Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Book it!

Did any of you do Book It! in elementary school? Oh, how I loved reading books and getting paid in pizza. What a win/win. Reading is fun and it gets you a night out with good food.

Anyhow, I generally don't get rewarded for reading books these days, but what does that matter? The reward is in reading itself! And, here's a list of what I've read lately, and what I thought about it.

Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist

This book was great. I'm not entirely sure why I can't get a clear picture to download, but I'm going to go with it and move on. The subtitle for this book is "Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way." I would call it a memoir, and a really good book for anyone who has ever spent time in deep thought over the lessons we learned the hard way. There are so many books in the "Christian" genre that make me roll my eyes, but this is one that helped me appreciate my faith and the community that comes with it. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads, but I'll be honest, there were a couple moments in the book where - while I loved what she was saying - I couldn't figure out where she was going with it and why it was in the book. If Goodreads gave a half option, I would have given it 4 1/2 stars. It started and finished with a bang, and the snippets in between were definitely worth reading.

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

This is a re-re-reread for me. I've read The Chronicles of Narnia so many times I've lost count. It started as a simple series of books that I checked out of the local library, as a child in elementary school, and turned into a classic that I return to time and time again. It is exciting to read these to Rosemary and only seems to be deepening my appreciation. I read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to her about a year ago and it was great, but this next one seemed to be over her head. So we put it away until recently, and it was definitely worth the wait. It's one of the greats in the series.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

This might be my top book of the summer. Maybe of the year. I love good historical fiction, and this was so well written and completely captivating. I have never really like Ernest Hemingway; but because of this book, I have started rereading his works. Looking at Hemingway's life and story through his 1st wife, Hadley's eyes brought it to life and renewed my interest in all the greats of the time. I even ran out to rent Midnight in Paris because of this book (Midnight in Paris is a great movie as well, but I digress). Hemingway is fairly despicable and Hadley was pretty naive - it came together well in this book.

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

A great book to read after The Paris Wife, Hemingway writes about his life in Paris and brilliantly disguises his many, many faults ... but if you know him, or know anything about him, they are incredibly evident. They say the most creative people are not always able to see outside their own boxes, and Ernest Hemingway is such a classic example. I am able to step back and admire his audacity, but if I had been alive during this amazing era in Paris, I'm sure Hemingway and I would have had many terse conversations ... and he probably would have beaten me to a pulp in this book.

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Hmmm. What to say about Monster? It's one of the books on my reading curriculum at school, and since I'd like to know what my students are reading, I listened to the audiobook. This is a book about a young man who may or may not have been involved in a botched robbery that turned into a murder. We get to decide for ourselves whether or not we think he's guilty, and my conclusion is that he is. It's an interesting story of a boy who might or might not have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. He's trying to take a good hard look at himself, but he's afraid of what he might see. Somebody once told me that a person's potential for greatness is just as great as his potential for evil, and I think it comes across well in this book. It's probably a good book for a struggling reader, especially if the topic is interesting, but as for me ... I'm undecided. A couple of times I felt like there was an underlying message or two, but whatever messages they were didn't come across that well.

On that note ... I guess I've been reading a lot, lately. I'm looking at my list and I have 6 more to write about! I'll take a break there, and pick up another day.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Also, what have you been reading ... do you have any good recommendations for me?

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. Book it was awesome! Paris Wife is officially on my list, historical fiction is my favorite genre.

    I go back and forth on Hemingway- I hated Old Man and the Sea, but The Sun also Rises is one of my favorite books ever.

    I'm reading all the books by John Jakes, they are slightly cheesy historical fiction books that are a total guilty pleasure, plus I got like 7 of his books at a library sale for next to nothing, so near-free books always win over $20 books from Amazon. Plus, they are all 1,000 pages+. Short books piss me off, I get through them too quick