Thursday, March 12, 2009

on my bookshelf

A couple of years ago I unintentionally began a campaign to become a book worm. Being a former CSI, Law & Order , and Food Network groupie- I basically had to go cold turkey. Now, except to hang with one of my girls, I watch little to no ever. I have however completely whizzed through many wonderful books and feel this is a much better way to spend my time. With the added demise of my four favorite magazine publications, I am more focused than ever....climbing in my crisp white linens each night to snuggle up with my chosen book.

When we rolled over our calenders to begin 2009 I decided I wanted to do a better job of documenting what I've read. I am by no means a literary critic, I'm not even in a book club for crying out loud, but here are a few that I've read this year & some of my thoughts.

To Kill a Mockingbird~ just finished this one ...what can i say--amazingly written. had to slow down to enjoy the beauty of this one. Atticus Finch-definitely a literary hero of mine & that Scout-to think she is Caroline's age- I love it. Wish I could speak the same beautiful language in my everyday dialogue that Harper Lee has written with ( already I've made a grammatical error). The copy I purchased had the ruffed that. Hoping to include more classics in my repertoire.

Redeeming Love~my #1 fave of all time. beautiful story of unconditional love. run grab this one & I dare you to take longer than 24 hours to complete.

Same Kind of Different as Me~ OH WOW! my #2 fave book. wore me out emotionally. challenged many of my convictions. inspired my to love my fellow man ( decidedly a stretch for me being that i can't even tolerate my next door neighbor--literally). wish i could make a difference in my world like these folks. true story. minor spoiler here....having sat beside my husband as he left this world due to the horrors of cancer, there is a part of this book that i doubted i could finish.....glad i did.....i highly recommend this one & i dare you not to be changed
website here

goodness me, that's the last dare, i promise.

Magic Hour~ couldn't put it down...precious story

Firefly Lane~ my #3 fave. wonderful story of a life long tearjerker

Big Cherry Holler, Milk Glass Moon~ total winners

Home to Big Stone Gap~ fourth in the series, sitting by my bed waiting to be read. with a cover like this, it too is destined to be a winner

Mary Alice Monroe~ my fave author. love everything she has written. everything.

Grace Based Parenting~phenomenal book!! i don't prefer self help books but had this one recommended to me. hoping i can put into practice what i've learned & wishing i had read this years ago. need to write a whole post sharing some of his words. a must read

Snow Flower & the Secret Fan~ I'll be honest, swapped out a paperback while at the beach on my last day & needed something to read. intense story. started out not liking this one but the ending is beautiful ...totally worth it.

Nights in Rodanthe~in true melancholy Nicholas Sparks form-i give it a fair. much preferred The Notebook and The Wedding. loved one of the relationships which incidentally was omitted from the movie which i found ridiculously boring . someone please give diane lane a better hair cut.

The Off Season~ a little disappointing and totally weird ending.

The Secret Life of Bees~loved it. in my top 10 for sure. loved the movie even often does that occur. cried like a baby . gonna add that one to our dvd library (which gives me another thought --favorite movies post) The Mermaid Chair~bought this in hardback simply because I loved the cover and it mentioned mermaids which follows along in my love of all things related to the sea. tried to read it, thought it was too weird. never finished it. movie was weird enough. what was i thinking? The Tenth Circle~ok, any book who's title is referring to Dante's 9 circles of hell is bound to be too much for me. at the risk of sounding cliche, i need more of a happy ending. well written but absolutely no redemption in the entire book. being the first jodi picoult book i read, i was hopeful the ending would indeed have some one being redeemed. yuck. didn't like that at allCurrently reading My Sisters Keeper~should finish it tonight. do tell, are all her characters completely forlorn? geez

Change of Heart~i'll tell you what is changing-my plans on reading this one. flipped to and read a random page & decided definitely not for me. sorry jodi, i will give you one more try. anyone have any advice? i hate to throw the towel in on a hugely popular author....but really

The Swan House~ ok, this one is actually my #3 fave. not that you care about accuracy here, but i LOVED this story. historical Atlanta fiction. (on a side note~ the Swan House is an authentic old home in downtown that serves an amazing lunch and even more amazing merangue swans for desert).... a must read for all southern girls.

The Dwelling Place~ ( the Swan House sequel)the main character was a little to grumpy for me, but otherwise loved it.

Searching for Eternity~ love Elizabeth Musser's work but found this one a tad disappointing.

Another book I swapped at the beach was Water for Elephants- since everyone is reading it. peer pressure. but truth be told, i hate the circus. hate the circus. years ago i vowed never to go again. think the people are totally weird but most importantly cry like a baby when i see those poor mistreated beautiful elephants. that combined with my inability to handle any sad story about animals, i 've yet to read this one. would someone kindly tell me if i should move forward & give it a try?

True Colors~ just released. love the cover--seashells. trying to decide if i want to purchase this one in hardback or go the way of the library due to the tanked economy.

