READ THIS! {Running the Rift}

Confession: I've read quite a few terrible books in a row. Three to be specific - and it's totally dragging me down. I'm reading a 4th one that I love right now, so I think that will make up for the streak, but I am a little bummed that I fell into this book rut. 

That really has nothing to do with Running the Rift, by Naomi Benaron - July's READ THIS! book of the month, except to highlight that I do know a bad book when I see one and I don't love every. single. book. that I read. I did, however, absolutely love Running the Rift

Amazon describes this book as, "Running the Rift follows the progress of Jean Patrick Nkuba from the day he knows that running will be his life to the moment he must run to save his life. A naturally gifted athlete, he sprints over the thousand hills of Rwanda and dreams of becoming his country’s first Olympic medal winner in track. But Jean Patrick is a Tutsi in a world that has become increasingly restrictive and violent for his people. As tensions mount between the Hutu and Tutsi, he holds fast to his dream that running might deliver him, and his people, from the brutality around them. Winner of the Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, Naomi Benaron has written a stunning and gorgeous novel that—through the eyes of one unforgettable boy— explores a country’s unraveling, its tentative new beginning, and the love that binds its people together."

This book reminded me a bit of the styles of Poisonwood Bible and Cutting for Stone as each of these authors weaves history through a beautiful narrative. Running the Rift was one of those stunning novels that you read and stays with you for a long time to come. Instantly believable, despite being set in a highly tense Rwanda that I know very little about, I found myself right in step with the characters and rooting for their survival every step of the way. Jean Patrick is a fictional character, but he represents the vast number of Tutsis who hoped to overcome the issues between themselves and the Hutus. I fell in love with Jean Patrick's story and I rooted for him every step of the way in the powerful and deeply engaging story. 

Did you read along with us this month? Did you have a background knowledge of the tensions in Rwanda prior to reading? Or did you learn as you read along, fact checking through Google as you became more and more interested in the story's background? If you read along, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this novel!

For August's READ THIS! novel, I chose another book from my summer reading list, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green...

Amazon describes this book as, "Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love."

Sadly, I haven't yet written anything from John Green - this will be my first! - but he has a number of well-liked books already published and I'm hoping to read through them all. While I haven't read any of his novels, I have seen his YouTube video series - Crash Course. A fun and interesting way to learn and/or review some of your favorite history topics, Green is entertaining on video and I'm excited to see how he does in print.

I hope you'll read along with August's READ THIS! selection, and that you'll check back in at the end of the month to share your thoughts on this novel! 



  1. Confession: I have done zero reading for this summer so you are a way better person than I am!

  2. Ugh, I was on a bad book streak myself!!! It's so painful when that happens. Really enjoying my book club's current read, "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?", if you're looking for something after your August book!

    1. "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" was my May book! And I absolutely loved it! :)

  3. I would suggest NOT reading The Fault in Our Stars in public--read it on a flight and ended up sobbing like a lunatic and needing to be comforted by a stranger.


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