Reading

I like reading. I especially love it when a book leaves some kind of a (positive) impression on me. The impression could be made through laughter, an attachment to characters or perhaps through interesting concepts.

I'm not a book reviewer as such, but from time to time I will post about my personal experience of reading a book. For example, I might write about how I discovered the book, what I liked/disliked about it, where I was coming from reading it. I'm also interested in the physical book's story. So in my blog posts you'll see what form the book I read was in and where I got it from.

Here are some pretty pictures of the most recent books I've read.



Cloudstreet
Returning
Bridget Jones's Diary
Eat, Pray, Love
The Time Traveler's Wife
Aleph
What the Family Needed
A Year of Biblical Womanhood
Raising Girls
It Is No Secret: The Story Of A Stolen Child
The Kite Runner
Heart And Soul
Pride and Prejudice
Mini Shopaholic
Life of Pi
Minding Frankie
Gli arancini di Montalbano
The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity
Too Close for Comfort
Mrs. Queen Takes the Train








































Here is a list of the books I've read over the past few years since I've been keeping track, listed alphabetically by author. If you want to see the ratings I give, please check out my Goodreads profile.

A
  • Adelaide, Debra: The Household Guide to Dying - Such a moving book - it had me crying. Well written and a great story (read 2014).
  • Albom, Mitch: The Five People You Meet in Heaven - A really interesting way of looking at the afterlife and weaving together the different stages of the protagonist's life (read 2014).
  • Amsterdam, Steven: What the Family Needed - a little out there. Not nearly as compelling or moving as the blurb had me believe, unfortunately (read 2013).
  • Ansay, A. Manette: Vinegar Hill - the opposite of uplifting. But un-put-down-able. I read it in a night, as I just had to know how it ended (read 2012).
  • Austen, Jane: Pride and Prejudice - it's as popular as it is for a reason. Fantastic book to re-read again and again (read 2013).
  • Autexier, Phillip: Beethoven - Sound, short non-fiction piece about Beethoven's life and music. Informative (read 2014).

B
  • Barker, Fr Ken MGL: His Name Is Mercy - a friend lent me this book. It's all about mercy and forgiveness, with practical and moving examples. It was a great read. Challenging (read 2012)
  • Biddulph, Steve: Raising Girls - a bit patronising in parts and some throw-away comments made it sound like the author was on his high horse, but the book contained good insight into raising daughters (read 2013).
  • Binchy, Maeve: Heart and Soul - written before Minding Frankie (which I read first) but with the same characters, so it was nice to read a bit about their "before" stories, already knowing how they ended up (read 2013).
  • Binchy, Maeve: Minding Frankie - a beautiful story - well told and a lovely read (read 2013)
  • Binchy, Maeve: Scarlet Feather  - another wonderful Binchy book told so warmly and with such lovely characters and interwoven stories (read 2015).
  • Bonaventure, St.: The Life of St. Francis of Assisi - Really interesting, particularly as it was written by somebody who actually knew St. Francis (read 2011).
  • Bronte, Charlotte: Jane Eyre - Brilliant. I absolutely loved it (read 2014).
  • Bronte, EmilyWuthering Heights - my first ebook and the first time I have ever read this novel (I can't believe that) (read 2012).
  • Brooks, Geraldine: Caleb's Crossing - Cleverly written but difficult to read. Slow for most of the book, but the late change of pace left me feeling unsatisfied (read 2014).
  • Brown, Dan : Angels and Demons (Robert Langdon #1) - An interesting read, better than the movie (read 2010).
  • Brown, DanThe Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon #2) Intriguing, enjoyable read (read 2009).
  • Brown, DanThe Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon #3) Similar Dan Brown formula. Still good, but I didn't enjoy it as much as his previous two (read 2014).

C
  • Cammilleri, Andrea: Gli Arancini di Montalbano - This book is written in Sicilian dialect. Love it :-) (read 2013).
  • Cammilleri, Andrea: La Prima Indagine di Montalbano - My favourite so far of the Montalbano collections I've read (read 2014).
  • Cammilleri, Andrea: Racconti di Montalbano - Brilliant stories. This was a collection hand-picked by Andrea Camilleri. I read it the only way you can - in the original Sicilian dialect. It improved my reading skills and increased my love of the stories. It's one I could definitely read over and over again (read 2010).
  • Carroll, Lewis: Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There - What a great collection of smile-inducing nonsense! (read 2014)
  • Christie, Agatha:  Hercule Poirot's Christmas - A good, intriguing mystery (read 2015)
  • Coelho, Paulo: Aleph - A good book with interesting ideas, but not quite as profound as I had hoped or expected (read 2014)
  • Coelho, Paulo: The Alchemist - I got a lot more out of this than Aleph. A great read (read 2014).
  • Corbett, Bryce: A Town Like Paris - my opinions on this book were so strong (not in a good way), I actually went to the effort of writing a book review about this one (read 2012)
  • Costello, Jane: Bridesmaids - entertaining, light read. Not as well written as I had expected though (read 2015).
D
  • Dahl, Roald: Esio Trot - not one of Dahl's better books (read 2015).
  • Dahl, Roald: James and the Giant Peach - Entertaining in adulthood too! (read 2014)
  • Dahl, Roald: The Magic Finger - This was a good one which I remember loving in childhood (read 2015)
  • Do, Anh: The Happiest Refugee - Sometimes true stories are much more interesting than fiction (read 2012).
  • Dowling, Clare: Too Close for Comfort - - I'm very happy that this was my first book for the year. My reading for the year has gotten off to a great start courtesy of a lovely book (read 2013).

