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Book Review Time!

31 Aug

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller: Again, another book that so many people love, but I just found meh. He makes so many good points about the Christian faith, but I have really issues with how self focused this book is. Maybe he meant it to be read like a journal, but it was really off-putting to me. Maybe I just need to reflect more on myself. I’m not sure.

White Oleander by Janet Fitch: Ok, so this book is not one you should take on lightly. It is a raw, emotional, no holds barred fictional story about Astrid Maggnusen’s journey through the foster care system in California. It took me a while to chew through all this book was about, and it really hit me how many foster homes there are that are absolutely nothing but torture for the children held there. This book had a lot of drug/sex/language, but overall it was ah-maz-ing.

The Conception Chronicles by Patti Doyle Debano: This was an awesomely hilarious book about the drama that wanna-be mamas who are having a hard time conceiving go through. This book walks you through each stage of the infertility path (from diagnosis, testing, clomid, IUI, IVF, surrogates, adoption) with humor. This helps the reader find the light hearted moments in the midst of all the clinicalness, and helps remind you that its ok to laugh at the ridiculous situations and conversations you have to have when you are struggling to increase your family. In a strange way, I feel more prepared for the path ahead from reading this book than from the clinical books and articles. Its so good!

They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky by Benson Deng: This book was amazing. Its the story of several young boys, and their journey from their villages in Sudan during the Sundanese Wars. I think that this book is important for us to read, because it puts in perspective the role wars have on young children, and what it does to them.

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot: This book is really hard for me to read. I usually love YA, but this was written really strangely. However, it was still a really cute, quick read. Most of it is similar to the movie, but its also quite different.

Modern History of the Somali by I.M. Lewis: This is a text-style book, but I enjoyed reading it to learn more about the country of Somalia. As I’ve mentioned previously,  I have a special place in my heart for the country, so I loved getting to know more about the politics and history.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. This book is so amazing. What a powerful statement on governments, and the brutality that they can impart on their citizens. I wish I could recommend this book enough, but there are no words to describe how much I loved it. Its a powerful political statement, and an amazingly entertaining read.

Currently reading: Catching Fire (Hunger Games Book #2), A Patient’s Guide to PCOS

Book Reviews…a little overdue.

19 Jul

Eek! I need to get better about doing this! Its been way too long since I’ve updated about the books I have been reading. Lately I’ve been on a streak of only so-so books, so any recommendations will be welcomed!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson: At first, I hated this book. Like, serious hatred. Then, before I knew it, I was totally sucked in. I would find myself grabbing it for 10 or 15 minutes just to see what would happen. It is pretty graphic, but it’s a great murder mystery!!

The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans: This is a great, quick read. I read this when I was in junior high (before I was a believer), and I never realized that it was a book about faith, love, and the power of Christ.

Perfect Match by Jodi Piccoult: This book was ah-maz-ing. Its about a boy who is sexually abused, and his family’s response to what happened to him. I cried so hard during this book.

Thin, Rich, Pretty by Beth Harbison: She can really do no wrong in my eyes. Great and amazing chic-lit. Great feel good, quick read. I love her.

Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich: Maybe I didn’t like jumping into a series this late in the game, but I just did not enjoy this book at all. Its an ok murder mystery, but it didn’t hold my attention.

The Accidental Bride by Janice Harayda: I hated this! Its about a young engaged woman who suddenly decides that she doesn’t want to get married, and her battle with canceling the wedding. It was supposed to be a comedy, but it wasn’t funny. I had to force myself to get through it.

Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans by Thomas Brothers: This was a great sociological piece on New Orleans in the days of jazz’s hayday. Since I have such a love for that city, I really enjoyed reading this.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson: This was an interesting little fluff read. BN gave it away for free to Nook owners, and it was an ok read. Very teen lit, but fun.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen: Ooooohh so good!!!! I ADORE this book. I had avoided reading it because I didn’t want to jump on the bandwagon, but it was really amazing. It tells the story of the circus in the old days, and the struggles that have taken place to assure the safety of both carnival workers and animals since then. Seriously, its so good. So good.

Beastly by Alex Flinn: I grabbed this because I knew it’d take me only a day or 2 to get through, and I need to catch up on my GoodReads reading challenge. It was a pretty good teen read; a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast in modern days. I found it actually really enjoyable.

Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung: Jason and I read through this while debating our decision to move to Washington, D.C. or not. We had very differing opinions. While I liked some portions of it, there are some things about this book that I didn’t enjoy, and some parts that left me discouraged. Jason liked it, my vote is meh.

Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall: Another meh. The story of the young girl pretty much responsible for bringing down the Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints leader Warren Jeffs. The book will leave you with nothing but sympathy for Elissa, but if you research some, a lot of what she said in the book appears to be sensationalized. I’m torn about this, but it is an interesting look at the inner workings of fundamentalist religious sects.

Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland: Noooooo. I read this because I am fascinated with New York during the time, Tiffany lampshades, and anything about woman’s equality. However, I now feel like I could put together lampshades, thhe book was so descriptive and technical. I feel like Clara wasn’t a well developed character, no matter how much I wanted her to be (and believe me, I did), and she was only for woman’s equality because she had no other choice, all her men either died or ran away. Overall, it was way to long of a book for not too much enjoyment.

The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephanie Meyer: This was a pretty neat guide for the 4 books. I really enjoyed the artwork, and the family trees were super handy!

