On my bedside table. . .

  • Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid's Tale

    Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid's Tale
    I always finish a book that I start. Always. Well. . . until this one. I just could not get into it. It just was too out there for me and it just moved too slow for me. I think I gave up about 30% through.

  • Shari Lapena: The Couple Next Door: A Novel

    Shari Lapena: The Couple Next Door: A Novel
    I just picked this one randomly and it was a fast read, but I didn't really like the writing style. I feel like I spent the entire 320 pages inside someone's head and listening to them "think." It was a suspense/thriller, but seemed a little too far-fetched at times.

  • Betty Smith: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Modern Classics)

    Betty Smith: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Modern Classics)
    Somehow I never read this classic, so I picked it up. I liked it -- set in 1912 and tells the story of a poor girl in Brooklyn and how her early life unfolds. I always love stories set in earlier times. Definitely, a good read.

  • Margaret Mitchell: Gone with the Wind

    Margaret Mitchell: Gone with the Wind
    I started it in high school and lost interest. But this year, I decided since I live right where it all is set, then I should read it again. It took me awhile to get through all 1000+ pages, but I really enjoyed it a lot. Wow, Scarlett was something. And Rhett, I like him. . . what a scoundrel. Haven't seen the movie yet and I think I will hold out to see it at the Fox Theater in downtown Atlanta. . . it was a big deal there in 1939, when it premiered.

  • Kerry Lonsdale: Everything We Keep: A Novel

    Kerry Lonsdale: Everything We Keep: A Novel
    I did not enjoy this one. . . silly storyline. . . flimsy characters. I think I just need to stick to historical non-fiction and fiction.

  • Daniel James Brown: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

    Daniel James Brown: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
    This was a great book! So well researched and the story unfolded really nicely. It led me to go back and watch film from 1936 to see these men in action.

  • Anthony Doerr: All the Light We Cannot See

    Anthony Doerr: All the Light We Cannot See
    I almost gave up on this one several times. . . it wasn't until about a third of the way in that it really picked up for me. A complex story that involves many different characters and eventually they were all tied together. In the end, I liked it, but it took a long time to get me there.

  • Patrick Phillips: Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America

    Patrick Phillips: Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America
    Such a sad reality that this county, just north of Atlanta, remained a "whites only" county for more than 75 years after African Americans were driven out. It wasn't until the early 90's that African Americans began to move back. A very interesting book and one I highly recommend.

  • Gordon Korman: Masterminds

    Gordon Korman: Masterminds
    Another Reading Bowl book and without a doubt, Owen's absolute favorite! It was a very creative plot and apparently has two other books in the series as well.

  • Ali Benjamin: The Thing About Jellyfish

    Ali Benjamin: The Thing About Jellyfish
    This was on the list of books for this year's Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl. It was a sad book. A young girl has to deal with the death of her friend, but isolates herself by becoming silent. An interesting read.

  • Kathleen Tessaro: The Perfume Collector: A Novel

    Kathleen Tessaro: The Perfume Collector: A Novel
    Best book that I have read this year! A great story, excellent writing and lots of unexpected turns.

  • Paula Hawkins: The Girl on the Train

    Paula Hawkins: The Girl on the Train
    With the move trailer being player all the time, I thought maybe it would be a good one to read. It reminded me so much of Gone Girl and the two others by that author (Dark Places and Sharp Objects). This one was very dark and I had a hard time following at times, as the story jumps around in time and between multiple characters. I'll check out the movie eventually and see how they tell it all in a short version.

  • John Green: Paper Towns

    John Green: Paper Towns
    I read this one because Leah was reading it. It is the same author who wrote The Fault in our Stars. I liked that one . . sad, but still good. This one was a tad far-fetched on the plot. I liked the idea of "paper towns" -- these pop up towns with no history or longevity. And, I loved all the Orlando references, after having lived there for almost a decade. An interesting read for a 13 year old, but not so much for me.

  • Jojo Moyes: The Ship of Brides: A Novel

    Jojo Moyes: The Ship of Brides: A Novel
    Because why wouldn't I read another novel by Jojo Moyes? I don't know that I have ever read quite so many books by the same author, but I am hooked on her! I liked this one a lot too . Of course, it's a novel, but it is based on historical events. Set post World War II, the ship of war brides makes its way across the sea to the US. It mirrored the actual trips taken in 1946 and 1947 to bring Australian warbrides to the US. Good light read!

  • Abby Johnson: Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line

    Abby Johnson: Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line
    Beyond covering protests for the college radio and tv stations, I don't think I ever have given much thought to Planned Parenthood. I learned a lot in this book about a topic that I did not know much about and it spurred me to go and do a lot more reading on the whole Planned Parenthood /abortion topic. Opened my eyes quite a bit.

