Monday, December 29, 2008

My Top Picks for 2008

In 2008, I read a total of 67 books for fun! And there's still a couple of days left to 2008 and some half-finished books on my bed, so maybe I'll finish a couple more. Or maybe not. I'm working on a video game that Boomer gave me for Christmas too. Heheh.

Here are my three top picks for 2008 by category. (Click on the title to read my review.)

Book that touched my heart the most- Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Book that inspired me spiritually- Sleeping with Bread: Holding What Gives You Life

Most enthralling reading experience- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Happy new year! I hope that 2009 brings much joy, growth, and good books to read!

P.S. If you wouldn't mind sharing, I'd like to hear which books were your favorites in 2008.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

I was wondering what all of the hype was about regarding the Twilight series so I picked the first one up at the library.

Actually, I had to place a Hold on it and wait several weeks until it was available.

Now it seems fitting to make a plug for the local library. You can really find any book you want there even if it means waiting a bit or ordering it through the LINK+ system which connects lots of local and academic libraries in California. So get a library card or dig it out from your wallet and visit your library. It's really amazing. Plus, on winter days, it's warm inside and on hot days, it's cold!

Okay, back to the review. Once I had received an email saying this book was ready for pick-up, I checked it out and read it in two days. It's about Bella who moves to rainy Forks, Washington from sunny Phoenix, Arizona and falls in love with a vampire! And then we hear all about this family of vampires. Interesting, but also pretty two-dimensional and straightforward.

I can see what the hype is about...this one was definitely a page-turner. I've even placed Holds on the remaining three books in the series and am looking forward to reading them. But besides being a page-turner, there's not much else to say. Enjoyable, but it did not offer anything that complicated or deep, nor did it fascinate me in the same way that Harry Potter and the wizarding world of Hogwarts does.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Now? by Ann Patchett

"...What now is always going to be a work in progress." --Ann Patchett

This is the commencement speech that the author, Ann Patchett, gave to a graduating class at Sarah Lawrence College. She discusses the question "What now?" which is a question that will continually resurface in our lives. She traces her own career path of working as a cook, going to graduate school, waitressing, and finally becoming a writer. A short, sweet book that is a bit different from the typical, super-inspirational carpe diem commencement speeches. Pick this up at the library if you can, it's worth the 30 minutes or so that it takes to read it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I didn't read anything last week.

Well, that's not entirely true. I did read some of my Bible and my Advent devotional. But I didn't read anything besides those two because I was on a five-day Silent Retreat. I invite you to read about my Silent Retreat experience on my other blog, The Rest of the Story.

Click here to visit my other blog.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lottery by Patricia Wood

Perry L. Crandall is slow, not retarded. In this book we see what his life is like and how his family wants nothing to do with him (excluding his grandma who raises him) until he wins $12 million in the Washington lottery. Then, his relatives are suddenly very interested in getting to know Perry and being involved with his life and finances.

This book is delightful, minus a couple of crude scenes. Perry learns the true meaning of family, love, and what it means to be rich.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass

This is an awful, horrible book. Do not read this book.

Unlikable characters, no emotion, flat storyline. There is nothing good about this book. Except for the cover...isn't it pretty?

To the author, Julia Glass:
I really liked your first book, Three Junes! Your last book, The Whole World Over, was okay. But really, your books are getting progressively worse and I don't want them to!

Friday, December 5, 2008

What I'm Reading for Advent:

This is the book that I'm reading during Advent...

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas with readings by C.S. Lewis, Philip Yancey, Henri Nouwen, and others.

I find that these daily readings slow me down and prepare my heart during this season.

Thanks for the recommendation, Sandra.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

I love Harry Potter.

This is a collection of fables that wizard and witches grow up hearing and it's finally time for us muggles to hear them as well. The fables are translated by Ms Hermione Granger herself! Also included is commentary by the late Albus Dumbledore who left behind notes on each story.

Delightful, but way too short! Again, I love Harry Potter so I'll take whatever J.K. Rowling has to write. It would have been nice though to have included an Introduction written by Hermione about her process of translating the stories.