Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer Reading 2012

So I have sadly been absent here lately.  Summer is kind of crazy that way.  I have been reading, though, and wanted to update you on my summer reading.  I enjoyed some great ones.  Here is what I read this summer. . .

1.  Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua:  nonfiction, book club pick, very interesting.  I think I have some tiger mom tendancies :)
2.  The Shoe Maker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani:  fiction, book club pick, follows the lives of two Italians before WWI as they leave Italy and come to America, fall in love, and face the events of the world
3.  Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare:  fiction, she is not one of my favorite authors, but I kind of got sucked into the series Infernal Devices.  I tried to read her lastest in the Immortal Instruments series, and just had to return it.  A little too much for me, not my style
4. The Forgotten Tales by John Flanagan--short stories about different thing concerning his Ranger's Apprentice series which my family love!
5.  The Grey Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima:  fiction, book 3 in The 7 Realms series.  Not my favorite, but an entertaining series.
6.  A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson:  fiction, love story, not my favorite of her works.  I love her Morning Gift.  This was my least favorite of her adult/young adult books.
7.  The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown: fiction, adult, along the lines of his Davinci Code, good exciting read
8.  Inheritance by Christopher Paolini:  fiction, last in his series.  I have to say I was disappointed in the ending, really??? 800+ pages for that?  It was a good book and a good series, but didn't like how he ended it.
9.  A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson:  fiction, love story, a good read.
10.  Candy Bomber:  The Story of the Berlin Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot" by Michael O. Tunnell:  nonfiction, juvenile, loved this!  Showed me a part of history that I knew nothing about.  It was great!  All my girls and I read it.  They have a picture book about it also that I read to my little boy.  Great, inspirational true story and history lesson.
11.  A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson:  fiction, love story, her Morning Gift is still my favorite, but this was good too.
12.  The Apothecary by Maile Meloy:  fiction, young adult, post WWII about trying to save the world from having another atomic bomb go off.
13.  When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Orsuka:  fiction, adult, about Japanese Americans and how they were made to go into camps during WWII, eye opening to a sad part of our history.
14.  The Confession by Beverly Lewis:  fiction, Christian, we had watched The Shunning on DVD and it had such a drop off ending, I had to read the 2nd and 3rd books.  About an Amish girl who leaves her community.
15.  The Reckoning by Beverly Lewis:  fiction, Christian, 3rd book in The Shunning trilogy.
16.  Temple Grandin by Sy Montgomery:  nonfiction, juvineille.  I love older kids nonfiction books.  I think there are some great ones out there that teach amazing things.  Ben and I had watched the HBO movie about Temple Grandin a few months ago, and then I saw this book about her at the library.  Amazing story of a women with autism who worked hard and has succeeded in making life better for animals.  All my girls read it and then we watched the movie together.  Great learning experience for all of them.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin

I am and, for as long as I can remember, have been a Jane Austen fan.  I have always said that when I go back-to-school to get my masters that I am going to do my thesis on Jane Austen and her love scenes.  I want to just go to England and spend months researching, well, maybe I just want to go to England and spend months.  The time frame for this goal is non-existent.  Maybe when my husband retires, and we can go together.  I will be a 60 year-old grad student, but better late than never, right?  So I am trying to read more non-fiction, and I came across a reference to A Jane Austen Eduction  by William Deresiewicz and thought I would check it out.  I reviewed that in March on this blog and enjoyed it.  Deresiewicz referenced Claire Tomalin's book as being one of the best biographies about Austen, so after reading his book I checked out this one.  It was very good and gave me much more insight into Austen's life and times that I had ever known.  It made me realize how much I didn't know about an author that I thought I knew.  And learning more about something is generally a good thing, so if you love an author, but have never read their biography then I would highly recommend it.  You just never know what you will learn which is the great thing about reading.