month that you can choose from based on whatever subscription level you sign up for.  What I really like about them is that you can read a synopsis of each book as well as a review written by a fellow book lover about the book.  They picks are smart and broad, covering a wide variety of genres.  I often use this site when I’m looking for books that I know will be good, but may be in a new genre.  You can also skip the month if you don’t see anything you want.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I am not being paid to promote them, I just really like them.  If you’re interested, click this link to sign up!

IMG_5464

‘The Leavers’ tells the heart-wrenching story of a mother and son, who try to find their home in a world that prevents them from truly knowing each other.  Immigration, adoption, adolescence, heartbreak, mental illness, abuse, and poverty are all topics that find their way between these pages.  After reading this book, my eyes were really opened to what immigrants sometimes have to go through to get into America, all for a better life.  I don’t think this book was based off of a true story, however I do know that there are Immigration Detention Centers in the USA that have less than perfect living conditions and that stories similar to this exist.

It breaks my heart to think about stories such a this one, where a mother leaves her child in her home country and survives the travel conditions to make it here, only to work hard to pay off her debt and then be jailed, abused, and deported.  This book also tackles the topic of adoption, and exposes all sides of it.  This is the first time I’ve read anything about an older child being adopted, one that remembers his birth mother all too well.  Another topic that is touched on can speak to probably almost everyone.  It shows a very raw look at the struggle it is to find where home is for yourself and to find something that you are passionate about in life.  All too often, kids think that they need to figure out everything by the time they get to college when that is unrealistic.  Deming’s story took a good look at this.

Overall, this book really widened my world view and I would highly recommend it.  Also, Lisa Ko’s writing style worked really well for me and I found myself completely submersed in the story.  This is the kind of book that will have you thinking about the characters even when you aren’t reading it.

What I’m reading

Do you ever find yourself wishing that you had that friend that was always reading something current and interesting, possibly a book that will transport you within its pages or change the way you see the world?

Same.

Bookshelf_18

I’ve tried to follow other public book clubs like Reese Witherspoon’s and Oprah’s picks, but it can be hard to sync up your reading pace with theirs.  I really like the Book of the Month subscription box, especially because you can read a synopsis and a judge’s review of the books. They also do a lot of pre-releases for popular books.

I’m very fortunate that my beautiful mother used to be an English teacher and is still an avid reader to this day.  My sister, my mom and I actually do a book club several times a year.  Every time my mom comes to visit me, she brings me at least one new book.  I should mention that she only lives and hour and a half away.  So it’s no surprise that I have a stack of books patiently waiting to be opened.

IMG_5205

With our recent week-long trip to Costa Rica, I was able to have time to read finally.  And I didn’t waste any time at all!  I read a YA novel by Sara Evans, Nourished by Lia Huber, The Fault in Our Stars (I know, I’m late to the party on this one), and I started I am Malala.  It was awesome to get back into reading again!

I love to share books that I find interesting or life-changing with my coworkers and friends so I thought that I’d start to share them here.  Feel free to leave comments, book suggestions, grammar corrections, or any other concerns.

Oh, and Happy Reading!