Thursday, June 21, 2007

Spring Reading Thing Wrap-up

Here is my list. I will put my comments, reviews, whatever, after each book. And I may add some extra comments at the end.

The Innocent by Harlan Coben

An entertaining mystery. I have not read a mystery in years. This one was predictable in some ways, suprising in others. A great beach read.

The Little Friend by Donna Tartt

I have not finished this. I started it a while ago, but have just not wanted to go back to it. It is the story of a young girl determined to find out about her brother's mysterious death, years after it happened. Some of what I have read has been good, but overall the story is just not holding my attention. I'm really glad I didn't pay for this book.

The Kite-Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Excellent! I picked this book up many times at the bookstore, but there was no information about the story on the front or back cover, and I mistakenly believed it a was a political book relating to the current situation in Afghanistan. But, I saw it on so many must-read lists that I tracked down a copy from a friend and gave it a shot. I'm so glad I did. It is the heart-wrenching but hopeful story of a boy born in Afghanistan pre-revolution and follows him through political changes there and in the U.S. I'm so glad I read it and I just bought Hosseini's newest novel.

Harry Potter 1-6 by J.K. Rowling

Loved them all! I was glad to see the reading/writing level get more advanced with each book. I had long resisted the draw of HP and now see I was misguided. Great stories of friendship and loyalty and power and evil and all that. I have also spent time reading articles discussing the dangers of HP to a Christian worldview and am glad I did that as well. It is important to be informed and to be on guard against opportunities for evil to sneak in. I don't think HP is really a conduit for that, but I can see the concerns.

Jewel by Brett Lott

Again, I saw this book on many must-read lists and it was compared to the Memory Keeper's Daughter, which I had already read. I was told this book was better and I think, overall, it is. There are no copout endings, that is for sure. Following a family as they daily adjust to a radically altered life is interesting.

Eldest by Christopher Paolini

I did not get around to reading this one, but I will soon. I just need to buy/borrow a copy. I enjoyed Eragon very much.

Cane River by Lalita Tademy

This is the historical fictional account of a real family in Creole Louisiana. It follows a slave family as they strive to improve their situation in life and refuse to be bowed down by their circumstance. Eye-opening and inspiring, but also depressing and discouraging at times. I was not aware of this part of the history of slavery. I would definitely read it if you can find it.

Second Draft of My Life by Sara Lewis

This book is also a decent beach read. Not a great story, by any stretch, but not terrible either. If you come across it you might want to read it, but I wouldn't say you should spend time finding it.

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

I have not finished this one either. Again, the pacing is just not holding my attention. The book is on bestseller lists everywhere and is widely regarded as a snapshot of the culture in Iran, but I just have not been interested. I will keep it on my shelf and revisit it, though, as I know I can learn from it.

Not on my list, but also read was Charlotte's Web. I read this aloud to my kids and we all loved it, of course. I'm also about to finish A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel. A memoir told in short story form, it is very entertaining.

Favorite? The Kite-Runner with the HP books a close second.

Worst? The Little Friend (although that is not entirely fair since I have not finished it).

What did I learn? I still struggle with non-fiction, although I love a well-written memoir. I read a lot of other things that take away from book reading. I try to read the paper daily, and I get several magazines, and I read way too many blogs. :)

Will I participate in the fall? Sure--it makes my habit of neglecting almost everything for the sake of reading seem legitimate.

Head over to Katrina's place for more wrapups and reading lists.


  1. Ha! You made me smile -- neglecting other things because we "have to" work toward our reading challenge goals. Sounds good to me! I'll put down the vacuum and pick up the book. :) Thanks for being part of the Spring Reading Thing.

  2. Loved the Kite Runner and the HP books as well. When your done reading the Lolita one can I borrow it? It's one I keep meaning to read. Have your read Pillars of the Earth yet? Another great one you might like.

  3. I read The Innocent and liked it, too. I'll have to check one of the others you have listed out at the library.

    Emily just finished the Harry Potter books (and is anxiously awaiting the 7th) and hubby is reading the series as well. They both think I should read them, but for some reason I can't bring myself to do it.

  4. The Kite Runner is on my list, too. Maybe I'll add that one to my summer reading challenge.

  5. Our house is looking forward to HP 7. I'm glad you finally read them.

  6. Nice blog..just discovered it!

    God bless

  7. Oh yes--Kite Runner. I keep forgetting. MUST read that this summer.

  8. Kite Runner is great. And HP! So glad you've "converted" to being a fan. :)

    I should do a list like this. I'm not very good at non-fiction, either.

  9. I just brought home a copy of Jewel (which I found for a quarter in our library sale), but I was hesitant. I'm glad to see that you enjoyed it. Thanks!

  10. nice list of books... any thoughts to summer?

    You should really Murakami - he is fantastic, i am on my third book of his in a row, I just can't put him down.

    I adored the Wind Up Bird Chronicle.


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