Books I’ve read

You guys. I did it AGAIN. I keep posting Wedding Wednesday posts on Thursdays! Do I have Wedding brain or what??

I work four ten-hour days and have Fridays off. This morning, I was going through things I did yesterday… and I got to thinking about my Wedding Wednesday post. I suddenly had a freak-out moment and thought, “Am I supposed to be at work??? If I posted Wedding Wedneday yesterday, then today is Thursday and I’m supposed to be at work!!” But then I realized that no, today IS Friday- I just mixed up Wednesday and Thursday. AGAIN.

In more exciting news, I read a book and below is my review. Be my friend on Goodreads!

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know what it is about Jon Krakauer’s writing. It sucks me in, even though it’s not very sensational or attention-grabbing in a flashy way. When I started Into the Wild years ago, it was for a class and I expected it to be a boring survival book. I was so wrong. That book changed my life and way of thinking, and I think that credit must go not just to Alexander Supertramp, but also to the way Krakauer wrote about him.

Even though I loved Into the Wild, I still went into Into Thin Air again thinking it would be a “boring survival book”. I was totally wrong again. He gives such an emotionally distant, almost dry account of the 1996 events on Everest- yet it really is thrilling to read. And every once in a while he’ll throw in a curveball sentence, like “Such and such decision will probably haunt me for the rest of my life.”- and you believe him when he says it because he chooses sentences like that carefully.

There are a lot of characters that can be hard to keep track of, but I liked the book so much that I’ve already found myself going back through putting together who is who, and heck- I’ll probably just end up reading the whole thing again. I’ve also had Everest-mania since finishing the book and have been looking up all kinds of stuff online about it. (This reminds me of how I was after Into the Wild, too…)

My point is, even if you aren’t that thrilled by adventure, mountain climbing, survival, etc books, this is a good one.

View all my reviews

You’d think that by now I would have learned to trick myself into expecting less-than-greatness from really hyped-up things. Dancing With The Stars? Yeah, NO. Bikram yoga? Hell-to-the-no. Cheesecake Factory? I don’t know because I’ve never been, but I’m guessing it’s not that great. Maybe if I’d learned to do that with this book, I would have enjoyed it more. Don’t get me wrong- I probably enjoyed it about 3.5 stars worth.

Don’t feel bad if you’ve tried to read this book and couldn’t get past the whole Wennerstrom affair- bo-ring! I consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable when it comes to business and finance matters (fairly… mildly, whatever) and the first 100 pages or so lost me. I wasn’t totally lost- I understood what was going on for the most part, but it was pretty boring, and all of the details didn’t really contribute much to the story. I would advise anyone who reads this book to skim the first 100 pages or so, or until the Wennerstrom details are pretty much over.

I loved Lisbeth’s character. She is a very unique but totally believable character. She’s a total badass, but she has her weaknesses. I didn’t feel like the author was glamorizing her problems or making her too awesome, either. Actually, I stumbled upon this flowchart and according to it, I think it can safely be concluded that Lisbeth is, indeed, a strong female character. Quite refreshing.

I don’t want to give very much of the story away, but I’ll just tell you that it’s kind of the stuff of nightmares. Once it got going, I was disgusted yet fascinated by all the morbidity and nastiness. I would stay up late into the night reading it, cowering under the covers hiding from a psychopath that was certain to be in my house. No, there never was one, but that didn’t make me sleep any easier.

Someone described Larsson’s writing style as “Scandinavian cool”. I’d say that’s pretty accurate. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a translation or what, but the writing is a bit dry. The style has kind of grown on me though (now that I’m on Hornet’s Nest). He does go into some pretty in-depth descriptions of day-to-day things and you’re like “Get on with it! I get it- THEY WENT TO IKEA.” (That was actually the second book, but you get it.) I also felt like he went into a lot of unnecessary details about all the sexual relationships of the characters that were pretty pointless, but maybe that’s just the conservative Salt Lake in me talking.

