Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thirteen Reasons Why

I read this book, Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher the other day. I was very impressed with this young adult novel. I had seen it at Barnes and Noble several times, wrote down the title and finally, finally got around to reading it. I'm glad I did.

Here is a synopsis that I grabbed from the Thirteen Reasons Why site (love the interactive map/tapes on the site. if you have time go check it out):

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers (and I would add adult readers as well).

I so enjoyed this book. It was well written. The message was strong and clear. I could feel with Clay and for Hannah. It made me think about how my actions may affect another person. Strong and vibrant. A wonderful read.

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One Thousand White Women

This book has been in my to be read basket for a long time - at least a year. I had heard about this book for much longer - years and years...when I worked at the book store I sold it many times.

So, when our book club picked One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus as this month's choice I was thrilled. I would finally read the book that has been so badly neglected.

I am so glad I finally picked this up and read it. It has been reviewed many, many times so I won't go over the storyline here. I will say that is was well written, the characters were fantastic, and the descriptions were wonderful. It was easy for me to read (after a slow beginning), however it was not fluffy. I often say I am not a historical fiction girl, however I think I really am...

Happy Reading.

Friday, April 17, 2009

This month has not been a good reading month for me. I have picked up and started more books than I care to talk about...none have engaged me, really kept my interest. I have decided that there are far too many books out there for me to power through something that is not engaging to me. My to-be-read pile is huge and seriously none of the books I picked out were right. Most went back into the pile to be tried again. Just to be clear I read between 20 and 150 pages of each of the ones I ultimately set down - I think that is a valiant effort.

So, what did I do? Earlier this week I said, "ENOUGH! Jerrie just take a little reading break!" My self-dialogue was very intense. It is hard for me to not be reading a book. What if someone asks me what I'm reading? What do I say? "UH nothing?" That just feels...wrong. However, I did it. I was on a reading break. It was going to be good. I could tell. My hope was that no one would ask me what I'm reading...

Enter Wednesday. I love Wednesdays. Wednesday evenings in particular. On Wednesdays I take Archer (and usually a few other boys...) to Bellingham for Youth Group (it's called Mayhem - YIKES). I drop them off and take the next 2 hours to do whatever I want. Sometimes it is dinner with my siblings or a friend, sometimes I hang at the scrapbook store. Most of the time though I hit Barnes and Noble. Two hours in a store filled with books is practically Heaven. LOVE it. Lately I've been grabbing a stack of magazines (I've been trying to cut down on this particular purchase) and finding a chair - and possibly a coffee - and spending the next few hours engrossed in the many subjects of magazines available. It is amazing how many magazines are out there. Such fun.

This week I grabbed a few magazines and walked toward my chair (it is usually open for me - it is where I read one chapter of a biography a week...I've got a system here). As I was walking I glanced down at one of the tables filled with books and picked up a few in case I finished the magazines (one never wants to abandon their chair). One of the books that looked interesting to me is this one:

I flipped through the book. Read the first few pages and was completely hooked. I needed this book. I had to read this book. And so, I bought this book. I've been trying not to buy books (another money saving technique), but they are my downfall. Books are good. Books make me read. So money for books? It is acceptable.

So far I am enjoying the heck out of The Know-It-All; One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, by A.J. Jacobs. This book is just what I needed to get me out of my (non)reading rut. I will be back with a follow up. I am currently about 50 pages in and loving every page, laughing at every page. Love it.

***Question: What do you do if you are having a difficult patch with reading? When nothing peaks your interest? When you just can't become engaged? Please share....

Happy Reading!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Book Thief

I am very excited to share The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak with you. One word: Incredible.

About the book:

"It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul."

I so enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the writing style, the story, the characters. I tend to stay away from books about WWII - mostly because of my husbands total obsession with it, however I am incredibly glad that I took the time to read this one. I enjoyed the different perspective that the author presented - a typical German family living in Nazi Germany. I highly recommend picking this book up, you will be glad you did. Here is a link to my friend Angie's review of the book. She wrote very eloquently about it. Thanks for the suggestion Angie.

