The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

* Picture from Amazon *

Format read: Paperback

Genre: African American Fiction

Rating: 5 out of 10

Plot: Hattie and her family leave the South in the 1920s in search of a better life.  She quickly finds herself pregnant and married to a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment.  She loses her first two children and goes on to raise a series of children with a toughness that alienates them from her.  This book is told in a series of short stories from the perspectives of her children and granddaughter.

Opinion: At first I was really drawn into this book.  However, I quickly grew annoyed with it.  I didn’t like how it would focus on one of the children, but didn’t really give the whole picture of what was going on.   There was snippets of their lives, but then for the most part, it wouldn’t say what happened with that character after that chapter, so I was left with feeling like I read a series of incomplete short stories.  I think it would’ve been better if there had been some mention as to what was going on in each of the characters’ lives afterwards since each chapter was set in a different year.

Next book: The Wind Through The Keyhole by Stephen King

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Persepolis Volume 2 by Marjane Satrapi

* Picture from Amazon *

Format read: Paperback

Genre: Memoir, Graphic Novel

Rating: 7 out of 10

Plot: This book is the second volume of the author’s Persepolis series.  This book focuses on her time studying abroad in Austria and her return to Iran and subsequent attempt to adjust to life in early 1990s Iran.

Opinion: I found this to be an interesting book and a quick read.  My biggest complaint about this book is that I found the author annoying at parts, particularly in the places when she was complaining about her life, and the whole period right up to her return to Iran.  Overall, I think that if you’ve read the first volume, you should definitely pick up this volume.  If you haven’t read the first volume, look for a bind-up of the two volumes because it’s cheaper to buy it that way, and it’s such a quick read you can read straight through the whole thing.

Next book: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis

The Prophet of Peace: Teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

* Picture from Amazon *

Format read: Paperback

Genre: Islamic

Rating: 2 out of 10

Plot: This book emphasizes the peaceful aspects of Islam, although it really isn’t about the Prophet (s.a.w.)

Opinion: I read about 60 pages of this and just couldn’t go any further.  While I do believe there are some people who call themselves Muslims who twist the religion to serve their violent purposes, that’s about all I agree with the author about.  I don’t believe like he stated that most Muslims at least passively support those who engage in violent acts; I think most Muslims want to live their lives in peace and harmony and aren’t looking to shed anyone’s blood.  He portrayed Muslims as backwards, while portraying the West, particularly Western Europe as advanced.  This is the kind of stuff that I would expect from a Conservative talk show host, not from a Muslim.

Next book: Persepolis Volume 2 by Marjane Satrapi

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

* Picture from Amazon*

Format read: Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 6 out of 10

Plot: Liesel is a foster child growing up in Nazi Germany.  As she adapts to her new family, she must also adjust to the changes that World War II brings to Germany.

Opinion: I had a difficult time getting into this book.  The narrator is not the main character, but Death, so the story has a detached feel that was tough for me to get into.  Also, I felt that the ending was rushed; it seemed like there was a big build-up to something, and then the story quickly ended.  I think this is a good book if you’re just looking for something to pass the time, but I think there are so many books that deal with this same subject matter that are much better.

Next book: The Prophet of Peace: Teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

* Since I only read one book in January, I’m not doing a monthly wrap-up.  I’m hoping that now that things have settled down in the semester I will have more free time to read, but time will tell. *