31 Days of Quotes {day 6}: On my bookshelf

image via Jane and Company Design

I’m discovering that if I don’t have a book at hand, it’s far too easy to find a remote control in hand.  I’ll fess up to watching every single episode of Say Yes to the Dress on Netflix and every season of Friday Night Lights (two and a half times over) these past six months.  Eh, I’m okay with it.  As much as I love, love, love books, I also appreciate a little mind pause that comes with a good TV show.  And as for the really, really well written TV shows (Friday Night Lights, West Wing, and Arrested Development, I’m lovin’ on you right now), I think they give good books a run for the money.

In any case, I’ve been trying to satisfy my voracious reading appetite recently, and here are some titles that have featured on my bookshelf.

Just picked up The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.  It’s her first foray into an adult audience book (I blinked when I came across the first f-bomb, so don’t say I didn’t warn you).  She’s earned some impressive reviews, and 32 pages into it, I can guess why.  It’s complex enough to be intriguing and focused enough to have a clear direction, and it’s set, like the Harry Potter series, in an idyllic (if grown up) English village.

I have to force myself to read non-fiction, so I’m picking my way through Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas.  It’s a pleasurable, if slow, process with this particular book about an arresting family that produced one of the most inspiring (and inspired) Christian theologians, and it’s not a stretch to say heroes, of the twentieth century.

What an eloquent, dense, and memorable book was Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.  It’s complex and detailed and painstakingly beautiful.  Because of its epic complexity, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Cutting for Stone has left me with vivid words and images of Ethiopia, surgery, medical missions, parenthood, and sibling connections.

The Likeness by Tana French is a book no one can put down.  It’s a book that you’ll lose sleep over as you immerse yourself in a world of murder, intrigue, who-dun-it, and good old Irish camaraderie.  The Likeness keeps up nail-biting momentum from start to finish.  Be prepared to read it in only a few sittings.

Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort and Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman are my current parenting reads.  Both were recommended by a dear friend and very wise play therapist who truly understands how to convey unconditional love within families.  If she says “read it”, I buy it, read it, discuss it, and read it again.  Both have strongly influenced how I approach Little Friend’s toddler-teenager phase.

I’m waiting for Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn to show up on the reserve shelf at my local library.  From all the rave reviews its received, I understand why I’m in a long hold queue for it.

What other books can you recommend for me?  Also, have you discovered the Goodreads website and app?  It’s tickling my little goal-oriented self’s fancy!

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  1. Leslie said:

    Finally! A post about reading. While I’m sure that there are a ton of mothers out there who enjoy reading your posts about the trials of tribulations of motherhood, James can confirm that I get much more excited about puppies than babies.

    But I also get excited about reading! I have Bonhoeffer on my Kindle, but I haven’t tackled it yet. Cutting for Stone was amazing. I’m reading Gone Girl currently. So far, it’s kept my interest. I will check out some of the others you mentioned (except the parenting ones!).

    Great books I’ve read lately:

    Green Heart By Alice Hoffman. I LOVED this book. It’s written like a fairy tale. I could not put it down.

    I’ve been on a southern fiction kick lately. Just finished South of Broad by Pat Conroy. It’s the last of his books for me to read. He really understands the south. After reading one of his books, I want to go to a beach on South Carolina and eat hush puppies with fried shrimp and go crabbing… My favorite by him is Lords of Discipline, but I haven’t been disappointed in a book by him yet. I hope he writes more.

    Have you read Frankenstein’s Monster by Susan Heyboer O’Keefe? It’s an interesting sequel to Frankenstein.

    A great memoir that doesn’t read too much like a memoir is Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me by Ian Morgan Cron. It is so funny in some parts and so heart-breaking in others.

    This month, my book club is reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. I read it a while ago, and I’m trying to remember. It is very interesting, and I can’t wait to discuss it. Rebecca Skloot is speaking in the area as part of a Lecture Series this year. I really want to catch that one.

    Have you read Ann Patchett? I love all her books. I saw her speak at last year’s Lecture Series. I think Bel Canto was my favorite by her…

    So many books, so little time. I’ll look for you on Goodreads.

    Happy reading between diaper changes!!!

    October 6, 2012
  2. Your list of books looks really good. I need to add a few to my reading list. I have a really long “want to read” list, but I just haven’t been reading lately. Part is because my library has very little and never, ever has what I want. The other part is that I haven’t had much to spend on books, and when I do, I’ve been buying books for my kids. So, lots of excuses. I have been watching Netflix though, because that is already paid for (in a sense). Dare I admit I watched all of Parenthood, McLeod’s Daughters (love this…it’s an Australian series), and now I am watching Everybody Loves Raymond. Yes, mindless, but some days I just need a laugh. You know? And, I watch Say Yes to The Dress with my Daughter. We call it Girl’s night and pop popcorn. She has already promised to take me dress shopping with her, and a part of me wants to get married all over again, just so I can get a different dress (married to my husband of course). :-)


    October 7, 2012

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