If you are looking for some good books to throw in your beach bag for your last trip to the beach or last day at the pool, I have two good ones for you. The first is The Book Of Esther, which I reviewed for Blogging for Books. The second is A Hologram For The King, which I read after enjoying The Circle so much. (You can read my review of that book here.)
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The Book of Esther by Emily Barton tells the story of Esther bat Josephus, the teenage daughter of her Eastern European nation’s chief policy advisor, who takes it upon herself to save her country from impending invasion by “Germania.” The events take place over only a few days in August of 1942, but during that time Esther, her compatriots, and her country undergo some radical changes.
Esther is inspired by the Esther of the Torah, and the customs and laws of her Jewish heritage play an important role in who she is and how the story unfolds. Esther steals a mechanical horse from her father’s stable and ventures out to find a fabled community of kabbalists whom she plans to ask a radical favor–to turn her into a man so she can lead an army to save her country. As with most wishes, things don’t turn out quite the way she planned, but Esther learns that prayers can be answered in different ways.
The summary on Amazon refers to this book as “a steampunk Joan of Arc and a genre-bending tale of a counterfactual Jewish state.” I found it to be a gripping story of a young girl who defies the will of her father and the laws of her faith in order to save her country.
I received The Book Of Esther to review from Blogging for Books.
Things move slowly at King Abdullah Economic City. and while Alan and his team wait for the King to arrive so they can give their demo pitch, Alan has lots of time to relive past mistakes, convince himself that things will be different this time, and write imaginary letters to the daughter he doesn’t want to disappoint. He develops relationships with a few locals, and sometimes learns the hard way which cultural rules are broken and which are obeyed.
The most popular reviews of this book on Amazon are pretty negative, but I wasn’t bothered by the fact that nothing much happens. I actually think the languid pacing and hot, arid setting make for perfect beach reading. If your mind wanders or you nod off for a few minutes, you’ll be in the same state of mind as Alan Clay.
Today’s Wednesday Word is radical.
I will not be reading at the beach this weekend, but I will be hosting the Ultimate Coffee Date Link Up with Deborah. Grab our new badge from my sidebar and make sure you stop by!
Do you have a radical dream?