Current Reads.

Current Reads In 2015

 

I was a reading fiend these past couple months… here are a few that were on the list!

If I Stay. By Gayle Forman

I liked this book, but didn’t love it. Given the fact that there’s a movie based on the book and an awful lot of hype… I just expected a little more. It was a pretty quick read and if you’re looking for something that doesn’t require a ton of thought (albeit it is very sad), this might be worth a read.

Where She Went. By Gayle Forman

Because I can’t leave a story unfinished, I read the second chapter in the “If I Stay” story. This one, got off to a rocky start, but definitely told the another side of the story. If you took the time to read the first book, then the second installment is worth your time.

We Were Liars. By E. Lockhart

I had zero expectations for this book and, boy, did it twist and turn in ways I never expected. Now that I’m reviewing all the books, my first bit of 2015 was packed with sad/dark themed books. This book weaves a story that you wouldn’t imagine off the bat, and would make a good pool read, if you want something that isn’t heavy on romance and light on content.

Certain Girls. By Jennifer Weiner

I grabbed this book at a book sale and read it because I’d previously enjoyed Jennifer Weiner’s books. The main character was so relatable and the teenage angst from her daughter was palpable. Again, with the sad theme — this one also has some hard story lines. Sensing a trend…

Suddenly. By Barbara Delinksy

Let me start by saying this book starts with someone dying — geez, Megan, what the hell? This was a very light read that I also picked up at a book sale. I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t hate it either — probably wouldn’t recommend it.

Hollow City. By Ranson Riggs

This is the second installment of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children — which was one of my favorite books last year. It’s wonky but fun to step into a make believe world for a while. Hollow City is book two (book three is in the works, as is a movie) so it left a lot of open ends and didn’t accomplish a whole lot — but I loved it nonetheless.

Side Effects May Vary. By Julie Murphy

No one died in this book, but the main character did have cancer along with some serious high school vendettas. Frankly, I had a hard time relating to this book. The main character was manipulative, cruel and over the top — the majority of the time I just kept thinking that real people don’t act like this. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t… maybe I just haven’t encountered them?

Three Wishes. By Barbara Delinsky

Someone dies in this one too. (Are you surprised?) This is a light read. At times I like the plot, the characters and at other times it was too hokey. Probably won’t be your bag of chips.

Illuminations. By Mary Sharratt

Besides Hollow City, this was my favorite book this year. It was incredibly fascinating. History + early religion + feminism = a book that I’m just going to love. I would highly recommend this book if any of those three things strikes your fancy.

Satisfied. By Jeff Manion

Our church did a series on this book, so I read it right along with about 5,000 other people. It focuses on our materialistic “not enough” culture and how to find happiness in what God has given you. The book has a great premise and some very good messages. I was, however, looking for some harder hitting narratives and practical tactics to apply.

What have you been reading lately?

The growing pile.

Reading is one of my one true loves in life. I love it so much that a book can envelop my entire consciousness for days and wind its way into my inner workings. I’ve got shelves crammed full of books I’ve read and don’t have the heart to get rid of, books that I can’t wait to crack open and devour and even more books that others hope I’ll want to read. I’ve spent hours in book stores and even more time at the library book sale each fall scouring the titles for something that speaks to me – meaning it could be anything from the Poisonwood Bible to something about vampires (cough, Twilight Series, cough).

I’m not one of those people that wants to sit down to a book only to find myself falling into a twisted story (while beautifully written) that in the end will only leave me wishing I hadn’t opened the book to begin with. I read to enjoy the words, to learn something or to find solace in something I can’t find outside of books. Books are like coming home – an escape from reality and a chance to live through something you otherwise would have missed.

Now that I’ve quit my job I’ve had a bit more time to read with less of an imposed bed time — meaning I’ve flown through 6 books in just about a month. What was it I was reading with such fervor?

See, a little of everything. With days like yesterday with the snow flakes spitting from the sky, nothing sounds better than curling up with a cup of hot apple cider and a book. Not sure what book is next on the list, any suggestions?

An unexpected legend.

I read the Thorn Birds a few years ago and this story has always stuck with me. It was so unexpected and so tragic. I’m not sure what made me think of it tonight… feeling a little reflective.

“There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to out carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain… Or so says the legend.”

— Colleen McCullough (The Thorn Birds)

Operation book sale.

I love books. I love them. I get attached to them. That’s why for the entire past year I’ve been looking forward to the library book sale. Which happened to be this last weekend. I think I’m equally excited for Christmas as I am the book sale. <Insert nostalgic sigh>

I dragged the bf to be the muscle of the library book operation. Someone had to carry them around for me… and it was also payback for “teaching how to play a computer game involving tanks” at 10:00 the night before. I’m sure he loved every second, and by loved I may mean simply existed through the hour or so I spent digging through boxes and piles of books. I walked away (on day 1) with two bags full of books and $32 less in my wallet.

We went back after a quick lunch to fuel up on Sunday. Sunday is the holy grail of book sale days. You get as many brown grocery bags as you want and you fill them up with any and all books you want — and get this — it only costs $6 a bag! I had to elbow a greasy aunt Edna out of the way to score the signed Ann Packer book and loaded up with the Poison Wood Bible among others. Again I had the bf haul my books around and feigned interest. At one point he looks at me incredulously and says “Are you actually going to read all of these? This would take me a lifetime”.

And to that I replied. “I am”, good sir, I am.

$12.80 later and I’m home with this pile of love:

Such a deal at the library sale!

I love these books

Lots of keepers in there

Pools, Food and Mickey.

A lot of days I get caught up in the little things about life. The errands I have to run, the clothes I have to wash, the barf I stepped in barefoot that I have to clean up (thanks Charles). So today, in an effort to keep looking forward and remember all the great things coming up, here are a few things I’m looking forward to!

1.) Making something delicious for dinner.

Summer swimming pool!

2.) Going to the pool this weekend.
3.) Going to the beach in a couple of weeks.
4.) Disneyland.

I love a good BBQ!

5.) More summer BBQ’s.
6.) The leaves changing.
Annual library book sale!
7.) The annual library book sale this fall. In which I get hundreds of books for next to nothing.

And just for fun a few things I’m not looking forward to:

1.) Buying Charles some dog surgery.
3,) The end of summer.
4.) Stepping in more barf. Or poop. Or other dog business.

What are you looking forward to?

*Photo Credits: Let Ideas Compete, Martin Cathrae, Visual Panic