Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Book Roundup

At the beginning of the year, I resolved to read four books a month. But, as many resolutions go, I wasn't able to keep up with my quota. Oh well. I still did manage to read over 30 books, so that's pretty respectable. (Or, at least, I thought so--until I met a dude a couple of weeks ago who reads 20 books a month.)

I used to do a monthly book report, but my reading list has a bunch of unremarkable free e-books. So allow me to just mention the ones that stood out:

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
I decided to reread this classic before the movie came out. Next up: a rereading of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

A note on the movie: It was fun figuring out which one was Gloin--he looked almost exactly like Gimli! And as always, I didn't know whether to pity or fear Gollum.

What to Expect When You're Expecting by Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi E. Murkoff, and Sandee E. Hathaway, B.S.N.
Standard reading for expectant moms. I read it month by month throughout my pregnancy, since I thought I would forget everything if I did a one-time-big-time session. I could also relate more to the concerns each month--and thanked my lucky stars that I didn't get most of the symptoms listed. At some point, though, I wanted to poke my eyes out after reading "Best Odds Diet" too many times. Partly because it was just so repetitive, and partly because it made me feel guilty about not being a stellar mom and eating all the stuff I'm supposed to be eating (and not eating those I'm not supposed to...I did skip all the raw stuff, caffeine, and alcohol though). 

The Angel's Game by Carlos Luis Zafron
I picked up this book because I remembered Zafron's compelling prose. Like the author's first book The Shadow of the Wind, this one was beautifully written, opening with...
"A writer never forgets the first time he accepted a few coins or a word of praise in exchange for a story. He will never forget the sweet poison of vanity in his blood and the belief that, if he succeeds in not letting anyone discover his lack of talent, the dream of literature will provide him with a roof over his head, a hot meal at the end of the day, and what he covets most: his name printed on a miserable piece of paper that surely will outlive him. A writer is condemned to remember that moment because from then on he is doomed and his soul has a price."
...but it also had an ending I wasn't very happy with.

Eat, Memory: Great Writers at the Table: A Collection of Essays from the New York Times
Because I needed a break from fiction, and I do like me some food lit.

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn
It's fiction based on a real person: The Queen of England. Light and fun and entertaining.

Snobs and Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes
Since I couldn't get my Downton Abbey fix, I decided to buy a two-in-one book by the series writer. I am absolutely amazed by his ability to dissect the nuances of the different English classes--I think it's one reason Downton is such a success. Which reminds me--must catch the Christmas special!

And my favorite book of the year...

The Book Thief by Mark Zusak

Photo from here

"Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness."

I was beginning to think that YA had lost its magic for me--this, after reading a few mediocre e-books. And then came The Book Thief. This is one of the most heart-wrenching books I have ever read. I don't know if it was the preggo hormones, but I cried buckets at the end of it. It reminded my why I still read YA.

So I guess that's it for my 2012 reading list. Brace yourselves for a bunch of parenting books in 2013! Har.


  1. Yey! I always look forward to your book recos... Happy Holidays! :)

  2. 30 books is more than respectable! You have had a thing or two to do this year. :)

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, one "more glorious than grand" as they sang in the Mr. Magoo version of A Christmas Carol.

    1. Hope you had a great Christmas as well!:)

  3. I LOVED The Book Thief. And yes, I cried buckets too (I wasn't pregnant).
    Have you read the Chaos Walking Trilogy? It starts with a book called The Knife of Never Letting Go. That's one of the best, most vivid YA books I've read in a long time. I liked it far more than The Hunger Games and highly recommend it!

    1. Ooh thanks for the reco! Will add the trilogy to my 2013 reading list. (I'm still optimistic--or deluded?--that I'll have time to read!)


Oh, so sweet of you to drop a line!:)