Good Reads : The Book Thief + One Day

Personal

I suppose it’s that time of year. Rain, chill, the desire to see chestnuts roasting on an open fire. I have the urge to stay permanently dressed in baggy sweats–the ones that are discolored and shred at the bottom–with my hair in a messy bun. In bed. With a book, a package of Nutter Butters, and a bell I can ring whenever I need a massage. Because that right there? That’s what I call HEAVEN.

Seeing how I’m nowhere near that divine state (although those sweats still make a weekly appearance), I take whatever luxuries I can get. Two recent luxuries go hand-in-hand for me. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Gail Werner. We have yet to meet in real life, but we recently connected over a book and I’ve decided to make her my new cyber friend. It’s creepy in that Mom-said-don’t-talk-to-strangers-on-the-internet kind of way, but she’s been a good sport about it. Especially after the restraining order request.

Which leads me to my other luxury: Reading. You see, what Gail started for me was a long line of falling in love. With books. Again. For a while, I hopped from book to book, sometimes loving what I read, most of the time not. Then she sent me The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and I was forever changed. I fell in love again. Madly, passionately. Gail mailed me the book and even included post-in notes at the most beautiful parts of the book…like we were sharing it together.

When I finished the book, I laid on the sofa and sobbed. And sobbed. JD walked in from walking the dog and he thought someone died. And I kept on crying through dinner as I explained the story. It’s one of those books in my life that ranks up there with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and East of Eden. Yes, THAT good.

Since then–instead of aimlessly walking the aisles of Barnes&Noble–I simply turn to Gail and a few other bookie friends for their requests. And, like magic, I’m reading in every spare minute of my day. I love it. Here’s what I bought last night…

In case anyone is looking for a few good reads, here’s what I recently finished…
*One Day by David Nicholls – It’s a love story wrapped in the complexities of life and tied with a humorous bow. It’s everything a Hollywood chick flick should be…just written better and more relatable.
*A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. Now before you go thinking, That’s the Blue Like Jazz guy…he’s not. Well, he is. But not to me. I started Blue Like Jazz, then put it down because I was feeling ehhhh about it. Then I was given A Million Miles…and my life is different. So.incredibly.different. In the process of writing his story, Miller discovered he didn’t like the one his life was telling. So he changed it. And writes how everyone can do the same. Augh. Love him.
*This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. I’m definitely big on sarcasm, so I found Tropper so appealing and hilarious. He writes from a strong male perspective (i.e. not so family friendly) about loss, love, and figuring out how to survive when life turns upside down. Sometimes the scenarios were over the top, but the story–and his unique ability to have you laughing one second, and crying the next–was definitely refreshing.
*Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist. I know I should like this book more than I do, but I don’t. It was a decent read, but altogether a little cookies&milk for my liking. Niequist writes inspirational and semi-religious stories and while they might have been great, I’m just used to Anne Lamott’s style of inspirational writing. If Lamott is too harsh/crazy for you, then Niequiest is her After School Special spin off.
*Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. I don’t know where to begin with this book. It was one of the longgggest books I’ve ever read. Or at least it felt that way. I tried putting the book away, but something kept drawing me back to it. Franzen is clearly a gifted writer and manages to write about decades of life powerfully, but I just couldn’t get into the story itself. As I flipped the last page of the book, I closed it feeling empty. I’m sure there are a group of people with pitchforks ready to come after me (it was Oprah’s book of the month, for crying out loud!), but I wouldn’t recommend it. I, however, am glad I read it. If that makes any sense at all.

Whoa, this post is way too long.

Happy Monday!