  • Laura Hillenbrand: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    Laura Hillenbrand: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
    I read this one several years ago and it remains to be one of the best books I have read in years. Louis Zamperini had strength and tenacity beyond measure. I was completely captivated with all that he experienced -- good and bad -- and eventually plan to watch the movie. I hope it is as good as the book!

  • Gayle Forman: If I Stay

    Gayle Forman: If I Stay
    Yes, I know. . . a book for teens. How will I know if it is okay for Leah to read if I don't read it? It was sad. I might have cried. I might have even watched the movie months later and cried too. Just maybe.

  • Melanie Benjamin: The Aviator's Wife: A Novel

    Melanie Benjamin: The Aviator's Wife: A Novel
    I really enjoyed this one a lot and in fact, like so many other books I read, it made me go read a bunch on real stuff on Charles Lindbergh and his wife. What interesting people!

  • Andy Andrews: The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective

    Andy Andrews: The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective
    This is a very quick read and I am sure that if there were a movie made from this one, it would star Morgan Freeman. A nice one to make you think for a minute.

  • Jojo Moyes: One Plus One: A Novel

    Jojo Moyes: One Plus One: A Novel
    Oh goodness, went on a bit of a serial binge reading event with Jojo Moyes! I didn't enjoy this one as much as the previous one by her, but still like the quirkiness of each of the characters.

  • Jojo Moyes: Me Before You

    Jojo Moyes: Me Before You
    I really, really liked this one! I enjoyed the other one I read by Jojo Moyes -- The Girl You Left Behind -- and this was much the same. Interesting characters, a good storyline and one of those that I could have kept reading more if the book had kept going! I will read more by Moyes!

  • Gillian Flynn: Dark Places

    Gillian Flynn: Dark Places
    So when I purchased Gone Girl, I accidentally purchased three of the author's books and this is the second one. Even darker than Gone Girl. I have the third on my kindle, but I don't know if I want to read about more murder. The characters are so shady . . . I feel like I need to take a shower after reading!

  • Gillian Flynn: Gone Girl

    Gillian Flynn: Gone Girl
    As usual, I am years behind what everyone else has already read! This one was dark, a little too dark for me. And kind of written simply -- I am sure I will get around to seeing the movie one day and that might be one where the movie is better than the book.

  • Jojo Moyes: The Girl You Left Behind: A Novel

    Jojo Moyes: The Girl You Left Behind: A Novel
    This was the first book that I read by this author and I really enjoyed it. I will definitely read more by her, well written and interesting!

  • Markus Zusak: The Book Thief

    Markus Zusak: The Book Thief
    One of the best books I've read this year! I really enjoyed this one and eventually will have to get around to seeing the movie. I heard it was pretty good.

  • Beth Moore: Feathers from My Nest: A Mother’s Reflections

    Beth Moore: Feathers from My Nest: A Mother’s Reflections
    Very much a mother's memoir. An interesting read, but a little too preachy at times. (I guess that makes sense, considering who she is!) It's a good reminder that we are responsible for raising kids to become responsible, kind, caring Christian adults.

  • Lois Lowry: The Giver (Readers Circle (Laurel-Leaf))

    Lois Lowry: The Giver (Readers Circle (Laurel-Leaf))
    A friend really liked this one. . . I didn't so much. It was a Newberry Medal Winner. . . but it still didn't do much for me. A 12-year old lives in a community of conformity. He is given the responsibility of becoming the keeper of all memories and he learns too much about his community. It's a young adult novel. . . but I'm not sure it would hold my kids' attention.

  • Lois Lowry: Number the Stars

    Lois Lowry: Number the Stars
    Leah and Jackson read this one for school and Leah kept telling me that it was really good and I should read it. It is set in 1943 and tells the story of a Jewish family escaping Denmark during the Holocaust. The story is told from a 10 year old's perspective. It was a quick read and a great book 4th - 6th graders.

  • Donna Tartt: The Goldfinch

    Donna Tartt: The Goldfinch
    Took me months to get through this one. Not because it wasn't interesting, instead I just haven't had a lot of time for reading as of late. This turned out to be a very interesting story, with plenty of great characters and tied together story lines. Worth the time to read it. It reminded me of the Dragon Tattoo series.

  • John Green: The Fault in Our Stars

    John Green: The Fault in Our Stars
    A friend mentioned that her teenage daughter had recently read it and my friend did too. She said it was a sweet story and worth the read. It really was. It's the story of two young teens, both dealing with life-threatening illnesses. A sweet, but sad love story. Then, at Christmas, I found that both of my nieces were reading it and that a movie is being made sometime this year. That will be one that I will probably want to see.

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