Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January Reads

Tonight I'm suppose to be with the "Bookies" discussing our monthly book club read, but due to the weather we rescheduled it for next Wednesday.  So instead I'll share with you guys, which many of you are "Bookies" on what I read this past month.

The audiobook I listened to this month was "The Fifth Woman" ( A Kurt Wallander Mystery) by Henning Mankell.  I've read one other book by him and thought it was pretty decent.  I'd say the same for this one.  It was intriguing and a good read/listen while trying to get in some miles.  The annoying thing was a couple of times I lost my place in the book via audio snafu and so had to do some rewind/fast forward things.  I'm sure my non-techy self is doing something wrong, but anyways it was great to have a book to listen to on runs.  I find mysteries good for when running, except when I'm running in the dark- then I let my imagination get away from me.  This murder mystery was well thought out, but at the end I kind of had trouble tying it all together.  I won't spoil it for you, but the only thing I kept thinking was in my tech issues with listening to the book on tape I must have missed something.  The narrator did a great job and I recommend this "listen/read" to anyone who likes a good mystery.

Spoiler alert- If you are a "Bookie" and you haven't finished this month's book and plan to skip this paragraph and read it after you've finished. "The Thornbirds" by Colleen  McCullough was our book club pick.  I had seen it on my mom's library shelves back home an asked her about it.  She couldn't believe I hadn't read it and told me I should.  My mother in-law then saw I had it and said almost the same thing, and they both referenced the mini-series with Richard Burton.  So I suggested it to the "Bookies" and some of them had read it a long time ago, but enjoyed it so much they wanted to read it again.  So I read it and overall really liked it.  I talked to one of the "Bookies" with about 250 pages of the book left and we were talking about it and she made the comment that "everyone dies".  I think my expression must have given it away that I didn't know what she was talking about and so she quickly said something about a death that occurred early in the book, but then I felt like I was reading the book under false pretenses- I was waiting for the death and dying.  So lesson learned- don't talk about the book with any of my "Bookies" until I'm done with the book :).  This book really reminded me of the epic type of story that is found in East of Eden by John Steinbeck.  No it isn't the same story, but it is an epic and several different stories intertwined.  There are several different main characters that are ladies and I really appreciated the way they were written strongly. It was a good read.  Has some interesting religious topics to discuss too- Catholics/Priests, etc.

"For Love of Letters: A 21st Century Guide to the Art of Letter Writing" by Samara O'Shea.  I already wrote on this book, but again need to mention that it is more of a "how to" for those wanting to write letters or understand letters.  I did really enjoy the famous people she highlighted in the book by having letters by them within the book.  Also just to intrigue you she even has a section on "erotic letters"- it was pretty steamy :).

"What I know now: Letters to My younger Self" by Ellyn Spragins was a book I read before bed this past month.  Since I'm done with "My Year of Running Book" I wanted to find some books to try and replace the nightly bedtime reading.  I started with this one.  It was O.K. The premise was famous women writing letters to their younger selves about life lessons they've learned. I was a little disappointed in the depth of the book and the letters.  I did enjoy some of the letters and have some of my favorite quotes to share. 

Ellyn wrote of  Carolyn Deaver's: " Her first CA experience changed her point of view about how to live.  She says she learned that one should do the following 'Treat yourself.  Indulge yourself put yourself first. It's a hard thing to try to do, especially for mothers. It was not an instant change for me."

Liz Smith wrote "You should live as though you know you are going to be famous.  Even if you aren't, you'll still have the satisfaction of knowing exactly how you spent your time" This quote in reference to the importance of recording your life, activities during life- photos, names and dates.  I really liked this quote!

Trisha Yearwood "Stop looking outside yourself for validation and approval- you're letting other people define your happiness."

The last book I read was "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed.  I really, really, really enjoyed this book.  I started it on my trip out to Anaheim, CA and finished it the day I came home.  Now granted I didn't have any kids or mom duties to focus on, but I still had my conference to attend, so the book was my friend when I wasn't in the conference.  It was one of those great friends.  It was interesting when I entered this book into my Goodreads account I glanced at the reviews of this book and found that not everyone felt the same way I did.  That's the things about books one reader may love it and get something out of reading it, but another may not get it at all.  Everyone's

Well onto February- I've already started a fun book "Chasing Shakespeare" by Sarah Smith and am listening to "Once a Runner" by John L. Parker when I'm running.  Hope you had a good month reading.

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