November 4, 2014
The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert. The story is set in the 1800s, and the main character is a woman by the name of Alma Whittaker. She is the daughter of the wealthiest man in Philadelphia, and she is a botanist. The book is essentially the story of her life, which is a life of privilege and a life of science. It is a long narrative, and the scope is grand. It actually starts with her father's journey into the botanical/pharmaceuticals business. The story is engaging, as is the scientific and intellectual discussion, but it does require some patience as the plot does not advance quickly. Overall, I was impressed by this book.
Defending Jacob, by William Landay. This book definitely sucked me in and didn't let me go until the very end. I read it quickly and didn't want to put it down until I was done, so it didn't take long. It's sad, frustrating, thrilling, interesting, surprising, and ultimately heartbreaking. And definitely worthy of a read.
Not That Kind of Girl, by Lena Dunham. Another extremely fast read. First, I will admit that I've never seen 'Girls', so what I knew of Lena Dunham going in was just what I've read and seen of her on interviews. I appreciate her self-confidence, and I think that's what inspired me to pick this up. I'm not sure how to summarize my feelings about the book - I loved it, and I didn't love it. I admire the honesty and the bravery it takes to publish such personal thoughts and feelings and experiences with the world. At the same time, I did feel that she didn't come to many conclusions or lessons learned through them all - maybe this book was written too soon? But as an honest expression of the thoughts and feelings of a twenty-something girl in the world...it's wonderful.