Tag Archives: Reading

Reading List- April 2014

Into the Abyss (Shaben, 2012) – This book is about a plane crash that occurred in the Canadian wilderness in 1984. 10 people were on board, 4 survived. The author is the daughter of one of the survivors. Shaben explores the life of each survivor before, during, and following the crash, essentially telling their whole life story intertwined with the story about the crash. She leads up to the crash, the factors playing into that fateful night, and then follows the investigation after the crash. It’s a very moving and emotional story and makes the reader ponder things such as living life, purpose, your personal journey. It shows how the survivors were impacted and how the each endeavored to make life count after surviving.

A Summer Affair (Hilderbrand, 2008) – With each book of Hilderbrand’s I read, I fall more in love with her as an author. Her books are so real and she makes it easy to connect with the characters and get emotionally involved and invested in the events of the story. In A Summer Affair, Hilderbrand takes us on a journey with Claire as she loses herself, her morality, and almost her life, and then finds it again. It’s an investigation of morals and discovery of true family and love.

The Blue Bistro (Hilderbrand, 2005)- I’ve had a hard time finding words about this book. It’s the most emotional of Hilderbrand’s that I’ve read. Such a simple story of a popular restaurant in it’s last season, a young girl looking for work, love, friendship. It has a different tone and setting than Hilderbrand’s other books, which was a nice change of pace since I’ve been reading her books a lot lately.

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2011 & 2012 Book Lists

Since I have only been writing about books as I currently read them, I thought I would go back and create lists from what I read in 2011 and 2012. August of 2011 is when I graduated with my master’s degree and was finally able to read for fun again, so I started keeping a record of every book I read. These lists are alphabetized by author and include title, author, date published, fiction/non-fiction, and, if applicable, the series. I have also made note of the books that I especially liked.

(Also, this is my first time attempting PDFs and I am not sure why they are such poor quality. If anyone has any tips I would gladly accept some advice!)

2011 Book List

2012 Book List

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What I’ve Been Reading- December 2013

This month I read five books, mainly because I subbed for three days. Substitute teaching at a high school lends itself to having lots of time to read!

Looking for Me– Hoffman (2013, Fiction): Looking for Me follows main character Teddi Overman as she tries to make a new life for herself in Charleston, away from the family farm where she grew up and the tragedies that befell her there. It’s a story of love, loss, hope, and restoration as Teddi deals with her past and moves forward to the future. I found it hard to follow sometimes as it jumped around from past to present, but it is a great story. Just be prepared for some sad parts!

Beautiful Day– Hilderbrand (2013, Fiction): Hilderbrand’s newest novel reminded me of a book I read back in October, Seating Arrangements. Both are told in a span of a few days and are about a daighter’s wedding, told from various perspectives. But Beautiful Day is by far the better of the two. There are many characters, which makes it sometimes hard to keep everyone straight, but Hilderbrand does a good job and occasionally summarizing what the characters are feeling. So much is happening and you get various point of views on each event. It was a very fun book with lots of stories and lots of drama!

Escape– Jessop (2006, Non-fiction): After reading Prophet’s Prey in November, I wanted to read even more about Jeffs and the FLDS. Escape is the story of Carolyn Jessop, who at age 18 was given in marriage to 50-year-old Meril Jessop, one of the more powerful men in the FLDS community. She gave birth to eight children while married to him, and eventually was able to escape the abusive and freedom-less marriage and community. Her story is both gripping and heartbreaking and sheds light on the FLDS and abusive religion as a whole. As a warning, there are some very graphic parts about human and animal abuse, don’t read if you don’t feel you can handle those. But it is worth those hard parts to be part of the story of this very strong and courageous woman who overcame so much to make a better life for her and her children.

Takedown Twenty– Evanovich (2013, Fiction): This is the 20th book is the Stephanie Plum saga. I always enjoy these books about bounty hunter Stephanie and her sidekick Lula as they solve mysteries in their New Jersey town and attempt to takedown the bad guys, while Stephanie tries to decide between the two men in her life- Ranger and Morelli. These books are light and fun and sometimes suspenseful. I look forward to 21!

The Husband’s Secret– Moriarty (2013, Fiction): I had heard so many great things about this book, so going in my expectations were really high, and it didn’t quite meet them. But, it was still a really good, intriguing story about three families as their lives collide through tragedy. It is suspenseful, emotional, and intense as the three journeys unfold.

