Book Reviews #3

Title: The One and Only IvanThe_One_and_Only_Ivan_cover
Author: Katherine Applegate
Genre: Children’s Fiction

Sometimes I read children’s books. This one was suggested and recommended by one of my Professors. It was simplistic in its story but still carried that message (that’s the payoff) at the end. That good ole’ moral.

The theme of this book is friendship and what defines family. A great message for kids, but some adults need to read this too. They often forget what real friendship is.

The limited casts of characters and settings do not distract from the story.

I don’t want to give too much away. It is a charming book, easy read and inspired by a true story about Ivan the Gorilla.

 

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Title: StoryCraft – The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction
Author: Jack Hart
Genre: Non-Fiction

This book was assigned by my Professor and it deals with writing Narrative Non Fiction.

This book goes through the various parts of what makes great narrative nonfiction such as: Structure, Character, Scenes.  Each chapter gives examples which come from famous writers like Erik Larson who wrote the book Devil in the White City, as well as journalists (none of whom I heard of).

Although I’ve heard professionals and professors talk about this stuff ad nauseam, it never fails to give me an epiphany, like it is some new revolutionary knowledge.

I read several reading books a year and none of them are ‘light reading’, but this one I felt was more informative than the average book.

Did I like it? Did I not? Does it matter? No.

Basically the function was to ‘take book, put in brain’ and that’s what I did.

 

Behold the Dreamers

Title: Behold the Dreamers
Author: Imbolo Mbue
Genre: Fiction

Well now. When I like a book I usually let it marinate for a while.  This one I have a lot to say, but it is all good.  I don’t want to give anything away, but this book resonated with me. I’m not an immigrant so I cannot speak to that experience. I am a New Yorker though. 

Looks at the lives of two families. One from Cameroon Africa and one from NYC.  Both families are rich and both families are poor. But you’ll have to read it to understand my meaning.

This novel does have a denouement, but not one I expected. The tidy little bow gives one food for thought. I like things like that. If I invest time in a book of 400 pages, I want a payoff. I want to close it and go “hmm”.

About Liz Kelso

www.lizkelso.com
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