100 in ’11: Zusak, Shriver and Summers

Up there behind food, books have to rank as the second love of my life. So, with my 100 books in 2011 challenge in full swing, you’re in for a treat: recaps of some of my best reads every month or so!

Here are three novels I recently ploughed through:

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Summary: WWII through the eyes of a young girl and the residents of her sleepy suburban street.

Despite a slow start, The Book Thief slowly reels you in before proceeding to wring out your heart. I really can’t say more than that. A must-read.

We Need To Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver

Summary: A mother comes to terms with the fact that her son is a psychopathic mass murderer.

What shapes us most: nature, or nurture? Are some people just not cut out to be mothers? Can one fake a maternal bond, and what are the consequences when a child feels unloved and unwanted? These are the questions Shriver tackles head-on. Kevin is a bad seed, but his mother is far from blameless. Just how far he will go to take everything she has – until all she has left is him – is as tragic as it is frightening.

Cracked Up To Be – Courtney Summers

Summary: Disturbed Miss Perfect finally cracks – but why?

After such heavy reading, I desperately needed to lighten up. This was the first YA novel I’d touched in forever, and in comparison to what I’d been reading, it seemed insanely short. While the subject matter is dark, Parker is intensely intelligent, self-aware and in possession of a wicked tongue. Watching her manipulate others while trying to come to terms with her buried secret is painful, but Summers makes it clear that there’s hope for Parker yet.

What have you enjoyed lately – any recommendations?

7 thoughts on “100 in ’11: Zusak, Shriver and Summers

  • Reply chipsforsupper May 9, 2011 at 14:36

    I usually only read Stephen King or Dean Koontz. Btw, King >> Koontz.

    Although I have read some of the Mr Monk novels (like the tv show). I need to get into those ones again. They’re good, light crime solving.

  • Reply Lesley May 9, 2011 at 15:12

    The Book Thief is on my to read list. I think you might enjoy The Stranger by Albert Camus. It’s not a typical read for me but it was quite thought provoking and reading it really made me reflect quite deeply on my own life.

  • Reply Investing Newbie May 10, 2011 at 07:39

    We need to talk about Kevin sounds awesome! I have a backlog of books I need to read, but they are mostly b-school related: Moneyball by Michael Lewis (author of the Blind Side, also has a book on Fatherhood that I’m looking forward to), Freakanomics (so behind the times), Rex Ryan (coach of the Jets) new book, and Fooled by Randomness/Black Swan by Nicholas Taleb. After all of those books (which might be done by August/September, I’ll probably get to We Need to Talk about Kevin.

  • Reply Well Heeled Blog May 11, 2011 at 16:42

    We Need To Talk About Kevin is a book that gives parents nightmares. I don’t know about the mom being “not” blameless – I think sociopaths are born more than they are made.

    • Reply eemusings May 11, 2011 at 16:47

      “Far from blameless,” I said. 🙂

  • Reply Lisa Clark May 13, 2011 at 09:50

    We need to talk about Kevin is being made into a film but I think books are aways better.
    I love Lee Child’s books and am praying that he’s busy working on the next Jack Reacher novel, having read all 15 of the earler books.

  • Reply 100 in ’11: Sittenfeld, Shreve and Kumar | Musings of an Abstract Aucklander July 8, 2011 at 14:01

    […] beyond any you could initially have imagined for even the smartest and brightest of kids. Much like We Need To Talk About Kevin, it might make you think twice about […]

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