I don't remember a time when I did not love books. As a kid, my mom would wake me up early for school so I'd have time to read before I got out of bed and then I'd read in the car on the way to school. I never go anywhere without a book or a magazine as you never know when you'll get stuck waiting somewhere. I love the feel and smell of books - I will never be a Kindle girl. I'm not a fan of any particular genre - I read a bit of everything. I've mentioned before that I pretty much have my own library at home (1300+ books) and, sadly, have only read about 20% of them. I hoard my books as badly as I hoard my craft supplies! This year I'm making a concerted effort to combat all the hoarding. Besides curbing the buying, I'm trying to read more and only allow myself to keep the books that I really love.
I had decided in January that I'd do a little round-up at the end of each month to tally up what I'd read and make some recommendations. So much for that. I'm going to start now though and since I've had a very slow start in the reading department I'm going to do a little catch up this month and then go from there. (I used to read a lot more books than this but I blame my discovery of so many great crafty blogs for eating into my reading time!)
"A Certain Chemistry" by Mil Millington
This is chick lit from a guy's perspective and it was disappointing. I loved Millington's first book ("Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About") and couldn't read it in public because it was so laugh out loud funny. This one left me cold - mostly, I think, because I couldn't find a single redeeming feature about the lead character. He was just a complete jerk and I didn't care what happened to him.
"Custer and Crazy Horse" by Stephen E. Ambrose - Recommended
This had the potential to be a really dry read but Ambrose is a fantastic historical writer and really brings the past alive. It gave me a whole new perspective on American Indians and the wars the settlers fought with them.
"Honeymoon" & "Lifeguard" by James Patterson
I took these on our vacation for some light reading but they were too light for me in the end. Passed some time by the pool but they were not at all satisfying.
"Child 44" by Tom Rob Smith - Recommended
I would never have picked this up but my friend at my local bookshop recommended it. He was dissing on James Patterson and said you could have a light read that was also a decent read. He was right. This is a suspense novel set in Russia and was a good story with great twists.
"Remarkable Creatures" by Tracy Chevalier
I almost didn't buy this since I was so unimpressed with her last book ("Burning Bright") but this is a good read. When Chevalier gets it right (as she did with "Falling Angels" and "Girl with a Pearl Earring") she creates fabulous historical fiction stories.
"Dogtown" by Stefan Bachtel
I'd love to visit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah one day. It looks like a pretty amazing place. I'm a sucker for a dog book and this one compiles a number of stories shown on the National Geographic Channel's Dogtown TV program. Mostly heartwarming with a bit of heartbreak thrown in.
"Babylon's Ark" by Lawrence Anthony - Recommended
This is the true story of a South African man who took it upon himself to go to Iraq after the post-9/11 invasion and try to help save the Baghdad Zoo and the few animals that survived the war. An amazing story of just how much people can accomplish in the worst of circumstances.
"Lizzie's War" by Tim Farrington - Recommended
A story that explores the effects of war on an entire family and the perspectives from each side - the husband who is in Vietnam and his wife and children back at home.
"The Spinster Sisters" by Stacey Ballis
I have rarely quit on a book in my life. Even if I thought it was awful I always felt like I had to see it through to the end. I've decided though that I have too many books to get through to force myself to finish something I'm not enjoying. So I quit on this one. I found the characters annoying and the dialogue unrealistic and forced. When bad writing pulls me out of the story it's time to end it.
"Elsewhere" by Gabrielle Zevin
I occasionally read young adult novels as there are quite a few very good ones out there. This one was thought provoking as it dealt with what happens to you after you die. I think it might bother a lot of people but whether or not I agree with it it's always interesting to explore other people's ideas and at the end of the day - it's only a novel. :)
Hope a few of you out there are readers too and I've perhaps sparked your interest in a book or two! I'm always interested in recommendations so let me know what you're reading these days. See you at the end of April for the next round up!