I’m going to cheat a little bit and tell you that I’m now reading the third book, and if you can make it through Dragon Tattoo, the other two are worth it. The story has gotten really good (albeit complicated) and I’m pretty sucked in now.

PS- The movie was pretty good too- Noomi Repace is an awesome actress. But I did have to close my eyes and say “La la la la la” during some parts.

When I’m not creeping people’s blogs to find books to read, I’m swiping them from people. Sometimes they know it, sometimes they don’t. In this case, my Aunt Soozie (good thing she doesn’t read my blog, or spend any time on the internet whatsoever, for that matter) inadvertently lent me this book. Trust me, I’ll have it back before she ever notices.

Anyhoo, it was kind of nice because I dove into this book without really having heard much about it (aside from the raving reviews all over the cover). I was immediately sucked in, mostly by the scenery that Sara Gruen creates. The details of Depression-era circus life were fascinating. It really seemed like she had done her research. Upon reading the interview with her at the end, I found out that indeed she had done a lot of research, and parts of the story are based on true anecdotes that she picked up along the way. Very cool, but also disturbing and very sad.

The actual story wasn’t my favorite part. I liked Jacob (the main character) and I loved how she went back and forth between him as a young man and old man. Aside from a few smart-ass quips, he’s basically a humorless character, especially in his youth. This made it hard for me to really fall in love with him, despite liking him for some of his other qualities. I thought Marlena was  a little boring, too. I wasn’t expecting such a romance story, but I guess that’s okay. I don’t want to say too much. Book reviewing is hard.

The bottom line is that I would recommend this book to anyone, if only for the things you will learn about life in the Depression and in a circus. It was easy to read and held my interest, and had me gaping in disbelief at parts.

Anyone else read this/ planning on reading it?

It’s confession time. Before I read The Help, it had kind of been a while since I’d read a book. As a kid I could barely go anywhere without my face in a book, but college kind of ruined reading for me. I felt way too guilty every time I picked up a book for fun instead of studying, so I just didn’t do it. More than two years after graduating, I’m finally getting back into it. Trouble is, I don’t really know where to begin.

So here’s the confession part: I totally stalked Kate’s blog (since I had seen that she, too, loved The Help) for some suggestions. It was funny when she commented on this post saying “I read Twenties Girl too” because, um, yeah, I knew that. 🙂 I seriously read like ALL of her posts about books, wrote down about ten titles, and headed to the library. Twenties Girl was pretty far down on my list, it being chick-lit and all, but it sounded fun, and apparently Kate reads very popular books, because TG was one of the only ones of the ten titles I wrote down that the library actually had! So Kate, I’m embarrassed, but thanks. I feel that you’ve been instrumental in me picking up books again.

On to the review! (More like “review” with quotation marks, denoting that it’s not really a very good review.)

I thought Twenties Girl was fun to read. My fears that it would be too cheezball were confirmed on a few occasions, but I did laugh a few times and find the characters endearing. This book reads exactly like a chick-flick. Seriously, at times I forgot that I wasn’t sitting around with all the girls (minus Carrie) eating bonbons and drooling over James Franco (or Colin Firth, or Mark Ruffalo, or creepily, Zac Efron). It has the usual elements of a movie- the characters can’t stand each other at first then learn to feel differently, a mystery unfolds, the main character learns a lot about herself… as Kate said, this book won’t exactly change your life. However, if you’re looking for an easy fun read that does get a little suspenseful toward the end, Twenties Girl could be for you!

Next up: Water for Elephants

My mom left The Help at my house accidentally, so I picked it up. Four days later, I looked up from the book.

That is an exaggeration, but I really was riveted and I absolutely loved the book. The subject matter (black housekeepers in Jackson, MI in the 1960s) is heavy, but the writing is definitely not. It is entertaining, easy reading. It might make you cry a little bit though, and generally be astonished at the human race. However, you will probably laugh quite a bit too. I’m not a book reviewer, so I’ll just say this: go read it.

As part of my new goal to not watch Hulu on my laptop in bed anymore, I hope to start reading a lot more. I’m currently reading Twenties Girl.