I’ve Been Reading

by kristendom on January 2, 2013

Now that everyone is making their book lists for #52in52 or whatever other reading goals they’ve set, I figured it was a good time to throw out another quickie book review rundown. I’m still quite a few behind, but this will get me a little closer to reviewing all the books I’ve read.

First up is The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Have you seen the movie? Then you’ve read the book – and it’s absolutely worth reading every. single. page. I loved this book. I adored it. I can’t recommend it enough – it’s funny, touching, romantic, funny – did I say I loved it? Seriously, if you haven’t read it, this should be on your list for 2013.

The Golden Lily

After this I finally got to read the second in the Bloodlines series, The Golden Lily. Sure, it’s a light read – but it’s an enjoyable read. Like supernatural or vampire fiction? This is your series – with a strong female lead, of course. The author is the woman who wrote the Vampire Academy series, and I just thoroughly enjoy these so-much-better-than-Twilight series.

Black Dogs

Onto Black Dogs by Ian McEwan. I’ll be honest, I loved loved McEwan’s book, Atonement. Every other book since, I have really not enjoyed all that much – and this one is included. Focusing on a one-time encounter of a woman by two black dogs, it just didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I’m sure if I had the opportunity to read it as part of a book club or even an English class, I’d get more out of this book, but if you’re not going to do either of those things, I’d pass.

Onto the E.M. Forster classic, A Room with a View. One of my goals this past year was to read more classic literature, and this definitely fit the bill – in a good way. I rather enjoyed this book, and I’d definitely recommend it if you have a mind to read more classic lit. Also, it’s on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list, so if you’re a fan of trying to check those off (which of course I am), have at it. Go ahead and check another one off the list – you won’t regret it.

Daring Greatly

Then I picked up Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. Since you can read a much more in-depth review of it here, I’ll just tell you that it’s worth a read.

Recently at work I started a mini book club for a few colleagues and myself. We try to read a book about every month or month-and-a-half and discuss over happy hour. Our second book was Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone. I have to say that, especially considering my line of work, I really got a lot out of this book. We all have to have difficult conversations at some point in our lives – this book does a great job walking you through the best way to do that. I’d read it again (and I might).

Another classic, Moll Flanders was a book I really wanted to like, expected to like, but it just dragged for me. The story of a woman through her various stages of both profit and loss, upper class to prostitution, it sounds right up my alley, right? But man, was that a slow read. I also loathe books without chapters – I require breaking points.

The Widower's Tale

Having read Three Junes by Julia Glass, I had hoped to enjoy The Widower’s Tale by her more than I did. It was an okay light read. Maybe it was just the timing, but this book just didn’t sit well with me when I read it. It was kind-of cutesy – an old, crotchety widower undergoes an astonishing reformation when his daughter opens a preschool in his barn. Wow – just reading that makes me want to yak. So yeah, read at your own sugar-overload risk.

I read the graphic novel Ghost World next. This is one of those I really wish I’d read in high school or even college – I know I would have enjoyed it then. And I could still appreciate it reading it even now, but I just didn’t enjoy it all that much. But it’s a graphic novel, so it’s a short read, if you’re into them.

More Baths, Less Talking

I am a Nick Hornby fan to the nth degree, in case you didn’t know that about me. But even I couldn’t enjoy More Baths, Less Talking. His heart just wasn’t in it. I don’t know what to say either than that – it was a cruel shadow of a Hornby book. Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but it just sucked.

A couple more graphic novels - Uglies: Shay’s Story and Justice League: Rise and Fall. The Uglies comic is a prequel to the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld, and it was fairly entertaining, but nothing to write home about. It was the same thing with the Justice League comic – it was an interesting glimpse into some stories, but I just didn’t care all that much about the characters. I know, I know – they’re superheroes – how can I not care? But I didn’t.

Eleanor & Park

One final book for this edition of “I’ve Been Reading” - Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I’m fortunate enough to know of Rowell through a friend of mine who went to high school with her. Having enjoyed her previous book quite a bit, I was not disappointed when reading this one. It’s an incredibly accurate account of first love in high school, and it was just a great book all around. This is one to pick up for sure.

Well, that’s it for this round of book reviews. What have you been reading lately?

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