January 31, 2012

Top Ten Books I Think Would Make Great Book Club Picks

This weeks top ten, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is books I think would make great book club picks.  I went with the premise of a book club of readers new to the joys and passion of reading and looking for recommendations to help them appreciate the world of books. Any world ....any period of time ...be it real or make believe can be found by merely immersing yourself in a book.

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - A perfect example of why YA Lit can be enjoyed by even an adult reader.
  2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - The most emotionally powerful book I have read in years. 
  3. Still Alice by Lisa Genova - A book that makes you ask the question "What if that was me?"
  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - A classic that is accessible and shocked me at how it could be a bit of a page turner!
  5. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin - Fantasy you say ...look no further then this series ....unless you are up for The Lord of the Rings!
  6. Water For Elephants by Sarah Gruen - Immerses you in it's circus setting and makes you cheer on an elephant!
  7. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller - Not an easy read but so worth the time spent.
  8. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane - Everything a mystery should be ...and the movie adaptation is spot on.
  9. Gone with Wind by Margaret Mitchell - A must read classic for anyone! That fact that it took me years to brave reading it is beside the point!
  10. The Help by Kathryn Stockett - Yes, we have all read read it ...so my imaginary new readers need to join that "read it" club.

January 24, 2012

Top Ten Book I Would Want With Me On a Desert Island

This weeks Top Ten from The Broke and the Bookish is a list of your own choice.  I selected a past Top Ten list; books I would want with me on a a deserted island.
  1. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - This is one of my favorite books of all time and I have all the faith in the world I could read it over and over again.  I mean, I have already read it four times ....
  2. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - I finally read this for the first time last year and I am already looking forward to reading it again.
  3. The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson - Is it cheating to pick a series of books? So be it, I need to make the most of my choices :)
  4. A Song of Fire and Ice Series by George R.R. Martin - I hesitate to add this to my list only because he isn't done with this series.  Am I able to have the new books air dropped in?
  5. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller - I love, love, love this book.
  6. The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway - I haven't read all the stories in the book yet so it will make a nice addition to my desert get away!
  7. The Odyssey by Homer - Maybe I will pick up some survival tips.
  8. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley - It has been a few years since I read this one.  It is time for a reread to remember why it is on my favorites list.
  9. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - I think you could read this a million times and every time would feel like the first time.
  10. War and Peace by  Leo Tolstoy - I have never actually read this book, but having now read Gone With the Wind this tops my list of a classic I want to read before I die.

January 13, 2012

11/22/63 by Stephen King

First let me confess to this, I haven’t read a Stephen King novel since The Shining scared the kittens out of me in high school.  We won’t discuss how many years ago it was that the word “redrum” had me sleeping with my eyes open, but it was the first and last time I read a Stephen King novel.  So, how is it I couldn’t wait for this book to be released? That the only thing that kept me from running out to buy it the day it was released was the knowledge that either a loving boyfriend or mother would buy it for me for Christmas.  Yes, I was that excited to read 11/22/63 and I’m happy to report that my second venture into a Stephen King novel did not disappoint me (or scare the kittens out of me).

The premise of the book is intriguing even if not quite original in it's concept of time travel.  What if you were able to go back in time and save JFK?  How does that change the future as we know it.  Will it also save Martin Luther King …..will it keep American troops out of Vietnam ….heck, will it keep the Beatles from breaking up?  I won’t tell you how Stephen King envisions that future, but it gives one’s mind plenty to think about.  Our hero in waiting, Jake/George, is living in the past for five years as he waits for time to catch up to that fateful day.  The question is not just what will he change if he can stop Lee Harvey Oswald and save JFK, but how much is he changing every day just by being there in a place and time where he doesn’t belong.  The question is what happens if forced to choose between a life he has fallen in love with and a future he is supposed to change.

This is only the second book I have read in 2012 and I have this feeling it will be the book I can't stop talking about!! It is already the book I am recommending to anyone who will listen ....even those who don't want to listen!

January 1, 2012

December Bookworm Bite

December was a slow reading month for me.  I baked, I shopped, I decorated, I wrapped presents resulting in very little reading.  I read a total of six books and they were all what I classify as "easy" reads. Easy because I can read them quickly. 

My favorite read of December is the The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper.  I just love his style of writing and the humor he incorporates into his novels.  I love a book that can make me laugh.  That would be the reason why I selected Holidays On Ice by David Sedaris for the holiday read for my book club.  I didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Me Talk Pretty One Day, but there wasn't a story in our holiday read that didn't touch on some ironic truth of the season. I enjoyed Son of A Witch, but it reached a point where certain elements of the story just didn't seem to fit with the story.  My other reads Friday Night Knitting Club, Dead to the World and Long Lost were books I picked up that I knew would fit into that busy holiday schedule.  I am enjoying the Sookie Stackhouse novels and this book has been my favorite thus far.  What can I say I am an Eric fan!

Looking ahead into 2012.  I have my 2012 Reading Challenges to look forward to and I have set a goal of reading 100 books total for 2012.  I also plan to incorporate the "Baking" part of my blog title into my blog and I want to start writing individual book reviews.  I think that is some pretty good goals for 2012!!!  Maybe I will also try to cut back on my Diet Coke intake ....hmmmm ...nah ....the world ends in 2012 anyway :p