Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What I've Been Reading

I realized the other day that I haven't done a "what I've been reading" book post in a long time. Granted, I've not been reading as voraciously as I usually do, so maybe that's why? But anyway - without much ado or introduction, here's what's been in my hands (I hope I'm remembering everything!).

The Poisonwood Bible
I liked this overall (didn't love), and I feel 100% convinced that it could've been 200 pages shorter. I liked the story (a missionary family moves to middle-of-the-jungle Africa in the early 60s - and it documents their lives after the experience), but I didn't like the story telling. All the voices started to annoy me because I felt that two of them (Rachel & Leah) were sooooo friggin contrived that I could almost predict what they would say. And when I say it could've been 200 pages shorter, I mean that if the whole book only took place in their village in Africa (and didn't go on with the follow-ups) it would've been more interesting & would've let the reader draw personal conclusions about Africa/colonialism/mission work/a nation gaining independence/etc. instead of having the author's thoughts fed on a baby spoon.

The Infinities
This was a birthday present from Jonathan. It's written by John Banville, who also wrote The Sea (which played a strong role in the early, courting stages of our relationship). It's awesome writing, as would be predicted in a Banville novel. The plot itself is an interesting concept - it's told from the point of view of the "infinity" Hermes; he reflects on an Earthly family who is going through the death of the father. While the plot wasn't so riveting that I would stay up late wanting to finish a couple more pages, quality writing isn't always like that, I guess. So yeah - go for it (....or go for The Sea - such a beautiful novel).

Confections of a (Closet) Master Baker
This is a memoir written by Gesine Bullock-Prado (cough, Sandra Bullock's sister, cough), and I have to say, the only reason I even knew about this book was because I was reading gossip on Sandy/Jesse James and her sister's blog was referenced. Wow - yes, I just admitted that. Anyway, this book has mixed reviews on Amazon (a lot of people found Gesine's personality annoying), and here's my take: go into it knowing that she is a self-proclaimed introvert who has social anxiety - she flat out says this - and you won't find her personality annoying. She's just awkward, and if she's rude to people, I think it's because she doesn't know how to be any other way. So I actually kind of enjoyed it. She had the big Hollywood lifestyle as an exec, and needed a life change - so she moved to Vermont and opened a bakery. The book goes through one "day in the life" as a bakeshop owner. And she puts recipes at the end of each chapter! Score.

Taking Charge of Your Fertility
Ha - this book has an obvious target audience. It's basically a long-a textbook (perhaps why my reading list is a little short this time?) on charting your cycle. The charting can be used to achieve pregnancy, or (in my case) as natural birth control. I found reading this somewhat similar to when we did p90x - in that you basically drink the Kool-Aid and become absorbed by the process. Like, spending hours doing online research about it, looking at message boards written by other people doing it, and thinking about it every. single. day. I imagine most of you reading this blog aren't anywhere near pregnancy-achievement mode yet, but if you ever waiver or have issues with contraceptives, I totally recommend giving the natural route a try (although, it does involve some barrier methods used during fertile times). If anything, I feel 1000% more in-tune with my body than I've ever been - and I actually understand what's going on and what different things mean throughout the month. I'm a big fan. (Can you see my bright, purple-stained lips?)

The Friday Night Knitting Club
I know. I know. You don't have to say it.
But yeah, I got the itch to read some "summer books" - and so this begins my journey into trashy, poorly written, speed reads with ridiculous/contrived/stereotypical/outrageous captivating storylines and characters. This was all of those things. (And I liked it.)

On deck are some more "summer books," a book for book club, and one that I think is going to be awesome, Cutting For Stone. What have you guys been reading?

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I've been reading a lot of "summer books" for enjoyment. Most recently, I read "Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea". Yes, this was a quick light book but it made for a great pool read in North Carolina, and Chelsea Handler is funny. I laughed out loud so much at the pool everyone wondered what I was reading. Happy reading!