05.16.12 Personal

Good Reads : Looking For Alaska

W
e came home from Cancun and hit the ground running. And by running I mean that I wouldn't be surprised if someone sprinted behind me, handed me a baton and pointed to the finish line. Why, yes, I just made myself the anchor in this pretend relay race because SHORT GIRLS CAN DREAM, RIGHT?!

I'm working for a portion of this morning then taking the afternoon off to read. Or train for a 4x400 relay race. Whichever comes first.


Speaking of reading, here's a list of Good Reads I recently enjoyed and if you carve out time this summer for a literary splurge, I think you may enjoy a few of these...

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. When a dear friend recommended I read it, I was little leery because I'm not into stories that teeter on fairytale fiction, but this was a pleasant surprise. The writing is fluid and the story intrigued me from start to finish, even causing me to forego episodes of reality t.v. I know, RIGHT?! Who am I?! The end left me with lots of questions, but I think it's part of the lure and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I can't express how many people said I should read this book and I'm happy I finally made it priority. It's a simple read, but the premise was profound in the deepest of ways. It focuses on love--specifically God's love--and while I anticipated lots of warm&fuzzy, remedial quips, the questions Chan poses and answers have left an indelible impression. Weeks after I finished it, and I'm still thinking about it...so worth the read!

The Shoemaker's Wife by Ariana Trigiani. My sister gave this book to me for our birthday (we're twins) and it's such a my-sister book. That won't make sense unless you know Bianca, but she's the nicer, softer one in our duo and her book choices reflect it. She was the girl who stayed in bed for days to read The Help and Twilight, so to say our literary choices are different would be an understatement. More like polar opposites. But I'm happy with her gift because it was a delightful story and a quick read. It's loosely based on Trigiani's grandparents' love story and immigration from Italy and I enjoyed the pleasant read.

Looking For Alaska by John Green. And, whoa. This book? I loved it to a thousand pieces. I mean, yes, the story was good, but the over-arching theme deals with struggle, pain, and death, which sounds dark, but it's a teen fiction novel so Green does a great job keep things light yet asks deep questions. As each character works through his or her Labyrinth, their lives change and they're forced to grow up and see life in a new way.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. I usually only read books recommended by friends, but surfing Amazon.com one afternoon brought me to this book and it had great reviews. On a whim, I purchased it, but when it arrived I was shocked to see its size. It's about 550 pages and though I was a tad skeptical diving in, I'm glad I did. Morton's writing is solid and she does a great job painting the story with words (hence the size), but the way she weaves three different stories into one is delicious. At the end of the day, a granddaughter discovers her grandmother's missing identity and rediscovers herself in the process too. It held my attention through the entirety of the read and though it reads like a chick flick, it was lovely diversity to what's on my bookshelf. Totally enjoyed it.

Happy Wednesday!
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Todd Barnett - I saw this title and was like...WHAT!!! J* and JD are coming to Alaska??? Then I realized it was just a book :(   06.03.12 - 2:03pm
Misty - You should try Same Kind of Different As Me. One of the most inspiring books I've read in a long time. A true story.  06.03.12 - 7:35am
Amanda - I love when you post these book lists! There were several on the list I have not read and I was able to put them all on hold at the library. Thanks for the suggestions  05.17.12 - 1:39pm
Sunday Grant - I love reading your book reviews. I feel like you were the kid in school who always had the best book reports where mine followed exactly the guideline with no expansion....the protagonist was Emily. It was a good book. The end. Have you read winter's garden? So good!  05.17.12 - 5:18am
Amelia Rhea - man... you read quite a good deal. I find that my attention span has shortened as I grow older. Makes it harder for me to concentrate on a book!  05.16.12 - 9:33pm
Mayra Fiori - Crazy Love! I have heard so many wonderful things about that one. I should definitely finish two books I started and have not finished...or should I start that one too?? I kid. =) That one is next on my list.  05.16.12 - 2:55pm
Megan@COUTUREmotion Films - How do you have time to read?  05.16.12 - 12:27pm
B - WHAT'S WRONG WITH STAYING IN BED ALL DAY TO READ? Oh that's right, I was in a foreign country with heaps to do but I thought vampires from Forks was way more interesting. ;) I love you to the North Pole. Love, The South Pole  05.16.12 - 12:18pm
Haley Johnston - If I had the time this summer I would read all of these. If I can get a hold of one and finish it, I'd call it success! Thanks for the recommendations!   05.16.12 - 12:06pm
Ashley Goodwin - Hi. I don't see Harry Potter on this list. JASMINE.   05.16.12 - 12:06pm
Claudia - Always looking forward to your good reads' post.  05.16.12 - 11:10am
Alicia - I have to comment and say that you got the author of The Forgotten Garden wrong. Her last name is Morton. I loved the book, it took a while for me to become part of the web that the author wove, but it was worth the effort. I love the part where Francis Hodgson Burnett made an appearance and comments something about "Ooh, a forgotten garden, how interesting!". So clever and it still makes me laugh! Another book by Morton is House at Riverton Place and I liked it even better. I highly recommend it!  05.16.12 - 10:48am
Shane - You should do a 4x100... shorter race! :) More time to read!  05.16.12 - 10:06am
Jessica Chavez - Thank you for the recommendations!!! I need a few books for my trip to Europe. This came at the perfect time!  05.16.12 - 10:02am
molly - AH. we read "Crazy Love" in my small group last year and i loved it. and i loved how it made me question my own faith on a daily basis - how am i growing? how can I serve and love people more? etc. LOVED it.  05.16.12 - 9:55am
Sabrina - Wow... I love to read. And one day I'll find the time again! Can I get a library card to your library please? If the application fee is cupcakes with sprinkles, I'm totally good for it!  05.16.12 - 9:51am
Colleen - opppsss...sorry....it's Kate MORTON if anyone is looking for Distant Hours or Forgotten Garden :-). Also, The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is in the same vein of writing.  05.16.12 - 9:47am
ursula - To be honest, I kind of dread you posts about books - my wishliat at Amazon keeps growing and growing every time! ;)  05.16.12 - 9:45am
Colleen - we seem to have similar taste...please do also read Kate Morgan's The Distant Hours...really great. I agree on the others! Thanks for ALL the great recommendations you always give....on reading, photography, and marketing. I so appreciate you!  05.16.12 - 9:41am
Danielle - I LOVED The Forgotten Garden. I read the rest of her novels too and they're all great!  05.16.12 - 9:32am
Donna - My mother-in-law gave me crazy love one year for Valentine's day....I have yet to read it! I'll put it next on my list. :)  05.16.12 - 9:10am
Rachel - I read the Forgotten Garden, too, and while initially daunted by the size, I was immediately sucked in. I've enjoyed several of the author's other books too. Just wanted to say that I attended your panel at Alt Summit and I seriously adored it!  05.16.12 - 9:09am