Let's Talk About Books Baby!

November

Books Bought:
Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? by Dave Eggers
Merry Christmas: and other Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott
Books Read:
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? by Dave Eggers
 Merry Christmas: and other Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott
Night by Elie Wiesel
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis

This was a most excellent month for reading!  Oh my goodness!  Let's just start at the top of books read and work down.

Freedom what a book!!!  I had heard that Jonathan Franzen would blow my mind, and boy did he!  First of all, this is absolutely without a doubt the book that I wanted to write in 2009.  This book combines all my favorite messed up things like: The Bush Administration and the War on Terror, Washington DC, an unhappy marriage, the realizations that nothing is how you thought it was going to be, the blissful youthful years, the boy you can't have, and how even though it is all painful it is all so achingly beautiful!  I love how you wonder the whole time why is the book called Freedom?  What is the author trying to say?  I will definitely be reading Franzen again, I've heard that The Corrections is a book I need to read, and I believe this so I will be doing this asap!

Now for my boy Eggers, I think it might be time for him to stop coming out with a book a year.  Don't get me wrong, I still liked this book and I still think he's extremely relevant but it's just starting to feel a bit forced.  This book was about a crazy guy kidnapping a bunch of people and asking them questions.  It's hinting at: how do we still go forward when there are so many road blocks to our dreams?  Is it ok for a bunch of police officers to shoot an unarmed teenager?  Do we blame the people from our past for how we've turned out?  It was very philosophical.  All dialogue.  A quick read.  

Louisa May!  Oh goodie!  Reading stories from this woman fills your heart up to the brim until it all runs over and you feel completely toasty, cozy and merry!  These stories remind you of the simple things in life and how delightfully wonderful they can be when we realize we've been taking them for granted.  It also just makes you want to throw open your heart to those less fortunate.  I devoured a story each night from this book for a week.  And everytime it felt like I was sitting by the coziest of fireplaces, by the prettiest of trees, in the cutest pj's possible.  But really it was nothing like that, it's just these stories give you such a warm feeling.  They are a bit elementary, but that's the beauty in them.

To balance out all the merriment I spent a night reading Night by Elie Wiesel.  I know, I know... I should have read this powerful memoir a million years ago.  I'm so very glad that I have now.  Nothing can be said here that hasn't already been said about the Holocaust, Night, or Elie Wiesel.  All I can say is: read it.  If you haven't read it yet, read it.  Here was one of my favorite quotes:


Next up was a book that I had heard about on NPR and that has been selected as the book of the month for this new online book club ran by my dear friend.  Let me just say, I felt like a complete fool, this book takes place in the Antebellum period which is what I spent most of my time studying in my Bachelor's degree in History.  I recognized that Denmark Vesey was a real person being drawn into this historical fiction, but it was only towards the last third of the book that I started thinking... were the Grimke sisters real people?  I googled them and sure enough, (here's where the fool part sets in), not only were they abolitionists but they were HUGE women's rights activists, notorious for their time and very influential on Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (who I remember from classes).  Goodness, I'm sure they must have went over this in the NPR story, but it must have been too long between the time I heard the story and the time that I actually read the book!  Either way, it was a treat to learn more about the sisters (even if their were fictitious elements).

And for my last pick for the month.... The Horse and His Boy.  Now apparently there are three ways in which to read The Chronicles of Narnia (in the order they were written, the order they were published, or the chronological order).  I've heard that my set goes in chronological order, but I am no expert, so I'm not going to confidently state that.  I do know that over a decade ago I read The Magician's Nephew and then The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe to my sister.  We had started The Horse and His Boy but we lost interest... so needless to say I haven't been eager to delve back in.  But in my attempt to move more legitimate authors up my "most read" list on goodreads I figured now was the time to dip my toes back in the water.  It was cute, I can see why kids could get swept up in these books.  I'm not exactly sure how this book parallels or draws from stories from the Bible (aren't all of these supposed to)?  But I'm definitely not an expert on the Bible.  All I can say is, maybe it won't be another decade  before I read Prince Caspian.

That's it for November!  What have you been reading?  What books are you giving as gifts this season?  What books are on your wish list?