Thursday, December 2, 2010

reading recap: fall 2010.

Previous recaps available herehere, here, here, here here, and here

I haven’t done a post like this in a while, primarily because graduate school has caused a severe decline in reading for pleasure. But, I didn’t want to fall completely out of the habit (and I love books too much to ever really stop), so here’s a quick recap of the books I’ve read over the past semester, from August until now.

Book: Every Last One
Finished: September

I am a notorious book crier; I won’t apologize for it, either. I’ve seen people who sob at movies, and no one bats an eye. So, if I seem a little melancholy to you, it’s probably because I just finished a really good book, as was the case with Every Last One. A disclaimer: I think Anna Quindlen can do no wrong. Love her. This book, though, was like a punch in the gut. That’s what I told Jordan after I finished, and months later, I still feel that way. Let’s just say it took me a while to get over. My only regret is that I checked it out from the library instead of buying my own copy. It’s just that good.


Book: Cold Tangerines
Finished: September

During this hectic semester, I’ve found myself drawn to anything I can pick up and read just for a few moments, namely essays and short stories. (Got any recommendations?) This collection by Shauna Niequist is now one of my favorites. You’ve actually seen me blog about it before, though you probably didn’t know it. The title of her book comes from the following excerpt: “I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night and paint my walls the color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on cold white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that He gave life to someone who loves the gift.” Yep, that beauty is hanging in my living room now. Niequist is a talented writer, and I enjoyed getting glimpses into her life while also being reminded of the blessings of my own. This one’s a keeper.


Book: Get Lucky
Finished: September/October

The beauty of being in a book club is you read things you probably would never pick up on your own, as is the case with this book, which, I’ve got to tell you, wasn’t my favorite. I like the occasional piece of chick lit (Sophie Kinsella, I’m looking at you), but Get Lucky was a stretch. I thought the characters were kind of self-centered and not at all likeable, and from what I understand — and I’m certainly no expert — Center’s portrayal of pregnancy was less than realistic. Now, I don’t want explicit details, but I also don’t care for a book that makes pregnancy (especially a surrogate pregnancy) look like a walk in the park. I won’t judge you for reading Get Lucky, but I don’t really recommend it either.


Finished: October

This was our book club follow up to Get Lucky; I think some girls balked at the subject matter, but I was excited to have something in stark contrast to the sugary sweet novel we’d just finished. Dark Places, though, is spectacularly dark. It’s not just a mystery or a suspense novel; it’s a study in satanic rituals, which, let’s face it, I’m not really into. I’d take Tana French any day over Gillian Flynn, but Flynn does know how to write a pretty good story. The plotline kept me guessing, and her ability to jump from character to character was impressive. Again, I’m not necessarily recommending this one, but it’s sometimes good to get outside your comfort zone.


Finished: November

Our book club doesn’t normally meet during December, but we decided to have a holiday-themed get-together this year. Since I’m hosting, I assigned Holidays on Ice, definitely a departure for our group, but hey… my house, my rules. I'll give you the same warning I gave my book club, though: Sedaris can be a little crass, so read at your own risk. Despite my crazy schedule, I had no trouble finishing Sedaris’ collection of holiday tales, both because the stories are easy to read in one sitting, and because they’re hilarious. SantaLand Diaries is my favorite and probably will be yours too. Oh, and have I mentioned Jordan and I are going to see him live in April? Yep. Should be amazing.


So, there you have it. I know, I know. Not a lot of reading this fall. Here’s what’s on my list for the Christmas holidays, though:


Don't forget to enter the winter mix giveaway. Winner will be selected Monday morning.


AbbieBabble said...

Oh, hooray! I've been in dire need of a new book.

Laken said...

I love this post! And I'm a book crier, too. Always.

Jill GG (good life for less) said...

I always absolutely love to hear what others are reading... I'll take your notes to heart!

Whitney said...

Oh. These look good!
I have to say I've always aspired to be a big reader but it will take me months to finish one stinking book.
I'm working on this though because when I find a good book I love being taken away to a new place.
So. New Year's Resolution!
Read more books!

Four Flights said...

Ugh, I can't get into the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Everyone keeps saying how great it is, but that the first 100 pages are brutal to get through. I am trying, but finding it hard to make it past the 20 page mark! Perhaps this weekend in Mammoth I'll give it another go.

Betsy said...

I just read a rave review about "An Object of Beauty". I haven't read either of Martin's previous novels, but I'm considering trying this one out.

Every time I read one of your "reading recap" posts it makes me want to do one of my own. The only problem is that the majority of the books I have to read during the semester are in Spanish!

Happy reading! And good luck with the rest of this semester--it's almost over!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Annie! You love David Sedaris-- I just know we would be the best of friends! I saw him live a few years ago and fell even harder for his wry wit and ability to make even the most mundain situation hilarious. I hope you have plenty of quiet time this winter to enjoy your new books!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Annie! You love David Sedaris-- I just know we would be the best of friends! I saw him live a few years ago and fell even harder for his wry wit and ability to make even the most mundain situation hilarious. I hope you have plenty of quiet time this winter to enjoy your new books!

kristin elena. said...

love love love stieg larsson's series! just finished the whole thing and wish there was more.