October 20, 2011

So, it's not exactly like curling up with a good book ...

new kindle

... but it's not too bad. I held off buying a Kindle forever, until the price dropped below $80. And then when Amazon told me I could load mine up with goodies before it even arrived in my mailbox, I quickly added 30 completely FREE classics to it. Woohoo! I also checked out two novels from my library for instant upload (no trip to the library necessary!). I will say, the library has few books that I'm actually interested in reading, and of those, most have a waitlist. The e-books list for our local library is not exactly expansive yet. Hopefully that will change over time.

So long as I'm talking "books", I may as well catch up my blog list with the books I've read over the last several months (well, the ones I remember, anyway).

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger - loved this. beautifully written.

Young Brave Handsome, also by Leif Enger - didn't enjoy this so much as Peace ...

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton - good, old-fashioned mystery - I much enjoyed the story. told cleverly thru various flash-backs, thru the eyes of different characters. only critique: the different characters didn't really have different voices (ie. without being given the dates & context, I wouldn't be able to delineate the characters simply by their internal dialogues).

Also read The House at Riverton & The Distant Hours also by Kate Morton. Don't much remember them. Don't recall enjoying them as much her first novel.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett - fabulous book. similar to The Forgotten Garden, a fabulous story told thru different character's perspectives. unlike The Forgotten Garden, these voices are all clearly distinct.

How to Train your Dragon - meh. I liked the movie better (now, there's something you rarely, if ever, hear me saying!!). Read aloud with Littlest Dude. I enjoyed Littlest Dude, but not the book.

Through the Lens: The Dust Bowl - a photographic rendering of the plight of the dust bowl victims during the Great Depression. Fascinating. Heart-renching. From a photographic stand-point, inspiring.

Jotham's Jour-ney - at the risk of sounding heretical (because I've heard nothing but high praise of this book) ... I hated it. Wanted to poke my eyeballs out as I was reading. For advent reading, I loved The Jesse Tree, and that's what I will return to this Christmas ...

Island of the World by Michael O'Brien - I have not the words to adequately describe this book, perhaps one of the best I've ever read. It's long. It's intense. It's NOT happy-go-lucky. It covers the full gamut of emotion from ultimate joy to deepest despair and hopelessness. A tremendously good book.

A Severe Mercy (includes 18 letters from C.S. Lewis) by Sheldon Vanauken - meh. not my cuppa. a little too overwrought.

The Man who was Thursday by Chesterton - I really wanted to like this, but I didn't like it in the same way I didn't like Alice in Wonderland, just felt like it was written a little over my head. Sci-fi/fantasy just isn't my language, methinks.

Rebecca - by Daphne du Maurier. well-told modern classic mystery/suspense.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, Sarah's Key, & somesuch chicklit title from Sophie Kinsella - all not favorites.

The Hand that First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell - my first Kindle library upload. It was pimped by Amazon on one of their "Amazon Picks" lists. I enjoyed it and its clever, overlapping stories.

1984 by George Orwell. Can't say I enjoyed this book (it is, afterall, tremendously dark and depressing and hopeless and all), but I did find it very thought-provoking. The Teen liked it and wanted me to read it, so I cast my sci-fi reluctance to the side and gutted thru it (on vacation, nonetheless ... what was I thinking?!?)

Currently reading an old Maeve Binchy, Echoes, (my second library upload)that I haven't read since high school. It's light, fun, non-deep reading.

That's about all I can remember. I know I grabbed several mysteries and the latest Jan Karon (Mitford, Father Tim series) from the library, but none of these must have left much of an impression.

Oh, and how could I forget? I read Les Miserables. Yah, the whole 1400+ pages. Go ahead and throw rotten tomatoes: I didn't like it. I did not like Cosette. I did not like Maurice. My favorite character was the priest in the very beginning of the book and he was long-gone after the first 100 pages (tho his influence remained). I so much prefered the musical (which I haven't seen in 25 years ... maybe it's time to rewatch??).

Please, if you've read something you've loved, let me know in the comments. I'm always on the prowl for a good book!

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KathyJo said...

It's *better* than curling up with a good book. :-) And I bought mine when it was... well, let's just say way more than 80 bucks. Then Jared got one, then Ernie finally caved and got one. No one here has a tablet computer or a smart phone, but we have three Kindles. And after the move, I'm upgrading and giving the younger readers my original one.

I recently tried a book by Sophie Kinsella, too. I was also unimpressed.

We (Jared and I) both enjoyed the first Thursday Next book. Jared's read them all, but I've been suffering from post-partum/nursing brain and so haven't read much of anything lately.

