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I've been reading - and discarding - a bunch of books lately. I try to give each book at least 50 pages, but with so many great books out there (and two book clubs a month), I want to spend my time reading books I actually enjoy. I'd rather not spend time writing full reviews on books I Did Not Finish. This list includes the books I picked up and rejected in April:
Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith by Martha Beck
Summary: Memoir of a scholar who confronts the abuse she suffered by her family, while relating it to the Mormon faith.
I love HBO's Big Love, but seeing abuse and family disfunction within the Mormon Church dramatized is much more appealing that reading about it - unless it's written extremely well. This was not and reminded me of a typical Oprah Book Club novel. Turns out - Martha Beck is a frequent contributor to Oprah.com and refers to Oprah as The Big O. Apparently, Beck lost her faith and made Oprah her God. Ugh. I do feel sorry for her, obviously I do, but not every abuse survivor deserves to be a published author.
Hot Springs by Geoffrey Becker
Summary: A woman who gives her child up for adoption kidnaps her back at age five.
This book was terrible. There was not a single sympathetic character in the book, including the mother of the kidnapped kid. The plot was ridiculous and seemed very random. Again, this book left me wondering why - and how - some book even get published.
Bitter Grounds by Sandra Benitez
Summary: The life and struggles of a coffee plantation family in El Salvador.
I grew up on a coffee farm and love the smell, the taste, the ritual of coffee. What an interesting novel, I thought. From the very first line: "The parakeets ascended in a rustling roar of wings from the amate and primavera trees. Chattering rowdily, they hailed the rising sun" I was reluctant to continue. Then when a mother and her teen daughter find a headless corpse (!) in the first ten pages, I gave up.