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What I’ve Been Reading- October 2013

This month I only read two books, which is low for me. I tend to average one per week, or more. But this month I decided to start watching Scandal. I know, I’m a little late to the party on that one, and I’m a big Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice fan so it would have made sense for me to watch Shondaland’s newest addition. But I was scared. It seemed really intense. So I put it off, and off, and off… Until one day in October I was bored and Netflix was there taunting me, luring me away from all the productive things I should be doing. I will admit, I’m a binge-watcher. Once I find a show on Netflix to watch, I watch until done. So far I’ve done this with The Office, 24, How I Met Your Mother, Breaking Bad, Parks & Recreation, Undercover Boss, Arrested Development, and some others that I don’t care to admit to. But Scandal drew me in more than any of those other shows. I COULD NOT stop watching. If you haven’t watched it, do. But I have warned you. You won’t be able to stop.

So, the two books I read this month….


Seating Arrangements– Maggie Shipstead (Fiction, 2012): It took me awhile to get through this one. The entire book covers a span of only three days, so each section is a very long and detailed account of each day. It wasn’t a bad book, I did enjoy it somewhat, just kind of boring, And once I was finished I wasn’t sure what the point was, though I think the theme may have been centered on this quote that stood out to me from page 91, “When does youth end?”. It really seemed like a book that you would read in English class and analyze.

 9780312997199Summer People– Elin Hilderbrand (Fiction, 2003): I discovered Hilderbrand through Bachelor “star” Ashley Spivey who tweets about books she has been reading (and usually has some really good recommendations!). This book was such a fun, light read with some interesting plot twists. It was perfect for bedtime reading. I really enjoyed it and have already checked out a couple more of her books from the library.


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What I’ve Been Reading- September 2013

One thing that I wanted to include on my blog are mini reviews on books that I read. I have always been a reader (Thanks, Mom for instilling that into me!). Through college and grad school I didn’t read for fun very much because there was too much “school” reading to do. But once I finished school in August 2011, I started reading for fun again. I’m also an obsessive list maker and have written down every book I’ve read since then and some comments about it. At some point I may blog a list of the books I’ve read up until now, just in case someone is needing ideas 🙂  But for now I plan to write about the books I read each month. In my listing I will include the title, author’s name, fiction or non-fiction, and date published, as well as a few thoughts.

I read a variety of things- fiction and non-fiction. I’m especially into military non-fiction and memoirs/biographies. My favorite fiction authors are Jodi Picoult, Nicholas Sparks, Janet Evanovich and Karen Kingsbury. Those authors couldn’t be more different! I don’t read anything that I deem “scary” because I usually read at night to help me go to sleep and I tend to get easily spooked. My husband has been awakened more than once to help me check the closets for murderers (another thing I get from my mom….).

So, here are the books that I read this past month:

girls guide

The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing– Melissa Bank (Fiction, 1999): I didn’t realize until I was a few chapters in that it was a collection of short stories more than a flowing novel. But even with that, it was enjoyable enough that I kept reading. Follows the main character through her journey of growing up and learning to find love and people to count on.

language of flowers

The Language of Flowers
– Vanessa Diffenbaugh (Fiction, 2011): My mom has been telling me to read this book ever since it first came out. I finally did, and I am SO glad that I did. I LOVED this book. It has such meaning and shows the beauty of life and love.

the chanceThe Chance– Karen Kingsbury (Fiction, 2013): Karen is one of my favorite authors and if you haven’t read The Baxter Family series just ignore all these other suggestions and read those first. That series is compiled of several mini-series and begins with the book Redemption. Go to Karen’s web site and you’ll figure it out. Best series ever. Changed my life. But back to The Chance, it was moving and very enjoyable. Great character development, I felt like I came to know the chracters personally. A bit cheesy at points, but overall a great reminder of how God’s hand is in all.

mindykalingIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?– Mindy Kaling (Non-fiction, 2011): I first found out about Mindy Kaling through watching The Office. She is hilarious as Kelly Kapoor. A friend told me I needed to read this book, and I did. One thing I found funny was that early on in the book she compares hers to Tina Fey’s Bossypants, and that’s pretty much what I was already doing. No one can beat Tina Fey. No one. But Mindy gives it a good try. This book was really funny, especially the chapters about her childhood. Sometimes the humor felt forced, but overall really good.  I enjoyed reading about how she first got involved as a writer, and actress, with The Office. A very light and fun read!

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