Friday, January 3, 2014

Books I've Read - September-December 2013

A Good American
by Alex George
What a surprise! I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The writing was excellent, the story captivating and the end very satisfying. I randomly picked this book up because I read a review on it. Lately, when I've picked a book up like that, I've been fairly disappointed. I didn't have a whole lot of hope or expectations for this book, but it surprised me and I'm so glad it did. This is a fiction novel told by a member of the third generation of a family who moved to America from Germany. The story follows the first generation couple and moves on throughout the generations of the family. Great read. I highly recommend it.

by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson
Great book for moms. There were parts of it that exasperated me, feeling too "churchy" for me, but there was some really great information. It was especially nice to hear that I'm not alone. My mind knows that I'm not, but it never hurts to hear from others who are experiencing many of the things I experience. My heart appreciates that. :)

Cuckoo's Calling

by Robert Galbraith
aka J.K. Rowling
If you're into mysteries, this one is worth reading. It was good, not great. I'm not a huge fan of mysteries, so take that as you may. I felt that it was a little slow at some points, but David reminded me that even the Harry Potter books could be slow at times. I had forgotten since I was so caught up in the characters of those books. Her character development in this book was decent and the writing was very well done. I could definitely see this being part of a series.

When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead
This is a children's fiction novel. There was a discussion about it through an email chain at work, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. It wasn't a fantastic book as far as children's books go, but I thought it was decent. It introduced me to A Wrinkle in Time, so for that I am certainly grateful. :)

Looking for Alaska
by John Green
Again, John Green did not disappoint. I enjoyed this book from cover to cover. His use of realism, emotion and the plot itself make for a great read. Again, I would highly recommend John Green's works. Brilliant.

A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L'engle
Tesser Well. You can read about my thoughts on this amazing book here.

I'll See You Again
by Jackie Hance
I don't know why I'm so fascinated with stories of tragedy. I love biographies, and some of my favorites tend to have major tragedies in them. However, I think I've come to realize that it's not the tragedy that intrigues me so, but the triumph. Hope overcomes sadness. Love overcomes fear. I mean, if you read my blog at all you know that love wins. :)
I tried to listen to this audiobook on my commute, but just couldn't get past Jackie Hance's reading voice and accent. She's from New Jersey and has a strong accent, plus she reads the book very stoically and disconnectedly. I can understand why she would want to read it, but, not being the best reader, she probably should've opted for someone else.
I didn't love this book. It feels wrong to say that about someone's autobiography. I appreciated her honesty and her triumph over tragedy that many people would never have been able to overcome. It was truly amazing how her community stepped in to help.

One Thousand Gifts Devotional
by Ann Voskamp
I know I mentioned how I had not quite finished One Thousand Gifts last quarter, but I finished and I thought it worth mentioning that the devotional is quite good, as well. Not only does it give you space to write your 1000 things, but it has some good insight, too. I recommend both the book and the devotional. The way Ann Voskamp writes is very flowery and wordy with lots of imagery. I tend to like that, but if you don't, the devotional would be a better fit. It's a lot more direct, but still gets the message across.

by Stephen King
I am fascinated by Stephen King, but usually can't read his stuff. I don't do scary. It's just not my thing. Life is scary enough without reading stuff from someone else's morbid imagination. However, this was not scary. It was a mystery, but not gory, bloody or frightening. Very good story with great characters. Stephen King really is a great writer and I enjoyed reading this story very much. It had humor and sadness and love. I recommend it. I even got David to read it. :)

Counting by 7s
by Holly Goldberg Sloan

I read a review on this book and thought it looked interesting. I was a bit disappointed in it. Parts of it were interesting, and it certainly had an intriguing plot, but it just wasn't what I thought it would be. It might appeal to a younger audience (it is classified as Young Adult fiction), but overall I didn't care for it.

And the Mountains Echoed
by Khaled Hosseini

Again, I have to say Khaled Hosseini is a phenomenal storyteller. He did a great job with a moving storyline, interesting characters and emotional moments woven throughout. Of his works, I still like The Kite Runner best, but this is a close second. Nicely done.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
by John Green and David Levithan

Such an intriguing book!! This is not for the faint of heart...the language alone makes me want to categorize this as adult fiction even though it is about (and classified for) teenagers. I'm pretty sure I was crazy sheltered as a teenager, because there were words and situations and issues I would never have even known about in high school, and certainly weren't exposed to that early on in my life.
However, it is cleverly written by two authors who each take on their own character "Will Grayson." I didn't really know much of what this book was about when I started it. Honestly, I read it because I love John Green's works so much. Once I got through the first couple of chapters (and the shock of the words on the page - ha!! Oh man, I really am sheltered) I really enjoyed it.
Even though I enjoyed it, I just don't know how I would feel about my 14 year old reading it...since  it's listed for ages 14+. Maybe I'm old-fashioned? I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this. Am I just an old fuddy-duddy??

Silver Linings Playbook
by Matthew Quick

David and I saw this movie months ago at the theater. I really enjoyed it, so I figured I'd check out the book. It's taken me awhile to whittle down my reading list enough to get to this one. It's always hard for me to read a book when I've already seen the movie. But the movie was true to the book, which I appreciate. It got a little slow at parts, but overall a good read.

Tell My Sons
by Lt. Col. Mark M. Weber

You all know how much I like biographies, and my disturbing fascination with people's last words, last letters, and people losing loved ones. This story was a bit boring to me. Again, I hate to say that about someone's life, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. The author was very much a military man and he used analogies and army stories so often that I got pretty tired of it. Not saying that's a bad thing, just not my thing. However, he did have some great points and was obviously a very hard-working and ethical man. I'm sure his sons will treasure this book forever. Lt. Col. Mark Weber passed away only a short time after writing this book.



How do you have time to read all these books?!?! Lol WHEN do you read? I am definitely making more time to read this year as I need it. It makes my soul happy. And something I need to do for me. :)

Emily Grace Little said...

Looking back on this list, I realize that the majority of them I listened to on CD. My commute went from 12 minutes to 35-45 minutes, so I get a lot of good "book on tape" time these days. I could listen to music, and some days I do, but most of the time I listen to books or sermons. I also travel during my work day from center to center and often choose to listen to a book during that time. Because I work at the library I usually check out the book and also the CD. I can really only listen to books in the car and I don't like to wait until I'm in the car again! That way I have both options!