Sunday, January 8, 2012

Reading is FUNdamental

I truly had forgotten how much I enjoy reading. And, moreover, how much I enjoy reading fiction. I wanted to start recording the books I’ve read and some thoughts on them.

This post will be a partial list of books since our honeymoon.


Sarah's Key 

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay- I like historical fiction and  have a crazy interest in holocaust stories. This novel hit the spot for both. I also learned a lot about the Vichy government in France during WWII. I still need to see the movie on this one.

One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus– Hands down the best book I read last year. I thought it touched on women’s rights, the idea of assimilation, the definition of civility, what defines culture, motherhood, ownership…I could go on and on. It is a great read.


Those Who Save Us

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum- Again with holocaust books. This one got me thinking about what people will do to survive and how that changes them forever.

The Paris wife : / McLain, Paula. – I loved this book about Ernest Hemmingway’s first wife. She risked a lot for him and I liked watching her grow and demand more for herself.

Mary : / Newman, Janis Cooke.- I know this is historical FICTION about Mary Todd Lincoln but I love, respect and pity her now because of this novel. It was ROUGH being a strong, opinionated, smart women in the 19th century. She made bad choices but her options were so limited.

Product Details

Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen- This one was pretty good and the movie SUCKED. I liked the way the old man retold his history.


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- LOVED THIS SERIES! It was so much fun and so twisted. I cannot wait for the movie and usually that isn’t my bag.

Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account by Miklos Nyiszli- This book is so hard. It is written by a CZ prisoner/pathologist who was recruited out of selection by Mengele himself to perform autopsies and run sham experiments for the Reich. He worked in the crematoriums and gives witness to the horrors with a scientific tone. It is chilling. The foreword to the book shook me up too by provoking thought about why a whole race of people “allowed” themselves to be slaughtered. I am still thinking about it.

Nanny Returns: A Novel by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus- I had a love/hate relationship with the Nanny Diaries and so it was with this novel. I always like seeing how characters are doing years after I left them. The plus was that I got it at Borders at 80% off Smile


The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy - I didn’t love this one. Set in a small British island territory during German occupation in WWII. It was an interesting perspective on survival during occupation. But I just didn’t latch on to the love story.

The Edge Of The Sky by Drusilla Campbell - Got this at Borders when books were 80% off. I was OK. It was a decent story about motherhood in a hard situation.

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach- M loaned this to me when I ran out of books on our honeymoon. The author does such a good job of teaching with humor.

The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain- This author reminds me A LOT of Jodi Picoult who I love yet frustrates me with how she ends her stories. Despite having one too many implausible plot twists this was a good story. It shows how secrets can rot inside you without anyone really noticing.

Red Hook Road: A Novel by Ayelet Waldman- I have read a bit of this authors work and haven’t been blown away yet. The aspect of this book I appreciated the most was how smoothly she made the progression in time. The reader gets to see how the character’s lives change from year to year and what parts of them will never change.

A Yellow Raft in Blue Water: A Novel by Michael Dorris- Some of my favorite reads aren’t new at all. I read this one for 11th grade English class and barely remembered the story at all. Rereading it now, I’m not sure how it didn’t stick to me. The three generations of women and the assumptions they make about each other. I hope it will remind me that I don’t know everything about my mom and her actions and my daughter can never know every piece of me; I hope going forward I can respect that.

The particular sadness of lemon cake : / by Bender, Aimee.- Just sort of odd. I was excited by the premise though, that when you eat you can taste the emotions of the chef. It went down a strange path though. I didn’t fully get it.

A stolen life : / Dugard, Jaycee Lee,- SO awful. I had a really hard time getting through the first part of this book. I am glad to hear how well this woman is doing now considering the horror of her early life.

Ready player one / Cline, Ernest. – A dear friend in France recommended this book for M, he read it and LOVED it. So I read it and it was really fun. A must read for any child (esp boys) of the 80’s or for anyone who loves one of them. 

Secret daughter / / Gowda, Shilpi Somaya. – I liked this book but didn’t love some of the characters. It was a interesting perspective on respecting culture and insecurities for adoptive parents.

Artisan bread in five minutes a day : / Hertzberg, Jeff. – This book has changed M and my  lives. We have been using this method to prepare yummt bread and spreading the gospel for about 4 months now.

The Dirty Parts of the Bible: A Novel by Sam Torode- I just finished this one, it was a really fun read. Set just after the Great Depression. The preacher’s son is sent on a quest after his father falls from grace. He has to figure out what to believe in and what believing actually means. It was quick and fun.

The Dirty Parts of the Bible: A Novel


Since starting this post I have finished another book. It’ll be another post. I am going to try to add all of the books I read in 2012. Lets see how it goes.

1 comment:

The Devil's Starchy Fingers said...

Wow! I am jealous of all the reading you have completed in such a short time. I need to make the time to read more. I miss it.
Have you read Mary Roach's book "Stiff"? It is one of my all time favorites. It is about all the things that people do with cadavers. Fascinating stuff.
I loved "The Hunger Games" too and need to read the other two.
Keep posting books, I like suggestions from friends and to see what other people are reading.