October 30th, 2012

wild flowers

Book 38

Originally posted by audrey_e at Book 38
38 THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR Jean M. Auel (USA, 1980)

This is the first volume in the "Earth's Children" series. Set in prehistoric times, The Clan of the Cave Bear tells the story of Ayla, a Cro-Magnon girl who is adopted by a clan of Neanderthals following a devastating earthquake. While she quickly becomes the beloved child of the clan's medicine woman, she constantly struggles to repress the (genetic) differences that make her an outsider among the dying race.

When I was a kid, prehistory was one of my major interests thanks to the archaeology museum of Saint-Germain-en Laye, France that my family and I used to regularly visit. The interest wore out with time, but I decided to revive it a bit with this series.
I did not expect to enjoy this novel as much as I did. While the writing style is nothing impressive, and even slightly repetitive at times, the plot is nothing short of epic and Ayla's story quickly becomes addictive. Auel successfully manages to blend facts and research with her vivid imagination. It is true that Ayla is one of those incredibly gifted characters that can be annoying in the world of literature, but this time her endless abilities did not get on my nerves. Probably because she is our ancestor and therefore encompasses all the glories of our our race. 
I have heard that the following novels are not always as good as this first one. I do not know how far I will eventually go into the series but I have already bought the second volume and cannot wait to know what happens next. 

Sleeping Beauty

Book 39

Originally posted by audrey_e at Book 39
39 SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE Kurt Vonnegut (USA, 1969)

A traumatized WWII American soldier believes he can both travel through time and out of the Earth.

I'm glad I finally got around this classic of American literature!
I was very impressed with the way Vonnegut was able to capture the confusion of his main character and the misery of warfare through it. Slaughterhouse-Five is ultimately one the sharpest criticism of war I've ever read because it focuses on the nonsense and incomprehension wars spawn. 
This is a novel that truly deserves its status of modern classic.


50 Book Challenge 42-47

#42 Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris- new read- Another good read in the Sookie Stackhouse series. We learn that cousin Claude has been living a dual purpose in Sookie's life, among other things.

#43 Last to Die by  Tess Gerritsen- new read- Another book in the Rizzoli& Isles series. I'm really enjoying this series. This book in particular was a really fascinating read. For the most part the characters are familiar...except there are some key differences in career choices between the books and the tv series version.

#44 Book of Monsters, Spirits, Demons & Ghouls by Alex Irvine. New Read. Fascinating info into all the monsters that Sam and Dean Winchester, their father John, Bobby Singer, and other Hunters have encountered in the SPN universe. A Must read for any SPN fan.

#45 Bobby Singer's Guide to Hunting by David Reed. New Read. Fascinating look into Bobby Singer's life...how he got started in the business etc. Another must read for any SPN fan.

#46 The Help by Kathryn Stackett. New Reed. Loved this book. Love the movie too, so I enjoyed reading the book and learning more about the characters.

#47 Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller. New Read. Loved the book...the new characters. Linda Lael Miller is a favorite writer of mine and she never fails to entertain with larger than life characters, well developed storylines, etc.