Category Archives: Reason: Book Club

Educated by Tara Westover

Tara Westover’s story is a bit crazy and a little unbelievable. But then I remember that I’ve known people who “homeschool” the way her parents did, who rely on herbs, oils, and the Lord only for healing, who are intense preppers, who abuse and gaslight their kids. I’ve never known one family who does all of that, but I’ve known enough who do one or more to believe that, in Educated, she presents her history as she recalls living it. Saying the book is good isn’t quite right because what she dealt with is horrifying, but her writing is completely absorbing. I didn’t want to put the book down. I found myself in shock by what she experienced, while at the same time rooting her on as she dealt with her past and managed to become a successful human being. I highly recommend this book.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 11
Pages Read in 2019: 2703
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Memoir, Reason: Book Club, Reason: LitHub Bingo

News of the World by Paulette Jiles

In Reconstruction Era Texas, Captain Kidd is a news reader. He goes from town to town reading articles from newspapers from around the world to audiences for 10 cents a person. He’s asked to take a ten-year-old girl along with him and deliver her to her aunt and uncle in Castroville, near San Antonio. Little Johanna has spent the last four years as a Kiowa captive and along the way, the Captain begins to teach her how to once again be a part of the society she came from.

News of the World is a slow and meandering book. There were a few interesting scenes, but for the most part there just didn’t seem to be much of a point. The worst thing about it was a writing style choice the author made. She did not use any quotation marks. At all. This was very distracting and sometimes made it difficult to read. There did not seem to be a reason she made that choice. It did not contribute anything to the story. Since I live in Texas, discussion of the geography was interesting, and the relationship between the Captain and Johanna was sweet, but otherwise there was little that I enjoyed about the book. I don’t particularly recommend reading this historical fiction novel (a genre I usually enjoy quite a bit).

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 113
Pages Read in 2018: 29,053
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: Book Club