My Journey Through Books in 2010

I am moving right along in my reading adventures this year. I am approaching my 50th book and every now and then I check in and update you, give recommendations, and ask for suggestions.

Here are a few noteworthy books I have found along the way and, as always, I will tell you how I "found" them.

Little Giant of Aberdeen County-Tiffany Baker: My mother read this book earlier this year and raved about it's storytelling so I borrowed this one to indulge.
Little Giant is told by Truly, a young girl with a "large" birth defect. It follows her from birth, follows her hardships with her father and the favoritism of her beautiful sister and all of the hardships of life. Truly becomes intertwined with her sisters mistakes in life and stuck in a situation where she discovers family secrets and moral issues. This was a quick read. The moral dilemma in the book was one that provided great book club fodder. I don't want to give anything way so I will say no more...only that I enjoyed reading the book and I enjoyed discussing it after it's end even more.

Of Bees and Mist-Eric Setiawan: I was in need of something really good to read and had just come off a really great book so I looked to "If You Like This Book You'll Love This..." link of the website I was utilizing. Of Bees and Mist was listed first.

I had such a love/hate relationship with this book. I found that the narrative was written in an almost sloppy manner. I also have a hard time with the fantasy element. About halfway through the book I gave in. I took the fantastical elements and just tried to use them in a figurative sense. After I came to terms with this I actually enjoyed the book! I thought the story was awesome. It follows Merieda and her family-who house some devastating secrets. Merieda is followed from birth and until she meets the love of her life-Daniel. Merieda marries and lives with Daniels family and the hardships pick up. I thought I had an intense Mother in law. You have not seen/heard anything until you meet Merieda's MIL. This book was a roller coaster with disasters around every corner. If you can stomach lots of imagery and fantasy elements and focus on the story, then you will be satisfied!

A Perfect Nightmare-John Saul: My mother purchased House of Reckoning by same author. I read this book and was slightly impressed. During a library visit I found PN and I thought I would give it a go.

Perfect Nightmare is exactly what it claims to be. A perfect nightmare. It is about a couple with a teenage daughter who need to move. During the showing of their home a serial kidnapper enters and becomes obsessed with the daughter and takes her after hiding in the basement all day after a house showing. The chapters take turns being told from the mother of the child, the serial kidnapper and the daughter. The kidnapper has some crazy motives and the twists and turns and just plain creepiness of this idea was enthralling! I will now be terrified to ever sell my house. I loved this book. Unfortunately I tried a few other Saul books and I wasn't as impressed. Out of four or five I have read by him this was by far the most noteworthy.

I'm Perfect, You're Doomed: Tales From a Jehovah's Witness Upbringing-Kyria Abrahams-I can't remember the origin of this book. I think I read about it in Entertainment Weekly or my mother recommended.

I was immediately curious about this book. I have always been interested in religions. The exclusiveness of them, the judgements upon others, the radicalness, the rules, everything. I am of no religion. I don't believe in organized religion, it's not for me. I take more of a scientific approach on these things-but that is another day and another conversation. When I was young a Jehovah's Witness came to our home and talked with my Grandma and my mother for a long time. Both Grandma and Ma ended up becoming JW's. I attended the Kingdom Hall with them from time to time. I was never forced into the religion. It was always my choice to believe what I wished. They were pretty loyal JW's up until my high school years. I remember at a very young age just kind of finding the whole bit odd and ridiculous. I read a lot of their literature and in college I took tons of philosophy of religion courses to study anything and everything about religions. So naturally, this book appealed to me on a personal level.

The book followed Kyria from childhood until her twenties and discussed her family upbringing in the Kingdom Hall, her radical beliefs and fears and discussed a lot of the doctrine of JW and the way of living. I will say that if you are curious about JW religion and what children think and how things are perceived you should read this. It was interesting to relate to the author on these matters. The problem I had with this book is by mid-book I thought that the author got away from the purpose and just started blaming everything that happened to her in her life on JW. I guess it could stem from this but, to me, it became forced and unbelievable. Like Abrahams just wanted to tie this book up in a pretty bow. So I leave you to make your decision on this one.

Dear Husband-Joyce Carol Oates: Browsing in the library and this book caught my eye because of the vibrant color on the jacket and the title. I read the back and thought I would give it a go.

A collection of short stories. I am a hard core Stephen King fan so I am picky when it comes to short story writers. I have only found one other to master it as well as King-Dan Chaon. So I was taking a chance on Dear Husband. This collection is all about families. Different types of families and different hardships and mostly their abilities to cope after devastation. It was incredibly beautiful and I am very glad I picked it up.

Lord of the Rings-J.R.R Toilken-Always been a HUGE fan of the films and my brother is obsessed with The Hobbit so I decided to give it a chance. Turns out I fell in love. Amazing tale, beautiful story and it touched my soul. This is going on my favorite books of all time list. If you are a fan of the films and have not read these tales please give it a chance. Or if you like tales such as these-give it a shot.

So that's about it. Currently I am reading: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I am a little over half way and I love the story. My next novel will be The Hobbit but I had some Q's for all of you:

Has anyone read anything by Nick Hornby? One of my fav. films is About A Boy and I saw the book in library. I also saw: A Long Way Down and am thinking of trying it out.

Also, another favorite book is The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. Has anyone read Franny and Zooey? I have also added this to my queue of books.

Lastly: What are you currently reading? Any suggestions?


The Bumbles July 22, 2010 at 12:49 PM  

Well that sounds like a terrific mix of genres and styles and subjects. Just the way I like to read.

Were the Oates short stories depressing? Because I read one of her novels - The Gravedigger's Daughter I think it was called - and it was far from uplifting. But she wrote really well and I think it impacted me because she did such a tremendous job of putting you inside the character's head.

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is a personal favorite. I re-read it last year for the first time since I was a pre-teen. Fell in love with it all over again!

Can't help you on either of your questions unfortunately.

I am reading Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and leading an online discussion on it. It is a non-fiction classic about tenant farmers in Alabama in the mid-30's. I have a love hate relationship with it and it is taking me a really long time to get through. But the subject matter is very worth the effort. I will be looking for light and fluffy when I am done with it.

B July 22, 2010 at 3:05 PM  

Nick Hornby is one of my favorite authors. I've read everything by him.

Franny and Zooey is a favorite as well. I've read it a few times and used to carry it every where with me.

Penny July 23, 2010 at 10:34 AM  

A & M- Oates were a little depressing. There were two included in the book that were supposed to be funny. I dind't enjoy those as much. I wanted to read something else by her but when I looked up her other works they all kind of seemed depressing. I'm going to have to be in the mood for that type of book :)

B-I just got Long Way Down and Juliet Naked yesterday from library!

Bridget July 24, 2010 at 2:17 PM  

I haven't read "Juliet, Naked" yet, so you'll have to tell me how it is. I've loved everything by Hornby though found it hard to get into "Fever Pitch." My absolute favorite by him is "How to Be Good."

I also love "Franny and Zooey." I actually liked it a lot better than "Catcher in the Rye."

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