Well, I was crusing along with my books for the reading challenge. Then I started About Grace
by Anthony Doerr. Life is too short for About Grace. I'm usually not one to put down a book that I have begun - I usually plow through it, even if I decide I'm not a fan or it's too hard. I was planning to do that with About Grace, however about 2 weeks ago I got a notice from the library that it was my turn for Khaled Hosseni's A Thousand Splendid Suns. I knew I had to put About Grace down and read this one since it was in such hot demand I'd never be able to renew it. I absouletly loved A Thousand Splendid Suns. I thought it was just magnificent writing and such a compelling, though heart breaking and horrifying, story. I couldn't believe how Hoesseni was able to draw me into a story that was so far outside of my own exsistence! Abosultely amazing. A must read. Now, I know I could count A Thousand Splendid Suns toward my challenge, many people have it on their lists, however I had decided before I started that all my challenge books would be about Alaska. So back to About Grace.
It's not a bad book. In fact, it's prob a great story. It's just dense. Very very dense. The story is about a man who has an affair with a married woman, they have a child, Grace, they get married and move from AK to Ohio. He has these dreams in which he sees the future. In one of the dreams he dreams that Grace dies in a flood. He tries to change the course of things and his wife thinks he's crazy. The flood he dreamt about happens, but his wife kicks him out of her and Grace's life and he doesn't learn if Grace survives or not. He then moves to an island where he tries to make sense of everything. The story is full of his angst, uneasyness, and grief about possibly killing his daughter as well as the giant question mark - is she alive or not. He attempts communication through letters with his wife and child but they are never answered. I got far enough into the book that I was attached to this man and very interested in hearing the end of the story. However, it's such a dark tale and so tough to get through the writing that going back to it, especially after reading about the horrors of modern day Afghanistan was asking too much.
So....my new book(s) for the challenge:
I needed a twinkie read so I have actually come up with 3!
The Homestead Kid - This is a book that my mom bought me in AK. It's about a family who took in a number of foster children and then moved to bush of AK to build a homestead and live off the land. They loaded up in an old school bus turned camper and bought a claim of land outside of Fairbanks. They all pitched in to build the cabin and barn and other buildings. It's dubbed "Little House on the Perma-Frost" - for all you Laura Ingalls fans!
Dead in the Water - Dana Stabenow I had previously avioded her work not being a big fan of mysteries, esp criminal/murder mysteries, however she has written so many books about Alaska that I had to try just one. This one takes place on a crab boat on the Bering Sea so might be able to scratch my "Deadlist Catch" itch in the process.
Lucy the Giant - Sherri Smith This is actually a young adult book - there are lots of young adult books about AK, but I'd kind of been avoiding them just because I'm not too into reading books about teenagers - even though I know there are some great YA books out there! This one also is set on a crab boat in the Bering Sea!
So whichever one I finish 1st I'll post as my final book in the challenge. Do I get extra credit for the other 2?