Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A few book reviews

I've been doing a lot of reading lately, and I want to start reviewing more of what I read on here. Most of what I decide to read is based on reviews I read on other blogs, so I thought I'd start throwing my own thoughts out there too. A few words of warning though: I don't rate books based on how much of a literary masterpiece they are - rather I just share what either holds my interest from start to finish (the mark of a good book to me!) or what I had a hard time getting through (as much as I may have wanted to like it!). I hope that will be helpful to any of you who like to read and share my taste in books.

1. Girl in Translation - I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is one of my two favorite novels I've read in the  last year (the other is below!). It is the story of a immigrant teenage girl from China as she adjusts to life in New York. It wasn't necessarily a book that sounded all that interesting to me at first, but the writing is so good it will draw you in! I couldn't put it down.

Rating: 4.5/5

2. Kisses from Katie - If you only read one book this year, read this one! It is such an inspiring story of Katie, who grew up in a very wealthy neighborhood and was both homecoming queen and senior class president and decided to forego college to move to Uganda after high school. She's since adopted 14 girls. Watch the video below to hear Katie in her own words.

Rating: 5/5

3. The End of Normal - Stephanie Madoff was married to Mark Madoff, Bernie Madoff's son who committed suicide last year. This is the story of the Madoff family and their unraveling from her perspective. I got this one on my kindle from the library and couldn't put it down and read it in about a day. I thought it was fascinating. That said, I've never read another memoir in which I like the person less after reading it. Stephanie doesn't paint herself as a saint, at least in my opinion.

Rating: 4/5

4. A Praying Life - My sister read this book and liked it so much she gave it to me for my birthday. I thought it was excellent. Sometimes nonfiction Christian books can be a little dry and take me forever to finish, but this was an easy read, with really good things to say. In fact, I plan to read it again this year.

Rating: 4/5

5. The Soldier's Wife - This novel is set on Guernsey Island during World War II. It is the story of Vivienne, who falls in love with a German soldier who has moved in next door. I wanted to like this book, but it moved way too slowly for me. I kept waiting for the pace to pick up, but it never did.

Rating: 2/5

6. These is my Words - I LOVED this - it may be my favorite novel that I've read this past year! It is set at the end of the 1800's in the time of Little House on the Prairie. It is based on the author's great-grandmother, Sarah Prine. I loved Sarah, and even weeks after finishing this one I am still thinking about these characters...it is a story that will stay with you.

Rating: 5/5

7. Two Kisses for Maddy - This is a memoir written by a husband whose wife tragically died the day after giving birth to their first daughter. I couldn't put this down. A few warnings though: It was incredibly sad, but for a different reason than you may think. Neither the husband nor wife were believers - the husband didn't want God even mentioned at the funeral. Another warning: this guy uses terrible language, to the point it was distracting.

Rating: 3/5

8. Shanghai Girls - This is the story of two sisters who emigrate from China to the US in the 1930's. This was the first Lisa See novel I've read, and I didn't love it. I honestly tried to just finish it quickly so I could go on to the next book (I've got a VERY long "to read" list). I've heard Snowflower and the Secret Fan is better though, so I may give it a try.

Rating: 2/5

9. The Everygirl's Guide to Life - I just happened to see this at the library and it looked interesting. I like Maria Menounos, and I thought this book was pretty interesting. She is very organized and has good ideas and tips on everything from decorating, organization, clothes, makeup and hair, finances, etc. I actually took her advice on some makeup that she swears by (Eve Pearl concealer), and I love it too!

Rating: 3.5/5 

10. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - This is the true story of Henrietta Lacks, who died in the 50's of cancer. Before she died, doctors took cells from her that have been used for all kinds of breakthroughs in medicine, including the cure for polio. And yet Henrietta's family continues to this day to live in extreme poverty. I thought the story was interesting, but after all the hype about this book it honestly wasn't the easiest book in the world to get through. If you like true stories and have an interest in the medical field, you will probably really like this!

Rating: 3/5

What are you reading? If you read something I may like, let me know! I LOVE getting recommendations!


geeky Heather said...[Reply to comment]

Have you read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? (I'm linking to goodreads so that you will join! =) It was written before Soldier's Wife, so I'm not sure if Soldier's Wife was using ideas from that book. It's an epistolary novel, so it's very fun to read.

I also really enjoyed The Sweetest Thing, about an Atlanta girl whose life is permanently altered by the Great Depression and the arrival of an itinerant preacher's daughter.

Miller said...[Reply to comment]

Thanks so much for the recommendations Heather! I did read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and thought it was better than the Soldier's Wife. The Sweetest Thing sounds really interesting, I am going to check it out. And I should have mentioned that I do use Goodreads - if you click on "What I'm Reading" on the right, I think it will take you to my account.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...