#6 on my 2011 list of resolutions is read one book a month and so far this year I’ve done pretty well (six months in and I’ve already read 12 books) … here’s what I’ve been reading:
- Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo | I already talked about this book here. If you are a Christian, I’d definitely recommend reading this book. And if you are not, it would definitely be something worth reading, but only if you are prepared to explore your thoughts on heaven and Christianity. I hope that through this book that there are people who find faith or who are able to strengthen their faith. We live in a cynical world and it’s easy to be taken over by the cynicism and forget that we are living for more and as Christians we are promised so much more. We don’t need to know all the answers (though we surely want to have them) but we should have peace in knowing that God does have them and He’s waiting to share them with us in heaven.
- Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love by Matt Logelin | I first heard Matt and Maddy Logelin’s story on Rachael Ray. Maddy’s mom (and the love of Matt’s life) died within 24 hours of giving birth to her, before ever having gotten the chance to hold her baby girl. After reading Matt’s blog, I knew his book would be beyond wonderful, a moving trip through the pain and anger of such an unimaginable loss. It’s a beautiful tribute to his wife and such a gift for his daughter to have when she’s old enough to read it and a gift to anyone who does read it. Though reading it after “Heaven is For Real” was hard because the first book is so filled with the hope of Christ and heaven and “Two Kisses…” is without that particular kind of hope; but it does have hope. Matt and Maddy are living a happy life, though certainly not the life they had planned on living. It’s definitely made me appreciate the things that have and haven’t happened in my own life.
- A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One by George R.R. Martin | I caught the first episode of HBO’s adaptation of Game of Thrones during a free HBO weekend and was hooked. The story was complex (to say the least) and my kind of fantasy writing — a very adult blend of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings — warring families, all vying for control of a fictional region of the world, all hopelessly intermingled with each other under layers of distrust, loyalty and folklore. The book is massive, 720 pages, but a great read. Not hard to follow, especially when paired with watching episodes of the show (or in my case, reading recaps online since we don’t normally get HBO). I’m looking forward to reading the second book (in a series of six, with two still unpublished) and am curious to see if I can keep up without the aid of the television show (it’s on hiatus until next year).
- Take the Monkeys and Run (A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery) by Karen Cantwell | This was the first book I downloaded on my birthday-gift Kindle. I wanted to try out a book that was free or cheap (this one was $.99) to get used to me new “toy” before delving into a full-on novel. It was a quick read and very entertaining. A murder-mystery revolving around Barbara Marr, a 40-ish stay-at-home mom who sticks her nose into something and ends up right in the middle of a murder investigation. The writing wasn’t outstanding, but obviously good enough for me to keep reading and purchase a second book by the author. It was a good story that kept my attention — a great summer read — mindless and welcoming.
- Citizen Insane (A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery) by Karen Cantwell | I did not enjoy the second book as much as the first one (though it was definitely worth the $.99 price tag). I had hoped that the writing would have improved slightly, but sadly, it did not. And there was much quick recapping of the first novel throughout, so it read like a summarized version of the first with a little bit of new story thrown in for good measure. Nothing life-altering or new-found here, but then again, mindless is sometimes welcome, so if you are looking for more of the same and you’ve read the first book, then go ahead and read the second.
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