Friday, July 8, 2011

Recent Reads

I have been reading quite a few books these past few months.  This is partially due to terrible, awful morning sickness in the late Spring, partially due to summer vacation and road trips, partially due to my love of reading, and partially due to personal determination to read what is already on my shelves, and therefore, hopefully condensing my number of books by chucking all but the keepers.  

So here we go.  My journey of books the past three months:

I finally finished the Harry Potter books this past spring...  I went hard core on the first five, then got a little burnt out.  I took a six month hiatus to rekindle my Potter love.  I am glad to say, however, that these last two were VERY good and ended the series strong.  They both get 4 stars.
Next up, "Let the Great World Spin", by Colum McCann.  Ehh, good character development, well written and interesting.  But, I was not that excited about the actual content of the story.  I can handle reading about the depravity of mankind, however, I need some redemption or some hope or SOME sort of saving quality at the close.  And I was left lacking when I read the last page.  This author reminds me of another, Frank McCourt, who is also Irish; both writers tend to be melancholy and borderline depressing.  I gave it 3 stars. 

Ahhh, sweet little "Anne, with an "e", of Green Gables."  I would just like to know how in the world I missed this book growing up?!  It's such a classic and such a delight to read.  I give it 4 stars.

{And then, the best part, was that I wanted Jarod to watch ALL the movies with me.  He easily agreed, stating that he had watched the movies as a kid and liked them.  About 30 minutes into the first movie, Jarod said, "Wow, I must have been a real loser of kid to like these."  Haha.}

"The Bridges of Madison County" is a short book and a very fast read.  I think I read it in one setting, maybe two.  It's a captivating love story that quickly swallows the reader into the throngs of hidden and forbidden love.  (Perhaps why I read it one setting).  While I was totally engrossed in the story, I kept wondering, why is all steamy, passionate love always taking place OUTSIDE of the husband and wife's relationship?  Shame.  No hope for us ol' married people.  Anyway, it's a sappy love story, and a well written one nonetheless.  3 1/2 stars.

"Stones from the River", BLEH.  I gave it a good, hard run.. honest, I did.  But finally at page 138, I couldn't handle it anymore.  Midgets?! Nazi's?! Psychotic, institutionalized mothers?!  It was too much.  And it started making me wonder if I was going to have a midget baby.  It's in my give-away pile.  2 stars.

"The Soloist".  Well, I thought it was the book that spawned the movie (with the same title) starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx... WRONG.  A totally different book, however, creepily similar to the movie.  The book I read was also based in LA, also had a famous cello player and also involved a schizophrenic.  Hmm, makes me wonder if this book had a "borrowed plot", which was tossed in the blender and called his own.  Anyway, a decent book, but, not all that life changing.  3 stars.

Oh.  My.  Gosh.  "Belly Laughs" is absolutely hysterical if you are, or recently were, pregnant.  Jarod and I read it out loud to each other on our recent road trip to Colorado.  We were crying, we were laughing SO hard.  Now, keep in mind, it's Jenny McCarthy.  SOOO, if you're offended by foul language or body fluids or vulgarity and indecent topics... then this book is not for you.  Clearly, I'm not too bothered by those things and found this book 100% accurate of my personal pregnancy experience.  4 stars.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.  This book was AMAZING.  "The Glass Castle" was the best book I have read this year.  I could NOT put it down, therefore finishing it in two days.  It is a jaw-dropping autobiography (as in TRUE STORY) of a girl's growing up in a transient, dysfunctional, bizarre family.  I loved this book and just heard the author recently wrote her grandmother's story, titled "Brokeback Horses".  I will purchase that book. But, sigh, I loved this book.  And I find myself thinking about it all the time.  5 stars!!!

"The Joy Luck Club",  hmm.   It was good.  It was insightful.  It was well written.  Yet, I was not engaged.  All I could think about was Jeanette and her crazy family!!!  (See entry above).  Some books you get at just the right time, and it makes the read.  And others, well...  you get the point.  I really do think this is a good book, but it just came at an unfortunate moment.  Perhaps I'll give it another chance, another day.  Honestly, it was an interesting book about the clashes of cultures amongst Chinese mothers and their American born, Chinese daughters; really, it was interesting.  I promise.  3 1/2 stars.

And here is what I am currently reading, "The Life and Times of Michael K."  Ahhh, can't go wrong with a South African story set during Apartheid.  I am about a third of the way into it, and it's wonderfully written.  So far, there has yet to be a book about South Africa that I haven't thoroughly enjoyed.  Well, maybe I'm biased.  Stars TBA.


Stefanie said...

Yay! I appreciate the suggestions for new books to read, and I can't lie, even though I probably won't read it, a story involving nazis, psychotics & midget babies does sound intriguing :)

Tiffany Stevens said...

I cannot believe you just now read Anne of Green sweet baby boy is named after Gil!!! Top 5 books and movie's for me!!!!