Better Reading = Better Writing #3

I didn’t have as much time to read this month, since I launched the new blog… Usually Sunday evening is my reading time, but I’ve been working on the blog. We made some silly videos and needed to create some content before launching 🙂 But here’s what I did get a chance to read!

March Reading Report

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

If you loved The Night Circus (and who didn’t), you’ll love this new YA story. So magical and romantic… And of course, I love a story where sisters protect each other!

Caraval is a  game/ performance that travels to different islands and cities once a year in this fictional world, but it never returns to the same place twice. Scarlett wants it to return to her island, because her cruel father does not allow her to leave. She writes for invitations every year, and finally receives a response… She gives up hope of attending, but someone kidnaps her sister as part of the game. Scarlett needs to rescue her before their father finds out.

It’s a very quick read (YA Fiction), but it contains beautiful descriptions and fun adventures. The first of a new series, I can’t wait for the next one!

“I imagine the game wouldn’t be the same in the light,” Scarlett answered. “People think no one sees all the nasty things they do in the dark. The foul acts they commit, or the lies they tell as part of the game. Caraval takes place at night because you like to watch, and see what people do when they think there are no consequences.”

“What happens beyond this gate may frighten or excite you, but don’t let any of it trick you. We will try to convince you it’s real, but all of it is a performance. A world built of make-believe. So while we want you to get swept away, be careful of being swept too far away. Dreams that come true can be beautiful, but they can also turn into nightmares when people won’t wake up.”

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

The Mothers tells an abortion story, and some people might not want to read about that. But… don’t we read to empathize? To see other’s mistakes and learn from them? To be put in a position we could never be in and understand how that feels?

Nadia was the result of a teenage pregnancy herself. While her parents married and seemed fairly happy, her mother always told her that pregnancy would destroy her life. Nadia loved her mother, but always wondered if her birth destroyed all of her dreams and ambitions… As Nadia grieves her mother’s recent suicide, she begins dating the local pastor’s son.

“But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth…. Soon, [they] are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer… and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt…The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.”

“Grief was not a line, carrying you infinitely further from loss. You never know when you would be sling-shot backward into its grip.”

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

I read this play in college and wrote a paper on it, so when a friend told me she had tickets to the broadway play, I said yes!! I reread the play before watching. We didn’t realize Sally Field would be playing the mother! What an amazing performance. I wish I could remember some of the paper I wrote in college, because I would share something intelligent with you… but I don’t, and it’s saved on my old computer…

“Time is the longest distance between two places.”

“He is the long-delayed, but always expected, something that we live for.”

“You think of yourself as having the only problems, as being the only one who is disappointed. But just look around you and you will see lots of people as disappointed as you are.”

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

This book is captivating. Two smart friends grow up in a very poor neighborhood of Naples, Italy where murder and beatings happen regularly. One friend has the opportunity to continue her education through middle school and high school, even though her parents are reluctant to send her. The other is not allowed to continue past elementary and begins to focus on work and marriage. You’ll want to know everything about these girls, and with four novels, I can’t wait to read everything about their lives.

“I feel no nostalgia for our childhood: it was full of violence. Every sort of thing happened, at home and outside, every day, but I don’t recall having ever thought that the life we had there was particularly bad. Life was like that, that’s all, we grew up with the duty to make it difficult for others before they made it difficult for us.”

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