Online Reading Challenge – April Wrap-Up

Hello Fellow Challenge Readers!

How did your reading go this month? Did you read something set in the 1940s that you enjoyed? Share in the comments!

I had previously read The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman, our main title, for a book club a couple years ago, so decided to give it a re-read. Overall, I enjoyed this book – it read like narrative nonfiction.

Quick overview: The Real Lolita covers the 1948 abduction of eleven-year-old Sally Horner by Frank LaSalle, a man pretending to be an FBI agent. In addition to that traumatic event, Weinman also discusses Vladimir Nabokov’s writing and publication of Lolita, which he published seven years after Sally’s abduction. These two concurrent narratives are presented elegantly, factually, and with an incredible amount of researched detail. Readers learn about Sally and all the people in her circle, at the same time as they learn about Nabokov and all the people in his circle. It’s an interesting juxtaposition. Seeing how Sally’s story may be mirrored in Lolita was compelling. I enjoyed the crossovers between the two worlds and have more questions than answers.

I am *almost* done with this title and still plan on finishing. Even though this is a re-read, I am still finding content that I didn’t remember from my initial read. This title admittedly covers multiple decades starting in the 1940s and then heading into the 1950s, but the main events happened in the 1940s. Those key events influenced later events, books, movies, etc. greatly. As a librarian and as someone researching their family’s history, I resonated a lot with the author’s frustration at not being able to find primary source material. The Real Lolita has been an engaging narrative nonfiction read so far and I can’t wait to finish this again. I haven’t read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov and honestly can’t say if I want to after reading this title. I’m torn. What are your thoughts?

Next month, we are traveling to the 1950s & 1960s.

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