Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Books I've Read - September-December 2015

The Small Backs of Children
by Lydia Yuknavitch

Oh, weird. This was too weird. It was beyond artsy and way over my head. I almost didn't finish it. I kind of wish I hadn't. I didn't leave this story feeling better and it was hardly thought-provoking or uplifting. So bizarre. I just...wow. Definitely the strangest book I've ever read.

by Craig Groeschel

Well, this book was weird, too, but in a completely different way and I pretty much expected that with the title. :) This was a totally different type of weird. This was one I could relate to. I love being weird and I love following Jesus who was weird, too. I loved this book - definitely would recommend it. As with many Christian books, there were some hokey parts and a couple of chapters that felt really "church-y," but overall a book with great information and thought-provoking pages.

The Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho
This was a recommendation from Munro Richardson. This was a genuine, yet simple story. It has stayed with me. I listened to this on audiobook read by Jeremy Irons (you know, Scar from The Lion King) which was probably the way to go. Mr. Irons has a fantastic voice and it fit so perfectly with this story. I recommend this book, not because it's brilliant or new, but because it is us. It is relatable and simple and sweet.

Everything I Never Told You
by Celeste Ng
I expected a little more from this book. Perhaps my expectations were set too high when I started, but I felt that it took me awhile to really get into this book. If I hadn't been listening to it on audio I may have put it down before finishing. It was intriguing in some ways as you reflect on your own relationships with people and how we affect each other. I will say that it made me think. Overall, just okay.

The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
Technically a children's novel, but it intrigued me, so I checked it out. I'm so glad I read it! Such an interesting story, unique and unusual. I really enjoyed the story itself and it was told in a masterful, Neil Gaiman kind of way. One of the reasons I love children's books is because of the simplicity the story holds, but the complexity that it can bring up. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more by Neil Gaiman. He didn't disappoint in The Ocean at the End of the Lane and he certainly did not disappoint here. Read it!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
by Marie Kondo
At first, I listened, intrigued and ready to clean my life up, literally. I wanted to be tidier, more organized and just downright cleaner. But when Marie started talking about feeling each objects' power and strength I just had to put the book down. I can't personify each object to make them that integral to my life. So, although she says anyone who's ever hired her hasn't gone back on their commitment, I just can't do it. They say creatives are messier...sooooo, is that it?? Ha!

The 5th Wave
by Rick Yancey
I really enjoyed this book! It is sci-fi (cue the aliens), teenager-y at times (it is a YA novel), but totally kept me on the edge of my seat wanting more. I already checked out the next book in the series, The Infinite Sea. Hopefully it won't disappoint. I originally picked this book up because they're making it into a movie. Glad I did! And look for the movie to come out later this month!

In the Unlikely Event
by Judy Blume
Okay, so, I don't know about you, but I grew up with Judy Blume. I LOVED her writing. I snatched up everything I could find written by her - Freckle Juice, Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, Superfudge, Fudge-a-Mania, Double Fudge, Blubber, It's Not the End of the World, Are you there God? It's Me, Margaret., Then Again Maybe I Won't, Just as Long as We're Together, Forever. My all-time favorite book in middle school was Just as Long as We're Together which I must have read four or five times. (I still have that old beat up copy on my bookshelf.)
Her works got me through elementary and middle school. I have to admit that I never read any of the adult books - Summer Sisters, Wifey, etc. (Except for Forever, but what young girl can resist the steamy teenager-y love of a young couples' first love? I have a whole other story about that book - ha!) Anyway, I've heard good things about her adult novels, and though I'd never read any of them, was highly excited and curious about this new book - In the Unlikely Event. People from work had spoken about how great it is and how intriguing the storyline was. Anyway, there'd been a lot of hype in my world over this book.
Then I began to read it. I had high hopes and kept thinking surely it would get better. It wasn't until I was talking to my supervisor about it that I almost felt like I had permission to stop reading it. I put it down about 3/4 of the way through, y'all. I just couldn't do it. It was soooo boring. I was soooo disappointed. I had forgotten my own rule - if a book hasn't grabbed my attention by page 50 or so, stop reading and move on. I just kept thinking it would pick up, but Meryle told me it never does so I gave myself permission to let it go. Sigh. Perhaps I should just go back and read Just as Long as We're Together.

The Infinite Sea

by Rick Yancey

For the Love
by Jen Hatmaker
I cannot say enough about how much I love this book. I love Jen Hatmaker and her honesty and how relatable and real she is. If you are a woman in your 30s and 40s I think you will be able to relate to her. And laugh. A lot. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect people, but we must live with those people. Jen shares her heart about people, how to show them grace, how to be real and how to live out the gospel. I will definitely be reading this one again!

Soul Keeping
by John Ortberg
This might have been a bit ambitious after reading For the Love. John is a bit heady and waaaay less funny. But it was a good book with valuable information about taking care of our souls.

At Home
by Bill Bryson
While this was intriguing and interesting, it was incredibly boring at times. The history is fascinating, but as history often is, it is also tedious, detailed and hard to get through.

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