Thursday, September 4, 2014

August Reads...

So this just may be my favorite month of reading thus far in 2014.  The following I finished, some I had some started at end of July, some started mid August, but all were finished in the month of August and oh what a month of reading it was.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
Excellent!  I'm not a Picoult reader- that is I can say I think this is the first book I've read by her.  Nothing against her, just have somewhat avoided her because of all the "hype".  I'm normally disappointed or expect "too much" with hyped up people/authors/travel, etc.  So when a friend at work highly recommended this I was a little hesitant.  However, it deals with a subject that I enjoy (better word really- am fascinated with)- the holocaust.  This book is so wonderful for so many reasons, but one of the biggest "chattynatty" favorites is there are multiple story lines going on in the book and flashbacks which I also highly enjoy, especially when well written as Ms. Picoult has done throughout the book.  Read this book!

Bibliocraft by Jessica Pigza
This is a book that any book lover will totally get.  Also if you have any artistic or creative part of your brain that announces its presence in your life now or then you will also "get" this book and enjoy it.  It to me is basically about using books to stimulate creativity/art projects. For instance, using drawings from a book of animals sketched in black n white and then turning those sketches into tea light holders- something totally whimsical, beautiful, and that much more appreciated by people who look at books all the time.  I loved the thought of taking a pattern noted in a book's inside cover and taking that pattern and turning it into a rug pattern, or wallpaper pattern, etc.  Great book for book lovers and crafters.

The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible by Scot McKnight
On my quest to understand what the Bible is about and how to apply it to my daily life I picked this book up.  I thought it was going to have all those answers to my plethora of religious questions, but alas it was just o.k.  I liked the beginning of the book and the idea of reading the Bible in three different ways, but used all together for best understanding: reading the Bible as a story, reading with tradition and reading through tradition.  I liked this approach, but still didn't get all my questions answered. 

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate ( 2013 Newberry Award Winner)
I tried to start this with the kids this past summer/late spring sometime.  My oldest just was turned off to it, so I decided to just read it on my own.  I really liked it. My youngest wants me to read it to her and I look forward to rereading it to her.  Great book, totally worthy of this award.  I feel so strongly about this book being great I kind of feeling like pushing my oldest back into reading it again, but I will refrain from bullying him into reading it and maybe when he is 37 years of age he too will sit down and start reading all those "Newberry Award Winners" like I am. 

Stitches: a handbook on meaning, hope and repair by Anne Lamott
She writes so well and so cleverly that even when a book is just "so-so", as this one was for me, I still did not regret opening it up or finishing it.  I look forward to working my eyes through all her books- fiction and non in the near future.  She totally answers some of my hard life and religion questions.  It's like she gets the real world and what people are in need of hearing- or at least what chattynatty needs. 

Learning to Swim by Ann Turner
Beautiful, haunting, real, picturesque, horrific, all of these came to mind when I read this book.  The book to me is really an elaborate poem.  The reviews say it is a novel written in verse- so my take is somewhat accurate.  It is a "true poetry memoir"!  Beautiful- read it, you might cry, you might be appalled, but the clean writing skills and ability to write this story in verse is amazing.  Sorry don't want to give the plot away hence the little to know depth in description of the story line :).

The Tennis Partner by Abraham Verghese
Cutting for Stone by Verghese was my introduction to this "wicked smart" (don't you love people who come into your life and give you descriptors like that)  doctor/author.  His ability to write stories is to me like watching an elaborate feet of medicine taking place.  This story is a tough one, because it is true, but it is still an enjoyable read and I'm amazed for the second time in reading his works to  see how gifted a being Abraham Verghese is.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
This was our book club book and I can always tell when we have a good one because we actually discuss the book and don't just drink vino.  I had not read anything by Jojo Moyes, but I will be after reading this one.  She writes realistic fiction so well you might have though you were reading a memoir.  This is another "tough" story, but again I don't regret picking this book up, reading and crying (haven't done that in awhile with a book), smiling, and wanting to tell anyone I know that is a book lover to read this book.

I feel super lucky to look back and see the diverse books I read this past month.  It was truly a great month of reading.  I know I was pretty vague in my descriptions/book reports of the books, but I don't want to ruin it for you. 

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