Thursday, March 27, 2014

On My Bookshelf Now

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho was such an inspiring read - I think I cried a couple times! It was an extremely fast read I completed in one day. The message inspires you to find your life's true meaning - like, right now - don't delay! The book is about a young shepard boy on a voyage across the globe, trying to find the meaning of his life or his Personal Legend. We all are searching for the real, true meaning of lives, aren't we? And this book has you burning to write and command your own Personal Ledgend today! Pick it up for an inspirational beach read.

                                    
Labor Day by Joyce Maynard instantly hooked me while on an airplane with a 3-year-old, if you know anything about 3-year-olds on airplanes that is no easy feat. The prose of this book was unlike anything I've read before because the author never uses quotation marks when the characters are talking. After you get over the unusual formatting you realize the whole book is about sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex from a 13-year old's perspective....just let that sink in for a second. The whole book is actually from the little boy's point of view. I loved the ending and can't wait to see Kate Winslet in the movie. 

I'm not one to have the patience to read many self-help books, I usually go for genres with moderate amounts of raunch or historical fiction, but Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg was an excellent read! I highly recommend this book to every woman who has struggled with the decision to get back to work (even if your line of work means something not as time-consuming as COO of Facebook) after having children and the guilt associated with putting your children into daycare, the balance that is near impossible to find between working parents or even if you have no children yet, but have considered making the plunge - this book allows you some insight into the decisions that families make while balancing work life and home life. Sandberg does a great job confronting gender equality in the workplace, too. I have to be honest, I did skim parts of this book, but I did pretty much read it all in about 3 days. She had some compelling research and very thought provoking issues that had me really questioning and challenging my own traditional thoughts on women's place in society and how that's evolving. Sandberg doesn't touch on religion at all, which I wish she had, because women and the whole submission to men issue is something all Christian men and women ruminate on. Otherwise, very well written and an easy read. 

This book! I LOVED the memoir Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman - to read about life in prison from a regular, wholesome All-American type girl's perspective was so thrilling and unusual - I just adored it. The book is about a young woman who unexpectedly finds herself in a state penitetiary because of involvement with an international drug ring. The book follows the unusual and strong bonds that are formed between the women inside. Beware: this book has alotta raunch and is kinda crude. Now it's a Netflix series, but I've heard a little bit about it from a girlfriend and the plot line sounds as if they've heavily enhanced the book to make it more palatable for television. If you're looking for a topic you've most likely never read about - women in prison, pick this one up! 

The Century Trilogy by Ken Follett is an epic, consuming historical-fiction work of art that transports you through the centuries. Follett does a fantastic job of moving you through the centuries in a way that makes you believe you are actually learning about the real history of the time. I actually had to Google some of the stories he writes about the Nazi's just to see if they were real or not (they were real!). These books are huge. You will be doing nothing else but reading for the next 7 days, but you will love it. You'll start thinking and speaking like a Brit. The characters are so rich and there are a lot of them, but it's nice because Follett gives you a comprehensive list of the characters at the beginning of each book - and I referred to it several times. The trilogy begins in early 1900's with the first book Fall of Giants, starts in the second book Winter of the World during the 1940's and brings you through into the 21st century in the last book Edge of Eternity all while following the families' generations of an English aristocratic family, a Welsh working-class family, a Russian family, a German family, and an American family. It's consuming. It's rich. It's worth it. And I can't wait for the third book to come out this fall. 

What's on your bookshelf?

** This post contains affiliate links so I can fund late-night online shopping. 

2 comments:

Patty Levinski said...

Thank you for this.. i am always looking for book recommendations. Your recap on the books really helped. I've written a couple down that i intend to start reading. Again, thanks

Becki Melvie said...

You're welcome my favoritest Auntie in the Whole World.