Thursday, April 17, 2014

Because Reading is Better Than Cleaning

 In early January Buzzfeed posted an article titled 16 Books To Read Before They Hit Theaters This Year. I glanced through the list and thought

well now, here's something I need to do. You know to stay up to date with things. Because I am all about being trendy and keeping up with the young people.

And also, what with all the reading I have to do, I simply don't have much spare time for household chores.

I mean, I feed the kids and make sure they're bathed.

At least once a week.

(The bathing. Not the feeding. That happens more often. Slightly.)

Sacrifices have to be made in order to strive for greatness.

I think Einstein said that.

So far I have read six of the sixteen books. I said a big no thanks to one of them and I've got one on the maybe list. Which leaves me with eight. I know because I had to count counted twice.

And now a little breakdown:

(Not to be confused with break dancing)

(Because, no)

The NO list:
  The Vampire Diaries.
  Mama doesn't do vampires. I just don't. So don't come at me with all your but twilight is a love story nonsense. I will close my eyes, cover my ears and sing Mmmmbop until you stop. And nobody wants that. Not even the Hanson brothers.

The MAYBE list:
 Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin

I had this in my possession from the library a few months back and my first thought was

whoa, that's heavy.

Not like heavy, deep but like I could potentially develop carpal tunnel.  Many pages of tiny words. Then I heard some not great things about the movie (it had just come out) and I thought about our health insurance deductible which led me to return it to the library without reading the first word.

I pride myself on my thoroughness.

But I may revisit it later.

After I do some push ups.

The already read list:

1) Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
     You all, this story just doesn't stop. It opens with the swoony love story of Nick and Amy Dunne. Real life drama kicks in (wedding, lost jobs, sick parents) and things aren't so grand. Then Amy disappears on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary. The questions just don't stop. Did Nick kill Amy? Did Amy kill Amy? Is Amy even dead? WHERE IS AMY? The book rotates between each of the main characters perspectives and my loyalties switched with every turn of the page. This one will make you crazy and could make you swear*. A little. (What the what?!?!?).  I have heard that the author wrote a new ending for the movie, and that has me very curious.
       The movie stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. It is scheduled to hit theaters this October.

2)Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Vintage) by Cheryl Strayed
  Wild is a memoir of a young woman who's world has completely crumbled. She decides she needs to do something to find meaning in her life. So logically, having never backpacked before, Cheryl sets off to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (over 1000 miles) alone. This was a pretty amazing story about a girl who became a fearless survivor because she decided she would. It is a well written book full of grit and determination but I kept wanting to help her find what she was missing. And so I shouted some things about love, grace and Jesus.  But she didn't hear me. Something about the time space continuum, seeing as this all went down in 1996.
  The movie stars Reese Witherspoon.

3) This Is Where I Leave You: A Novel by Jonathan Tropper
  This is the story of a grieving family who comes together to sit Shiva for the father they just lost, and barely knew. No one in the family is practicing really any kind of faith at this point, they ALL put the fun(ky) in dysfunctional and haven't spent this much time together since they were kids. There are some hilarious moments, but I just kept thinking to myself, surely there are not THAT many screwed up people in one family. Is it possible for so many grown-ups to make so many bad decisions in the course of one week? Apparently, if you're in the Foxman family the answer is yes.
   The movie stars Jason Bateman and Tina Fey (which helps!) and will be coming to a theater near you in September. Which is my birth month. Send gifts.

4) The Giver (Readers Circle (Laurel-Leaf))     by Lois Lowry
   It took me a minute to locate this book in the library. Turns out it's a children's book. It follows twelve year old Jonas who lives a pain free perfect society. There are many rules in order to maintain peace, order, serenity and sheer numb sameness. Everyone is polite to the point of annoyance and no one ruffles any feathers. Because they don't know how. Things get real for Jonas when he is selected to be the "receiver of memory", meaning he's going to be the only one who knows what's really going on. How he deals with such crushing information is the crux of this story. It may be that I am right on level with junior department writing, but I really enjoyed this one. It was a quick read, but made me think. And I was cheering Jonas on to find the truth, even if the truth led to heartache. Because real life is full of emotion, good and bad.
 This movie stars Brenton Thwaites, Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and Taylor Swift. August 15th is it's release date.

5) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
 Two teenagers meet in a cancer support group and fall in love. Sounds like a real pick me up, huh? You all need. to. read. this. book. I am not even going to describe it because I would never do it justice. But I couldn't put it down. It's beautiful and snarky and sad and funny. All at the same time.
Hazel and Gus will forever be real people to me. And I'm not even going to try to pretend that's not weird.
The movie stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. It will grace us with it's presence in June. I will be standing in line for tickets in May.

6) Divergent by Veronica Roth
   This is the first of a series of three books telling the tale of Tris. She lives a post war Chicago sometime in the future. Right at the beginning we follow her as she chooses which faction (a life group, there are five to choose from) she will identify with. Everyone takes an aptitude test of sorts to help determine which group would be the best fit for them. Tris is shocked to find out she thinks differently than most, would do well in several of the factions and is therefore divergent. Might as well slap the kid with a death sentence. No one in leadership wants someone who can think for themselves. Much danger ensues.  And I ate it all up. I loved it so much that I went out and bought the next two because we were in the middle of leaving for the season and I knew I wouldn't be able to get it from the library during all the craziness.
  The movie is in theaters now. It also stars the aforementioned Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. This time as brother and sister. I cannot tell you how much that messes with my mind. Clearly the movie people should have checked with me on that one.  Theo James and the lovely Ashley Judd are also in this flick.

So there's the list.

Now you tell me,

what are you reading?


*Mom, no actual swearing was involved in the reading of these books. By me. Really.

Disclaimer: This post is chock full of affiliate links. If you follow said links and make a purchase, this mama gets compensated. A very little amount. Your price does not increase. And now you know.

Disclaimer number dos: All opinions of above mentioned books are mine. Nobody paid me or swayed me in any direction. All information about the above mentioned movies came from IMBD or Wikipedia.

Because research is my thing.

the end


  1. I just started reading Mike Mullin's "Ashfall" series. It's considered Young Adult fiction, and features a 15/16 year old boy who lives in Iowa, when the Yellowstone Super Volcano erupts. Not gonna tell you anything else, other than I am now hooked on it, as is the Children's Librarian at my library (to whom I recommended it as a good addition to his collection).

  2. Have you read Before I Go to Sleep? Just finished it. So gone girl. intense...