Sunday, November 2, 2014

October Reads

I had a very productive reading month because, well, that was about all I could do lying on the couch and recuperating.  I read some great books and really, truly, believe like friends, these books got me through my 6 weeks non weight bearing.  I also discovered that my book reading logs have been a little off kilter.  When I put a book into my "want to read" pile on the goodreads site that date stays as the "read" book date unless I physically go in and change the "read" date to the date I have read it.  So what does this mean- well I haven't logged all my books appropriately.  So I'll first start out with some stragglers that I just haven't given their due. 

Flora and Ulysses: the Illuminated Adventure by Kate DiCamillo
I found this book to be quite entertaining with some heavy subject matter: divorce, finding yourself, imaginary/magical thinking.  I started reading this book out loud to my kids, but they just couldn't get into it.  So I finished it on my own.  Funny because my niece loved it!  Now that I've written this brief synopsis I feel like I'm having deja'vu.  Sorry if already told you about this one.

Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott
Another book that was just hanging in my "good reads" limbo.  Again feel like I've written about it, but alas here we go again.  I like her writing a lot!  I get her views on religion and being Christian.  I've read most of her nonfiction works, but yet to have read a fiction piece.  The premise behind this book are the three reasons you should pray: to say "help", to say "thanks" and to say "wow".  Love this!

My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff
Again sorry if this is double, but it was in "limbo" list too.  I really liked this book.  It was the time period of going from typewriters to computers in publishing firms.  This young lady tells her story of working for the publishing firm who had J.D. Salinger (aka Catcher in the Rye author) on their client list.  I really found this book interesting and highly recommend this memoir. 

How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen
She's another one of my favorites and I have enjoyed both her fiction and nonfiction.  This is a nonfiction book that gives stories and examples about Anna's love of reading and what it has meant to her life.  I'm drawn to these sorts of books- I wonder why :).

OK now to the real October reads:
In no particular order and in all truthfulness one of the best month's worth of reading I've had.  I guess someone knew I needed some great stories to keep my mind off things.

Phantom by Jo Nesbo
Harry Hole inspector series #9.  This was a good one and I was a little surprised by the twists that this book took. The Snowman is still my favorite, but this is a close second.  I'm onto book #10 and Jo is giving Louise Penny a run for her money on keeping me intrigued and waiting patiently for the next book and the next book in the series to come.  I would hate to see Harry Hole disappear as much as I would hate to see Armande Gamache (Penny's inspector).  These people know how to write character and add description to their narratives.

From The Mist by Kiki Thorpe
#4 in the Never Girls Mystery series.  My daughter especially enjoyed this one as the main character Kate was riding a horse throughout the story. 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
Son was happy to hear I finished and liked the 2nd book (I didn't really think the first one was all that).  We were able to discuss the story and better yet watch the 2nd movie.  Now I'm on the third.  Son and I are taking turns reading it out loud, but it isn't going as fast as he would like, again I won't watch the movie until I've read the book so I may soon be reading the book on my own.

The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett
I really enjoyed this book.  It was almost a combo love story/mystery/book finder's and book producer's tutorial all rolled into one.  The main character Peter is eccentric and finds comfort in the arms of books.  His story of love for his wife and books combines to make for an interesting plot.  I highly recommend this read for anyone who enjoys mysteries and love stories.

Americana and Other Poems by John Updike
I'm trying, I'm really trying to read poetry.  I found these poems written very well with great description of different items, subjects, and places meaning anything to John Updike.  However, the poems all sort of had this either satirical, sad or angry tone and I just don't need any of that now.

In the Next Galaxy by Ruth Stone
Another poetry book.  I picked this one up because of her being from Roanoke, Virginia.   This is near where my father group up.  She has 13 books of poetry published and has received numerous awards.  I didn't really enjoy her work.  It just didn't do anything for me. 

The Girl you Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
Loved this book.  After reading Me Before You for book club I wanted to read more of Jojo's work.  A friend who knows me to well brought this book as a "get well" gift following my surgery and I devoured it.  The story line and characters are very different from Me Before You, but there are still the major players: loss, love, happiness, family, and finding one's self.  It starts during World War I, which I admit I'm lacking in historical knowledge, but also takes place in modern day.  So the flashbacks or jumps between time periods I loved.  I'm looking forward to reading many more books by Jojo.

Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman
This was our book club book for October.  It was very interesting story which took place primarily in a small town in Minnesota.  The main character Clara was going through a lot: new person/pastor's wife moving into town, trying to hunt down information about her mother, trying to become or figure out how to be a mother herself, make her marriage work and through it all determine who she was.  The characters in this book seemed very "rich" to me in the sense that I could very easily picture them in my imagination.  It is a mystery/suspense, but also a story of love.  I think you see a trend of books that make me happy in life: mystery with romance/love story intertwined.  Great book and great book discussion.

Whew!  That's it for October.  Reading is good for my soul and well being.  Looking forward to another month of healthy living through books in November- goal is one book/week.  We will see. 

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