2015 has gotten off to a great start. I read five books in January and three in February, so I’m already eight books toward my goal of 36 for the year.
As an Amazon Prime member, I am able to get a free Kindle book each month via their Kindle First program and, for the most part, I have enjoyed the ones I’ve gotten around to reading. However, I haven’t been keeping up and have a bit of a backlog of titles, so when February rolled around, I decided I would read my Kindle First selection right away. I chose Emily Bleeker’s Wreckage. Unfortunately, this has been the weakest book I’ve gotten through the program and one of the most disappointing books I’ve actually bothered to finish.
The premise of people getting stranded on a desert island has certainly been attempted before but the inherent drama of the situation is undermined here because we are introduced to two of the survivors early on as they agree to participate in a TV interview. We know they get off the island right from the start. This reveal is allegedly justified because there are secrets about what happened on the island which are slowly revealed during the interview process, but these secrets are so obvious that there is no tension. Basically, I finished the book because I was hoping that the big reveals weren’t so obvious but, alas, they were. Neither of the two survivors wanted to do the interview and their rationale for doing so was unrealistic.
The characters are thinly drawn and borderline unbelievable, especially those of Kent and the TV interviewer. The interviews never felt plausible and really undermined the story. Here’s hoping for better luck next month.
The second book I read was Walter Mosley’s What Next: A Memoir Toward World Peace. No two ways about it: this is must reading. Although Mosley addresses this 2003 memoir/essay to an African American audience, any thoughtful person will be rewarded by reading this work.
What Next is Mosley’s response to the tragedy of 9/11. He focuses on how the events affect the African American community and how they could react. But his pleas for a better world, although idealistic at times, are relevant to everyone. It’s interesting and to read this 12 years later after seeing how, in many ways, the world has moved further from his idealistic goals.
Finally, I read White Space Is Not Your Enemy: A Beginner’s Guide to Communicating Visually Through Graphic, Web & Multimedia Design (2nd ed). It lives up to the promise of the title and provides a great overview of issues to consider in graphic design. My only complaint is that it went into photography and videography which felt out of scope. They were short chapters and didn’t do justice to those complex considerations and felt like they were tacked on to beef up the text. But that’s a minor complaint. Overall, I got a lot out of White Space Is Not Your Enemy.
I finished eight books by the end of February:
- The Golden Compass
- The Subtle Knife
- The Amber Spyglass
- The Best American Essays of 2014 (ebook)
- I Know I Am, But What Are You? (library book)
- Wreckage (ebook)
- What Next: A Memoir Toward World Peace (library book)
- White Space Is Not Your Enemy (library book)