Book Review(s) #1

8 Mar

2011 was a good year for reading, and finding myself single has opened up some time in my schedule for the additional consumption of literature. My last relationship opened my eyes to the wonders of non-fiction books. So while the relationship is over, my new found interest moves on!

Of note, some books I really enjoyed in 2011 (both fiction and non-fiction):

  • The Hunger Games -Trilogy by Suzanne Collins – who didn’t love these books?
  • “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” – by Mindy Kalling. Now, I was never really a fan of The Office (I know, I am a horrible, horrible human. I lie about it when people ask me. The truth is out). This book is fucking hilarious. Go read it.
  • When you’re done reading that book, pick up a copy of “Bossypants,” by Tina Fey. She kills me.
  • For something a little more serious, try “Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith.”
    by Jon Krakauer. There’s a lot of data to move through, and quotes from other historical books dealing with the Mormon faith, but this is a really interesting read about a culture often shrouded in secrecy.
  • “Son of Hamas” – by Mosan Hassan Yousef. This book came courtesy of a recommendation – but it’s what got me hooked on the non-fiction… If the Middle East is of any interest to you – read this.
  • When you’re done, read: “Children of Jihad.” – This was a great follow-up book by a completely different author. This was the book I finished 2011 with.

Since I was single before the end of January, I began 2012 by going into the bookstore with the following ideas in mind: Blood, death, torture, anger. No books with happy, lovey-dovey couples on the cover, or people frolicking through fields. Ew.

  • I discovered an author by the name of Linwood Barclay as a referral from a Chapters employee (THANK YOU, Whoever you are!). I would highly recommend any of his books – especially his newer ones. His first books are a little rougher around the edges, but “Never Look Away,” was one of the BEST thriller books I’ve read in a very long time. I have now read all of his books!
  • I also read “Divergent” – by Virginia Roth. It’s supposed to be the NEXT BIG THING. We’ll see. I liked it. I’ll read the second one when it comes out.

My birthday’s in June, Hannukah is in December and so I chose my gifts in January in the form of my very own Kobo e-reader. I was a little nervous about making the switch from actual book to small, electronic reading device. I was also sad about my growing book collection being contained within this mystical inanimate object. Verdict: I ❤ my Kobo.

My kobo - relaxing in Ft. Lauderdale with a coffee. February 2012.

I’m the proud owner of a whole bunch of new books! I’ve read most of them already….

  • “Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots” – by Deborah Feldman. At times, the author comes across as unskilled writer, but then that’s the beauty of the book, isn’t it? What she goes through in so few years, forced to be an adult at 17 and finding the courage to leave the only thing she knows behind. If you’ve ever been curious about the Ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn, this is a must-read.
  • “The Other Daughter” – by Lisa Gardner. Meh. Nothing special. Easy read.
  • “The Descendants” – by Kaui Hart Hemmings. This was a case of reading the book instead of watching the movie. I’m so glad I read the book. I know George Clooney is great, but Shailene Woodley from “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.” I just can’t… The book takes place over a very short period of time, but really allows for character development. I was sad when it was over.
  • “I’ve Got Your Number” – by Sophie Kinsella. Queen of chick lit. I picked this up at the end of my blood, torture, and anti-romance bender. It’s light and fluffy, but perfect to read on the beach in the Bahamas. Speaking of which – the Bahamas are a magical place to spend all your money and get kissed by married men. That’s a story for another day.
  • I got a free book from the good folks at Kobo. The first in a series… You see that’s how they get you. Like a good drug dealer, the first one is free! The writing is nothing spectacular, but the story revolves around a group a friends that meet in graduate skill and of course they are all geniuses and work to help save the world in the late 30’s and then the 40’s. Captain Planet without the costumes? The author is Gordon Zuckerman. The first book is called “Fortunes of War.”

So that’s it for now. I’m in the middle of Zuckerman’s second book, and then I’ll be going back to non-fiction for a bit. More reviews to come.

Please comment – good or bad! I don’t want to feel like I am writing to myself. That’s what my diary is for.

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3 Responses to “Book Review(s) #1”

  1. Persnickety Reader March 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    You remind me that I must read more non-fiction! I have a long list…

  2. davidwallacefleming March 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    I’m glad you like your Kobo. E-reading devices do have their advantages. I’ve found Goodreads to be a good place to discover new writers.

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