Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What I read in June...

1. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
2. Wildflower Bride by Mary Connealy
3. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
4. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
5. Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog: The Amazing Adventures of An Ordinary Women by Lisa Scottoline
6. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella by Stephanie Meyer
7. The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of A Shattered Rock Star by Nikki Sixx
8. When Chicago Ruled Baseball: The Cubs-White Sox World Series of 1906 by Bernard A. Weisberger
9. March by Geraldine Brooks
10. Orange is the New Black: My Year in A Women's Prison by Piper Kerman
11. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
12. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
13. The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald
14. Snow Apples by Mary Razzell

Monday, June 28, 2010

Musing Mondays: Hype...

This week’s musing asks…
What do you think of books that receive a lot of hype?(think of the “Twilight” saga, or “Harry Potter”, or “The Da Vinci Code”). Do you read them? Why, or why not?
Well, initially I try to resist books that receive a lot of hype. The Harry Potter Books for example I REFUSED to pick up a book, REFUSED to see a movie because it was all just too big and crazy and I wanted no part of that. Then... the summer of 2007 arrived. I had just graduated from college and my husband and I were living with my In-laws until moving east for graduate school. I was bored, my mother-in-law has a ton of books so I tentatively picked up the first Harry Potter and then I was hooked. I proceeded to quickly read the next three and then as my husband and I were driving across the country to move I made him stop in Iowa because I needed to buy book #5. Then I read #6 and #7.  The rest is Harry Potter history. I own all the books, I eagerly await each of the movies. I'm a huge Harry Potter nerd now. I just like to think that by waiting until 2007 to start the books I never had to wait for the next book to be written I could just go get the next one and read one right after the other. 

The same thing happened with Twilight. I was bored one summer (they had all been written) I picked them up and read all of them in a few days. And what can I say I love Dan Brown even without any hype his are books I would read. So I suppose I try to resist but in the end I can't. I'm a lover of books and I suppose I really should just stop trying to resist hype and just go with it. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Musing Mondays: Favorite Genres...

 This week’s musing asks:
Name your top 2-3 favorite genres (the ones you read most from).
Musing Mondays is hosted by Should be Reading
I read a lot of nonfiction. Mostly memoirs and autobiographies. I love reading about the lives of people, the things they've overcome, the lessons they've learned. Most autobiographies give me hope that there really are good people in the world who are trying to do better. (I say most because not all autobiographies or memoirs follow that formula, like the Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx eek...). I also find that memoirs and autobiographies offer a lot of good material for sermons and I'm constantly on the lookout for sermon inspiration.
I also really enjoy legal thrillers like John Grisham and Lisa Scottoline. I spent most of my life wanting to be a lawyer and starting reading these authors in the fifth grade. Now I'm just hooked on these authors and will read anything they write.   
Finally,  I love dystopia and utopian genres but I haven't had much luck in finding large quantities of these books. But Books like 1984, Brave New World, The Giver, The Hunger Games are my personal favorites. If anyone knows of any books that fall into this category please point me in that direction. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review: When Chicago Ruled Baseball by Bernard A. Weisberger

The Book: When Chicago Ruled Baseball The Cubs-White Sox World Series of 1906 by Bernard Weisberger. (From Goodreads) In 1906, the baseball world saw something that had never been done. Two teams from the same city squared off against each other in an intracity World Series, pitting the heavily favored Cubs of the National League against the hardscrabble American League champion White Sox. Now, for its centennial anniversary, historian Bernard A. Weisberger tells the tale of a unique time in baseball, a unique time in America, and a time when Chicago was at the center of it all. 

What I Thought: I found this book sitting on a stack of books in my in-laws house and immediately started reading it mostly because I'm a huge Chicago Cubs fan. I loved this book. Weisberger recounts each of the six games in the 1906 series. However, the best part of the book for me were the pieces of history woven throughout the book. Weisberger includes information about the formation of both the Cubs and White Sox teams, information about the owners, uniforms, players, money situations, formation of leagues, and the ways information and play by plays about the games would be transmitted to others. (Did you know at one point it was suggested the uniform colors correspond with the players position i.e. all the catchers would wear blue, pitchers another color etc. So the players on the field would look like the rainbow. This idea was quickly eliminated but I found the suggestion hilarious. Rainbow colored uniforms haha). 

I will say one of the downsides in reading this book is not being familiar with the teams of 1906 (obviously). Weisberger does an amazing job recounting each of the games and he spends a chapter introducing each of the teams but it was still difficult to keep all of the names and players straight while going through the game chapters. However that is just a minor downfall and not a huge deal in the scheme of things, since all of the historical baseball facts more than makes up for it.

My Rating: B+

Overall a really well written, interesting, and fairly quick read. If your a baseball fan at all this book is well worth of the read. I loved learning about the logistics and history of baseball in the early years. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Musing Mondays: Readers in the Family...

This week’s question was inspired by an online book group I belong to…
Who in your family (both immediate & extended) are readers, and who are not?
I have 5 siblings and out of the five I would say only one of them is a reader at all. The other four rarely if ever pick up a book. Although my youngest sister (who is 18) has always enjoyed listening to books. When she was much younger she used to fall asleep each night listening to the Harry Potter Books.

My husband unfortunately is not a reader. I am always encouraging and trying to find books that will keep his interests but it's just not something he really enjoys although he does like reading out loud to our one year old twins. My mom reads some but we have completely different tastes in books. My MIL is probably the person in my family who is the biggest reader aside from myself. She loves buying books and reading books and she has a really great collection. I love going to her house because literally everywhere I look are piles of books that I can just pick up and read. It's also nice to have someone who understands how much joy a new book can bring and also to have someone to talk about books with.

Friday, June 4, 2010

What I read in May...

1. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
2. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
3. Overcoming Speechlessness: A Poet Encounters the Horror in Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Palestine/Israel by Alice Walker
4. Morrie: In His Own Words by Morrie Schwartz
5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
6. Cop on Loan by Jeannie Watt
7. Wildflower Bride by Mary Connealy
8. The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
9. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levitthan
10. I'm looking Through To You: Growing Up Haunted: A Memoir by Jennifer Finney Boylan
11. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
12. The Opposite of Me by Sarah Pekkanen
13. Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffen

I'm back!

I was absent due to finishing my masters degree and graduating, my husband finishing his BS and graduating, packing, saying goodbyes, moving 2709 miles across the country, and all kinds of other fun stuff. Hopefully, I can get into some kind of regularity with this blog now that my life has kind of calmed down (I'm still job hunting and have one year old twins so it will only be so calm). So here's to better book blogging! We shall see how that goes.