Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Recent Reads

I've had another good month or so of reading, so I wanted to share the books I've read lately. To clarify, Kim and I are brave souls and are in two book clubs together... I am not in one super-crazy-club!

Kim also gave me a few other book suggestions that I have on my up-coming reading list. Along with that, she got me addicted to yet another website, http://www.goodreads.com/. You can share book recommendations, track which books you've read, rate books to find personalized suggestions, list books you want to read, see what other people are reading, and so on. It's like a virtual bookshelf. They also have a pretty good iPhone app, which is going to be pretty handy for my next Barnes & Noble shopping trip. If you like reading you should check it out. And become friends with me so I can stalk your book list :)

The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd

I love this book. This was our September book club choice - see Ginny's post about our meeting (and her beautiful & delicious bee cake pops!!) here.  I read this book several years ago, but remembered liking it so much that I decided to read it again for our meeting. I tend to forget what books/movies are about, so it was almost like reading it for the first time all over again. Luckily my mom still had her copy that I had read years before and she let me borrow it again. I didn't realize this until after she gave it to me, but the back of the book even says it is "a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come" - in our case, very literally! :) If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

 Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer

This was also a book club choice (book club #2, keep up people!). I thought it was a very weird book at first but ended up liking it. It's told from the point of view of a nine-year-old boy, Oskar, whose dad died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. It's written just the way a nine year old speaks and thinks, which took a few chapters to get used to (as in, endless run-on sentences and funny childhood thoughts) and took me a while to get through. Oskar finds a key in his dad's bedroom and sets out on a secret mission to find the matching lock as a way to become closer to his dad. There are a few other stories intertwined throughout the book as well, that all end up coming together at the end - in a good way but not how I expected them to. It was definitely not a book I would normally pick up on my own, which was my main purpose in joining the book clubs.

 Half Broke Horses, by Jeannette Walls

Kim recommended this one to me. We seem to have similar taste in books (see above: we are in two book clubs together), so she sent me a list of some of her recent favorites. This one did not disappoint. It's not exactly a feel-good book, but still a good read. It is a true-life novel about the story of Lily Casey Smith, the author's grandmother, who grew up on a ranch and had what I would consider a pretty rough life. She still manages to look for the best in everything and I really enjoyed it, especially since I am not usually into reading about horses and the ranching lifestyle. I also surprisingly liked the mini-chapters, each just a few pages long. I thought that would make it easier to put down, but instead as I was reading I'd think "oh just 2 more pages, well how about another 3 pages, okay just one more..." and an hour later I'd finally go to bed. Thanks for a great recommendation, Kim!

Catching Fire (Hunger Games #2), by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3), by Suzanne Collins

I read the first book of this series and was hooked! But since I extremely dislike hardback books, and we are anti-electronic-device-reading (no kindles, nooks, ipads for us) AND since I prefer to buy books than borrow from the library (lots of reading restrictions here...), I was just going to wait until it came out in paperback. But then we decided to read the series for book club, and I borrowed the second and third books from my friend, Ginny. She and a few others had read them and said how good they were during our meeting for the first book, and I couldn't wait. We didn't have any plans last weekend and I read the second one in a matter of hours. It was my favorite book of the series. I finished the third book in two days, which I thought wasn't quite as good as the first two but still pretty good. Besides, you have to read it to find out how the trilogy ends. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read them yet, because I can't really talk about what happens in these two books without giving away the ending to the first book. Such a good series!


  1. Yay! So happy you are enjoying your reads. :) I promise my next set of recommendations will be a tad more uplifting. ;)

  2. I had to laugh when this came through on my email a little while ago. I was checking out goodreads.com because you had said I needed to. It is very addicting!

  3. Thanks for the recommendations :) I loved the Hunger Games series...please tell me you saw the trailer that just came out?! It. looks. amazing.

  4. Okay, I loved Bees and Hunger Games as well so you've got me intrigue with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. May have to go check the library . . .


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