Monday, August 20, 2012

Reviews of Recent Reads

I've enjoyed reading a lot of fiction lately. Here are a few of my recent reads, along with a quick review on each of them.

Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Summary: Because of my love for The Great Gatsby, I have wanted to read Fitzgerald's other novels. This was good, but not up to the level of Gatsby or This Side of Paradise. The basic plot is about a married couple and their clumsy quest for marital and mental health.
What I Learned: If you replace your God-given purpose for being alive with anything else, you are in danger of mental illness.
Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5.

1984 by George Orwell
  Summary: I know, I also can't believe that I had never read this one. I had started it once, but I finally read through the whole thing a couple weeks ago. Of course, it is a great dystopian story about individual freedom being eroded by the government.
What I Learned: A correct knowledge of history is of great importance.
Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5.

The Plague by Albert Camus
Summary: Tim Keller constantly quotes this book, so I had to read it. It is the story of an ordinary town dealing with--you guessed right--a plague. It delves into the different responses on an individual and societal level. Really profound and engrossing.
What I Learned: As Christians, we face mortality with grace and with hope; not denial or defiance.
Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5.

The Confession by John Grisham
Summary: A book about a criminal secretly confessing that someone else is about to be executed for his crime. It started out okay, and then became preachy, not believable, and painfully lazy writing. I think it is possible to make a good case for being anti-death-penalty, but Grisham does not accomplish that in this book.
What I Learned: If you write some bestsellers at the beginning of your career, you write lazy, mediocre books for the rest of your career. . .and they will still be bestsellers.
Rating: 1.5 Stars out of 5.

Calico Joe by John Grisham
Summary: Unlike Grisham's other book on the list, this one was great. A novella about baseball, nostalgia, and redemption. You can read it in a day. If you grew up loving baseball, I think you will really love the story. If you like the idea of redemption, I think this story will resonate with you.
What I Learned: Our fathers have a huge impact on us, for better or worse.
Rating: 4 Stars out of 5.

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