September 2014 Reading Wrap Up

After August's intense reading flurry, September looks like a slump with only four books! It didn't feel too much like one, though. I didn't list my one DNF, and I've been savoring To Kill a Mockingbird for the last week (and still am). Tobia e l'Angelo was in Italian, so that took longer than usual. Plus, I actually put the techniques in Fluent Forever into practice, which took away from my reading time. Reviews of all of the above will be coming soon! I feel good about September, and I'm excited about what October will bring.What are you looking forward to this month, bookish or otherwise?

0 Comments

Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

Today's Top Ten Tuesday prompt can be interpreted in a variety of ways. I chose some books that were difficult for me to read for a few different reasons: subject matter, books that hit very close to home, and books with a high difficulty level (for me).1. Still Alice by Lisa Genova. A brilliant Harvard professor is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's at the age of 50. Its first person perspective makes watching her decline all the more terrifying.2. Violins of Hope by James A. Grymes. Stories behind the violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust. I went through the whole gamut of emotions reading this one.3. Room by Emma Donoghue. Five-year-old Jack and his mother live in a eleven-by-eleven-foot space. His mother was…

0 Comments

Never Pray Again by Aric Clark, Doug Hagler, and Nick Larson

  I heard about Never Pray Again from April at The Steadfast Reader and was completely intrigued. I visited the authors' website, Two Friars and a Fool, and read, listened, and watched for a couple weeks. I found I really connected with what they had to say. Never Pray Again focuses on something that has unsettled me for a long time: Prayer. The premise of the book is that "prayer is often a substitute for action." It makes us feel good, and it's something we can do quickly and then forget about. Kind of like a narcissistic, religious form of slacktivism. The authors start out with a bang, explaining how this attitude is basically "Zombie Christianity." Yes! I loved the parallel between the message…

0 Comments

Mini Review: A Deadly Wandering by Matt Richtel

  Most of A Deadly Wandering read like a true crime book, which isn't a genre I enjoy. I was expecting research-driven narrative non-fiction. There was so much dramatic filler. So much background information on figures that had more to do with Reggie's prosecution than with "the impact of technology." I started to resent feeling like I was wading through fluff to find pertinent points. However, I found the science fascinating and appreciated the author's multifaceted approach: the way technology affects our brain, how and why it can be so addictive, our attention span and our ability to multitask. Unfortunately, the science was the only thing compelling me to keep reading. I couldn't get past the book's "true crime" tone,…

0 Comments

A Brief Moment of Weightlessness by Victoria Fish

  Imagine you've just started reading a book by a new-to-you author, and you find you are absolutely captivated, even before you finish the first page. It's a remarkable feeling. That was my experience while reading A Brief Moment of Weightlessness, yet I couldn't help but think, "The rest of the book can't possibly live up to this amazing start." I thought for sure there'd be at least one story that wasn't as brilliant as the others. Somehow, Fish managed to create a collection that dazzles from start to finish. I loved every single story. There's a level of depth present that is difficult to achieve in such a short format, but Fish shows finesse, mastery, and sensitivity. "Where Do You…

0 Comments

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

  Can I admit that I went into The Fault in Our Stars with a bad attitude? It's YA. I expected to have a flashback to those Lurlene McDaniel novels that were so popular in the '80s. It centers on a love story, gag! (I sound heartless, don't I?) It's about cancer. Kids with cancer. My sister was diagnosed with an aggressive, very rare cancer (leiomyosarcoma) when she was a kid. She's an adult now and thankfully cancer-free, but I remember those times. So yeah, I could not imagine enjoying this book. But I was curious about it, because there has been so much hype. When one of my flute students loaned me her copy, I had no excuse and…

0 Comments

Small Fry Saturday: Artsy Boys and Smelly Girls by Elise Gravel

  Gender stereotypes, grrrr. I know I'm not the only person who cringes when children are pigeonholed. I cheer for books and toys which promote kids being themselves! C still enjoys a good picture book, so I was excited to stumble upon Elise Gravel's e-book Artsy Boys and Smelly Girls. It has fun illustrations (just like the cover image above) and its message is easy to understand. Each page features an adjective or an emotion — such as angry, or sensitive — and illustrates it in a way that defies common gender stereotypes. An angry girl, a sensitive boy, etc. Each example is also very normal, which makes such a simple message pretty powerful. If it were available in print (it'd make a great board…

0 Comments

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

  After shaming herself on local television, fourteen-year-old Johanna Morrigan decides to reinvent herself. It's 1990, prime time for sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Johanna transforms into Dolly Wilde and lands a job writing reviews for a music paper by the time she's sixteen, determined to save her family from poverty. Eventually her new lifestyle catches up with her and she is forced to confront Dolly's tragic flaw. Johanna is incredibly intelligent. In a strange sort of way, she reminds me of an edgy Flavia de Luce. I think it's the way her mind works. She's discerning and sees things as they really are... yet, she can't deny her teenage desires to be desired, to be beautiful, to be cool.…

0 Comments

The Way Life Should Be by Christina Baker Kline

  This was my first time reading one of Christina Baker Kline's novels, though I've noticed a lot of positive comments about her books around the blogosphere and have had Orphan Train on my shelf for a while. The Way Life Should Be is women's fiction with a slight chick-lit feel. It had a first person present tense narrative, which for some reason struck me: I felt like Amanda was right there in front of me, telling me her story. Amanda has suppressed her naturally adventurous spirit over the years, and is in this weird stage that falls somewhere between feeling like she needs a man in her life and wanting to be completely self-reliant. I liked the pull between the…

0 Comments

Sunday Salon: Reading Little, Hanging On

It's a good thing I have all my reviews for September already written and scheduled, because I've hardly had time to read at all! I'm playing in the orchestra for a local production of the musical Annie Get Your Gun, and unlike The Sound of Music last month, there is hardly a moment to rest, much less get any reading done.Regardless of my super slow pace, I'm enjoying The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, which is really cute and kind of quirky. I'm also reading an Italian middle grade novel (in Italian) called Tobia e l'Angelo by Susanna Tamaro. It's about a lonely young girl and the way she perceives and contemplates the world around her. It has a slightly surreal, dreamlike tone which…

0 Comments

End of content

No more pages to load