Wednesday, January 23, 2008

No WhiningToday

I know, you can't believe it right? I'm not going to whine about my job or my kids. Shocker of all shockers. I am going to do a book review, which I haven't done in awhile.

My recent reads include:

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - I think this may just be my new favorite book. (my previous favorite book was Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty.) This book is about an elderly man in a hospital and his remembering back to his time as a young man who cared for animals on a traveling circus. This was just an awesome book - I got so wrapped up in the characters.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield - This was also an enjoyable book where a young woman goes to write the biography of a writer and she uncovers all of her secrets.

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella - This is probably the fluffiest of all the books I read in this list. It was a funny beach read. Not terribly deep, but good for a vacation read. It is a humorous account about a financial magazine writer who is deep in debt and her attempt to climb out of it. This is the first in a sequel.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - this book horrified me. I loved it, and it opened my eyes to the brutal treatment of Afghanistan women. It made me want to DO something. Not many books touch me like this one did. But, it is definitely not a light and happy read.

World Without End by Ken Follett - This was somewhat of a follow on book to Pillars of the Earth and this one takes place 300 years later. This was long, but I listened to it while quilting when I was on vacation. This takes place in the 1300s in England where a builder, a nun and a monk are the center of the storyline. One of the primary themes through the book was the Black Plague, this was interesting to read about - I did quite a bit of research after this book to learn more. I can't imagine if a third of our population was just wiped out by some random virus. *shutter* Can you imagine the devastation it would have on the economy? This really happened - it's just flabbergasting to me (flabbergasting is my word of the day.)

Second Glance by Jodi Picoult - I haven't quite finished this one yet, but I'm very much enjoying it. I think that Jodi Picoult is probably one of my favorite authors. She always has a great story to tell and every book has some really tough topics to deal with. This one in particular isn't quite like her other ones, this one is a classic ghost story. There are many characters in the beginning and they are all brought together very eloquently at the end. This one is a hard one for me to put down.

Radical Leap by Steve Farber - my one and only non-fiction book in the list. This is a leadership book that was given to me by a former employee. You know, if someone that USED to work for me gives me a book and tells me I really ought to read it - I do. *laugh* I have read a LOT of leadership and management books - this one was certainly different than any of the others. It was more of a story and was an extremely easy read. Weird for a leadership book (sort of felt like a Parable - read a story, learn a lesson.) But, it had some good stuff in it. Actually, it is the first book that really jives with how I feel leaders and managers SHOULD be.

Big City Eyes by Delia Ephron - Pretty fluffy. Sort of a mystery / thriller book, sort of a romance book. I don't think it could really figure out what it was. I wouldn't wholeheartedly recommend this one.

That's all - if you choose any of the above to read - pick Water for Elephants. I listened to this one and the narration was absolutely phenomenal. I can't recommend it enough. But, all the above books are all in very different genres - and all had their good qualities.

That's all for tonight.

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