I am an avid reader - last year I read 114 books. I do count chapter books that I read aloud with my older boys - I do not count picture books with the younger boys! I also only count cookbooks if I actually sat down and read through them. This does not happen often, but it does happen!
Ikeep a "Library List" in excel of the books I want to read - when I see a review, or someone gives me a recomendation I log it there. Then when I have time I check the local libraries' online catalogs, and note who has it (or if it is going to be interlibrary loan). I also use paperbackswap and bookmooch to trade books - I've gotten hundred of books in the last few years, and traded away almost as many. This is great for getting books for my sons' school, also.
After I read a book I log it on my Reading List and yes, I am obsessive enough to rate my books, 1-5.
I thought I'd post a few of the books I enjoyed in December, and every month I'll post the previous months' reviews.
48 Liberal Lies About American History (That You Probably Learned In School – 3 – Larry Schweikart – some of it was very interesting, some sleep-inducing. I’d recommend it for someone who is just beginning to understand the liberal bias that is prevalent in our history texts. Good start for those interested in learning our history from a conservative perspective.
Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and American in Iran – 3 – it was okay – it was really a lot of navel-gazing. I kept reading thinking I was getting to the good part.
Deeper Water – 4 – Robert Whitlow – homeschooled law student (Tammy/Tami) from very conservative rural family (dresses only, no cutting hair, etc.) takes a summer clerk position in a prestigious law firm. Actually, the girl’s story is interesting and her faith and the way her heart is and her personal convictions are very inspiring. The story as a crime/courtroom thriller – not so hot. First in a series, slight cliffhanger. Read this for my church book club. Overall, the book club gave it a 3.5. It did spark some really good discussion, too.
I have read other books by Whitlow – some were better courtroom stories, but this really gave you an opportunity to get to know Tammy and what makes her tick.
The Tale of Despereaux – 4.5 – Kate DiCamillo – excellent story of a young mouse with exceptionally large ears who becomes a hero. Read aloud with my older boys and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.
How Dolly Parton Saved My Life: A Novel of the Jelly Jar Sisterhood – 4.75 – Charlotte Connors – fun, fun story. I liked this on so many levels. One that really stood out – Christian mothers, having to constantly defend and explain why they are working outside of the home, as they try to build a family-friendly business, where the kids are always welcome and family comes first. We moms seem to be divided so much on this issue, and it gets so personal – so dogmatic at times. It was interesting to read another perspective and to maybe (just maybe!) think that the way my family does things might not be the way for every family. I also enjoyed the story of the character who was a new Christian, and she did not dress like the ladies at her church, and her daughter did not fit in, either. Sometimes it is so good to get a stereotype slapped upside the head. Good clean, funny story. Sort of like Yada Yada Prayer Group, but lighter - more about the interaction of the characters. Looking forward to the rest of the series.
Do The Right Thing – 4 – Mike Huckabee – insider’s view of his campaign, and his plan to get America back on track – very interesting and fast-paced. I agreed with almost everything.
The Shape of Mercy – 5- Susan Meissner – excellent story of a rich college girl who takes a job transcribing a diary written by one of the victims of the Salem witch trials. The story is not so much about the witch trials, as it is about the three women (Lauren the student, Abigail the elderly employer and Mercy, the diarist) and how their lives are intertwined, and about the presumptions and judgments we make about others. Read it in about 24 hours –stayed up past midnight to finish.
The Howards of Caxley – 4 – Miss Read – I have read all her Fair Acre and Thrush Green books, and now the two Caxley Chronicles. I am so going to miss my villages in the Cotswolds.
Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil – 4.25 – Nancy Atherton – more ghostly adventures with Aunt Dimity. I like how she manages to wrap a ghost story and a love story into each one.
Wishful Drinking – 1.25 – Carrie Fisher. I almost had to revise my “worst book of the year” nomination. I was really looking forward to this, and it was horrible. Totally disjointed and hard to follow, and filled with profanity and graphic sexual comments that really had no place in the story, other than to let us know that Carrie Fisher is a very crude person. Oh, and she hates George W. Bush, and only likes one Republican, but he’s dead now. No insight into her mental illness, no structured storyline of her journey – just a bunch of one-liners about peoples’ sex lives and drug use; sarcastic biting remarks about her father, etc. I was expecting something with some sort of triumph, or encouragement for others suffering – this was just a gobbledygook of “look how clever and smart-mouthed I am”. Extremely disappointing. I kept reading it, thinking we’d get past this and get to the recovery part.