Sunday, January 1, 2012

My last book of the year

It is so nice to finish the year with an excellent book. Fortunately I decided to pick up Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock. I was looking forward to reading this book because I wanted to learn about what happened to the two girls in the famous photograph from 1957. I knew a little about Elizabeth Eckford and nothing about Hazel Bryan. What I got was so much more than I expected. Not only does Margolick give gripping accounts of the day that the Little Rock Nine first attempted to enter the high school from the girls' points of view, but he also gives us the story behind others in the background of the picture and the photographer who took it. The book is filled with other photos and their stories as well.
The stories of both Elizabeth and Hazel before that day and their lives after it were told beautifully. I feel like Margolick gave a balanced look at both women who saw things differently as they changed through their lives. This is an amazing book, and I will definitely push it on all of my friends. I hope that it gets the attention it deserves.

Looking over my list, I am certain that my two favorite novels from this year were Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys,  and The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. Both are books that I would like to read again. For non-fiction I would choose Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson about the Galveston hurricane in 1900.  Without a doubt, the worst thing that I picked up this year was Incendiary by Chris Cleave, which was a huge disappointment after liking the author's book Little Bee so much. With Incendiary I simply hated the main character and so the stream of conscience  writing style did not work at all. I'd still read Chris Cleave again, but this one definitely was not for me.

Overall it was a great reading year, 90 books in all and I enjoyed most of them.    


Siobian said...

I had not heard of this book before, but it sounds fascinating. I'm adding it to my TBR list now. Thanks for the recommendation!

TheBookGirl said...

Wow, 90 books -- that's impressive!

I have this book on my shelves and mean to get to it soon. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it so much as I'm always on the lookout for good, engrossing, non-fiction.