Booking It: Wonder, Speaker for the Dead, Afterwards, The Lacuna

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Last year I was somewhat abysmal at keeping up with my “Books I’ve Read” page. You’ll notice it’s nixed up there in the top bar. (But please, look at one of the pages on my recipe index now! I’ve been working on it all weekend! Still some work to be done, but I’m excited.)

So I thought maybe a round-up of what I’ve read in the last month would be more appropriate here. If you want recommendations, read on! If not, it won’t hurt my feelings.



Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder says it’s written for grade levels 4-7 but I think pretty much everyone should read this fantastic novel from new author Palacio. August is born with severe facial disformities and has never been to school before this, his 5th grade year. Follow Auggie through his own point of view and that of others as he weathers what life is like for someone different. A really quick read since it’s written as a children’s book, but definitely poignant. A+!



Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

Honestly, I’ve always been kind of “meh” about science fiction. But as I get older it appeals to me more and more. Mostly because the authors tends to be so very imaginative, so complex. My husband’s very favorite books are the Ender’s Game/Ender’s Shadow series by Orson Scott Card. He’s read and reread them since we’ve known each other. I read Ender’s Game in college but wasn’t really interested in getting further into the series.

I reread Ender’s Game in 2013 and picked up the next book, Speaker from the Dead almost as soon as I was finished. As Mr. V points out, for both Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead to have won Nebula awards in consecutive years means Speaker had to be really, really good. And it is. The science and creative thinking that go into a novel like this amaze me.



Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

A good mystery novel and sort-of ghost story. The novel follows mom and daughter Grace and Jenny as they roam the hospital where their bodies lay comatose, trying to solve the mystery of the fire that put them there. I enjoyed the mystery here – it wasn’t easy to solve – and only struggled with the British lingo that permeates Lupton’s writing. Because, well, I’m not British.



The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

It took me nearly a month to get through this 500+ page work by Kingsolver (mostly because I kept stopping and reading the other books above) but the read was well worth it. I’ve never been disappointed by Kingsolver’s novels. This one is another work of art, a thought-out biography of a character through his diaries, letters, and notes. From a tiny Mexican island to Asheville, North Carolina, we follow Harrison Shepherd as he grows and learns about Communism, war, and being American.


Well. I finished three GREAT books this month and one really good one. Not bad! And hey, there are still a few days left in January. Right now I am reading Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen. Look forward to sharing that review next month.

What are you reading? Any thoughts on the books I shared? 

2 thoughts on “Booking It: Wonder, Speaker for the Dead, Afterwards, The Lacuna

  1. Loved Wonder also. We just read it for my book club last month. I agree, a book for all ages. I think I read Speaker for the Dead ages ago right after Ender’s Game. I can’t remember much, but I do enjoy Card’s writing. I never would have thought that until my husband forced me to read Ender’s Game. Seems to be pattern:) Have you seen the Book Riot article floating around that talks about “monsters” of the literary world? Orson Scott Card is actually listed among them and I’ve been trying to craft a response in mind, but I can’t think of anything that won’t get me annihilated. I will have to check out the other two. The Poisonwoood Bible is one of my all-time favorites, but Flight Behavior was an absolute bust.

    • No, I haven’t seen that about Card. I’ll have to check it out.

      I haven’t read Flight Behavior but from what I’ve seen I’m not sure I would love it. I have read The Bean Trees, Pigs in Heaven, The Poisonwood Bible, and Animal Vegetable Miracle, all of which I loved!

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