Monday, January 9, 2012

2011 Book Love: Part Two

I know you have been on the edge of your seat so without further waiting, here is the second half of my book list from 2011.

Bittersweet  By: Shauna Niequist
I definitely would recommend this book.  The author was open and honest even when it would have been painful to write or even embarrassing to open up about.  God is intertwined in this collection of short stories, however I am not sure I would recommend this book because of it's deep insight into faith and religion. 

The Help  By: Kathryn Stockett
Is there much to say about this that hasn't been said due to the movie release?  I loved how I felt like I really knew the characters and actually felt the tension of the time period.  I think this book really appealed to my inner sense of wanting to be a change maker.  The ending was my only complaint.  It felt rather sudden and abrupt.  What did you think?

I Know This Much Is True   By: Wally Lamb
No joke the title of this book has been on a small slip of paper being carried around with me for a few years.  Let me say that this was a crazy long book, like 900 pages.  But it was really worth it. It was well written and felt very real at times.  I did have a few complaints about some development of the story line along the way, but those complaints are rather minor.  If you think you can stick out 900 pages, I say it's worth it.

The Glass Castle  By: Jeanette Walls
This was tough on me emotionally.  I was horrified by the parents in this book.  As a parent myself, their actions and line of reasoning was incomprehensible.  I was impressed by the author's ability to write this book about her parents and not just bash on them.  That really stood out to me in this book.  Read this book because it's well written and a fast read.

Extremely Lout & Incredibly Close  By: Jonathon Safron Foer
Loved this book!  It was beautifully written and very touching.  I am not sure if I understood a book being beautiful before this, but this one definitely has a certain flow about it that I loved.  The book follows a 9 year old little boy and his journey through dealing with grief, in ways only a child would know how to grieve.  Definitely a must read.

A Thousand Splendid Suns  By: Khaled Hosseini
This book was heavy.  It's strange for me to think about woman in this day in age that are held as slaves basically in their own homes.  This was an interesting look into the Afghan history and culture, one that I am not familiar with at all.

The Grapes of Wrath  By: John Steinbeck
How did I not read this prior to now??  I was immediately sucked in by the characters and loved the chapters that were just pertaining to the population as a whole.  They were slightly poetic.  It is interesting to watch the plot and characters intertwine and evolve while dealing with the Depression and the changing landscape.  Sometimes the classics can be overwhelming, but I didn't find that to be the case with this book.

One Day  By: David Nicholls
This is another one that is a movie, so you may already know the story.  I found the characters in this book easy to connect with and to sympathize with.  I liked watching the characters grow and change.  In ways it's just your basic love story, but the way it's written makes it seem sort of epic.

Skippy Dies  By: Paul Murray
This is another lengthy one.  And I will be honest and say I think it could have done with a few less pages because it felt long at times.  This book follows teenagers and a community following a death and shows the effect it has on everyone.  It was sad and funny and real.  I agree with several other reviews I read that the last couple hundred pages were the best.

Rules of Civility  By: Amor Towle
This book was great! Written in the 20's and 30's for the bulk of the story makes for a fun time period.  The time period, the plot, the characters...I ate it all up.  It was a fast read and one of those books that I couldn't wait to read more and found myself wondering about it when I wasn't reading.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children  By: Ransom Briggs
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but I was surprised.  It follows a boy and the death of his grandfather and the revealing of his grandfather's life. It had twists and mystery and held my attention.  It was a little more sci-fi than I would have anticipated, but not over the top.  (I mean this coming from a girl who is addicted to the vamps right now.) It did have a feeling that it was meant to be a series, which I don't like that feeling even though I love series.  I want to feel like a story is complete.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being  By: Milan Kundera
This book was originally written in Czeck and had been translated.  It follows a few different story lines, but mainly the relationship between one man and woman in particular.  Their ups and downs and dealing with the complexities of baggage and life.  It's a good book full o fquotes that you will want to remember.

There you have it!  What did you read this past year??  Any recommendations for me??


  1. Am loving this blog series, Amber! I just got a Kindle for Christmas and am SO excited to start reading novels again (lol). I am currently reading "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and am enjoying it. :) :) Hope to read some of these!

    PS: I loved The Help as a story, but the writing bothered me. I had a hard time with the voice/style and some cliches throughout. I also didn't really like the ending. It seemed too good to be real and also abrupt. However, like I said, I couldn't put it down because the story itself was great. :)

  2. @theuncookedlife
    Yay for a Kindle! I have heard A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is good. I will have to add it to my list of books to read. I completely agree with you on the Help about the ending. I was literally surprised that it was over when I read the last page.