15 January 2014

books. books. books.

Working at a public school does afford me some perks, like getting work off when public holidays roll around. 
That means Christmas was a full 2 week vacation for me. 

But it also means that I had full days with very little to do. 
So of course, I turned to reading.

Because of my major, I read ALL THE TIME. And while a lot of it is amazing writing, it tends to get quite heavy and tiresome. So, reading something for the sake of entertainment and zero-thinking gets me really excited. 

Here's what I read over that two week span:

Heaven is Here
“I know, now, without a doubt that the true source of happiness, self-worth, and authentic beauty doesn't come from the outside. Women are constantly being persuaded to want something unachievable, to look younger or thinner and above all to fit in because being different is too painful and embarassing. I have accepted myself in a world that does not accept me, because I have learned that our hearts matter most... It's a beautiful heart, not a perfect body, that leads to a beautiful life.” 

“Happiness was my choice, and though it is hard-won, I am the only person who can stand in the way of it.” 

     I've read this once before, but her story is so inspiring that I wanted to read it once more. Her endurance and love of God makes me want to be better. 
    Recommend? Definitely. 

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
“Henry was learning that time apart has a way of creating distance- more than mountains and time zone separating them. Real distance, the kind that makes you ache and stop wondering. Longing so bad that it begins to hurt to care so much.” 

     I'm a sucker for historical fiction, especially during WWII (I've mentioned this before with my love of Sarah's Key). I learned something new about this history and enjoyed the book at the same time. 
   Recommend? Definitely. One good read. 

The Alchemist
“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn't know it.” 

“We are travelers on a cosmic journey,stardust,swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” 

    I've heard this title tossed around for a while and finally decided to pick it up. Like I mentioned earlier, I wanted to read for pure entertainment. However, this is more of a thinking book. It's short, but has some really good points to ponder. 
    Recommend? Sure. But be ready to sit and think.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
"I don't want to hear about the endless struggles to keep sex exciting, or the work it takes to plan a date night. I want to hear that you guys watch every episode of The Bachelorette together in secret or in shame, or that one got the other hooked on Breaking Bad and if either watches it without the other, they're dead meat. I want to see you guys high-five each other like teammates on a recreational softball team you both do for fun."

     Again, I've heard raves about this from other blogs, and thought that I must read it. Let me say, I've never been a fan of Mindy in the first place, so her writing wasn't all that enjoyable. Bits and pieces were okay, but overall it didn't live up to my expectations. 
     Recommend? No. Not my cup of tea. 

Dad is Fat
“Holidays are also an opportunity for kids to unlearn every good habit they’ve learned during the rest of the year. They don’t go to school. They get to stay up past their bedtime. They get candy and presents for doing nothing. Childhood utopia.” 

“I used to wonder why I had hair on my legs, but now I know it's for my toddler sons and daughters to pull themselves up off the ground with as I scream in pain.”

     I don't know how I heard about this one, but I picked it up and couldn't stop laughing. As in, his small essays literally made me laugh out loud. It is geared towards parents with children under 12 years old, but it is still good nonetheless. Only complaint I've heard is that many of the essays are simply his sketches in print. 
     Recommend? Definitely. We all need a good laugh.

The Giver
“Things could change, Gabe," Jonas went on. "Things could be different. I don't know how, but there must be some way for things to be different. There could be colors. And grandparents," he added, staring through the dimness toward the ceiling of his sleeping room. 
The newchild stirred slightly in his sleep. Jonas looked over at him.
"There could be love," Jonas whispered.” 

    I have repeatedly heard about and seen this book. Finally, I decided to read it (mainly because everyone told me they read it in sixth grade, and I felt dumb).  I was definitely not disappointed.  I read it within two days and could not stop thinking about it when I finished. I also think this book made me realize how much I enjoy science fiction. 
ps. it's going to be made into a movie this year. awesome.
     Recommend? Definitely. Go read it now!

Currently Reading: 
Sword of Shannara
"On either side of the rectangular black entryway stood two monstrous stone statues carved into the rock and rising well over a hundred feet against the dark cliff face. The stone sentries had been fashioned in the shape of armor-clad warriors, standing watchfully in the deep gloom, hands gripping the pommels of huge swords which rested the blade downward at their feet. Above the great entryway, scrolled into the rock, three words of a language centuries old and long forgotten served as a warning to those who would enter that this was the tomb of the dead. Beyond the vast opening, all was blackness and silence."

     After my pile of "read books" became too tall, my husband scolded me because I have given no time to this book. It's basically scripture to his family (all of his siblings and cousins read it when they were younger, and they still reference it often), and I had once promised him that it would be my next book to read. With two days left in the break I thought I would be able to quickly finish it.... until I saw that it had 721 pages. Doom. 
     So far, I've gathered that it is like the Lord of the Rings story, but simpler. I may have made fun of it and it's apparent similarities a bit too much - I think I offended my husband. It was written by a 17 year old, so the writing can be quite flawed, but is still pretty impressive for a teenager. 
I am currently on page 307.  And somewhat enjoying the story, but trying to finish the dang thing. 
     Recommend? Undecided. 


  1. You read all these books (besides the last one) in two weeks?! I thought I was a fast reader! Way to go! Thanks for the new recommendations! I have got to get to the library. I am re-reading The Help right now. Still love it.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I loved this post! It's about time you did one on books. Oh the books still left to read. I have a list to add to your list that would make it at least several miles long! You must have gotten your love of books from your mom. Fun post.

  4. I loved this post! It's about time you did one on books. Oh the books still left to read. I have a list to add to your list that would make it at least several miles long! You must have gotten your love of books from your mom. Fun post.