Dan is cruising through the Harry Potter series--stopped just before book 5 to read Same Kind Of Different thanks to my request. I finished book 5 last year & needed a Harry Potter vacation before I plowed through book 6 & 7 girls think I'm not a true fan. sigh.
Also read the first two of the Twilight series. started sounding redundant so i passed on the last two. movie was a pathetic disappointment.
LOVED The Shack. want to read that one over & over.
Incidentally, on the Beth Moore blog, one of her daughters also did a book post. there is just shy of 2,000 comments of favorite books. i blitzed through the first 400 comments as if i had nothing else to do....looks like The Shack, Same Kind of Different as Me, Pride & Prejudice, & Redeeming Love where the front runners.
Would love to hear some of your faves my friends~


Kristin said...

You are a busy girly. I love to read so, look into some of these books I will indeed. Love your new profile picture my friend. Beautiful of you.

Hope your day is blessed in the smiles you keep.

sugar said...

I've got to read these! Great post. I recommend anything by Bodie Thoene. She is an incredible author. Wish you live closer, I'd give you mine to borrow. Have a wonderful day.

Kasey said...

I just have to tell you.
my little guy was ALMOST named Atticus. BUT, the hubby did not like the name, go figure.
I truly love the name Atticus, and so we went with the next best thing.....
short for Finch.
get it?
So, I got a little guy who is named after my all time favorite book.

Debra said...

I want to read more too and I think the only way is to turn off the tv since it's highly unlikely more hours can be added to the day. Thanks for the reviews and the inspiration.

Jboo said...

Wow -- am going to busily jot all these books down and try to read at least some too! I tried a Jodi P. book (can't even remember which one) and did not care for it. Also feel the same about Water for Elephants. My sister loved it, but I could not get into it at all -- just thought it was weird and I don't like circuses either! Can't wait to check out some of your recommendations! Thanks for all the tips!


CMB said...

I am also a self confessed book worm...I have read many of the books on your list. I am not a big Jodi P. fan although I know many are, I just felt like all of her books were a little too dark and depressing. I read "Water for Elephants" about 2 years ago, we were on a soccer trip and I had finished the book I brought so I swapped with someone. It took a little for me to get into it but I ended up liking it. Our book club read it and it was one of the highest rated books...I guess that could just mean we are an odd group! :) I have recently picked up several books from Target (their bookmarked selections)and have liked many of those.

Clare said...

Oh Paige, I LOVE your post!! I am an avid reader and I have read many of the books on your list. I too LOVED Redeeming Love, Firefly Lane, The Secret Lives of Bees, etc. I do LOVE jodi picolt, but I have to take a break from her books after a while, because they can be a little much. I have read the tenth circle, my sisters keeper, etc. They are very quick reads, but tend to fall on the depressing side! I agree! I do like the characters though, and I love the way she writes about teenagers, it can be tough out there!

I just finished:
Beautiful Boy by David Sheff, amazing about a son addicted to meth and what a powerful story about being a parent, especially when they go on such a difficult journey

I got half way through the shack and just couldn't finish it. the beginning is just so tragic, and I just couldn't relate, some people really seem to love it though!

Have you read, Pillars of the Earth? It is one of my #1 favorite books besides Gone with the Wind...everyone I have recommended it to has LOVED it! Takes you to a different world totally.

The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns are both amazing books about totally different places in the world. You will feel so thankful to be a women in America after reading a thousand splendid suns!! Amazing!!!

I am currently reading Wicked, and I really like it!

I'm not sure if you saw my blog post about this awesome website
You swap books with other readers across the country, the website matches you up with a reader that wants your books. You just print a mailing label and send the book to them. Then you can get a book that you are waiting for!! It is so awesome! I have already mailed out 8 books, and i just joined on Sunday. So, I have 8 books I can get from another person. Sorry for the long response!! XO, C

Anonymous said...

Oh my. Will be loading up my Kindle now. One thing I miss now that I have the Kindle? Ruffled and worn pages.

Redeeming Love: reading that now(old fashioned kind with ruffled and worn pages) for the third or fourth time. LOVE Francine Rivers, my favorite author. My all time favorite books are the "mark of the lion" series by her! Please tell me you have read them?

anyway..great post!

Taryn said...

My of My you are book review review central!
(If you like Redeeming love- you might want to check out Francine Rivers of her other stuff- Most of it is just as good, if not better, in my opinion.)

Anonymous said...

I always love book reviews! You've got some great ones. Will definitely have to check some out. I think one of my all time favorite books is Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. It is an old book and short so it's a super quick read. It's written in journal form. I recommend this to girls and women of all ages.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how thankful I am for this list! until recently I was a big magazine reader but now all of my favorites are gone except Donna Hay. I've been wondering what to read. Now I have some great suggestions! Thank you! also... BEAUTIFUL profile pic! Hubba hubba ;)

Jeanne Oliver said...

I am an avid reader and even had a library added to our home. Barnes and Noble is my weakness. My favorite book of ALL time is To Kill A Mockingbird. I have read that book so many times and it never gets old. The movie is also amazing and I never can say that after a great book. I just picked up The Shack....I can't wait to start.

