Since discovering Goodreads I've been taking part in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Each year I set a goal to read about 40 books, and I've manage to exceed that goal two of the three years (damn you 2013). Now I get it, if you don't like reading this is about the dorkiest thing a person can do. But any fellow book nerds, continue reading!
I've had a really slow start to my challenge in 2014, so to get me inspired I recently combed back through my Welcome To My Library section of my site and rounded up my 5 out of 5 star rated titles going back through 2010. Maybe a book on the list will catch your eye, and if you do end up reading one of these let me know what you think!
Oh this book, this wonderful book. The final paragraph of this book is so horrible and beautiful and evil and hopeful all at the same time. A must read.
This is a very small and very fast read, but it is riveting. Somaly Mam is such a modest but amazing woman and the steps she has taken to make positive changes in the lives of victims of human trafficking is truly astounding. The retelling of the pain and misery Somaly has lived in her own life was captivating for sure, but her story of how she turned her own pain into positive change in Cambodia made me want to meet her. Read this book.
This book blew me away. I devoured it. The twisting story lines of three characters all intertwined around this one home was at times absolutely painful to read. The author did an amazing job of allowing the reader to emphasize and understand the conflicting points of views of all three characters simultaneously. When I opened the book I never in a million years could have predicted the haunting path it would take… You must read this book.
I never imagined this book about three generations of farmers living on a 1,000 acre plot of land would have ended the way it did. The writing was simple but captivating, and the twists and turns of the family drama on this single farm just got more and more out of control. Jane Smiley is a fantastic author, and I look forward to reading more of her work from here on out.
This is a painful story, but one that pulls you in almost instantly. I actually skipped out on holiday activities to hurry up and see how the various plot lines would converge.
The most beautiful part of this book are the one liners. Short, sweet, honest, perfect. Witty and dry, honest and lovely. Books about dating and relationships should all be this realistic. Melissa Bank reminds us that there are so many factors than the traditional boy meets girl.
This is one of the best books I've read in a very long time. It's crazy long, so if a long book frightens you I'd suggest reading it on an eReader.
At the end of the day, this book is full of everything Wild West. Indians, cowboys, gun fights, whores, cattle, death and struggle. The characters are remarkably lovable, and sadly before I knew it the story was over. If the idea of the Wild West has ever fascinated you, you MUST read this book. I sort of want to read it again…
I LOVED this book. It was truly adorable.
A story of the fictitious island of Nollop found 21 miles SE off the coast of South Carolina, and home to Nevin Nollop, the supposed creator of the well-known pangram "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." There is a statue in town celebrating their famous Nollop, and as the tiles from the sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," one by one the citizens of Nollop are banned from writing or even looking at each newly fallen letter.
The story is a little strange at first, fictional country, people unable to use letters of the alphabet all because they fell off a statue, and after reading the back cover you think, "Why don't they just say, 'F-you I'll keep using the letter 'p' thankyouverymuch.'" But what's so brilliant about the book is how the author Mark Dunn is creating a dialog about censorship, about government control and how small groups of people can make sweeping change for a nation. All using hyperbole.
By the end of the book I found myself needing to read almost out loud to myself to understand what in the world these characters were trying to say to one another! It must have been really difficult for the author to write at times! And even though it was humorous at times, I like the way Mark Dunn was addressing some very weighty topics.
A very fast but very enjoyable read.
I am not a climber, nor a mountaineer, and I have absolutely no desire to take up either sport, yet I couldn't put this book down. Art Davidson does a phenomenal job of taking a reader to Denali in the middle of the winter while a group of young climbers attempt to summit. I thought Art did a fantastic job of bringing the reader to the mountain and giving us a glimpse into what it means to find yourself trapped 17,000 ft high, with no means of rescue. You can't help but fall in love with these young climbers and although you know at least Art will make it out alive (I mean, he lived to write the book, right?) I still felt myself holding my breath as I read. How would they get off the mountain? When will they find food? Will they all make it?
This book is clearly an amazing read for climbers and mountaineers, but it's also a fascinating read for anyone who enjoys adventure, drama, the outdoors, or anyone who wonders what it's like to be the sort of person who puts everything aside to stand on the top of a tall mountain. Great read.
