Sunday, May 5, 2013

My Bookworm Months

My 'stack of books'

One of my New Year's resolutions this year was to read at least two books a month. I started off really strong... then started getting 'bus sick' (i.e. - I've never gotten car sick. ever. and recently Chicago bus drivers have been making it hard for me to ride and read.) Don't worry, the nauseas feeling goes away after I turn off my Kindle and focus on looking out the window, but it's cutting down on about an hour of my reading time each day!

Here is what I've finished thus far. Thought I would share, because I really enjoyed many of them!

The Fault in Our Stars, John Green - This one was one Time magazine's best books of the year. It is young adult fiction... I'll admit that - so a quick read, but really good regardless.

Where'd You Go Bernadette, Maria Semple - This story is told through emails, letters, and other written documents. It's put together in a clever way and I found it to be a quirky, well-written mystery.

Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides - I believe this book won a Pulitzer, so yes, it's good:) It follows several different characters through one intertwined story.

Sharp Objects and Dark Places, Gillian Flynn
I had read Gone Girl a few months back and loved. it. In February, Gillian Flynn's earlier novels, Sharp Objects and Dark Places were my Costa Rica beach reads. They are both rather twisted and dark - just putting that out there. I enjoyed them and they made my plane rides tolerable and kept me glued to my beach chair. You can feel her writing developing with each of the books -- her characters and methods of story-telling become more intricate. I can't wait to see what's next after Gone Girl:)

The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides - Another dark one! But a quick, gripping read. I read this in a few hours on my way to and from Nashville. After reading Middlesex and the Marriage Plot (I finished that one in December, so it didn't make my 2013 resolutions cut), I figured I might as well finish up his trio.

NW, Zadie Smith - This wasn't my favorite. I really liked Zadie Smith's White Teeth and On Beauty, but I found NW difficult to follow. I appreciate the changes in pace and narrative, but the story never went anywhere. I didn't feel compelled to keep picking it back up.

I slacked off a bit in April, due to my motion-less reading predicament. But I am almost through Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In. So far, so good. A great message of knowing what you deserve and asking for what you want. She doesn't sugar coat things or allude that you can easily have it all, but she does talk about balance and making time for what matters. I've highlighted a ton of this book, so maybe a full post on that is in my future.

Ok so pretty much I recommend all the books I read (except maybe NW, depending on your reading preferences.) That's partially because if I don't like a book I don't tend to finish it. (I do give adequate benefit of the doubt - I never quit before I'm about a third through, just in case.) A few of those include The Year of Living Biblically; Mennonite in a Little Black Dress; Eat, Pray, Love; and the Happiness Project. Maybe it just depends on my mood or the height of my expectations. And maybe I'd end up really liking those books if I gave them another try. Who knows.

Any suggestions for the coming months?

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