It has been too, too long since I’ve shared what I’m reading. In this case, too, too long translates to three months… Yikes! I definitely hit a reading slump at the beginning of the year. And then I was working at a tax office with a crazy schedule that didn’t really allow me time to read much during the day but I’m back. Here’s what I’ve finished since my last post on books way back in January!
The Forgotten Garden was my second Kate Morton book and while I enjoyed it, I think I might have enjoyed The House at Riverton more, simply because the plot to this one seemed more wide-open. That said, I really did like this book a lot. It’s a historical mystery: a small girl is sent on a ship headed to Australia in the early 1910s. She has no traveling companions and when she arrives at the dock, the dockmaster and his wife take her in as her own. When she turns 21, her parents tell “Nell” the truth and it upsets everything in her world. She attempts to find out who she is, but before she can, life intervenes and she ends up caring for her young granddaughter. It’s this granddaughter, Cassandra, who picks up the mystery to discover Nell’s secret life. I definitely wanted to keep reading this book — I hand to know what happened! I love books that are just too hard to put down and this was one of them. I can’t wait to read the other two Morton books I’ve got sitting on my bookshelf!
A few months ago, when the first movie in this trilogy came out, I went with friends to see it simply because I didn’t want to be left out of a group outing. If I had known that the movie was a) a trilogy and b) three hours long, I probably would not have gone. I mean, my attention span is not much longer than a paragraph! When I saw this skinny book on my parents’ bookshelf a few weeks later, I was so mad. How in the world would this be nine hours’ worth of movie? So I read it simply to justify my silly rage… And dang it! Because I surprisingly loved it and can’t wait to sit through six more hours of movie. This is Tolkien’s tale of what happens before the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In The Hobbit, we meet Bilbo Baggins and travel with him and some dwarves as they journey to take back a mountain castle kingdom from a dragon, and in the process we meet Golum and see the ring for the first time. After reading it, I definitely understand how this had to be turned into a movie trilogy — there is so much action and adventure packed in these pages that it would be a travesty not to expand on Tolkein’s writing! (And yes, now I want to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy!)
I do not know how I found The Big Mama, aka Melanie Shankle. But I do know that adding her to my Google Reader has made my life a lot funnier than I ever expected because every.single.day she posts, I laugh. So when I heard she was writing a book about parenting, I was really excited. Not because I’m a parent but because I think Melanie is just so real and fun that you don’t have to be a parent to relate to her. This book proves that to be true. She is tender and real and hilarious the entire time as she shares stories about meeting Perry, her husband, and their daily life with their only daughter, Caroline. (Maybe I like it because Caroline reminds me so much of a Texas version of my Charissie girl!) This was a quick read and I could see it being totally perfect for a mom’s book club.
I have never read any John Green before. Please don’t sue me. But this book has gotten such amazing praise from pretty much every single review site and newspaper and magazine so when I had a coupon code for a new book site (bookworm.com), I grabbed it along with a new other books. It’s the story of a teenagers Hazel and Gus, both cancer patients to varying degrees. They’re sick but they want to live these normal, ridiculous teenage lives — knowing that they fully cannot ever be “normal.” To be honest, I liked this book but scratched my head when it came to the outpouring of praise. I’ve read much, much stronger young adult fiction and while I thought this was good, I’m not sure that it deserves all of the awesomeness that’s been heaped upon it. I will tell you that I cried. I knew what was coming — after all, it’s a book about kids with cancer; what do you think happens?! — and I did appreciate the way the characters seemed real to me. One thing to nit-pick: why do YA authors think that it’s necessary to have teenagers in LUV to have sex? That was the biggest WHYYYY in this book for me. It would be been a great story without any sex.
I am a big Jodi Picoult fan but honestly her last few books have fallen short for me because the plots just seem too formulaic and contrived. I think her writing is strong but the plots… oh the plots. Anyhow, I got The Storyteller as an Easter gift and I flew through it. I mean, stayed up all night even though I knew I’d regret it at work. Sage works as a baker and her world is rocked when she befriends an old German man named Josef. He tells Sage he has a story to tell her and that he needs her to take his life. Josef is a former SS guard and Sage’s grandmother is a Holocaust survivor. Sage must balance hearing and seeing her grandmother, finding out her story. I seriously thought this book was PHENOMENAL. I stayed up reading it and in the very middle of it, I had tears running down my face. And the ending… maybe I should have seen it coming, but I did not. I would HIGHLY recommend this one!
All right. I have read more but I think that’s enough for today! Don’t want to overwhelm anyone with too many books in once place. Happy reading! What’s in your library right now that you’re working your way through?