Friday, October 12, 2012

Recent Reads

Thanks to all of our travels and two round-trip transatlantic flights in just five weeks, I managed to get a lot of reading in this summer. As always, I love any recommendations you have!

The Sun Also Rises
by Ernest Hemingway
Rating: 4.5 stars

This is Bo's all-time favorite book. After I read (and loved!) The Paris Wife, he demanded strongly recommended I read a Hemingway book. I think Bo was a little offended by my rating - but it took me a while to get used to Hemingway's style of writing. Although the book was short, it wasn't exactly a quick read for me - there are no "filler" words and everything in the book is meaningful to the story. I do think if I were to read it again I would give it a full 5 stars. Set in the 1920s, this book is essentially a somewhat twisted, guy's version of a love story between Jake and Lady Brett, following them from Paris to Pamplona for a bullfight. I also loved the minor characters throughout the story who actually play a larger role than you would think. It's definitely a classic for a reason.

The Island
by Elin Hilderbrand
Rating: 3 stars

I borrowed this book from my mom and brought it with me on our cruise. I read almost the entire thing on one of our sea days. It's a quick, easy beach read - especially after having just finished my first Hemingway. When Birdie's daughter Chess calls off her engagement and Birdie's own 30-year marriage comes to an end, she decides to head back to the family vacation home on Tuckernuck with both of her daughters, Chess and Tate, and her sister, India. They learn much more about themselves and each other than they probably ever cared to, but it brings them all closer to each other and to happiness in the end. This is a pretty typical summer-romance novel that was perfect for a summer vacation.

Eat, Pray, Love 
by Elizabeth Gilbert
Rating: 3.5 stars

This is one of the few books that I actually saw the movie first. It's been a few years since I saw it, so I figured that was enough time for me to forget most of the story details and to make it an interesting book to read. Unless my memory has completely failed me, there was (as usual) so much left out from the movie. I also brought this book along for the cruise since her year-long trip around the world in starts in Italy. Having just been there and eaten so much delicious food, I completely loved the "eat" chapter. I thought the "pray" chapter in India was better in the movie, and I'd call the "love" chapter in Bali a tie between the movie and the book. I probably would have given it 4 stars if I had read it first, but the movie had somewhat tainted my view. This was another great book to read on vacation, especially since India and Bali are two places on our must-see list (which by the way, at the rate our vacation list is growing I think we will need to win the lottery, retire by age 30, and then live until we are about 400 years old...)

A Room with a View
by E.M. Forster
Rating: 4 stars

Bo saw the movie for this book a few months ago on one of his cross-country flights for work, and absolutely loved it. He bought the book when we were in Daytona, after the book he was reading at the time got destroyed by an incoming wave on the beach. He finished it on our flight to Venice, and thought I would enjoy it. I actually finished all the books I brought with me on the cruise with a few days left to go, so I read it purely because I had nothing else to read. So far he is two for two with book recommendations! Despite the older English, it was pretty humorous. The story is about Lucy and Charlotte's trip to Italy, where they meet the Emersons. Upon coming back home to England, Lucy is soon engaged to Cecil - however she realizes she is actually in love with George Emerson. Cecil is two things that George is not: wealthy and proper (which, according to her family, are the only things that should matter). It was a very funny story but in the end, Lucy must decide whether to do what is expected of her or to follow her own heart. It was a great book and I now want to see the movie!

Cutting for Stone
by Abraham Verghese
Rating: 5 stars

It took me a little while to get into this book - it wasn't until about halfway when it really picked up for me. But once it did, I was hooked. As in, staying up way too late at night to read, and being tired at work the next day! The story is told from Marion's perspective. He and his twin brother Shiva were born in Ethiopia, to Sister Mary Joseph Praise, an Indian nun who dies during their birth, and Dr. Thomas Stone, a British surgeon who abandons them immediately after their mother's death. The boys are adopted and raised by Hema and Ghosh, two other physicians at the hospital where their birth parents had worked. The twins naturally grow up to share a love for medicine, however they also share a desire for the same girl, which eventually drives them apart from each other. Marion moves away to New York City, only to learn he needs the two people on Earth he has avoided most: his brother and his birth father. I absolutely LOVED the way it ended, bringing everything from the book full circle, and I may or may not have cried through the last chapter or two. I highly recommend this book, as long as you are okay dealing with extremely descriptive (and at times, disturbing) medical scenes. For some reason I am fine reading about them, but have to close my eyes during that kind of stuff on TV! :)


  1. I just finished a book, I have two at home to read, but now I want to add two of yours to my list. I also have a stack of magazines about 2 feet tall at home.... I need a week just to read!

    1. I would love to have a week just to read! Dare to dream, I guess ;)

  2. Okay, I'm excited because I am always looking for a good book to read. My father-in-law usually brings me books, but I am definitely gonna be reading some of these :) there is nothing better than a good book! I might have to do a post on some of my recent reads too!

    1. I think you should definitely do a post! I love to know what other people are reading, that's how I find some of my best recommendations!


I love hearing from you! Thanks for commenting :)