Heather said...

wow! i was reading your post with Tommy and we were both saying "OH MY GOSH!" - last night as he finished Kite Runner (have you read it? you must. Tommy and I rank it as a top 3 -- and he reads A LOT!!!) - he asked me what my favorite book of all times was ... hands down. Redeeming Love - no question about it.
[her other stuff is fabulous as well ... Leota's garden may remind you of a sweet family relative]

After I answered his question, I picked up Different Kind of Me ... to begin it -- love it so far. Love how one chapter I am talking one way .. then the very next I am talking completely different (in my head) - love it so far.

I did read a Jodi Pic book (19 seconds?) - and I liked it. I thought it was good. I was entertained for sure.

You have just given me a good little list to head to the library to check out!!!

BTW, Swan Coach House? Love it! Had my bridesmaid luncheon there ... love historical fiction ----

Just read Emily Giffin(Atlanta Author) - she is fun, not all that "wholesome" - but a good entertaining read. I just finished "Love the One You're With" - and it was a mix b/t NYC and Atlanta --- both places that I love.

Tommy just finished the Shack after I BEGGED him too - he loved it. And, he is a harsh harsh critic.

We need to start a book club.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I cannot belive that you have read all these books.....WOW. I am not a big TV person, but I could step away from the computer a little more and read instead. Might check out one or two of your favs for the beach next week!!

Hope all is well with you!


Rachel said...

Great post! I love book reviews!

I feel the same way about Jodi Picoult. I feel like so much of her stuff is overrated. I did like Nineteen Minutes, but that's about the only one I've read and really enjoyed.

Do read Water for Elephants. The story is so much more than a circus.

Another book I'd recommed...Time Traveler's Wife. LOOOOOVED this book!

Nora said...

Perfect timing for this post. I just said about an hour ago that I need a good book to read...Now all I need to do is decide which one :)

RobinfromCA said...

I love this post as I, too, am a bookworm! I love everything from classics to children's literature - which I still read! I've never read a Jodi P. book because those who know my reading tastes have recommended I not read them. Some of the others you mentioned sound intriguing!

I know the perfect place to keep track of what you've read, want to read, and what your favorites are. It's called Shelfari and you can even put a widget on your blog for others to see. You can link to my shelf on my blog and link to Shelfari from there. I'll also send you an invite so you can join if you're interested. I could never keep track before Shelfari - what a book lovers lifesaver it's been!

Strobist Girl said...

Well - i think that you know my thoughts on tv - lol! I love to read - our favorite store is BN! Noting is better than BN and Starbucks :D I have read several on this list and I will check out the others!

Ladybug hugs,

Let's try and catch up soon!

the wild raspberry said...

wow, you weren't kidding about being a bookworm! i'm impressed.
my books almost all consist of what i read to my girls...right now we are reading the 'little house' books {again :)} and 'ballet shoes'...our first from this author. we loved the narnia books and want to read them over again some day.
i have to admit that i've never read 'to kill a mockingbird' but now i feel that i must. thanks for the inspiration.

Jen Kershner said...

Oh my gosh! Have you read all of those books this year? I love to read. Always have. I'm going to add several of those to my list. Never even heard of Mary Alice Monroe but will check her out for sure! Thanks for being such a share bear!

bethy said...

hi paige!
thanks for the note you wrote not too long ago! :) i am teaching my heart out and reading as much as i can, so i love this post! i haven't read many of these, but would love to try some after your reviews. i loved grace based parenting, too. it has been awhile, i should read it again - great message. glad you are doing well and wish i had time to check in with you more often! :) bethy

southernjoy said...

Oh, how I love to read! I too like to climb into bed, snuggle under the covers once the house is finally quiet, and read myself to sleep.

Haven't read some that you've listed, so thanks for sharing them. Do you ever read any Mary Kay Andrews? Nothing deep, just pure southern fun!

Stink Bone Jones said...

Have you ever heard of shelfari?

I see that you are an avid reader and it is a virtual bookshelf to fill books that you've read, wish to read, plan to read. I have found so many wonderful books because of this site. You can browse others' shelves with reading tastes like yours.

Anonymous said...

I have read most of your favorite books posted here, so I thought you might like to look up one of my very favorite authors. Please try out anything by Karen Kingsbury, who writes Christian fiction. You can download her book list from her website, as many books are part of a series.

Please....she's worth the time!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing this post~ I am printing it out and taking it to the book store this weekend!

Rachel said...

I just kind of happened upon your blog through Dawn (Gahan Girls). Love this book review post. If I can add my two cents worth... you really should read Water for Elephants. It has the most satisfying ending of any book I've ever read... and that's all I'm gonna say.

Ann said...

I read The Mermaid Chair and the Tenth Circle last year and hated them both. Glad i'm not alone. The Secret Life of Bees on the other hand is fabu! May I also recommend Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos. It is enchanting.

Shawn Seay said...

Thanks Paige. Since this post, thanks to you, I have read Redeeming Love. What a wonderful read....I will look back on this post for more ideas.

Gayle said...

Thanks for sharing your book list! I'm always looking for something good to read! I'm half way through Kristin Hannah's newest one right now. Not familiar with Mary Alice Monroe so I'll check her out!

Anonymous said...