I (Julie) always thought I’d be able to read a lot when I became a stay-at-home mom and then finished school. Sadly, that’s not the case. I usually get interrupted roughly every 45 seconds. But I have managed to read a few books this past year. Here’s a little review for those book-lovers out there.
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly By Anthondy Bourdain
I got less than 2 chapters into it before I returned it to the Library. Nasty in language and context. A must-NOT read.
The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible By A.J. Jacobs
This book was fantastically creative and funny. The author is Jewish but never really lived his, or any other, religion. He decided to read the bible and follow the hundreds of laws contained therein. He captures your attention from the first paragraph and never lets it go. Hilarious. I laughed out loud on almost every page.
The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World By A.J. Jacobs
I thought the first book I read was so great that I immediately read his other book. This time, his quest is to read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in a year. When I was in elementary school, I was often found reading our encyclopedias for fun at home. So this topic really appealed to me. He again made me laugh through the entire thing. He’s very engaging. If you want a couple of really fun books, here they are.
The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History By John M. Barry
I first saw this book in the airport a few years ago and was intrigued, seeing that I’d never even heard of the deadliest pandemic in history. I’m not sure how that one slipped by. This book is very involved and covers not just the story of the influenza, but the back-story and all that was going on in the U.S. and world at the time. It’s not really a quick read, as it gets into a lot of scientific detail, but I did learn a lot.
F5: Devastation, Survival, and the Most Violent Tornado Outbreak of the 20th Century By Mark Levine
Pretty interesting, but it wasn’t really my style of reading. The author continually jumped between individual accounts to create a whole account of one night’s outbreak of 148 tornados across the central United States. I will say this, I’ll never hear about another town being hit by a tornado without thinking more about the terror that those poor people lived through.
The Ghost Mountain Boys: Their Epic March and the Terrifying Battle for New Guinea—The Forgotten War of the South Pacific By James Campbell
I picked up this book for Rob, but I ended up reading it instead. I’ve always enjoyed learning about World War II but don’t know near as much as I probably should. This book was interesting in that I learned how much suffering these soldiers endured for no credit. I wouldn’t highly recommend it, I didn’t think the author did a fabulous job wrapping things up. I kept thinking there was going to be something else, but it just ended without any closure. Maybe that was the point. I’m not sure.
Geography: A Textbook
I’m still reading an old Geography textbook I bought at a used book sale. I love reading about people and places, even though it’s not a very fast read. I got a little impatient and started reading other books, but I will keep going back to this until it’s finished.
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder By Richard Louv
This is the book I’m currently working on. I find it very fascinating. The author talks about all the benefits (physically, socially, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and mentally) of children having free-play out in nature. I’ve always believed that being outside was good for the soul; I can feel it whenever I sit in the sun or feel the breeze or play in the dirt with the kids. We can all feel our mood improve and we feel closer to our Heavenly Father when we’re among his creations. This book is a little detailed and somewhat repetitive, but a great book for anyone, especially parents.
Wow! I’ve read a lot more than I had realized! I currently have 7 other books on my list, but as you may have noticed, every book I read is non-fiction. I have a hard time (okay, REALLY hard time) reading something that is made up. Rob and I have discussed this at great length since he loves fiction, but I just don’t get it. Why read something that’s unreal when you can read interesting and amazing TRUE stories? I’m sure I’m missing out on something, but I’m not sure what. Rob says creativity, character development and involvement, and fun.
Here’s the question for all you serious literary minds out there, some of which have never commented here before (We both know who you are!). The last fictional book I read was a decade ago. It was The Grapes of Wrath and I hated it. I’m willing to give it another try, though.
SO…what fiction book should I read???
A few caveats: It MUST be well-written, intelligent, thought-provoking, and interesting. Something that will make me second-guess my current view of novels.
For all of you who do enjoy reading novels, please don’t take this post to be a knock against you. It’s all about personal taste and I really do feel like I may be missing out on something, that’s why I’m asking for suggestions and/or comments.