***On a related note: I am loving Young Adult literature right now. I am very impressed with the quality of books being written for the YA readers out there. If you know of any YA books that I must read please let me know. I have a few in my TBR pile right now, but would so love suggestions.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Kite Runner

Where to even begin. I have had The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini in my to be read basket for at least a year, possibly two or more! I cannot believe this! I cannot believe that this book has been sitting on my dresser for so long and I just got around to reading it.

The Kite Runner has been reviewed many, many times - 2,567 times on Amazon and countless other times on Good Reads, blogs, etc...So, I am not going to review it here.

What I will say is - this book is phenomenal. It is an emotional ride through Afghanistan's culture. I loved the story, the characters, the realism that the author portrayed of Afghanistan and one man's journey to America.

I highly recommend this book. Read it. You will not be sorry.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Still Alice

Well...It's been awhile. Cheryl got back on the book blog wagon and I figure I should as well. This has been a crazy new year...let's hope it calms down and I get back in the habit of blogging my reads.

Over the weekend I finished a fantastic book, Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Very quickly, this book is about a 50 year-old Harvard professor who has early onset Alzheimer's disease. What a fascinating look into the world of Alzheimer's. It was emotional and informative and a wonderful story. I highly recommend it.

One of the reason's I was drawn to this book is that my grandfather and my great-grandmother both had Alzheimer's disease. I don't know if it was early onset or not, but the disease is close to my heart.

For more info on the book click the book cover (for the author's website or her name - above) or the title of the book above (for the amazon site).

If you are interested in reading more about Alzheimer's Disease and how you can donate to help find a cure click here to go to the Alzheimer's Association site.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Oops, My Bad!

Apparently it's been 3 months since I blogged about any books I've read. I'm not sure why but I just wasn't feeling it. For that I apologize. If you look below though, you will see that I blogged about all 8 books I read in that time. Hopefully I won't "fall off the wagon" again ...


Live a Little

"Live a Little" is one of the better books I've read in quite some time. Check out the cover though ... LOVE IT!!! Anyway, it's the story of a women who is diagnosed with breast cancer. She raises money going on her sister's talk show and finds out a month after the diagnosis that the results were switched & she is, in fact, cancer-free. How she handles what comes next is the meat of the story. I can't imagine being in her position but I'm thinking I probably would've handled things a bit differently (or at least I hope so). This is a definite must-read!!!

- February 2, 2009

She, Myself & I

I very much enjoyed "She, Myself & I." It is told from 3 different perspectives, 3 sisters. Essentially there are 3 sections to the book, but all 3 sisters are a part of the other's section. Does that make sense? I'm sure it does but the way I wrote that was a little odd. Anyway, I liked this book and I plan to read other books by this author.

- January 25, 2009


This was our book club selection for January. I had a VERY hard time getting into this book. I kept getting the ladies confused & had a hard time connecting with the book. I did finally get into it but still can't say I loved the book. It was ok but not great. I know some people at book club definitely found it more enjoyable, for whatever that's worth. :)

- January 19, 2009

Stone Creek

"Stone Creek" was a really great book. It told the story of adults who are all a little lost, finding what they need in each other, if only for a while. I was very invested in this book and found it satisfying if not sad in the end. I know not all books can have a happy ending but I am a sucker for one. I definitely recommend this book ... it'll suck you in!

- January 4, 2009

The Undomestic Goddess

This is one of the few books I own ... and that's saying something. I had read this book previously but it was chosen as our December book ... yay for book club. (Let's not even talk about the book club "discussion" being held at a bar ... with all the ladies drinking except yours truly ... so needless to say there wasn't much discussion) Anyway ... this book is truly FABULOUS! It's funny & serious all at once. I love the story ... it's chick-lit with some other stuff mixed in. I also relate (to some degree) because I am sorely lacking in the domestic department. READ THIS BOOK ... 2 thumbs up!!
- December 19, 2008