Friday, February 25, 2011

Reading List - February 2011

I can't believe it's been nearly a year since I last updated my reading list. It's not that I haven't been reading. Actually quite the opposite, I've done quite a bit of reading in the past many months. Following are my thoughts on the books I've finished, along with an updated reading list. My "to be read" list is MUCH longer than what appears here, but it would be overwhelming to include them all:) Here goes...

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Okay, so this is a book written for preteen/teenagers, but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was like a lighter version of Harry Potter, minus the magic and younger heroes/heroines. I enjoyed the story line, the development of the characters and the mystery that unraveled throughout the book. There was one especially interesting development at the end (part of a subplot) in which I was like "ahhhh, now it makes sense". So for kids and kids at heart, I recommend this fun, easy read.

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
This book was not at all what I expected. First, I didn't realize that it was the author's actual experience. Second, I guess from the movie previews I was expecting something lighthearted. Third, I did not expect the book to make me think and reflect so much on my own life and I never expected to relate so much. I'll leave it to you to get into the details but I loved the writing style of the author and her transformation throughout her story was relatable at many different intervals. I have already recommended this book to a few people and would do the same in general. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie...I hope it doesn't disappoint.

Promise Not to Tell by Jennifer McMahon
A deviation from my typical genre, this one wasn't quite what I expected but it was actually quite good. It's an easy read, not too long, but for a relatively short book I felt that it was pretty well developed and the build up kept me turning the pages. I definitely had difficulty putting this one down once I got started. When I read the reviews, they were mixed so I think this is one that you would either love or hate. Give it a try and let me know what you think. For me, I'm looking forward to reading another of Jennifer McMahon's books.

127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston
Yes, THAT Aron Ralston...the one the movie is about (though I can tell from the previews that the movie took some liberties). This book is amazing! The true story of Aron Ralston's experience when his hand gets caught by a boulder while hiking and he has to make the unthinkable decision to cut off his hand. Very well written...loved the outline, his writing style is incredibly engaging and sucks you in, and of course the virtually unbelievable experience that this man went through. I started off the book feeling sorry for him, went through a phase where I felt he kind of deserved what happened after tempting fate so much. But at the end I only have admiration for all that he went through, how he survived and especially how honest he was about himself. I strongly recommend this book, but beware that the part where he cuts off his hand is not for the weak of stomach.

Not Lost Forever: My Story of Survival by Carmina Salcido (with Steve Jackson)
I decided I had to get this book after I saw this young woman's story on a show titled "Kids of Killers" on TV. I was so intrigued by the show that I went searching for more about her and found a 20/20 episode on YouTube. That picqued my curiosity even more. So I got the book for Christmas and have just recently finished. The book is heartwrenching and gives me nothing but hope and prayers for a better life for Carmina Salcido. But at the same time I'm inspired by her strength to endure all that she has over the years. Please, read her book, hear her story in her own words. And share with me in raising up continued prayers that she will find peace and healing in her life.

So with those books done, here's my updated list of books to read:
  1. The Flight of the Romanovs by John Curtis Perry & Constantine Pleshakov
  2. To Full Term: A Mother's Triumph Over Miscarriage by Darci Klein
  3. Patti Jane's House of Curl by Lorna Landvik
  4. Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
  5. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
  6. Emma by Jane Austen
  7. Fair Game by Valerie Plame Wilson
  8. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
  9. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Klaus
  10. Me: Stories of My Life by Katherine Hepburn
  11. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
  12. Have a Little Faith: a true story by Mitch Albom
  13. The Hunt for Bin Laden: Task Force Dagger by Robin Moore
  14. A Long Way Gone: Memoir's of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
  15. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

I find that this past year I leaned toward true stories and, based on my reading list it seems that I'll stick to the trend (at least for now).

What are you reading?