Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What I've Been Reading Lately

Oh, hi. I'm just over here still trying to potty train more than 1 month since we started down the dreaded training train. And trying to wrangle 5 kids solo as my husband is working all sorts of overtime, weekends, and late nights. So. I'll spare you 500 obnoxious poop stories, and boatloads of sarcasm and give you some good books.

Here's what I've been reading lately in some quick reviews -- it's a little slice of everything!

Have you read any? Am I way off track??

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg

I had heard so many rave reviews for this foodie-memoir that I think I had high expectations. It starts out fairly shallow then wades into a little deeper territory, but I didn't fall in love like so many readers. I did enjoy her quirky family tales, the chapters on her father's cancer and death that were poignant yet not depressing. Her food writing is a talent and I enjoyed her lively descriptions. I borrowed this from the library so I didn't get a chance to try any recipes, but so many looked good I might have to check it out again just to try some out!

The Giver by Lois Lowry

I somehow never read this in high school, (probably because I was reading every Jane Austen novel for a third time!), so I approached it with no expectations of what it was even about. Lowry's writing was surprising and gripping, telling the tale of a choice-less, strew-free, utopia. The world she creates is easily recognizable, and I love how she tells the tale through Jonas's first hand experience with The Giver. I hope the movie proves to live up to the book, and you've gotta love T. Swift being in it!

Saints and Social Justice: A Guide to Changing the World by Brandon Vogt

I finally got around to reading this approachable and well done book by Catholic blogger extraordinaire Brandon Vogt. I appreciated his easy to read layout of each saint and chapter, as well as the saints he chose themselves. It was a great variety of the different saints of the Church and I thought he brought out great virtues in each. I would recommend this to almost anyone and I think it's a great way to reacquaint yourself both with these saints and the Church's social teaching which seems to be buried in today's dismal political climate but really needs to be known in greater depth by Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

The Expats by Chris Pavone

My husband kept telling me as I read this book that it must be good because it was a spy novel I didn't abandon midway because of ludicrous plot elements. There's a first time for everything I guess! I like a good thriller and this delivered for the most part especially as it twists and turns through a couple's marriage. Who's lying to who, where are the secrets, how much is hidden in a marriage? There were a couple sections which I felt dragged a little and I feel that more editing would have made those better, but that's being fairly critical, it's a good read for a thriller if you're in need for a switch-up to your regular reading.

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

If there's a genre that gets me every time it's novels written about slavery. They both suck me in and leave me disturbed and saddened, but I keep reading them. This book alternates between the story of Sarah Grimke, the daughter of a prominent, slave-owning, Charleston family and a slave girl the family owns who is of similar age, Handful. They grow up both seeking freedom and justice in their own lives and in the culture which constrains them. I appreciated that the author stayed true to the history of the real Sarah Grimke, while creating a very believable, or at least descriptive story of a slave in the first half of the nineteenth century. If you enjoy a good story or this time in history you'll find this a good read.

Well, that's 5 for this week, join Housewifespice for more great books, and Heather for your faves!

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  1. I've never read The Giver either but it has been on my to read list forever. I guess I need to get to reading!

  2. I liked Delancey more than A Homemade Life. Maybe because it focuses on a shorter period of her life? Or maybe just because I live in Seattle and I really like pizza and I really want to go to Delancey now!

  3. I think Modern Mrs. Darcy had Expats on her 'books you can't put down' list, so if both you and she have no big issues with it, I'll keep trying to hunt it down at the library. And Molly Wizenberg is the Orangette blogger, right? Or is that someone else?

  4. There are two more books in the Giver trilogy (no wait, now it's a quartet! Three more books!) and they're all really short reads - I'll definitely be interested to see how everything pans out in the movie!

  5. I would wait for the movie to go to DVD or streaming. They had to make some changes (of course) and while they worked in the movie it wasn't a terrific adaptation.

  6. Alright. The Expat's going on my hold queue. (Even though I've been in a reading slump, I'm still adding books to my queue, do you ever have reading slumps? how do you break them?) Also: how did The Invention of Wings measure compare to Secret Life of Bees?

  7. Christy! I'm so glad to have discovered your blog after Edel...I love all your book recommendations!! I'm reading Kristin Lavransdatter right now and Someone (Alice Mcdermott) is next!


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