pen rainbow

Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday—The Reading Corner

Books I've Been Reading Lately

Unbroken:  A World War II Story of Survival, Resillience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (author of Seabiscuit) — True story about an American 1939 Olympic runner from Torrance, CA, who survives a B-24 crash in the Pacific, drifts at sea for 40 days, is captured by the Japanese, and spends over 2 years as a POW.  Just finished this one.  Incredible story!

Abraham Lincoln:  Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith — Entertaining historical fiction.  I'm a vamp fan, but holy cow, this book is gross...So gross, it's campy.  Young Abraham Lincoln goes around hunting and killing vampires.  Splat!  There goes another one.  I am currently reading this and am having a hard time getting through it.  I hear they're going to make a movie out of it, so I'll keep plugging away.

A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron — A real tear - jerker!  Plan on crying a lot.  The main character starts out as a puppy and lives 4 very different lives as a different dog each time.  It has a nice ending, but omigosh, have some Kleenex nearby.     

A Rope and A Prayer by David Rohde & Kristen Mulvihill — The true story of a Pulitzer Prize-winning, NY Times foreign correspondent and his 7 months in captivity by Taliban militants in war-torn Afghanistan and the Pakistan mountain regions.  This book is written from the perspectives of his wife and her efforts to get him released and from his own during captivity.  I wanted to smack this guy more than once for getting himself kidnapped for a second time after only 2 months of marriage, but it's a fascinating account of his kidnapping and his daring, nail-biter escape.

Legacy:  A Novel by Danielle Steel —  Like, like, like!  The story of a woman who gets dumped by her long-time boyfriend, then fired from her job, so she takes up her mother's hobby of genealogy while she's recovering.  She discovers that she is a descendant of a Sioux princess, and her genealogical research leads her to Paris and back.

Family Ties:  A Novel by Danielle Steel — Ah, romance novels...  This is a story about a family and all of the things that happen to the kids as they become young adults.  It's an engaging read for moms of young adults and for relationship junkies.  Like any good romance novel, it's a soap opera in a book.  A good read at night before bedtime or on a beach with waiters who serve you tropical drinks.

Eat to Live:  The Revolutionary Formula for Fast & Sustained Weight Loss by Joel Fuhrman — To be honest, I could not slog through every page of highly technical information about why veggies are so good for you. It's basically the same premise as Michael Pollan's, Eat Less, Not too much, Mostly Plants.  Eat lots of vegetables, reduce your calories, and exercise.  There!  Problem solved, and you don't even have to read the book.  I did enjoy his thorough evisceration of the Atkin's Diet, though.

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown — Our intrepid hero, Robert Langdon, returns in another code-breaking, adventure story that takes place this time in historic Washington, D.C.  If you liked, The Da Vinci Code, and Angels & Demons (the better of the two, imho), you'll like this one, too.  It's more of the same, except it takes place in Washington, D.C.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson — The first book in the Millenium series.  Quirky, and at times, factually burdensome because of the Swedish author's style, but riveting.  Super-engaging characters and a good murder mystery.  Love the heroine, Lisbeth Salander!  I also recommend the other two books in this series.

Warning!  There is an intense & brutal rape in this story that almost made me quit reading the book.  It is integral to the plot's progression, and sweet revenge happens later in the story.

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson — Our heroine returns and the story continues.  Things get a whole lot more interesting!

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson — The final book in the Millenium series.  A little too much detail about the heroine's sex life for my taste, but the plot carries.  The main characters are even more developed, and Lisbeth continues to kick Swedish bad guy-ass in this book.

On Deck:

Hardball:  A V.I. Warshawki Novel by Sara Paretsky — 1960's Chicago politics and a murder mystery.

Decision Points by George W. Bush — Dubya's recollections of his time in the White House