The entire time I was reading Rowing Into The Son I just kept shaking my head. Why would they choose to do this? To make this journey? To sacrifice and suffer for so long? And yet, even as my mind was baffled by their adventure, it began to understand their reason for wishing to row across the Atlantic. To be the first Americans to row from North America to Europe. To beat a record, to win a race. The struggles of the crew, physically, emotionally, and from their simple lack of food kept me wanting to read more, and more, and more. It's amazing to think what the crew went through, and how hard they fought to keep going even when it would have been much easier to simply abandon the dream and accept the assistance they so desperately needed.
This is a great book for anyone interested in an adventure. No previous rowing experience, required.
I have to admit I have a weird fascination with polygamy, and the Mormon religion. This book was a perfect blend of my interests. The combination of a murder mystery in a polygamist community, set against the "historical" look at Brigham Young's infamous 19th wife helped to fill out the book, and each side of the story complimented the other perfectly. This is the kind of book that captures you for hours at a time, both because of the topic, but because of the vulnerability of the characters. A well written, well "fake-researched" (most of the historical documents presented in the book are based on real documents and communication, but adapted for this story), title that I couldn't put down. Must read.
This is one of the better apocalyptic books I've ever read. In typical Stephen King fashion the book is highly detailed and descriptive and heavily relies on the battle between good and evil. You can always count on Stephen King to surprise you, killing off characters you fell in love with, creating twists you could never have seen coming, and enabling you to believe in a world where everything is on the line. I really enjoyed this book, and I see now why The Stand is listed as one of King's top ten books of all time. Must read if you're a King fan, and, even if you're not you should probably read this.
A murder mystery. A love story. A tale of the ravages of war. Of a man lost. A marriage. All these things and more all wrapped into one singular book. Did he do it? Did they do it? Are they alive, dead, together, apart? There is no answer and nothing tangible and that makes it so real, so exciting to read because in life so often it doesn't work out like an episode of Law and Order. It's messy and we hope we get it right, but more often than not we're unsure if we actually really know anything.
I imagine (or maybe hope as I'd love to be her new best friend) that Rhoda Janzen speaks the way she writes. With poise, humor, intelligence with a dash of self deprecating vulnerability. Her weaving of past and present while examining how her Mennonite upbringing formed her childhood and shaped her adulthood was perfection. A quick, lovely read.
When I read the final page I closed the book, took a small sigh and just thought, "How absolutely beautiful." That is this book. Beautiful. From the weaving of past and present together so seamlessly, to the struggle of a young man trying to find his beliefs in the middle of such turmoil, it was a beautiful book about a dark time in American history worth a read.
Probably my favorite book I've read all year. The Snow Child is the perfect blend of loss, love, the wild wonder of Alaska and just enough wonder to keep you enthralled. The prose is inviting and at times almost lyrical, and I found myself missing Alaska more and more with each passing chapter. Such a wonderful book. I'll read anything Eowyn Ivey writes next.
I am a sucker for historical non-fiction as well as any book/movie/tv show featuring smart lawyers trying to solve a complex case. So to find BOTH of those topics in one book had me hooked. Thankfully it's not simply the topics that kept me interested. Tara Conklin has woven two beautiful and heartbreaking worlds together and her writing is so fluid it sucks you in. Hours pass and you can't help but want to read faster, what will happen next? A truly wonderful book and a must read.
One of the best books I've read in a very long time. As always King perfectly weaves together the perfect blend of surrealism to pull readers into a world where some of us have the ability to do just a little more with our minds than others and where those who can't will fight to take it.
This book quickly could have turned into a story where little Danny from The Shinning continues to suffer from the same demons that haunted him at the Overlook Hotel, but King continued to open readers to a larger world, developed complex interesting characters, and leaves readers wanting to spend their entire weekend in his book wondering where in the world this will go next. Definitely lacks the fear level of The Shinning, but if King had tried to top himself and scare readers more than he had in The Shinning he would have let fans down. Doctor Sleep was the perfect direction to take little Danny. If you like King, this is a must read.