Monday, June 25, 2012

First Families - Bonnie Angelo

Remember how much I love the royals? In some ways, this book selection should come as no surprise. The families of our presidents are often viewed as a type of American royalty.  They are, after all, the closest we are going to get; and they are fascinating.  Maybe it's the mystical crossing of politics and celebrity that capture my attention.  Whatever it is, I cannot turn down a read about the personal details of a public figure - even when the book is badly written.  Case in point: First Families.

Friday, June 22, 2012


At the start of 2012, I set out to read 52 books this year.  I just finished book #26, marking the halfway point.  At this point, I am about one week ahead of schedule, which feels good.  I wanted to take a few moments and reflect on the journey thus far.

It has been a very exciting year for me.  New job, engagement, planning a wedding, finding our first home.  I will not pretend that those things have not been the highlight; they have. Yet, in the moments when I catch my breath and have time to indulge, even just for a moment, I have found myself reaching for a book.  I have always loved to read, but as any student will tell you, the required reading of high school and college courses leaves you with little desire to read in your free time.  I still read an adequate amount during those years, but when I was in the mood, I knew that it was better to pick up that textbook.  Now, two years out from the completion of my undergraduate, the sheer pleasure of reading has returned.  This challenge began with me spending time with books because I was motivated to meet my goal for the week; it has become so much more.  I spend time thinking and analyzing each work I read.  I have rediscovered my love for writing.  My worldview is ever expanding and maturing thanks to the variety of literature I engage. As I mentioned in a previous post, my TV time fallen markedly since the start of the year.  I love that reading is a hobby that doesn't just take my time - it gives back to me in a plethora of ways.  As Henry David Thoreau said, 
"A truly good book reaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting."  
I could extoll the virtues of reading for ages.  I know, however, that at the end of the day, what will convince you most is to pick up a book for yourself.  I truly believe that there is a niche out there for everyone.  Just because you have not found yours yet does not mean you should dismiss reading as unenjoyable.  Keep searching and you will be rewarded.  For those who are already as passionate as I am about reading, please send me your suggestions.  You can see my "to-read" list here.  Any genre is fair game.  I am "always looking for the book it is necessary to read next." (Saul Bellow) 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan

I feel as though I have been neglecting you terribly.  I have missed writing in this blog with the consistency that I did earlier in the year.  Take heart in knowing that I am still reading avidly.  I have hit another point in this challenge where I am immersed in several thick volumes; therefore, I am not finishing things quickly.  It is a frustrating point in regard to the blog, but know that I am enjoying what I am reading and cannot wait to tell you all about it.

The Lightning Thief was an easy, quick diversion from the tomes weighing down my nightstand.  It was not anything spectacular or particularly original, but it was not unenjoyable either.  Apparently the book sprung from the bedtime stories that Rick Riordan would tell his son about the characters of Greek mythology.  When he ran out of classic tales, he made up Percy Jackson and told his son about Percy's modern-day interactions with the Greek myths.  After prodding from his enamored child, Riordan turned his bedtime tales first into this novel, and then into a series. (Warning: Spoilers Ahead)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Litigators - John Grisham

The Litigators

If you read my last post, you already know that Kevin and I listened to this book together during our dual Michigan trips.  It's proven difficult to finish it up since, when not traveling, most of the time we spend in the car is short trips.  With the help of a multitude of wedding errands, though, we brought this case to a close. (Yes, that was a terrible law pun.  Please forgive me.)  I had never read a whole Grisham novel before, despite my former roommate's penchant for them, so this was a new experience for me.  It was also really interesting for Kevin and I to "read" a book together and be able to observe how we think about and react differently to the story.