It's that time again! When I force you sit and listen to me ramble about all the books I've been reading and why I did or didn't like them! It's the nerdy-bloggy equivalent of a vacation picture slideshow! But, shhhhhh, the key difference is this: you can just walk away from this post at any time, and I'LL NEVER KNOW. Go ahead. I don't mind! I'll never know!
Still here? Hiiiiiii, nerdybooky friends. You know I love you the best.
1. House Rules, Jodi Picoult
2. Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese
3. The Lonely Polygamist, Brady Udall
4. Knowing God, J. I. Packer
I picked this one up at the end of February, and am still reading it. It's a theology book, and though it's not super-heavy, I feel like it's best digested in small bites. I've been reading a chapter every week or so, I'll finish it soon and post a real review. But, so far, so very good.
5. Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
This was a winner. A real winner. It's basically a biography of a WWII veteran, starting in his childhood, following him through his war experiences, and then through his struggles after returning home. His story is profound. Heartbreaking. If it were fiction, I'd say that it was totally overdone and unbelievable- no one could survive that much and live to tell about it. But it's not fiction, IT REALLY HAPPENED. My only caveat for you is that I did not realize that the book would be as dark as it is. Louis is held as POW in Japanese camps, and the torture, cruelty, and systematic removal of human dignity is atrocious and ruined my sleep for more than a few nights. But, it's still worth reading, worth discussing, worth knowing.
6. The Bells, William Harvell
ATTENTION: PLEASE READ THIS BOOK. I KNOW I SAY THAT A LOT, BUT I REALLY MEAN IT THIS TIME. It's the best book I've read in about two or three years. I know, I know, I often gush about books, but I think the last book I loved this much was The Brothers K and I read that three summers ago. (I think? Maybe two?) I bought The Bells because I heard several people in my book club talking about how it was their favorite book club book, but they had done it BEFORE I joined book club, so I felt left out and I had to catch up. I am so glad I did.
7. A Visit From The Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
Another real winner. And, it won a Pulitzer and a bunch of other prizes and HBO is making into a series, so you know I'm right about THIS one being good. :) I actually re-read it in April, I read it last year for the first time, but I don't think I ever posted about it, so, now I have. It's awesome.
8. The Cry of The Soul, Allender & Longman
I'd been reading this one for awhile; another 'best digested in small bites" kind of book, but I finished it in April. It is EXCELLENT. The subtitle is "How Our Emotions Reveal Our Deepest Questions About God." The book dissects and discusses difficult emotions such as anger, fear, and despair through the lens of Christian theology. A completely fascinating perspective, and for me, a lot of ideas and concepts that I had never really been presented with before. Highly recommend.
9. The Princess Bride, William Goldman
Now, guys, I do realize that I've forcefully told you read the past four books, but I don't really see any reason to stop here. You should ALSO read this book. You've probably seen the movie. But, seriously, read the book. It's the PERFECT summer read- it's fun, it's light, it's adventure and romance and comedy, and you can just thank me later.
10. Reading My Father, Alexandra Styron
I'm about halfway through this one. Non-fiction, autobiographical book by the daughter of William Styron. Totally fascinating so far. And, yes, I KNOW it's June. I'll catch up! I swear!
11. A Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp
Also about halfway through this one. Really, really enjoying it.
On Deck for the Summer:
Sacred Rhythms, Barton (rereading)
Love Walked Among Us, Miller
Give Them Grace, Fitzpatrick & Thompson
Only one of those is fiction, so very soon I'll be beginning my quest for What Novels Should I Read On Vacation This Year. I'm very excited. I love that quest.
(You can find Part I of 2012 here. And, if you're REALLY nerdybooky, then good news for you! I finally got around to labeling posts, so if you look at the bottom of this post, and click on the 'books' label, then you can read all the posts I ever wrote about the books I read. I know, I know. You are SOOOOOOOOO welcome.)