As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been doing a fair bit of reading lately. It is strangely one of the few things I do have time for. I have to say that I honestly have missed reading. All of my spare time used to be spent on stitching, so that very little reading ever got done. As you may remember, reading has always been a big part of my life. So, I’m happy to be re-cultivating it now, even though it’s only due to never having more than twenty minutes at a time to do something for myself. So, I thought I would share what I’ve read in the past couple of months, in case there’s anything that might catch your fancy. Most of what I read was based on recommendations. You may also notice that my past few selections have been a little “light”. I am gearing up to read Emile Zola for my book club, so I’ve been pointedly reading in the other direction.
First up was Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure by Michael Chabon. This was the last book I read for my book club. I really enjoyed this book. It was apparently originally written as a serial, and comes complete with illustrations within each chapter. It not only is written in the genre of great adventure tales, but Chabon’s writing style is so interesting. One of the things we discussed at length at book club was his use of language. He has a flair for the descriptive and tends to use little used words, which forced us all to consult a dictionary while reading. For such a thin little book (I read it in a day or so), it has a lot packed into it.
Next I read (or finished, since I’d started it months ago) The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. Another book I loved. I have no idea why I ever put it down in the first place, other than just not having much time to read previously. I love historical novels like this, and am interested in reading the others in this series. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I hope it is comparable to how good the book was.
Next up was At Home in Mitford (The Mitford Years, Book 1) by Jan Karon. This book was recommended to me years ago. It has probably been sitting on my shelf for at least five years. Something drew me to it, and it was really such a comfort to read. With so much going on in my life, and with so much going on the world. I was happy to spend a few days in this small town. It reminded me a little of Garrison Keillor and his Lake Wobegon stories. I look forward to reading more books in this series too.
After Mitford, I went to the bookstore and picked up The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I’d been wanting to read this one for awhile, and it had also come highly recommended. This book was sort of part mystery, part journey of self-discovery. It was well-worth the read.
Next I moved on to Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner. I’ve had this sitting on my shelf for a while, ever since Jenn was kind enough to send it to me. I had picked this book up years ago while visiting in Rhode Island and almost bought it, but then put it down again. The book was nothing at all like I expected, and I just loved it. It was funny and heartbreaking and just exactly what I needed to read at that moment. Thank you so much, Jenn, for sending it to me. I loved every page of it. In fact, it prompted me to write – a piece to go in my book-in-progress.
After reading Good in Bed, I really didn’t have much interest in diving into another novel. It really was sticking with me. So, I decided to finish up another book I’d started a while ago, Fabulosity: What It Is and How to Get It by Kimora Lee Simmons. I love Kimora, so I thought I’d take a look at her book and what she offers in the way of how to be fabulous. Again, this book was not what I expected…it is more a look at where she came from and got where she is today. It also seems to be heavily geared toward girls wanting to become models. She does focus some on appearance, but she also discusses handling your finances, public speaking, volunteering and giving back, as well as knowing you’re worth it. I think I rated this a three out of five. I’ll probably be delving into it and discussing it a little more thoroughly on my style blog in the future.
Last night I finished Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. I had also heard good things about this series, so I thought I’d give it a shot and picked this one up at the bookstore a week ago. The book basically follows a shopaholic and her increasing debt. Perhaps I found too much in common with Becky to feel sympathy for her. I mean, I’d been in this same predicament, and luckily got myself out of it. I enjoyed the book, which reads a little like Bridget Jones and her weight issues, but I felt like I wanted a better resolution. I wanted Becky to really get herself together, and there were several times that I felt like slapping her. But, there were definite funny moments, and probably if I didn’t have the experience myself, I would have found the book more enjoyable and entertaining. I may be tempted to read another in this series, but it will probably be awhile.
So, what I am I reading now? Wait and see…
I am grateful for a four day week.