Sunday, April 17, 2011

Books - First Quarter

As I said in my Craftolutions post, #8, I am going to read 17 books this year.  I'm off to a steady start, but February was a slow reading month for me. I recently had to travel for work, so I read an entire book on the planes (going and coming back), so that put me back on schedule.

Well, here is my list so far and how I rate each book (5 thumbs up is the best):

                                                1. This book I got as a Christmas present.  This is the first non-fiction book I have read in a very long time.  It is about how this one woman decided that living a simpler life would be more fufilling.  She still had a 9-5 job, but when she got home she turned into a homemaker.  She has funny accounts of the highs and lows of learning how to raise chickens so she can have fresh eggs, learning how to be a beekeeper to have fresh honey, raised rabbits for their fur, grew her own garden of veggies, and she even has a couple of husky dogs that she would sled with and also make them into pack dogs (trained them to haul bundles on their sides like a donkey).  This is a story and a resource for where to get info so you, too, can live a simpler life.  She is very down-to-Earth and you end the book wishing you could raise chickens!  I rate it 4 thumbs up.

2. This next book is from an author that I have read from several times.  Her books always start off a bit slow because she is building everyone's character but always has a strange twist at the end.  This book has a wedding that the guests are all alumni from the same private school, but they have not seen each other in 20 years, so it is like a reunion.  The wedding takes place at an inn that one of the alumni converted from a house.  Each character has a secret that is either revealed dring the story or at the the end, which is the twist.  It has the characters remembering their earlier years and either wishing they did things differently or glad they didn't.  She takes you into each character's mind and feel what hardship they bring to the inn with them.  I rate it 3.5 thumbs up.

3. This third book has been on my reading list for awhile.  I have read the entire Mayfair Witch series when I was in college but I had not read any of the Vampire series.  This book is part of both series where there is a Mayfair witch, Merrick, and a few of the Vampires, Lestat and Louis.  Merrick, I don't remember, was ever mentioned in the Mayfair series.  This book has her calling on someone from the spirit world, but it has a lot of character history that occurs by going into the past.  That part made the book boring to me because I was forgetting the point of the book, which was raising a spirit.  The end was the most interesting because the spirit was finally raised.  If you were a fan of either set of series, then this is a good book to read, but if you were not, then I would not recommend it.  These books were written way before the Twilight series and all the other vampire novels out these days.  So if you liked the Twilight stories then start reading either one of Anne Rice's series; they are more mature.  I rated this 3 thumbs up.

4. My final book for this first quarter is from one of my favorite authors.  This book has a man accused of double homicide and has been sentenced to the death penalty.  The double homicide takes away one of the main character's husband and daughter while she is pregnant with her second child.  The man (inmate) is on death row for 11 years and during this time the second daughter is on the waiting list for a heart transplant.  The inmate gets this idea that he must donate his heart to the young girl in order to make things right for what he has been accused of doing.  Jodi Picoult books have a way of making you like the "bad person" in her books because they are real and human too.  She has you think beyond social stigmas and stereotypes and makes you think of the morality of the matter at hand.  Does the woman want this heart for her daughter to live from the inmate?  No.  Does she need it?  Yes.  I won't ruin the story, but this was a fantastic book.  I rated this 5 thumbs up.

My next set of books, I want to fit in a classic, like something from Jane Austen.  I have a few of her books, I just have not started any of them yet.  I tried listening to one of them on an audiobook and they read with such a thick English accent that I could not even understand them!  So I returned the audiobook to the library.  I carpool to work most days so listening to an audiobook isn't practical anymore. 

I'm also not into those e-readers either.  For me, reading a book is about the actual book in your hand, not some computer that you read off the screen.  So, right now, I am boycotting e-books.  An audio book at least has someone reading the book to you in the way the book should be told in, so I feel like that is a good alternative to not have the phyical book in your hand.  Otherwise I like feeling each page, and carrying the actual book around with me.  Does anyone agree with me or do you like the e-readers?  I'm interested in knowing what is so great about giving up a paper book...


Kjestine said...

It took me a while to try out the bandwagon but I discovered by giving ebooks a chance that I can have the best of both worlds. I installed the Amazon Kindle app on my Evo and have purchased a few books. I have not paid more than $1 for a book. So one plus is it can be a cheap way to get ahold of books that you wouldn't normally think to read. I only used my phone when I am somewhere that requires a little bit of a wait (drs appt, car service) or at lunchtime at work when I am sick of listening to the guys talk about sports. I plan on using it when I travel so I no longer have to lug a book or two around in my carry on. BUT at home I only read the real thing because I agree with the satsfaction of the weight of the book in my hands and turning the pages. If ebooks take over the world, will the saying "it's a page turner" die out? I won't be whipping my phone out at the beach either...nothing beats finding a gently used beach read at a yard sale! So my vote is ebooks are ok for some situations but should not replace the real thing. Clearly just my opinion...

Nancy said...

A very nice opinion...I'll get an e-reader right after I raise some chickens! No...I'm just not sold yet, that's all. Thanks for your input, Lady!