Room by Emma Donoghue: Oh, so good! This is the story of a 5 year old who was born into captivity, and all he has ever known is the tiny prision that his mother and he live in, because she was abducted. Based on the Josef Fritzel case, this book is about their lives in Room, and then outside of Room. Seriously, its so good. You should go read it, like…now!

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: After you finish Room, go read this one. This might be one of my favorite books of all time. Written from the perspective of Death, it is about a little girl, stuck in Germany during WWII, and all the things she and her adoptive family must endure through the war because of a military regime they privately loathe, but publicly must pretend to be like every other family. I think many times we focus on the horror that went on in other European countries during the war, and we forget that there were just as many people suffering inside Germany. That not all Germans supported Hitler, and not all Germans hated Jews. Seriously, go read this.

I am currently reading Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. And I promise that its not going to be as long between posts this time.

No, seriously, I am critical about my books

31 Mar

Most people who know me know that I am a book addict. I love reading. I would rather read than do just about anything else, including eat or sleep. I decided to participate in GoodReads 2011 Reading Challenge to keep track of how many books I am reading throughout the year. I am currently 13% toward my goal of 100, but will make up ground over the lazy, hot summer.

Here is an update of the books I’ve read since my last “Critics Corner”

 

Adopted for Life by Russell D. Moore: This book was amazing. It made me so excited to someday adopt children. It reminds us that sometimes its hard, and not fun, but it is always worth it.

The 19th Wife by David Ebershhoff: This book was really really long, but very very good. It is about Ann Eliza Young, the famous 19th wife of Brigham Young, founder of the Mormon Church. It was a fascinating look at how polygamy worked, and how Joseph Smith and Brigham Young came to fame.

Shoe Addicts Anonymous by Beth Harbison: This is the first book before Secrets of a Shoe Addict, and again, it is an amazingly fluffy book. She is one of my favorite writers.

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver: I’m not the biggest fan of this book…I was just looking for something more from it. I drug my heels reading it, too.

Hope in a Jar by Beth Harbison: This is probably my favorite book of her’s, I read it in about 5 hours on a Saturday afternoon.

Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand: This book is amazing. It made me cry, and made me so thankful for the freedoms we have in this country. It inspired me to pray and figure out ways to help our brothers and sisters in Christ who don’t have the same freedoms.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: Am I the only person in America that couldn’t stand this book? To the point that Jason asked me why I was still reading it, since I was complaining about it so much.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hogdson Burnett: I love this book so much I wanted to reread it. It always fills me with such joy, happiness, and optimism.

Colic Solved by Bryan Vartabedian: I learned a lot from this book, including signs of reflux, and ways to prevent your baby from suffering.

The Zone Diet by Barry Sears: This book was helpful, since I was looking for ways to get more protein into my diet. He offered a different way of looking at food, and also offered ways to sneak protein into my diet.

Ninteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult: Oh. My. Goodness. This book was an amazing, and scarily realistic portrait of bullying, and what happens in the teenage mind as you reach your wall. I have a whole other post I plan on writing based on this amazing book. You should read this.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum: I had to reread this. I love The Wizard of Oz. Its one of my favorite things, and anything related to. P.S…for those wondering, the book is 400,000 times better than the movie.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah: I loved this book, right up to its stereotypical ending. Don’t get me wrong, the ending still made me cry like a baby, but it was foreseen. Not the best book ever, but not a waste of time.

I’m currently reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson. So far, I have no idea what the hype is about, nor why anyone would want to make a movie out of it. Here’s to hoping it improves, and quickly.

Everyones A Critic

1 Dec

Since I was down for 6 weeks because of my surgery (post coming soon), and Jason gave me a Nook for my birthday, I thought I’d list what books I read, and give this critics opinion on each, in case you’re looking for some reading material!

Uglies Series (Uglies, Pretties, Specials) by Scott Westerfield: love. Love. LOVE. These 3 books were so amazing, and I couldn’t put them down. They make a powerful statement as to what society is on the verge of becoming, and how it doesn’t hurt to be a little bit of a troublemaker sometimes.

Sunday’s At Tiffany’s by James Patterson: I did not like this book. It felt awkward and random. If I wouldn’t have had so much free time, I would have quit reading it.

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick: This book was awful. Terrible. I didn’t like it one bit. Everything about it felt awkward and wrong.

Secrets of a Shoe Addict by Beth Harbison: This was a wonderful fluffy book. Super cute and entertaining. I loved reading this one.

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay: This book was simply amazing. Astounding. It inspired me to learn more about how the Holocaust affected other countries, not just those in Germany. And it made me cry like crazy.

As Husbands Go by Susan Isaacs: I loved this book, right up to the end. It was so good, until it just magically, and far too easily ended. I was really disappointed.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett: O.M.G. I loved this book. Most of it was written in “Southern Speak”, and it was simply amazing. I loved each and every word of it.

Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman: I think everyone should read this book. It has wrecked my life in how I love, how I act, and I’m sure how I will parent. It seriously changed my life, and I am so thankful that Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapman told their story.

Adopted for Life by Russell D. Moore: I am currently reading this, and hope to have a new perspective and passion in my heart about adoption.

I still have a ton on my “to read” list, and hopefully over the holidays I’ll have some down time to. But for right now its healing, getting ready for Christmas, and getting our apartment in order first!