Sunday, November 16, 2008

Book Report

I try and make one or two trips to the Library each month.  It saves me from mindless tv watching and provides me with something to occupy my "me" time.

On top of that, I just love reading!  Words are so fascinating to me and I enjoy absorbing the wonderful (and sometimes not-so-wonderful) ways that writers string them together.

My usual MO is to go to the Library, return my previous selection then grab a few books at random.  My favorite sections are the New Book and Mystery isles.  I've also discovered the Board Books for check out and it has entertained Jack to no end!  

Given that it is now perfect snuggle-up-inside-with-a-good-book weather, I thought I would pass along some titles that have been entertaining me.  Just because I love you.

Here goes:

Gluten-Free Girl by Shaua James Ahern
I originally picked up this book because my dad has been having some weird medical issues which have been loosely tied to a wheat allergy.  I also have a cousin who has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, the topic of this book.

I'm not sure what I expected, but whatever it was, this book was far, far better.  The author is educated and passionate about sharing her experience with the diagnoses of CD and provides a glimpse of her life as she has embraced a new, gluten-free way of living.

The way she talks about food is beautiful and makes me want to stop by her house for dinner.  The whole thing was totally inspiring and challenged a lot of the ways I view food (she has some good, if not biting, commentary on the American way of eating).

Just be warned, Shauna is so good about touting the joys of gluten-free that you might just want to jump on her ship. I am seriously considering it :-)

The Ridiculous Race by Steve Hely and Vali Chandrasekaran 
This book is hilarious.  Really.  I was reading it in bed one night and burst out laughing.  Andy just looked at me and asked, "How can you laugh at a book?" There are some things that just can't be explained.

The premiss is that Steve and Vali (in real life they are writers for sitcoms) challenge each other to a race around the world without using airplanes. I don't think I would want to be friends with either of the authors, but i sure appreciated their sense of humor and friendly banter.  

How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill
I know that there are many, many thoughts about Starbucks.  Some good, some bad.  I confess that I really love the coffee giant.  I love the weekly planner I bought at Starbucks.  I love my iced Carmel Machiatto.  I love that if my drink tastes weird or isn't what I asked for, it is not rude to ask for it to be fixed.  I love that the baristas engage in conversation.  I love a meeting place that is outside of work or home, but still feels familiar.  On top of all my warm feelings toward SB, I also am completely fascinated with their ability to become such an institution, especially in Seattle.

So when I saw this book, I picked it up immediately.  Turns out, it is not so much about Starbucks, but more about a man's journey to understanding human interaction and satisfaction in life.  

It sounds a little cheesy I guess, and maybe it is a little, but I read it during a week that I was feeling a little blue and  a little discouraged and it kind of snapped me out of it.  It is a quick read and worth the trip to the Library (that totally sounds like a Reading Rainbow sum-up, doesn't it?).

Side Story:
A few quarters ago, Andy was taking a
Children's Literature course for school.
He was supposed to go the the library and
get a book to discuss on an online forum,
but forgot.  So instead he just went to 
Reading Rainbow on the web and listened to
one of the kids read the book out loud.
Oh Andy!

So I had pretty good luck with my non-fiction selection, but my fiction choices were all a little mediocre.

Worth Reading:
Sammy's Hill by Kristen Gore.  Very Funny.  One of my all time favorite novels.  Another laugh-out-loud title.

Patricia Brigg's "Mercy Thompson Novels" These are only worth reading if you kind of like sci-fi/fantsy books, which I admit that I do.  The first book in the series is "Moon Called."

The Next Think on My List by Jill Smolinski.  I'm usually not a big chic lit fan, but I enjoyed this one.  

Don't Bother:
The Snow Empress by Laura Joh Rowland.  Maybe one of the most poorly written historical novels I've ever read.  I kept trying to give the author the benefit of the doubt and assume that it would pick up toward the end, but it didn't.  

I've got another trip planned for this week. Do you have any suggestions for me?

1 comment:

Michelle Ferguson said...

I loved your book recommendations! I am currently looking to stock up on some good reads (fiction and non-fiction) when we are home :) I can't wait! You have wonderful diversity in your choices my friend. And the fact that you enjoy iced caramel machiattos makes it all that much more relatable to me.