Reading List- January 2014

Has this felt like the longest month ever to anyone else? I’m not sure why. It wasn’t a bad month. Maybe the unusually cold weather we’ve had made it feel long. Or that I didn’t have many sub job opportunities. Or starting Weight Watchers- watching my food every second of the day was tiring. I don’t know, I just kept thinking “oh my gosh, it it STILL January???”  And now it’s over and we move into February. Finally. Time to get the year started!

Despite it feeling like a long month, I didn’t read as much as I could have due to, yep, you guessed it, good ol’ Netflix. I got drawn into several shows including “The Next Great Baker” and “Tanked”. Michael and I have also started watching “24” together. For a long time we’ve been searching for a show to watch together that hubby can stay awake through, so we’re attempting this action-packed one. I watched it all the way through last summer, but I’ve forgotten a lot of the details. We are slowly making our way through season 1. Michael isn’t as good of a binge-watcher as me, probably because he has this thing called a job….

But, I did get some reading in!

Orange is the New Black- Kerman (2010, Non-fiction): I was first introduced to OITNB through the Netflix series that began this past year. I heard everyone saying how great it was, so I watched it. And it was great, but not something I can recommend. I was pretty shocked at what Netflix allowed. But, the story of Piper, a white, upper-class woman imprisoned for a 10-year-old drug charge, intrigued me. And the way the characters were portrayed in the show made me want to know them better, know more. So I decided to read the book, hoping it wasn’t as graphic as the show. And it wasn’t. I LOVED this book. Probably one of my favorites ever. Which is crazy. But it is just so good. It is significantly different from the show (and when I researched that, I learned that Kerman allowed Netflix to take massive liberties in the content of the show as long as it still portrayed the major themes she wanted to convey). The book follows her story of how she got involved in the drug scene, her returning to normal life, her indictment, sentencing and then, what the book is about, her prison stay at a Danbury minimum security camp. (Where Martha Stewart almost went- that’s discussed a lot in the book…). It is interesting, gripping and so emotional! The ladies she did time with are brought to life and you come to know them and love them, and it brings to light a whole other side to prisoners and prison life that most people would never think about or know about. It gives great insight into life in prison, as well as the bureaucracy that the prison system can be and suggests that maybe prison isn’t always the best choice. It is such a good book and I highly recommend it.

Triumph– Jessop (2010, Non-fiction): This is the sequel to Escape, which I read in December. Jessop uses this second book to bring further insight into her life while in the FLDS and then to share her story of starting her new life once she escaped. She shares some stories that were not included in Escape, revealing more abuse, more control, making her new life seem even more miraculous. The book was hard to read at points, and sometimes was a bit slow, but overall helped to complete this amazing journey of this very strong woman.

The Castaways– Hilderbrand (2009, Fiction): This novel is set on the island of Nantucket (as all of Hilderbrand’s novels are) and follows the ups and downs of four couples who are best friends. It is a rich and captivating story of friendship, love, marriage, tragedy, and forgiveness. The structure is different- rather than chapters, it is divided as each person gives their point of view and the story flows through these memories, stories, and thoughts on the events as they occur. Was a wonderful book that I read in just a couple of days because I couldn’t put it down!

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