Sunday, August 28, 2011

Next Book?

Here are pictures of all the books listed on the poll, that you guys want to see posted on here. Hopefully if we get enough followers, maybe we can even start a book club and have a discussion about all the books we read. That would be ultra-cool. :)

1) The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This book was made into a film and recently came out in theaters. I haven't seen it yet, but when I do, I'll let you know if it was worth seeing.

2) The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

This book has also been made into a movie, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

3) The Princess by Lori Wick

This book is by a Christian author, and that does play into her writing a lot, but I don't think it ruins the plotline or anything. It's definitely worth reading.

4) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

This book is also a film, and both moved me to tears. I recommend reading the book before watching the movie though, as I always do. The film did the book a fair justice though. It was very well done. If you've seen the movie, I definitely recommend reading the book -- it's even better.

5) A Man Without A Country by Kurt Vonnegut

He also wrote Slaughterhouse Five if any of you read that. I haven't read either of them, but I definitely want to. They're both on my list.

6) Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

Another book recommended to me by my English teacher of last year. It's supposed to be highly entertaining.

7) Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Everyone I know who's read this book has really enjoyed it.

8) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

A classic I have yet to read.

9) Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Another recommendation.

10) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shafer and Annie Barrows

One of the best books I have ever read, hands down! It was recommended to me by Kelsey, and I loved every minute of it.

11) The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Another recommendation from Kelsey.

12) Peace Like A River by Leif Enger

Kelsey gives fabulous book recommendations. 

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Last night I read a book given to me by my good friend Kelsey, who I'm glad to say loves reading just as much as I do. Every book she's recommended to me, I've loved, honest to Betsy. I couldn't sleep, so I ended up staying up and reading this book all the way through, that's how good it was. It's A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly.

I really loved this book because it had a really great plot line, the main character's situation was believable, and this story could have been someone's actual life. It's also a completely original idea, not another spin-off of vampires and werewolves (aren't we all sick of that?).

Here's they synopsis from the back of the book, since the one from Amazon gave too much away (at least, I felt like it did):

"The widely acclaimed, award-winning story of a young woman who finds her voice. 

Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. Desperate for money, she takes a job at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown asks her to burn a bundle of secret letters. But when Grace's drowned body is fished from the lake, Mattie discovers the letters reveal the grim truth behind a murder. 

Set in 1906 against the backdrop o f the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, this astonishing novel weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, real, and wholly original."

Now, if you're thinking you don't want to read this book because it's historical fiction, stop right there. This doesn't read like a text book, or like David McCullough's 1776, although that was a good book too. The writing is believable, the plotline is far from laughable, and there are good morals you can learn from this story too. All that aside, if you're just looking for a good read, or something to pass the time, definitely pick this book up. But if you're not into women standing up for themselves and finding themselves a place in this world alongside working men, this book probably isn't for you.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Rating: 4/5 stars

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

A few days ago I read The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. It was recommended to me by my English teacher last year, and I must say, it was an excellent recommendation.

For those of you who haven't heard of this book, it's a novel compiled of a series of short stories. But they all connect with each other, making one big story. It's really a brilliant idea. Tim O'Brien is a Vietnam veteran, and these short stories are all based off his experiences in Vietnam.

Here's a synopsis I pulled off the web:

"One of the first questions people ask about The Things They Carried is this: Is it a novel, or a collection of short stories? The title page refers to the book simply as "a work of fiction," defying the conscientious reader's need to categorize this masterpiece. It is both: a collection of interrelated short pieces which ultimately reads with the dramatic force and tension of a novel. Yet each one of the twenty-two short pieces is written with such care, emotional content, and prosaic precision that it could stand on its own.

The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and of course, the character Tim O'Brien who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three. They battle the enemy (or maybe more the idea of the enemy), and occasionally each other. In their relationships we see their isolation and loneliness, their rage and fear. They miss their families, their girlfriends and buddies; they miss the lives they left back home. Yet they find sympathy and kindness for strangers (the old man who leads them unscathed through the mine field, the girl who grieves while she dances), and love for each other, because in Vietnam they are the only family they have.
 We hear the voices of the men and build images upon their dialogue. The way they tell stories about others, we hear them telling stories about themselves.

With the creative verve of the greatest fiction and the intimacy of a searing autobiography, The Things They Carried  is a testament to the men who risked their lives in America's most controversial war. It is also a mirror held up to the frailty of humanity. Ultimately The Things They Carried and its myriad protagonists call to order the courage, determination, and luck we all need to survive." 

Here's the url if any of you are interested in reading it on your own, or buying it off Amazon:

I won't give away any spoilers on here, but I will say this. This book can change your life. It moved me to tears, and I was crying -- more like on the verge of bawling -- for a good half hour. You can't put this book down. O'Brien has so many life-lessons in this book, and you can learn so many things from reading it. I recommend it to everyone, honestly. It's not graphic, the only content is a bit of swearing, but nothing extreme. It's not like any other war story I've ever read. 

So read it! And if you like it, let me know. Or if you hated it, let me know. I want to know what you all thought of this book, and if it was worth your time; it was definitely worth mine. 


Rating: 5/5 stars

For All Those Out There Who Love Reading Just as Much as I Do...

Well, this blog is going to be about (can you guess?) books. I'm such a nerd if you haven't gathered that already. I LOVE to read. I read pretty much every single day, every opportunity I get. I also love to write.

I'm taking an AP Language-Composition class this year, and I'm so excited! My teacher seems like she's a nerd just like me: loves words, writing, the art of how a sentence is phrased, reading; I could go on and on.

So this has brought me to create a blog just for books. On here I'll post after I've read a book, what I thought about it, and whether I recommend it or not. Also, if any of you have any book suggestions for me, you can comment or shoot me an email, and hopefully you'll see a post on that book soon.

So I hope you all enjoy reading this, and hopefully you find at least one good book to read.