Mini Thoughts on Major Books

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The following two books have already received lots of attention, publicity and accolades (or criticism) so I am just going to give my very brief thoughts on each title.

lifeafterlifeLife After Life by Kate Atkinson – Ursula Todd is born in the harsh winter of 1910 and thereafter experiences re-birth and a circular life cycle throughout her existence. The plot of this novel bends back on itself several times over as Ursula dies again and again and is taken back to the snowy day of her birth. Each time she begins her life again a different circumstance, decision, or the actions of someone in her life cause a unique outcome and, sometimes, the outcome can save the world from war. She doesn’t remember her past lives, but does have a small glimmer and inkling of things that have happened in the past and is able to make decisions that change her path based on that knowledge. The writing in Life After Life is quite beautiful, the kind of writing that gets to your heart and  makes you think and ponder the purpose of life and the nature of human behavior. I really loved the setting and the time period (England and the early twentieth century) and was mesmerized by the scenes set during the London bombings during World War II. I worried about how Atkinson would finish the novel, but the ending is perfect and complete.

leaninLean In by Sheryl Sandberg – Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, urges women in her bestselling book to lean in to their careers and banish internal barriers to leadership and success. She uses lots of academic research to back up her argument that women tend not to promote their own interests at work and gives some great advice for learning how to stand out in your profession and achieve the highest positions in industry and politics. She is speaking to a very limited audience here – women who have the education and opportunity to become industry leaders, who can afford quality childcare and have supportive husbands – but I still found value in her message. I may not agree with her views on gender roles and the importance of mothers in the day-to-day nurturing of children, but I do agree that the more female leaders and role models we have the better off we will be.

If anyone is switching over to Librarything from Goodreads, friend me! My username is anbolyn.

18 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I’m planning to read Life After Life, so only read your opinion at the end, but glad you liked it. What you’ve said about Lean In gels pretty much with my perceptions. I was thinking of different factors to what you’ve talked about here, but it amounts to the same.

    1. I admire what Sandberg is trying to do so I don’t want to knock her efforts or her influence, but it is going to take a whole lot more than ‘preaching to the choir’ to change the way the world views women leaders.

  2. Interesting to read a ‘real person’ as opposed to a journalist write about Lean In. I don’t think I’ll read it but have enjoyed reading about it.

    1. Reading all of the articles about it probably gives you the gist of her argument – you can skip reading the whole thing unless you want to read more about her life.

  3. I’m glad to see you’ve been enjoying your recent reads Anbolyn. I’ve heard only good things about Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life I would really like to read it.

  4. Life After Life sounds so good! I’m on the library hold list and could be hanging out there for some time. Of course, I won’t run out of other reading options in the meantime 😉

  5. I’m also in the very long library queues for both these books – I’m really excited to read them, particularly the Atkinson book. Her books keep showing up on my favorite blogs!

  6. Life After Life is one of the new releases I’m most excited about. I may not get to it for a while, but I’m really looking forward to it.

  7. I finished reading Life After Life yesterday and I really enjoyed it. It’s the first Kate Atkinson book I’ve read and I thought her writing was beautiful. The plot was so clever and imaginative too – I love books that make me think.

  8. I’ve pulled the plug on my GoodReads account and have a LibraryThing, will come and find you once I’ve spent a bit more time tinkering with it!

Thank you for reading and commenting.

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