Friday, March 25, 2011

Recent Reading

I didn't make a goal this year. After surpassing my 30 book challenge last year, I gave myself a break.

Regardless, I love, love, love to read. Can't remember a point in my adult life when I was not engrossed in a book. If I finish one at night before falling asleep, I have to find (or download) another. Just to get started.

I'm obsessed. Blake is annoyed.

Business as usual in the Starnes house!

OK, so here we go.

I'm on chapter 4 of Room and am completely haunted by the subject matter. A boy named Jack, who just turned 5 (similar to someone I know?) has lived his entire life in a 12'x12' room with his mother. Born there.....lives there. I'm still figuring out the circumstances around this arrangement. It's an extremely difficult read for me. Yes, there are inspiring contributions in the form of the mother's love and will to keep Jack's life "normal", but overall, it's disturbing.

Finished Unbroken, recommended by Mae Mae. A World War II story of a man with resilience of another world. The book (written by the author of Sea Biscuit) chronicles his interesting childhood......then a man lost at sea.......his de-humanizing experience as a POW....the long term results of such abuse........and then his eventual discovery of Christ. A fantastic read.

My Aunt Donna trades books with me often. Summer's Child was read a couple of weeks ago when I was sick. I was in the middle of Unbroken and didn't want something so "heavy", so I grabbed this book. A quick read, but a weak story. Pass on this one.

Strong Motion was one of the first books in about a decade that I started and didn't finish. Got to page 160 and just couldn't move forward with it. Caroline gave me 3 of Jonathan Franzen's books for Christmas and so I started with his oldest and planned to work my way through them in order. They're not sequels, but I like to read an author's work in order because I believe you can often see his writing develop this way. Didn't care for this story.....but I may go back and try it again because I loved Franzen's book, reviewed next.

Freedom.......enjoyed it very much. Seems to be pretty popular right now (on Oprah's list) and I can see why. It covers environmental issues, marital, corporate life and more. Interesting characters and a book with lots of story lines. I'll probably read his second book, The Corrections, next. Great author.

Catching Fire is the second of the Hunger Games series. OK, so I kind of feel like a Twilighter reading these books because they're super popular amongst teenagers. They were recommended by a friend of mine, Lauren, who reads like I do and I trust her opinions. I am enjoying the series, but I'm not in love with it like most people. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the books follow the "games" society has set for survival and entertainment purposes. Certainly an interesting concept.

Aunt Mary sent me The Best of LSU Fiction for Christmas. It's a compilation of several short stories and I grab it from time to time when I want to take a break from a current read. A lovely group of authors.....all the stories are different.....and I love that it's from Louisiana.

Cutting for Stone. One of my favorite books in years. Multi-layered and deep. It tells the story of twin boys born from a nun and surgeon in Ethiopia. Orphaned by their mother's death and their father's disappearance, they're raised in a medical family and subsequently follow the same field in their choice of careers. The story is set during an evolving Ethiopia and as the boys grow into adulthood, their lives intersect and trust becomes both a challenge and a blessing. Absolutely recommend.

The Hunger Games. As mentioned before, it's a good series. I'll read the third and final book in the next few months for sure. The characters are intriguing. Love Katniss, of course!

What are you reading?

Any recommendations?

I'm interested in reading a book on Amish life. I love to learn about other religions and lifestyles. Know of a good one?

*note: I keep track of my reading on that "books" tab you see at the top of my page.


Becca Jane said...

I still think you should read John H. Groberg's books I always rave about...the first one is about his time as a missionary in Tonga, and the 2nd is when he goes back as a grown father to be the mission president there. Quick reads, short chapters, AMAZING stories. And have you read "These is my words" yet??? I will read Cutting for Stone soon!! Thanks!

Leiah said...

I loved loved loved Diane Chamberlain's book "The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes". Have you read that one? Now, guess which one I'll geaux look for this weekend?

starnes family said...

I have not read that one, but know that it's popular, Leiah. Yes, geaux get it!

Kelly Beatty said...

This is my favorite post of all times! I love love love book recommendations. Of course, I've already suggested Outliers and Blink to you. You only need to read one. They're pretty much the same.

Susan said...

I agree with Kelly about Outliers. Read it for a book study at work and really enjoyed it.

Amish stories are huge in the Christian fiction market right now.

I'm reading some stuff that I might not have picked now that I can check ebooks from the library and read on my phone. Love that concept; just wish it worked on the kindle.

Coco said...

Just finished Cutting for Stone. LOVED IT!!!!

Going to purchase Numbers now.

Kristen said...

The Municipal Chapters of the Wisconsin Statutory Code. I would not recommend it.

But in fun reading news... I started Jodi Picoult's new one, Sing you Home. LOVE it. Like a drug. Can't stop.

The Soladay Family said...

Room sounds totally up my alley. Love books like that. Makes me feel normal.

Impulsive Addict said...

How in the HELL do you have time to read all of these books, raise your childrens, blog every flippin' day (totally jealous) and travel to all of your fun places?

I kinda hate you today. I'm sure tomorrow will be better.

I was a total sucker for the Hunger Games series. Now I'm reading The Maze Runner by James Dashner. It was a JennyKate suggestion.

lauren said...

Loved Cutting for Stone. The author is so knowledgeable and smart. It inspires me.

Unbroken was brilliant. I love Louis! H does speaking engagements and I want to go to one.

Hunger Games was just pure mindless fun. Loved it!

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