Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What I'm Reading

This past new year I challenged myself to read 52 books this year. Obviously, my goal is one book a week. Call my crazy with a newborn and toddler, I was set out to do it. And at first it was pretty easy to read daily. The baby would sleep in my one arm and I would read the book with my other. And it was even easier to read it using my Kindle and then even easier using my Kindle app on my phone.
But then the baby got bigger, and needed more attention so some weeks I didn't read at all.

I've currently read 26 books out of 52. So as Bon Jovi sings, "Whoa Oh I'm half way there"! That's awesome! But not so awesome when there are only 11 weeks until January First!!!!! Eleven weeks until the New Year??!?! Ooofta.
So I probably won't make my goal, but that is okay because I can pat myself on the back and say, "Hey I read 26 books this year"!

I constantly put books on hold at the library and sometimes I'm like number 400 out of 500 people waiting for a book. And then sometimes all the books come in at once and I have to bust my butt to get them all read.

So these are the current books I have checked out, and I am "planning" on reading them.

The Lake House by Marci Nault
 Fifty years before, a group of teenage friends promised each other never to leave their idyllic lakeside town. But the call of Hollywood and a bigger life was too strong for Victoria . . . and she alone broke that pledge. Now she has come home, intent on making peace with her demons, even if her former friends shut her out. Haunted by tragedy, she longs to find solace with her childhood sweetheart, but even this tender man may be unable to forgive and forget. 

Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist
Cold Tangerines is a collection of stories that celebrate the extraordinary moments hidden in our everyday lives. It is about God, and about life, and about the thousands of daily ways in which an awareness of God changes and infuses everything. It is about spiritual life, and about all the things that we have called nonspiritual life that might be spiritual after all. It is the snapshots of a young woman making peace with herself and her life, and trying to craft a life that captures the energy and exuberance we long for in the midst of the fear and regret and envy we all carry with us. It is both a voice of challenge and song of comfort, calling us upward to the best possible life, and giving us room to breathe, to rest, to break down and break through. Cold Tangerines offers bright and varied glimpses of hope and redemption, in and among the heartbreak And boredom and broken glass.

American Spirit by Dan Kennedy
When Matthew, a fortysomething media executive, finds his Manhattan job, health, and Connecticut marriage crumbling, he goes native: Drinks in his car. Gives drug dealing a shot. Looks for direction in easy-listening rock lyrics, takes a free crafting class at the community center, and gets in a fistfight with a meditation instructor. He also tries jogging.
Soon he’s on a stumbling, sideways vision quest that takes him from strip malls to national parks to a Bali medical clinic, from an unlikely romance with a Hollywood agent specializing in hot young vampire roles to extreme RVing with a disgraced Wall Street trader.
In this heroic, hilarious debut novel, Dan Kennedy, a mainstay of the storytelling phenomenon The Moth, gives us an Everyman who takes us to the dark valleys and neon-lit edges of contemporary American life.

Tapestry of Fortune by Elizabeth Berg
Cecilia Ross is a motivational speaker who encourages others to change their lives for the better. Why can’t she take her own advice? Still reeling from the death of her best friend, and freshly aware of the need to live more fully now, Cece realizes that she has to make a move—all the portentous signs seem to point in that direction.
 She downsizes her life, sells her suburban Minnesota home and lets go of many of her possessions. She moves into a beautiful old house in Saint Paul, complete with a garden, chef’s kitchen, and three housemates: Lise, the home’s owner and a divorced mother at odds with her twenty-year-old daughter; Joni, a top-notch sous chef at a first-rate restaurant with a grade A jerk of a boss; and Renie, the youngest and most mercurial of the group, who is trying to rectify a teenage mistake. These women embark on a journey together in an attempt to connect with parts of themselves long denied. For Cece, that means finding Dennis Halsinger. Despite being “the one who got away,” Dennis has never been far from Cece’s thoughts.

The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan
From the New York Times best-selling author of Commencement and Maine comes a gorgeous, sprawling novel about marriage—about those who marry in a white heat of passion, those who marry for partnership and comfort, and those who live together, love each other, and have absolutely no intention of ruining it all with a wedding.
Evelyn has been married to her husband for forty years—forty years since he slipped off her first wedding ring and put his own in its place. Delphine has seen both sides of love—the ecstatic, glorious highs of seduction, and the bitter, spiteful fury that descends when it’s over. James, a paramedic who works the night shift, knows his wife’s family thinks she could have done better; while Kate, partnered with Dan for a decade, has seen every kind of wedding—beach weddings, backyard weddings, castle weddings—and has vowed never, ever, to have one of her own. 
As these lives and marriages unfold in surprising ways, we meet Frances Gerety, a young advertising copywriter in 1947. Frances is working on the De Beers campaign and she needs a signature line, so, one night before bed, she scribbles a phrase on a scrap of paper: “A Diamond Is Forever.” And that line changes everything.

All That Is by James Salter
An extraordinary literary event, a major new novel by the PEN/Faulkner winner and acclaimed master: a sweeping, seductive, deeply moving story set in the years after World War II.
From his experiences as a young naval officer in battles off Okinawa, Philip Bowman returns to America and finds a position as a book editor. It is a time when publishing is still largely a private affair—a scattered family of small houses here and in Europe—a time of gatherings in fabled apartments and conversations that continue long into the night. In this world of dinners, deals, and literary careers, Bowman finds that he fits in perfectly. But despite his success, what eludes him is love. His first marriage goes bad, another fails to happen, and finally he meets a woman who enthralls him—before setting him on a course he could never have imagined for himself. 
Romantic and haunting, All That Is explores a life unfolding in a world on the brink of change. It is a dazzling, sometimes devastating labyrinth of love and ambition, a fiercely intimate account of the great shocks and grand pleasures of being alive.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Beautiful Ruins is a glorious read for book lovers. From the moment you pick up the novel, it conjures a world that you long to enter. The teal-blue Ligurian Sea laps against a jagged coastline filled with candy-colored houses and open windows. At first glance, you’re dying to get inside those houses and find out what’s going on.

Have you read any of the books listed? Thoughts? What books are you currently reading? I'm always looking for new book ideas. 


Rachel said...

I read Cold Tangerines and loved it! I'm getting some good ideas of books to put on hold from this post! Good for you for reading 26 books with 2 babies!! That's incredible!

K and/or K said...

I've had two of those on my nightstand only to have to return them before I was fined. I need to add them to my queue again for sure!

I am reading The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor: Seeing Others Through the Eyes of Jesus (for our church group) and it is good so far.

I am quite the mixed bag, because I am also reading smut. So I need to find the middle ground. :-)

jodilee0123 said...

I happen to love Richard Stearns. If you haven't read the Hole In Our Gospel--I recommend it first, then his second book Unfinished--I'm reading that now, well, trying too. I end up not reading a whole lot because of life, and then pretty much every page has me stop and think, ponder, wonder, process...LOVE THEM

Stephanie Faris said...

I started reading Beautiful Ruins on a sample...but wasn't sure about it. I just couldn't tell where all of that beautiful writing was going!

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