Tuesday, February 02, 2010

January Reading List

For awhile I've been wanting to blog about the books I read like Penny does. I just haven't gotten around to it. Thought I'd start fresh in 2010. I'm not listing any of the self-help type books I read. Most of those are partial reads or just referencing. I'm a self-help book addict!

Reading Lolita in Tehran - I admit that I didn't really like this book in the beginning. In fact, I started reading it while Matt and I were in Utah back in November. I would read a few pages every few nights, but got thoroughly distracted over the holidays. I started reading it again mostly just to get it over (I can't stand having an unread book!), but found myself soon captured. It is the memoirs of a woman living in Iran told through the novels she uses in her teaching. Only taking the minimum literature courses in college, by the end of this book, I was wondering if I should go back to school for an literature degree. The list of recommended reading is long, and I've added each to my reading list.

The Green Hour - this was my second time to read this book (the first read was in Nov). Some well written books I like to read multiple times. I always seem to find something deeper the second time around. It is the story of a woman who spends her life longing for the man she fell in love with in college. The coming and going of this man in her life. The book led me to the Spanish poem Love That Endures Beyond Death by Francisco de Quevedo which I is now one of my favorites. A couple of my favorite lines from the book...

"How will I ever know who you are?" she asked flatly.
"What's there to know?" he said, closing his eyes. "It's all set between us, always was and always will be."


"Are we," the letter continued, without transition, "still together, Red? Nothing, of course, has changed for me. What is time to us, anyway? All our separations and our being together is the same moment, the time we are alive for each other."

Uglies, Pretties and Specials Trilogy - This is actually three books, but since they are written for the pre-teen/teen audience and I finished all 3 in just 4 days, I hate to count them individually. Good, fun, fast reads. Fairly predictable but very imaginative. The story takes place in a futuristic world where at the age of 16, everyone undergoes surgery to become "pretty." There is a 4th book with different characters, but I doubt I'll read it.

Believe - I'd like to do a separate post on this book. Very moving. It was written by a classmate of mine from St. Olaf. I saw it in the St. Olaf magazine and thought I would show support by purchasing the book. Never did I expect to be so moved.

The History of Love - loved it. I cried (but I cry pretty easily!). A passage that caught me:

"Every time she tries to leave, knowing it's what has to be done, the boy stops her, begging like a fool. And so she always returns, no matter how often she leaves or how far she goes, appearing soundlessly behind him and covering his eyes with her hands, spoiling for him anyone who could ever come after her."

Love the One You're With - story of a married woman who rekindles emotions with a past lover. Easy, enjoyable read. Found the mention of Tiger Woods and his "gorgeous, doting wife" with the main character's questioning thoughts about the solidity of the golfer's relationship very entertaining and a propos.

Water for Elephants - I've been wanting to read this for awhile. Finally snagged it on BookMooch. Loved it. Although the author's note at the end left me a bit sick to my stomach. And my favorite line in the book

"Sometimes I think that if I had to choose between an ear of corn or making love to a woman, I'd choose the corn."

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Very enjoyable. But not much to say about it.


Growandmake.com said...

Hi Kristen, This is Will with Growandmake.com. I really like your blog and wanted to see if you would be interested in becoming a contributing editor to our 'Lifestyle and Design Guide'? If so, email me will@growandmake.com

Penny said...

I want to read Water for elephants too. Must put it on hold.

PopMom said...

Try Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. I got it from an Entertainment Weekly review several years ago and it is now my favorite of all time. Beautifully written and nice and long :) I'm going to grab a couple of the ones you mentioned. Thx!