Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Unbroken

Nonfiction by Laura Hillenbrand.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

I'm actually only halfway through this but it is GREAT!

(This whole Christmas thing has really put a damper on my reading speed. All that family togetherness makes it hard to concentrate...)

I hadn't jumped on this right away because I wasn't really on board with the whole "Seabiscuit" thing, her other famous book. I'm just not a fan of sports books, or animal books; I couldn't get into that one.

But several people told me this book was good, and they were right. I recommend it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Tiger's Wife

A novel by Tea Obreht.

The Tiger's Wife
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This is listed as one of the ten best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review.

Maybe I just expected too much out of it, or maybe I'm not as intellectual a reader as the New York Times Book Review would like me to be.... but I disagree. It was a good book, but not that good.

That being said, this was an interesting story, sort of a cross between fantasy and reality.

Plus it has a cool cover.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Summer Rental

A novel by Mary Kay Andrews.
Summer Rental
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This was nice light reading.

I've read several of Mary Kay Andrews' books and they're good Southern chick lit. I liked "Savannah Blues," one of her first books, a little bit better. But this one is good too.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I'm not ashamed to admit it....

I read "People" Magazine.



That's right! I even have a SUBSCRIPTION!

I like to think of "People" as the classiest of the tabloids. Which may be like saying "the most refined of the chimpanzees." It's a small distinction, but it's there.

Does this make me a shallow, celebrity-obsessed American?

Maybe. But at least I'm an HONEST one.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

On Gold Mountain

Subtitled "The One Hundred Year Odyssey of my Chinese-American Family." Nonfiction by Lisa See.

On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family

This was an exceptionally good book.

Lisa See has taken her own family's history, coupled with her extensive research about Chinese immigration to California, and turned it into a fascinating story.

I would love love LOVE to be able to do this with my own family's story, but I doubt I have the skill.

Plus I doubt my family is as interesting as Lisa See's. If they are, they've definitely concealed it....

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Weird Sisters

A Novel by Eleanor Brown.

The Weird Sisters

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This was a strange book. (I guess that follows, if "weird" is in the title, right?)

The author used first person plural for the point-of-view, which I don't think I've ever seen before, and wove in about a bazillion Shakespeare quotes into the characters' everyday conversation. I am surprised she was able to pull all that off and still tell a good story, to be honest.

But she did; this book had interesting characters and held my attention. I liked it.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sarah's Key

A Novel by Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's Key

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This book was just recently made into a movie, but I doubt they did it justice.

I read this a few months ago and it was very good.

It's like a foreign/ historical/ contemporary/ thriller. Although those things sound incompatible with each other, they blend together for a seriously cool combination.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book of a Thousand Days

A novel by Shannon Hale.

Book of a Thousand Days

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/

This is actually a young adult book, but I'll admit I read it just for myself.

It was enjoyable.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sing You Home

A Novel by Jodi Picoult
Sing You Home
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

I read this a month or so ago, but it's stayed with me; it was a very good book.

I love Jodi Picoult. She can take the most unsympathetic characters on earth and make you understand them.

This book is not about an unsympathetic character, but it is about a difficult issue. This author knows how to show all points of view so that you can really see both sides.

I wholeheartedly recommend pretty much everything Jodi Picoult has ever written.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief

A novel by Dorothy Gilman, read by Barbara Rosenblatt on Recorded Books CD.

Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief (Mrs. Pollifax Series #10)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

This is number ten in the Mrs. Pollifax series, most of which I've read. They are fun stories about an old lady who becomes a CIA agent.

I'm currently revisiting some older stories I enjoyed via recorded books. I really enjoy hearing a good story read aloud, and it certainly helps pass the time when I'm stuck in the car.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Betrayal

This is the second novel in the "Precinct 11 Series" by Jerry B. Jenkins.

 The Betrayal (Precinct 11 Series #2)
http://www.barnesandnoble.com
The first book in the series was called "The Brotherhood."

I don't know if he's planning a third book. It wasn't obvious at the end that there was a setup, which is good. I really hate it when they leave the book on a cliffhanger and then make you wait to find out what happens when the next book is released in a year, after which time you've forgotten the details of the previous book.

Yeah. I'm talking to you, J.K. Rowling. And you, Suzanne Collins. Although your books are awesome enough that I guess you're forgiven....

But I digress.

This was a pretty good book. Not spectacular, but Jenkins is a solid writer who can keep your attention.

Although he only had co-writer credit, I'm pretty sure he did almost all the work in the "Left Behind" series. Which was another one with the cliffhanger sequels that bug me.

But I digress...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Moloka'i

A novel by Alan Brennert

Moloka'i
http://www.barnesandnoble.com
I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover and all that, but I often do.

And this one lives up to its FABULOUS cover.

I am very interested in Hawaiian history right now, and this book was very absorbing. I definitely recommend it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Almost Heaven

A novel by Chris Fabry

Almost Heaven
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

I really enjoyed this book.

It's about an ordinary guy who has a guardian angel, and some of the chapters are from the point of view of the angel.

This is a concept that interests me: Who is this guy and why is his life important? And, as an extension, why is my ordinary life important?

Also it was well-written and entertaining, which is of course a must for me. I don't do boring.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Goose Girl

Fiction for Youth by Shannon Hale

The Goose Girl

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

I read this original fairy tale to my daughters ages 8 and 11 and we enjoyed it. The website recommends for ages 10 and up, but my younger girl enjoyed it more.

It is similar to Gail Carson Levine("Ella Enchanted"), whom we also like.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Last Summer of Her Other Life

A Novel by Jean Reynolds Page

Last Summer of Her Other Life
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

I bought this book because my mom met the author's dad at a Christian camp in Tennessee.

Does that sound like the beginning of a country song?

Anyways, it was a good book, but it's not necessarily a Christian book, which I guess I expected. However, I really like reading a book best when I have no idea what is coming next, so I enjoyed this one.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

One Summer

A Novel by David Baldacci

One Summer

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/

This was pretty good.

If you're familiar with Baldacci at all, you'll know this is not the way his covers usually look. It's a little like Tom Clancy writing as if he's Nicholas Sparks.

But I'll admit he actually does a good job! It's heartfelt, but with the excitement thrown in too.

I'm wondering if they're planning a movie version with Miley Cyrus.....

Friday, December 2, 2011

Left to Tell

Nonfiction by Immaculee Ilibagiza

Left To Tell
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
This was a tough subject --in case you couldn't tell that from the word "Rwandan Holocaust" on the cover-- but an inspiring book.

I'm not huge into nonfiction, but this one is definitely worthwhile and keeps your attention too!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I've Just Finished Reading...


http://www.barnesandnoble.com/

The Ape House, a novel by Sara Gruen.

This was a good book.

It's not really like "Water For Elephants," although it's by the same author.

But it was really good. Anything that can make me interested in apes as actual characters...

Well, quite a feat. That's all I'm saying.