Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books You Thought You Would Like More/Less

Hello and happy Tuesday! I am linking up with Broke and Bookish for another great Top Ten Tuesday! Here we go...

Books I thought I would like more:

  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
I even hesitate putting this one on the list because I know so many people love this novel, but I have to admit, my expectations were way too high. I wanted to love it, but just could not connect with or admire any of the characters. I laughed out loud the other day when Rachel from Book Snob wrote, "In my eyes, Wuthering Heights has always come across as nothing but teenage histrionics. The characters behave nonsensically, the plot is absurd, and I can’t bear the melodrama of beating breasts and rain lashed windows." This sums up my thoughts perfectly.

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Yikes, another adored classic! Again, the combination of sky high expectations and an array of characters that I could not stand. Everyone was so self-absorbed. The only character that touched me in any way was Teddy and his battle with addiction. I know that the plot line is supposed to speak to redemption and perhaps conversion but it was too subtle to really have an impact.

My Antonia by Willa Cather
I actually love Willa Cather's writing style. She is so incredibly talented. It was more the tone of sadness that penetrated throughout most of the book....and I have to admit, even though this novel in an of itself is seen as something of a love letter from the narrator to Antonia, I wanted a little more of a love story in the plot.

  • Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I was hoping for a guilty pleasure like Twilight or Harry Potter but even though I liked it, the wow factor was not there for me.

Books I thought I would like less:

  • The River Why by David James Duncan
A beautifully written book that I happened upon through the recommendation of a good friend. It became my favorite book and still is.

  • Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer
I opened this one up during a spring break road trip a few years ago. I had low expectations (because sometimes I am a book snob, I admit), but I liked it!

  • The Good Earth by Pearl S. buck
This one had the feel of something I would be assigned to read in high school English class so I began reading with no plan to finish this one, but I was wrong. This novel follows a family in pre WWII china. Very eye opening.

I know this is only seven books and not ten, but this is a hard one! I look forward to seeing what some of you put on your list.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Iced tea and a good book

I was feeling a little gloomy this week with all of the cold weather and grey skies, so I decided to cheer myself up with a little treat.

I bought myself some peach iced tea and a book that I have had my eye on for a few months. My thought was that maybe if I have all the ingredients for a perfect spring afternoon of sitting on my front porch with a glass of iced tea and a good book, the weather would take note and get with the program!

So here is what arrived on my doorstep on Friday:


Yes! I don't know very much about Rosemary Clooney, aside from my love of White Christmas and her cutie nephew George. A few months ago when I was perusing books on Amazon I came across this autobiography. As I scanned a few pages I was pleasantly surprised at how well written this book was. It read so smoothly, like poetry. I have been wanting to get my hands on it ever since, but I have been practicing constraint (trying) on my book budget and I promised myself that I would finish the few novels on my nightstand before I bought any more.
So on Friday afternoon, a miracle occurred; both of my little ones fell asleep at the same time, right as the UPS man pulled up to the house with  that beautiful Amazon box. I made myself a tall glass of peach iced tea, sat on my porch and opened up this delicious read. I am only forty pages in, but I will be done very soon because it is just so interesting. Right now Rosemary is discussing her childhood in 1930's and 40's Kentucky; before the Civil Rights Movement and on the cusp of WWII. She came from a difficult home life, with a mother who did not want her and an alcoholic father, but there no lack of joy or wonder in her childhood despite the pain and heartache. You can tell that wisdom has been gained through her years, and forgiveness has been given in the way she tells her story. She is a survivor.
Hopefully in my next post, I will have tales of cherry blossoms and warm weather! And have found the time to finish this great read!


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday!

Today I am trying a blog hop, hosted by Alison can read and Parajunkee. The question this week is:

Did you ever read a book that you thought you would hate? Did you end up hating it? Did you end up loving it? Or would you never do that?

Yes, I have definitely done this! I am usually a girl that likes the classics, so I was not too interested in all of the hype around the Twilight series. A friend ended up gifting the first book to me, and I decided to give it a quick browse. Ha ha! I could not put it down! Some of my fellow book lovers have given me a little bit of a hard time for this, but I am not ashamed! :)


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Redemption and Resilience - A Review


While I am still making my way through Jane Eyre, I opted to take a little detour and read Laura Hillenbrand's book Unbroken: A World War II Novel of Survial, Resilience and Redemption. Wow. It touched my soul. You would think that this was a work of fiction because of the twists and turns this story delivers, and the incredible amount of adversity this man faces, but no, this is true to life.

 Unbroken is a biography that follows the life of Louie (who is still alive today) as a 1936 Olympic contender, a pilot in WWII, and a POW. It is inspiring. I highly recommend it. I could not put it down. I like finishing a book and feeling as if I am a little wiser, and a little more hopeful, as this story did. Also, Laura Hillenbrand is an amazing author and someone who has conquered much despite (or perhaps because of) the adversity she has faced. Due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, she has only written two books; Seabiscuit and Unbroken. Both are inspiring pieces of non-fiction that have a common theme of the resiliency of the human spirit, and both reads are well worth your time. They would pair nicely with a cup of tea and the fresh spring air.