I've read a number of books over the last few months that were for my own reading enjoyment. Not for review, but because I've been wanting to read them or they caught my attention. Most of them have been talked about ad nauseam so they don't really need a full review. But, I'd still like to give them some space here on the blog.
I'll be linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and her monthly Quick Lit link up. Be sure to head over to see others link up their Quick Lit posts.
Listening to the audiobook reading by Rachel McAdams of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES was a delight. Her voice was perfect for each of the characters and I fell in love with this story all over again. At just over 9 hours is was a manageable length and the chapters were the correct length to take me into town for errands. In case you don't know the story, an orphan arrives at Green Gables, but unfortunately, they were expecting a boy to work on the farm, not a freckle-faced, red-headed string bean. "Anne with an E" showed up and turned the Cuthberts lives upside down...in the best way possible.
Reading Anne as an adult and as a parent is so different from reading it as a child. I appreciated the eloquent writing, the "big words", the quirkiness of Anne, the friendship she shared with Diana, and the love shared by Mirella and Matthew towards Anne. I just couldn't wait to get in the van and listen to Anne's story and found reasons to listen to it in the house as well. It just made me happy! I am anxious to watch the Netflix version of it yet too.
I first saw this book during Halloween at a Cracker Barrel gift shop. The morbid curiosity got me to look for it on the Bridges ebook system through our library and sure enough, it was there. I read WHERE ARE THEY BURIED over the course of several months. It is set up by categories like athletes, TV stars, etc. Then each person is their own chapter with just a few pages offering a brief bio about their life and then how they died and the directions for how to locate the cemetery and grave. Some people I never knew how they died and others I was reminded of how tragic it was for those stars who died much too young due to addictions. It's one of those books that is nice to keep in the car or on your phone to read a chapter or two while waiting in the school pick-up line or in the waiting room.
I can't believe it has been 18 years since the tragedy that unfolded before our eyes, the horrific murders at Columbine High School. Sue Klebold is the mother of one of the shooters, Dylan Klebold. In her memoir, A MOTHER'S RECKONING, she attempts to heal by sharing her journals and thoughts with others. But, she also wants to set the record straight and banish some of the judgments placed on her family. Her hope is that by learning from their mistakes, no other parent has to go through this type of horror.
This book is a MUST-READ for school teachers, administrators, and parents of teenagers. Sue Klebold wasn't the distant, rich, spoiling mother we all were told she was. I admit to watching the news then and placing my own hateful judgments toward her. I couldn't imagine any mother allowing what happened and yet now....I can. This book was eye-opening, heartbreaking, and humbling. It's painful and convicting to read and yet it's message about brain health (mental illness) is so important in this era.
I've heard about Shauna Niequist and her book BREAD & WINE for a couple years and every time it was loaded with rave reviews. When it came up on a Kindle deal, I snagged it. I liked her stories about entertaining and showing her love through the food she made and served. I found several recipes to save and a few I even tried from this book. Each chapter ends with a recipe tied to the story or dinner she prepared. I read this a chapter at a time over several months and it was enjoyable.
I heard an interview with Kimberly Williams-Paisley talking about her mom and their journey with dementia. I've loved her since I saw "Father of the Bride" and her husband, Brad Paisley is one of our favorite musicians. So, when she discussed her book WHERE THE LIGHT GETS IN, I knew I had to find it. It was available on the Bridges website through our library and I listened to the audiobook. The author reads the book herself and it was a beautiful story of courage and love for her mom. The story is mostly about her mom, but also her siblings, father, and her life as she became a movie star and then met the love of her life.
I've been wanting to read this book after hearing about it and then reading BEING MORTAL.
WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR is the memoir of Paul Kalanithi as a young neurosurgeon. He and his wife had put their whole focus into becoming the best doctors they could be, even to the point of hampering their marriage. Then after working exhausting hours and multiple grueling surgeries amid crippling back pain, Kalanithi seeks treatment only to find out that he has lung cancer. The doctor has now become the patient. The memoir is a way for Kalanithi to express the things he has learned from his father, from literature, from God, from being a student and a doctor, as a patient, and finally as a husband and father. There was never a point in the book that I skimmed or ignored. Every page held my attention and many pages made me pause and want to capture the words again and again. Even though he left this Earth before his book was actually complete, his wife, Lucy finished it with grace and beauty. Just like so many others have said, I highly recommend.
I've been wanting to read this ever since I saw a story about this book on Good Morning America when it came out. I listened to AN INVISIBLE THREAD on audio, but I have the book on Kindle as well from a Kindle Daily Deal. I really loved the listen and Pam Ward does a nice job of telling Laura and Maurice's story. Maurice was an 11-year-old panhandler on the streets of NYC when Laura walked by and then turned around and took him out to lunch at McDonald's. What happened after that included the beginning of a lifelong friendship that turned into a bond much like a mother and son. I was deeply moved by their stories of hardship and survival. Their meeting was maybe by chance or maybe by destiny. I recommend the listen, but once I finished I also skimmed the ebook hoping for photos or other tidbits not included in the audiobook. I'm glad I looked because the author interview and photos were a treat. If you haven't read this yet, I highly recommend it.
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