Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mass List of Book Reviews

I remember as a little girl, going to the library with my family and coming home with  a stack of books.  I would then lock myself in my bedroom and read till my heart was content which usually wouldn't be until all the books were finished.  Nothing has changed...

In the last month, literally, I have finished 9 books... Looking at the number I question my sanity.  Anyway, I already did a post about the Hunger Games trilogy but I haven't had a chance to post on any of the other ones I have finished.  Rather than spamming your feed with a bunch of posts about books, I figured I would do one mass post.  Easier, faster, and more convenient.

#1 Three Cups of Tea

This is the book that I finished first of the 9.  I count it as the first because it took me a month to get through it... Therefore finishing it kicked off the spree of reading that would follow. The reason it took me so long to finish the book wasn't because it was horrible or I didn't like it, but because I'm not used to reading books that are documentaries, especially those that spoke frequently of politics.  For me, when I picked up the book and started to read, I could read for a continuous amount of time, but it was almost like the second that I put the book down, I forgot about it.

I was actually completely unaware of some of the controversy that has arisen given this book.  After I finished the novel, I wanted to do a little research about the company mentioned in the book and was flabbergasted at the results of my google search.  More posts than I could count talked about how the book was a "scam" or had "misleading" or "fabrications" of real events in it.  Well, who really knows what happened, but my first reaction to the book is as follows:

As I read the book I was truly inspired and made me want to climb mountains both figuratively and literally myself.  It is incredible the amount of impact that a single person can make and makes me wonder how far a simple civilian can go to changing the world.

I picked up the book firstly because I knew it had to deal with building schools and providing for the less fortunate in Afghanistan.  My heart sinks when hearing about children that lack an education because their government wont provide for one or because of extenuating circumstances.  I also decided to read the book because I was so young when the 9/11 attacks occurred that I had no real understanding of what happened.  Even as I grew older, there was so much that I didn't know that left me out of the loop.  This book, although it presents confrontational views about the war in the Middle East, it does provide an varying perspective on better ways of preventing war.

Although it wasn't my favorite cup of tea (pun intended), it was highly informative and inspirational.  If you have any interest in the Middle East or in providing education for those less fortunate, this book should be put on your "to read" list. 

#2 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough

This book is a story that follows 4 different women, 3 primarily, through the hardships that life throws at us.  I don't have much to say about this novel, except that if you are a woman you could probably find a way to relate to at least one of the characters.  There were snippets that were a bit humorous and it wasn't a dry novel by a long shot.  It was though, ordinary.  Most novels I read have outrageous plot lines and the characters face these unthinkable obstacles, but this book isn't like that.  It's about women that face everyday difficulties and find a way to become stronger and more confident in themselves.

#3-5 The Hunger Games Trilogy

Of course I already posted about these novels but didn't want them to be missing from the count.  If you would like to read what I posted about these books click here.

#6 A Happy Marriage
I am so used to romance novel where almost nothing goes wrong.  There might be obstacles in the couple's way but they never really display the hardships that can face a marriage.  This book is what I would call raw because it does show how hard marriage can be.  Not only does it display how a relationship should be valued and how everlasting love is created but it brings to the forefront of your mind that marriage is hard.  Marriage is hardly ever easily passed through with no hiccups or frayed edges, but rather faces struggles continuously which all the while can make or break your relationship.  I was a little torn about my feelings toward this book because sometimes it didn't leave me with that happy, everything's going to be fine feeling, but that's what makes this book so special.  Give it a read if you get a chance.

#7 One for the Money

I actually didn't intend to read this book, not yet at least.  I usually bring my kindle to the gym because it is way easier to read on cardio equipment than lugging around a book where you have to hold down the pages.  I was looking for books to get "samples" of (the first chapter of the book) so I could be entertained just for that day at the gym.  Well I actually accidentally purchased this book.  I was intending to get to it later on because it was highly recommended by one of my friends and had promising reviews, so I said the hell with it and started reading.  I was not disappointed.

This book was hilarious!  When it wasn't making me laugh it was making me sweat with the adrenaline pumping ending.  The book itself is about a woman that is in desperate need of a job and picks up a spot as a bounty hunter.  The book follows her as she tries to learn the rules of the road and tries to cash in by bringing in FTA's (Failed to Appear).  It is a great read if you don't mind people staring at you while you laugh on the elliptical.  Definitely a must read.

#... What number are we on????  Oh yeah... 8    The Art of Racing in the Rain
I actually did mean to purchase this book unlike the last one, but a few pages into it and I almost put it down saying that I couldn't read the rest of it.  I knew right at the beginning that this book was going to be sad and that I would probably end up crying at least at one point.

The book is from a dog's perspective. Yes you read that correctly. Now it isn't what you think, the story line doesn't go along the lines of "squirrel, squirrel, ball.... what?"  I was actually quite impressed with the writing style of this novel and actually found some wonderful quotes in the book that thanks to my handy dandy kindle, I was able to save. 

I couldn't explain it any better than this:
"A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life… as only a dog could tell it.
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals.

On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny's wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoë, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side."

One of my favorite quotes from this book states, "People are always worried about what's happening next.  They often find it difficult to stand still, to occupy the now without worrying about the future.  People are not generally satisfied with what they have; they are very concerned with what they are going to have."

Do yourself a favor and read this book, especially if you are a dog lover.  It'll make you see your pooch in a whole new light!

#9  Harry Potter Series
Now I'm not going to give an actual review of these books, there's no need.  But I did want to finish out the list by saying what I'm reading now.  Just this morning I finished the first of the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  Although I have plenty of other books that I could be reading rather than Harry Potter, I have been wanting to re-read the series since it has been a couple of years since I've picked up the books.  This is just a testimony that just because you have finished a book, doesn't mean you can't go back to it.  Even if you've already read every book in your house, you still have something to read!

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