The movie How to Train Your Dragon made Nikki cry because of the differences. He loves that series of books. :-)

And re: your heretical dislike (lol!), I started a "Christian classic" recently and couldn't even make it through the first chapter, and I've developed intense dislike towards three different popular pastors/writers recently. So, I get what you mean.

Anonymous said...

We have THREE Nooks here at our house and love them soooo much. We are old fashioned book lovers but the perks of e-readers just can't be discounted. :)

Your the second person to recommend Rebecca to me in two days. Must take a look.

Rebekah said...

My goal this year is to read 6 books! How in the world do you find time to read so much? I'll be doing good to get through 2 more. I've also read The Help this year and loved it and I've bookmarked your list for future reference. I'm with you; didn't like Les Miserables - never did finish it years ago. LOVED The Hunchback of Notre Dame, though - couldn't put it down.

Life with Kaishon said...

Kaish wants one for Christmas. Very badly. I suppose that will be his present : ) I sure do love a reader of books. I just wish he liked the paper kind better. : )

Stacey said...

Oh I read Peace Like River early this year and loved it. Beautiful.

I recently read A Thousand Splendid Suns. Wonderful. Same auther as The Kite Runner. Loved it more than The Kite Runner.

Just stared The Book Thief!

And I'm behind the times and haven't gotten a Kindle yet. Maybe soon....

Kim@Starry Sky Ranch said...

I love Michael OBrien and wasn't aware of this title. Looking for it now. His Children of the Last Days series was possibly the most riveting story I have ever read. Edge of your seat.

Looking forward to checking out some of the others you mention.

Denise said...

Okay, Susan, you asked for it.
Here's a recommendation from an avid reader and a proud mom. :)

Our 21-year-old daughter just took the plunge into the world of epublishing with a book of short stories. It's called The Ranch Next Door and Other Stories and it's available for just $2.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble,and Smashwords. It's a book for all ages and 'family friendly'. And it has a linked Table of Contents too!

You can find the author at her blog if your interested:
where you can find out more about the book and the creative process behind it. She also writes book reviews from time to time and you might find some good reading suggestions there.

Anyway, if anyone is interested in helping out a new author get off the ground check out her book at these links:




Like you, Susan, I held off on a Kindle until I received one this summer as a birthday gift. I find I enjoy the convenience of carrying a whole choice of books in my purse at one time without all the weight, and I love the free and $.99 classic sets! Can't beat that.

Incidentally, I'm a regular lurker at your blog and I love your work. I've often gotten some great inspiration for my own shots by checking out your latest.

Thanks for opportunity to make this shameless plug for my daughter's book. ;) I hope you read it.

KathyJo said...

BTW, are you able to post an update on baby Allie? We've been praying.

Skeller said...

Kathy - You guys are awesome :-). I just heard from Allie's mom today and it sounds like she's doing great!! She gave me a link to Allie's blog:


Hey, I liked the first Thursday Next book I read. That reminds me to look for the others at the library...

Denise - congrats to your daughter on publishing her book! I'll definitely check out her blog for more info :-)

Kim - adding Children ... to my "get" list.

Stacey - I *LOVED* The Book Thief. So did both my older sons.

Maranda said...

Have you read "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society"? (Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows) It takes place just after WWII and recounts the story of the Island of Guernsey during the German Occupation. It is fiction, but based on some factual events... it has some cute characters...

I also read, "Same kind of different as me" about a year ago and enjoyed it. This one is a true story...

I don't find the time to read as often as I would like to, but these were two I remember pretty well out of the handful I have read in the past year.

I enjoy reading your blog. Your boys are super cute.


Denise said...

Thanks Susan! And thanks for the update and link re:Baby Allie. I was also wondering how she was doing.


Puna said...

I just watched Les Mis for the first time last weekend. I've read the book and listened to the score countless times. Seeing it was like a dream come true...

KathyJo said...

Thanks, Susan! :-)

Rhonda said...

LOVE your book list/reviews.
I just finished reading Same Kind Of Different as Me and really enjoyed it.

I haven't read any of the How to train your dragon series, but I'm not surprised you liked the movie better. It was a fabulous movie.

I'm just starting a John Grisham novel, The Confession. I've never read him before only seen the movies made and I'm quite impressed at how clean this book is. So far, I'm really enjoying it.

tracey said...

What?! I sobbed through A Severe Mercy! I read it in highschool so maybe that says something about my emotional state during puberty?

Cutting For Stone. Read. It. (If you haven't already.)

And if you could pick just one book from this list for my next read, what would it be?

(Can you tell I'm catching up on my spotty internet access from the last few weeks?)