Books!

Monday, January 5, 2015


Happy new year! I am so glad that the new year is here. The last few months of this year have felt heavy for me and I feel like I've just been drudging through under the weight of it all.  Every once in awhile I think there comes a time that you need to dump the box that you call your life over and sort through it. And while coming to the realization that it's time for me to do this has been a little overwhelming to say the least (i hate even having to clean out a literal box), I am really excited for the new year and the good things to come. There is a lot to say about all of that but I will save it for another time. 

One of my favorite ways to reflect on the past year and plan out my new year is through the books that I read and have plans to read in the coming year. This last year I participated in the goodreads book challenge. I decided to make a goal of 30 books to read in 2014, though a few of them that I marked as 'read' were comics, a couple of them were mammoths like the fifth book in the Game of Throne series, so I figured it all balanced out with a grand total of 32.   

The books you see here were the ones that stuck with me most after I finished them, and a few of those are ones I still think about today.  

The Enchanted has to be the book I absolutely loved the most and I think will remain an all-time favorite. It was haunting and beautiful. I read it in one sitting and I am so glad I did (I think it's definitely a book best read one-sitting). And I don't say this often, but I know I will read this one again. As soon as I was done I wanted to just go back and read it again immediately. 

I kept seeing Me Before You everywhere, and one day I picked it up on a whim. When I got home and saw her vast collection of 'romance-type' novels I was pretty certain I'd made a mistake. But, as far as simply being a book, which tells a story, it was a good one. It is a love-story, though not typical at all. One of the characters is a quadriplegic, and having an aunt that I cared for for a few years who had also suffered a terrible accident and was left a quadriplegic, it turned out to be a pretty emotional read for me. I was entirely impressed by her research. The truth of the complex issues, both emotional and physical, that such an injury has on, not only the injured, but those who love them. 

One of my favorite things in the world is when someone gives you a book that you might not pick up on your own, but they know you'd appreciate. When I met Ruth this summer, she brought me the book Galveston, and it was such a good read. I've since loaned it to two other people who both really liked it as well. 

A Tale For The Being is another book I wouldn't mind putting on my to-reread list, though I probably won't because it's so rare that I ever do (so many books to read!). It was heartbreaking and magical, a sort of modern-day fable that deals with many very difficult and complex issues, but in a most honest, pure, and beautiful way. 

While I didn't give Life After Life five stars, the fact that I read 500 plus pages in less than 24 hours, I have to say it obviously pulled me in. The storyline was unique in a way that didn't feel forced or pretentious, and her descriptions of WW II era England were most disturbing in their quiet accounts and descriptions, and some of the best I have ever read. 

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena  was one where my heart felt like it was being picked apart page by page. But by the end my chest was fuller than it was before. There were so many sentences that I read over and over again, just to make sure I fully absorbed their beauty. And as soon as I finished the book I went back to my dog eared pages to re-read them one more time.

I already have a big stack from Christmas (on top of the other big stacks I've collected over the years) to read in this coming year. I started with Wild (which much to my happy surprise isn't nearly as pretentious as, eat, pray, love, which i was afraid of and have thus had avoided it up till now). Next in line are a few of the other books I got for christmas like: Everything I Never Told YouThe Martian, and All The Light We Cannot See. Did you have any favorites in 2014? Any good ones you are reading now?

18 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, Christine! I always appreciate your book recommendations, although I have to admit I'm not that into fiction at the moment (I read any book I can put my hands on, but fiction). I know it will come back to me one day.

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    1. thanks ada! i go in waves in what i am drawn to reading too. and happy new year xx

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  2. I mostly read to fall asleep at night, so my reading goes rather slowly. But that's okay. I did get a lot of reading done over our New Year's trip, and that was nice. Relaxing stuff for the most part, although one book had a sudden ending that I didn't like so much. I'm finally reading Tomlinson Hill after hearing about it on NPR ages ago and so far it's living up to the press. Happy New Year, my friend. New years, like new brooms, sweep clean. XO

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    1. i fall asleep when i read too, so unless i spend time during the day reading i read at a snails pace. I've never heard of Tomlinson Hill, I will have to check that out! And, yes, happiest of new years, friend. xoxo

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  3. This is super petty of me, but I can't bring myself to buy/read "Me Before You" because the cove is so atrociously ugly. But you said it was good, so I might have to find a European paperback release (usually the covers are different because of international copyright laws). I've heard such good things about "Life After Life" too that I might have to give it a go! I read a book this weekend, so I'm already one step closer to my (much shortened) goal for 2015. xo

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    1. well the writer is english and i believe both versions have the same cover. maybe life after life is the better choice ;) xo

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  4. I really liked Life After Life as well. Not five stars, but still very good. "Replay" by Ken Grimwood is in a similar vein...but also very very good. 'Might be worth a try.

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  5. Happy happy new year! I love a good read and Enchanted is next on my list!

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  6. I am so impressed with all of you who have averaged two or more books a month. I am slow to finish books, but have "resolved" to read more and write less. for me, one really seems to enhance the other. ;)
    after reading your review, i'm super intrigued by enchanted

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  7. I'm so glad that you enjoyed Galveston! I finally got A Tale for the Time Being on your recommendation and loved it so much. I just finished Boys in the Boat (set in Washington). I think you'd like that one, particularly as it speaks so highly about the Pacific Northwest. We are kindred spirits for sure my dear, both starting our year off with books!

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  8. Hi Christine! I was just updating my Goodreads booklist and wondering what I wanted to,get into next. I will add them to my library requests and see what turns up! I read Me Before You reluctantly this past fall; but, I ended up really liking it.
    Regards,
    Kim (ig: we_are_blessed)

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  9. as if my reading list wasn't long enough yet... xoxo

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  10. it seems like life has been hard on you a lot these last few months :( it makes me sad to see you bummed. i do hope that this next year brings you so much good. and in the meantime, if it doesn't, let's get lost in another good book. xo

    since you recommended the enchanted to me, i sent myself a preview on my kindle until i can hit up the bookstore :) descriptive words like "haunting" and "beautiful" remind me of the night circus and i fell into that wonderful world.

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  11. Seriously my stack of books keeps getting bigger and bigger! I have 4 books to read for reviews, my mother in law bought me the Maze Runner series, and my coworkers in loaning me two books! Eek!

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  12. Yay! for books. I just picked up the lowland, but I haven't picked up any amazing books recently. I also have been known to save books when I know they are really good for vacation. :) reading is always good goal.

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  13. Nothing quite like a new year to clear out the cobwebs of your life! I think I am probably the only person who is pledging to read less in the new year. I find myself picking up junk and then becoming totally absorbed in it and leaving the dishes to pile up in the sink and the nail polish to remain chipped on my finger nails. I think one book a month might be a good starting point for me. The Enchanted has just made it's way onto my Kindle!

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