Archive | January, 2015

What I’m Reading Wednesday

7 Jan

By now you have probably heard of Mark Zuckerberg’s challenge to read a book every other week in 2015. I think this is awesome. Zuckerberg is using his massive social media following to create an extra-large book club, which will discuss the books on Zuckerberg’s A Year of Books Facebook page.

The first book of A Year of Books, The End of Power, sold out on Amazon. Wow.

While this humble blog has followed Zuckerberg’s book challenge formula the last couple of years, I of course do not have the reach that Zuckerberg does. But while more than 200,000 people are following Zuckerberg’s reading list, I’m grateful for those of you who choose to keep up with mine.

You certainly can’t fault someone for wanting to read more and to encourage the masses to do the same. Reading 26 books in a year will feed a person so much more than 26 hours of television.

2D274905957270-YesPlease.blocks_desktop_mediumWith all that being said, I have finished my first book of 2015: Yes Please by the comedienne Amy Poehler.

Poehler is one of my favorites and I so wish I could be in her circle of friends, along with Kristen Wiig and Rebel Wilson. Her memoir serves as a scrapbook of her upbringing, her start in improv, making it to SNL, and shares a glimpse of her personal life. Friends and family contribute to her first book, which also includes photographic evidence which document her life’s milestones.

I appreciate Poehler’s wit and creativity. When it came time to admitting fault, apologizing or talking about serious matters, all jokes were gone and readers see the not so funny side of the business.

Everyone has a story to tell and it certainly isn’t easy to be transparent about the messiness of a life story. But Poehler handles it with what she does best: humor. And her readers thank her for it.

What book are you reading to start 2015? Are you going to read along with Zuckerberg?

 

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My Year in Books

1 Jan

Happy New Year, readers! As we start 2015 I’m looking back at the last year marked by the books I read. I finished book No. 29 yesterday and already got a start on my first book of the year.

Last year was the year I paid the most library fines in my adult life, committing myself to more books than I could handle in a three-week time frame. Of the books I read 7 came from my bookshelf, four were advanced reader copies, four were loaned from friends, and 14 came from the library.

Let’s have a look back shall we?

Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding – The life of Bridget Jones continues on in this sequel sans Mark Darcy.

Fielding Cover - final.JPGThe Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani – Another amazing story from one of my favorites. It will leave you sad but hopeful. Look for Trigiani’s Big Stone Gap on the big screen soon!

Love Does by Bob Goff – Live a life with love.

Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd – A powerful memoir of a strong woman fighting for a world where girls aren’t for sale.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles – An intriguing story of a young woman in 1930s New York. Beautiful prose.

Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson – Because I can never read too many WWI-era Downton Abbey-ish historical novels.

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfield – An intimate glimpse into a story of a First Lady and her President.

The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel – This former journalist appreciates the amount of research put into this biography about the women behind our nation’s first astronauts. Look for the show coming to network TV this spring!

astronaut-wives-clubThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green – I don’t always read young adult, but when I do it’s because all the other kids are doing it.

The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson – Another YA novel chosen by book club. A great story of healing and family.

The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan – A story that spans decades with a diamond in the center. A lot of historical detail in this work of fiction.

Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford – A much anticipated follow-up from the Seattle author of The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan – This novel definitely has a wow factor.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman – A creative YA novel that I read in anticipation of the movie being released, which I have yet to see…

China Dolls by Lisa See – I cannot get enough of See’s stories of 1930s China.

Grand Central – A novella from some of today’s most popular historical fiction writers focused on WWII at Grand Central Station.

In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin – My favorite Christian historical fiction author continues her Wings of the Nightingale Series.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowelll – My last YA book of the year. It was one that I loved and hated at the same time due to an ambiguous ending. But what did she say?!

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The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh – A random pick at the library turned into one of my favorite novels of the year.

The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz – When a commoner marries the Crown Prince of Japan it’s not all sunshine and tea parties.

The Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby – A great imagined story of the people behind Jackie Kennedy’s pink suit on that fateful day.

The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor – If you’re fascinated by Titanic, this is a must read. Tragic, inspiring and based on historical events.

Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal – Intelligent women who served during WWII? Yes please.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – Because I’m a Dateline junky I gave this a shot. Creepy good.

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax – A feel good story about how an amazing show can create community.

The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams – A definite page turner with a surprise finish.

Where Treetops Glisten – A novella by three Christian historical fiction authors centered around Christmas during WWII.

61yehYmANlL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters – A notable New York Times 2014 read and also a commitment with 566 pages. An interesting story but not my favorite of the year.

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl – I’m so happy my sister-in-law loaned this novel to me! Food, aspiring writer, family tragedy, New York, mystery, need I go on?

There is my year in books! Did I miss any must-reads you’d like to suggest? Please share!