E
  • Ernaux, Annie: La Place - read in the original French, this was an interesting insight into the protagonist's life, particularly with respect to her relationship with her father (read 2014).
  • Evans, Rachel Held: A Year of Biblical Womanhood - entertaining and deep at the same time. I loved this book (read 2013)

F
  • Fielding, Helen: Bridget Jones's Diary (Bridget Jones #1) - Loved it - even better than the movie! (read 2014).
  • Flagg, Fannie: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café - I really enjoyed the way this book used different times, scenes and ways to weave a wonderful story (read 2014).
  • Frazer, Margaret: The Apostate's Tale - Interesting murder-mystery set in a 12th century convent (read 2011).
  • Frazer, Margaret: The Novice's Tale - Another interesting murder-mystery set in a 12th century convent (read 2011).
  • Frazer, Margaret: The Servant's Tale - Same formula as the earlier two so I was a bit over it by the time I read the third book (read 2011).
  • French, Dawn: Dear Fatty - I feel like I just made a new friend ☺ (read 2015)
  • French, Jackie: Pennies for Hitler - A book for children, but I loved it just the same (read 2014).

G
  • Gilbert, Elizabeth: Eat, Pray, Love - Rather than being therapeutic, reading it felt more like penance (read 2014).
  • Grace, Tom: The Secret Cardinal - very interesting, brutal in parts, but I didn't want to put it down. A birthday gift from my in-laws (read 2012).

H

J
  • James, E. L.: Fifty Shades of Grey - I promised myself I wouldn't... (read 2012).
  • James, E. L.: Fifty Shades Darker - Stopping here for now ... can't.go.on... (read 2012).
  • Jewell, Lisa: 31 Dream Street - I loved this book. It's the first Lisa Jewell I have read but it won't be the last. I grew so attached to the characters that I didn't want the book to end! (read 2010 & 2012).
  • Jewell, Lisa: Ralph's Party - Okay. I really liked it, but I didn't love it (read 2015).
  • Jewell, Lisa: After the Party - The sequel to Ralph's Party, set 12 years later. I liked it; I wanted to like it more but the characters' decisions just annoyed me so much at times! (read 2015)

K
  • Kelly, Cathy: Homecoming - Enjoyable story, interesting characters, well-woven (read 2014).
  • Keyes, Marian: Last Chance Saloon - Quite slow to start with and a little disappointing given I picked it up just after finishing 31 Dream Street. But, at about the halfway point I started getting into it and I'm glad I persevered (read 2010).
  • Keyes, Marian: The Mystery of Mercy Close - Clever Marian. I liked this book very much (read 2014).
  • Kinsella, Sophie: Mini Shopaholic - Becky is so annoying! But it is so well written - the characters got under my skin (for better or worse!) and there were some great twists (read 2013)
  • Kuhn, William: Mrs Queen Takes the Train - A light-hearted story about the escape of the Queen of England (read 2012).

L
  • Lee, Harper: To Kill a Mockingbird - Interesting to re-read after many years. Full of wisdom (read 2014).
  • Li, Cunxin: Mao's Last Dancer: The incredible true story of a Chinese peasant boy who grew to be a world class ballet dancer. I loved reading this (read 2015)
  • Linamen, Karen: Welcome to the Funny Farm - A really quick read. I got through it in two days while on holidays (read 2011).
  • Lucado, Max: Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine - Another thought-provoking and heartening book by Max Lucado. Easy reading too (read 2014).
  • Lucado, Max: He Chose the Nails - Enlightening stuff. It really made me think about the "why" (read 2014).

