Another month has gone by and that means it’s time for another Books and Beverages post. (Okay, this one’s a little late, but that’s because I was close to finishing a few books and I wanted to include them in this post, but wasn’t able to have them read by Saturday. Poor planning on my part.) I managed to read five books totaling 1,572 pages this month, which kind of boggles my mind because I’m pretty sure I’ve never read that many books in one month before. I’m trying to complete the Popsugar 2015 Reading Challenge, and so far I’ve read 8.67* of the 52 books. My Goodreads 2015 goal is only 15 books and that’s over half done.
The Two Towers: Being the Second Part of the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
“A book with more than 500 pages” *
The Fellowship of the Ring was my favorite of the books I read last month, and the same is true of The Two Towers this month. The first half follows the adventures of one group of characters, and the second half another group. There are unexpected friends and alliances that come along, all boiling up to the exciting end. If you don’t like cliffhangers and are reading the book as three separate volumes*, then have The Return of the King ready to go. This was the worst cliffhanger I’ve encountered since I read The Mark of Athena; it may be even worse than that. Also, if you want to watch the first movie after reading the first part, you’ll need to read the first chapter of the second part, which Peter Jackson put at the end of the first movie.
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
“A book set in the future”
At the beginning of this book I wasn’t too sure if I was going to like it, but as the story progressed, it got more interesting. It’s set in post-apocalyptic New York where society has fallen to pieces. In the subway system underground resides several enclaves where life is totalitarian and they’re told to fear the world above them. Deuce lives in one such enclave called College where she becomes a Huntress to protect her enclave from Freaks, which are basically zombies. She gets exiled Topside with her hunting partner Fade, and realizes that what she was taught about the world above was not true at all. I found this book to be a fairly accurate description of what could happen in a post-apocalyptic world.
Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
“A book you started but never finished”
I tried to read this in the eighth grade when I wasn’t really interested in reading adult fiction, so I quit reading it. The story starts out on a plane where suddenly passengers vanish, leaving their clothes on their seats. No one quite understands what’s going on, and soon enough it seems the only possible explanation is that the Rapture occurred and those whose faith was on the rocks were left behind. Events soon take place that are described in the book of Revelation and eventually an Antichrist rises to power. Although we have no idea if, when, or how the Rapture will take place, I thought that this offered an interesting hypothesis as to what could happen, if one interprets the Bible literally.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
“A book that was originally written in a different language”
This was another mystery/thriller book that I enjoyed, and it definitely was very thrilling and mysterious. It begins with Blomkvist, a shamed financial journalist who’s been convicted of libel and sentenced to prison, even though he knows the man he tried to expose, Wennerstrom, is indeed doing illegal business practices. He’s asked by a very prestigious business man by the name of Vanger to look into the disappearance and suspected murder of his niece, Harriet, a case that has been cold for several decades. He thinks that someone in his family may have killed her. Vanger had an extensive background check run on Blomkvist by a young woman named Lisbeth Salander who can find people’s deepest secrets. Eventually, Blomkvist and Salander meet up and together work on the mystery of Harriet’s disappearance. Overall, a very interesting and intriguing book.
Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
“A book you can finish in a day”
I tend to be a slow reader, so for this particular challenge I knew to pick a pretty short book and this fit (about 60 pages). This story follows two cowboys, Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist. They find work ranching sheep one summer on Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming and soon realize that they are in love. Four years pass before they see each other again, and both are married with children. They can’t deny their love for each other and they get together often, telling their wives they’re going hunting or fishing. Ennis’s wife figures it out after she sees them kissing and divorces Ennis since he isn’t being a good father either. The two of them try to keep their secret in a society where men are killed for being gay. If you’ve seen the movie, you know this book has a sad ending.
Pineapple and Banana Juice Stuff
There’s a recipe that I found in a booklet that came with a blender and I decided to try it out. It consists of pineapple, pineapple juice, and a banana. You blend it together to make this sort of juice, and it’s really good. It seems like it would really hit the spot on a hot day.
Peaberry Dark Kona Coffee
I got some of this stuff when I was in Hawaii, and it’s great. It’s really smooth and not very bitter, so it requires little, if any, cream or sugar. I’ll be sad when it’s gone.
If you’d like to read last month’s Books and Beverages, click here. You can look forward to the next one on May 30!
Edit: *Originally, The Lord of the Rings was the trilogy I was planning to read for the Popsugar challenge. Then I read the note on the text at the beginning in which it says that The Lord of the Rings is not a trilogy, but one big novel sometimes published as three separate volumes. (The movies, however, are a trilogy.) For accuracy’s sake, I decided to change it from the trilogy to the book with more than 500 words.