Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mixed Reviews

I loved this post about reading the other day. Jessica and I are kindred book spirits--a bit like Houghton and Mifflin or Barnes and Noble. She wrote what I feel.

Whenever someone asks me where in the world I find time to read, I am flabbergasted. Because not reading is just not an option in my life. I think I have read for pleasure every day of my life since first grade. It is my love language. It is my soul food. It is music for my mind.

On the outside, I am a very social and outgoing person. I love to be with friends and family, to talk and laugh. But being alone with a good book is the only way I know to recharge my batteries, to transport my thoughts to another time or place.

When we were first married, my husband sometimes didn't understand my need to sequester myself between the pages. (I was reading Presumed Innocent on our honeymoon. Scott Turow was a bit of a third wheel...) But now, Brad knows me well enough to realize that those moments I spend with my nose in a book make me a happier, smarter and more interesting person. And he can watch sports while I do it!

Now that I've discovered blogging, I have another creative, solitary outlet. And when you combine books with blogs you have one happy Gab. I love to hear your book suggestions and share my favorites with you.

Usually I just post my recommendations...but today I thought I'd post three near-misses. Books that let me down.

It's ok if you don't agree with my non-favorites. We can still be friends.

My mom and dad sent me this book for it seems very ungrateful to rip on it. The truth is, I LOVED the first 200 pages. It takes place in medieval England and the historic details are fabulous. I stopped reading because it is very "earthy." In an R-rated way. According to Ken Follett, the people during this time period only had one thing on their mind. Including the monks, nuns, and friars. And he describes it in great detail. I just couldn't handle it.

It is still sitting on my nightstand, because I can't throw away a hardback book, but I don't want to pass it on. Email me if you want it and I will send it to you in a brown paper wrapper. No offense to my parents.

This book is also on my nightstand and I have been reading it off and on for the past four months. It's the story of a murder in a Utah Mormon town. Written by a non-Mormon. It is not an anti-LDS book, but I think in some cases Jacquelyn Mitchard has Mormons confused with the Amish. Still, that is not the reason I don't like this book, I just happen to think the writing is slow and boring. I don't find the characters very believable either.

It's one of those books that I feel obligated to finish. And who needs that? I have enough obligations already.

My bookclub selection for this month. The movie is being filmed in our neck of the woods. In fact, one bookclub member's husband is an extra on the set! However the book was a real downer.

I actually read it a few years ago when it was hot off the presses and found it quite depressing. It's not that I don't like to read murder mysteries. I do. But this one is about a young girl and hits just a little too close to home.

I will still go to bookclub...because differing opinions are what makes the discussion fun! (Not to mention the killer desserts...)

What are your thoughts? Please discuss.


Annie said...

Amen~! I loved Jessica's post yesterday, too. I couldn't live without reading.

And-guess what I should be doing right now instead of reading blogs? Getting ready for book group at my house! Do you have a quick recipe for a killer dessert?

Jessica said...

Thanks for the link! =)

I've gotten a lot from your recommendations...nice to know which ones to steer clear of!

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

All I know is that I want to read more than I do. It's one of my new years resolutions to read more because I really really enjoy being engrossed in a good book. Thanks for the non-recommendations! Now I know what to steer clear of when I finally sit down to read.

Bridget said...

OK Gab I am with you. I started reading Lovely Bones and stopped too. For the same reasons.

Also I am reading the other Ken Follett book The Pillars of the Earth and there is some grittiness in it but not much so I am pressing on. Otherwise, its a great book.

Are you reading anything good now?

Bridget said...

We're you going to Blogapalooza? I am going to go! I am so excited. I hope you are too so I can finally meet you!

Caroline said...

I haven't read those. And I won't. But add in Wicked on the "do not read" list. I finished it because I always finish a book, but it was NOT what I was expecting AT.ALL.

Marty said...

It's too bad you got the lump of coal for Christmas, but I'm glad to have your review. I was planning to reread Pillars of the Earth (which, honestly, I didn't like. I wanted to like it, and I've wondered why I didn't since it's such a favorite for people) to prepare for this one, and now I won't bother. I like Follett's other books, though.

I remember you reading with your head hanging over the couch, while you dried your hair, and even at red lights, while you were driving! I knew you'd never be lonely or bored.

Celia Fae said...

So I've read the last two and they have my least favorite things in them: dead children. Can live without those. That being said, I thought Lovely Bones was written pretty well and Cage of Stars was fairly accurate in the portrayal of LDS. Both books were difficult for me to put down.

Not into Ken Follett, but I do love reading although it has slowed considerably since the onset of blogging, don't you think?

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

Yes, I'd say I read much less now thanks to the blog. I need to get back into it - especially because there is nothing on t.v. anymore.

I thought Lovely Bones was HORRIBLE, but so compelling that I finished it. When I was done, I felt bummed. Not a re-read for me. Don't know that I could see the movie either.

They sure do make a lot of movies in your neck of the woods. Anyone famous in Lovely Bones? Any more Mel Gibson sightings?

Lauren said...

I love to read blogs so has actually become my favorite thing to read. I like to think of myself as very "curious" by nature, but truth be known...I am kind of a nosy person...

crystal said...

I just finished Pillars of the Earth a few weeks ago (the 1st book before World Without End) and HOLY CRAP!!!! I want so badly to recommend it to my friend who also loves reading about the medieval period, but--erg! It's so dirty! Some parts actually turned my stomach. And that's no easy task.

Anonymous said...

I'm more of a non-fiction reader. LOVE to dive into books that make me think. Wouldn't even know the ones you mentioned I'm embarrassed to admit.

Have you read freakonomics? Love it.

Holly said...

I love book posts! I had been picking up and putting right back down Ken Follet's books--just couldn't commit. Now I'm glad I put them back! I read The Lovely Bones when it first came out and I agree, very, very disturbing.

If you ever get a chance, and the inclination, could do a post about your book club? Like the logistics of forming one, choosing books, etc. I'd LOVE to be in one, but most of my FIRL aren't readers or consider themselves too busy with their littles. Sigh. Maybe they should read Jessica's post! HeeHee

Jenifer and Scott said...

I haven't read The Lovely Bones because it just sounds so depressing. I really disliked the book The Memory Keeper's Daughter. I just felt it had so little redemption for most of the characters. I saw your recommendation for Atonement and I bought it at Costco. Am so excited to read it!

lainakay said...

I read Lovely Bones and found it pretty disturbing but I couldn't put it down. It got really funky at the end. The last few chapters were odd.

I would never watch it in movie version. Yikes!

Rochelleht said...

Book-friend, I'm with ya!

The Lovely Bones was great until the whole sex with a spirit invading the body thing. Lost me that last 10-15 pages or so.

Rochelleht said...

Book-friend, I'm with ya!

The Lovely Bones was great until the whole sex with a spirit invading the body thing. Lost me that last 10-15 pages or so.

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