M
  • Madrid, Patrick: Surprised By Truth - borrowed from my mother-in-law. A compilation of short stories by people about their experiences of converting to Catholicism (read 2012).
  • Madrid, Patrick: Surprised By Truth 2 - also borrowed from my mother-in-law. I actually preferred this to the first one as the people came from more diverse religious backgrounds and each of their journeys to Catholicism were quite different (read 2012).
  • Martel, Yann: The Life of Pi - an amazing tale. It was a bit slow in some parts, but then again, over 200 days in a life boat with a Bengal tiger would be... (read 2013).
  • McInerney, Monica: Those Faraday Girls - It took me a little while to get into this book but once I did, I couldn't put it down. It was even a bit of a tear-jerker in parts. A good read (read 2011).
  • McInnes, William: The Laughing Clowns - A good, "ordinary" story and a light, easy read (read 2014).
  • Meehan, Donna: It Is No Secret: The Story of a Stolen Child - Amazing true story. So glad I read this (read 2013).
  • Modystack, William: Blessed Mary MacKillop - This book's claim to fame was that it contained extracts of original letters but it did not flow at all. It was written just after her beatification and I read it just before her canonisation. I'm sure there must be better books about Mary MacKillop out there (read 2010).
  • Moore, Peter: The Full Montezuma - I enjoyed this light-hearted, easy-to-read book about a couple's travels (read 2012).
  • Mosley, Michael: The Fast Diet - Easy to read and convincing. I'm thinking about trying it out (read 2014).
N
  • Newman, Jess: Diary of a SAHM - first book I've read where I "know" the author. Awesome! (read 2013).
  • Niffenegger, AudreyThe Time Traveller's Wife - Right up my alley, I enjoyed it very much (read 2014).
  • Norman, Charity: Freeing Grace - I won a proof copy of this in a competition a while ago and finally got around to reading it. Reading the blurb on the back, I didn't know if it would be my cup of tea, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a great story and very well written (read 2012).

R
  • Rice, Anne: Violin - As soon as I started reading this book and realised it wasn't about vampires, I was disappointed. And it didn't get any better. It was a chore to read it all the way through (read 2011).
  • Rowling, J.K.: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (#1) - Loved it. Better than the movie (read 2015).
  • Rowling, J.K.: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (#2) - Awesome, so enjoyable to read (read 2015).
  • Rowling, J.K.: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (#3) - This one was also just brilliant (read 2015).
  • Rowling, J.K.: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (#4) - Another brilliant book for the Harry Potter series (read 2015).
  • Rowling, J.K.: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (#5) - Harry was a bit of a jerk in this one. I still liked it though! (read 2015)
  • Rowling, J.K.: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (#6) - So well written, excellent to read (read 2015).
  • Rowling, J.K.: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (#7) - An incredible final book in the series and sad to have to finish reading them. Lucky I bought them so I can easily grab them from the bookshelf again (read 2015).

S
  • Stedman, M.L.: The Light Between Oceans - Very thought-provoking, well written book. Make sure you have tissues on hand! (read 2014).
  • Suters, Francesca: Returning- You saw it first here, people - I read my own book! Very happy :-) (read 2014).

T
  • Turi, Cheryl and Dickinson, Doff: The Parents Guide to Kindergarten - Guidance about what to expect in the first year of school. Some good (and some impractical) advice on how to help your child (read 2011).

U
  • Unknown: The Apostolate of Holy Motherhood - A good book to increase my knowledge on this area (from "zero" to "some"). (read 2010)
V
  • Various: Good News Bible, Old Testament and New Testament and with Deuterocanonicals Apocrypha - I was given this bible by my parents in 1993 and I have finally managed to read it from cover to cover this year. Quite an achievement! (read 2011)
  • Verne, Jules: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - I was blown away by the intelligence and imagination demonstrated in this book (read 2014).
W
  • Winton, Tim: Cloudstreet - Complicated, out there, depressing, frustrating, but also amazing (read 2014).

Y
  • Young, William P.: The Shack - Amazing, moving, incredibly profound book (read 2013).

2 comments:

  1. Have a go at reading a book by Rachel Treasure for example Jillaroo.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love Khalen Hosseini too. The ending of 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' took my breath away. Maeve Binchy is another favourite of mine; no-one helps me to relax the way Maeve does! I'm looking forward to your post on 'The Shack'. I was given a copy of it about 4 years ago by a friend of mine, a grieving father who had recently lost his teenage daughter through tragic circumstances. It was like nothing I'd ever read before (or since). I gave it to my (very orthodox Catholic) parents to read and they didn't like it, but I guess that was to be expected. It really made me question so many things that I had just accepted without question up until that point in my life. I'd be really interest to read the Montalbano books in Sicilian. i really liked the TV series. I read novels in Italian, but have never actually read one in Sicilian. That would be quite a challenge, but worth it because, in translation from Sicilian to classic Italian, I think the 'modo di pensare siciliano' would be lost. I guess that's why you said that's the only way the Montalbano stories can be read! I have also bought Jess' 'Diary of a SAHM', started reading recently and am loving reading a novel written by someone that I feel like I "know". 'Life of Pi' has been on my reading list for so long but I still haven't got around to it. I'd never heard of 'A Year of Biblical Womanhood' or 'Vinegar Hill' but I'm interested in finding them now after reading your thoughts on them.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment here before you go. I love reading them!

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