Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What I've been reading lately

I try to always be in the middle of a book. Sometimes I borrow, a few a buy, and I love my library card. So here are the last five books I read:
I picked this up, not really knowing what it was about, but having heard a bit of a buzz surrounding it, I didn't even realize it was a memoir. I didn't really care for it. Gilbert describes it as her search for pleasure, spirituality, and the balance between the two. The author seems a bit self-absorbed. Having had my own spiritual experiences, I felt like she came across that my experiences weren't as good as hers because I didn't spend four months in India to accomplish them. Overall, I didn't hate the book, but I really wouldn't recommend it either.

My next book is an LDS fictional book called Traitor. (Sorry no pic off amazon for it) My mother-in-law loves these, and she is kind enough to let me borrow them from her. This was an interesting read, set in WWII. But part of the plot seemed a bit far-fetched to me. If LDS fiction is your thing, you ought to read it. I didn't LOVE it the way my MIL and SIL did, but I liked it and would read the sequel when it comes out.

Before that I read Vanishing Acts, by Jodi Picoult.
I have read about 7 or so of her novels. This was one of my least favorite of hers. My problem is, they all start to seem the same. Some sort of crime is committed, a main character is a lawyer, there are all sorts of shades of gray with nothing black and white, things seem to work out "right" in the end. Okay, not all of her books are like this, but pretty much. I have enjoyed her works in the past, and would recommend reading her if you never have, but maybe not this one. It is only okay. My favorite Jodi Picoult novel is Plain Truth. I would start there.

I have also read The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian.
Sometimes when I'm in the library and want to choose a book, but don't have one in mind, I will find an author that I've read and pick up something new. That's how I chose this book. I had read Midwives, and thought to give this a try. I liked this book. It was interesting, a good read, and quite a shocker of an ending. I liked the exploration of memory, and how our minds choose to remember things that happened to us, especially reading Vanishing Acts right after this as they both deal with that topic. Anyway, I would recommend this, and if you have read it, let me know, I would love to have someone to talk with about this book. (And as a side note, I just saw this in Sam's yesterday, so while I like to think I am not swayed by those popular books there, I guess I totally am because everything on this list minus the LDS stuff is on sale at Sam's right now!)

Totally different direction here. I read this to count as hours for our adoption training log. I really like this book and it was a great opportunity to see adoption from a birthmother's point of view. It takes you through the thought process, or more like the choice process that a birthmother would go through. Great opportunity for some understanding and empathy on my part.

And here is a sixth book because I like it:
I liked The Memory Keeper's Daughter. My one complaint was that why in so many books do wives/mothers find their life is so hard (usually just being the wife/mother) that they have to run away either literally or figuratively. I think being a wife and mother is a great thing! Anyway, that's just a teeny part of the book, not the whole idea like The Mermaid's Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (Ugh, didn't like that book!). Overall this is a great read and lots to think about. I recommend it.

So there you have it. This is what I've read since about the beginning of February. I am now in the process of looking for a new book. I actually don't have anything to read right now.


Emily R said...

i just got into jodi picoult... so she is on my book list (when i find some time to read)... but thanks for the ideas - i am always looking for a good book!

ps, we got season passes to seaworld too. it would be fun to meet you there!

Jen said...

I couldn't even finish Eat Pray Love. Just didn't like it. But you will have to tell me which Jodi Picoult books you have liked. I have read a few as well, but only really liked My Sister's Keeper. Did not like Nineteen Minutes.

It was so fun to see you a few weeks ago. Let us know when you are headed this way again and we can do dinner.

Too funny that I have read most of the books you have read. Can you believe that Elizabeth and I are still in book club?!

Camilla said...

Thanks for your recommends Ang, I trust your judgement!