Good Reads : The Submission


I usually judge the worth of a book if I cry at the end. It’s stupid, really, but I’m being honest. After I finished The Book Thief, I sobbed. For hours. It was THAT good. In fact, that book caused JD to create a category system for my Book Cries and as I sniffled my way through dinner, my cry fest was a solid category five. Mass emotional destruction.

The books I’ve read lately haven’t caused me to cry, but they’re still solid and in case you’re looking for a few Good Reads, check them out…

The Submission by Amy Waldman
This story chronicles the behind the scenes frustration, drama, and heart-ache in choosing the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. One of the things I loved best about the book is that it made me question underlying prejudices Americans may harbor and what’s “right” when taking politics, culture, and emotion into consideration. The story is about what’s right and fair…and all the blurry lines in between. A very good read.

We Have Always Live in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
This novella was written so, so well. The subject matter could be slightly dark (the protagonist’s sister was tried for murdering her entire family), but the story itself highlights the after-effects of ostracizing a family and the ramifications of community bullying. Two young women are left to care for their handicapped uncle in a house on the outside of town, and their lives change when the community is forced to deal with their prejudice. I enjoyed it more for the way the story was written than the story itself, but it was an easy and pleasant read nevertheless.

The Cove by Ron Rash
Apparently Rash is widely known for his book, Serena, but seeing how I never read it, I was simply reading The Cove for the sake of reading the book. The story itself was straight-forward, I was drawn into the characters’ lives, and I was hooked through the entire read, but at the end, I don’t think it’ll be a book that sticks with me. It was pleasant and I made my way through, but that the end of the day, it’s simple a love story gone awry, largely based on being community outcasts.

WHOA, I just noticed a pattern in the books I read this month…prejudice and outcasts. I need to go read some books filled with explosions of glitter.

Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard
I’m primarily a lover of fiction, but when this book was recommended by way, I took and chance…and enjoyed it! This book chronicled the life of President James Garfield and the role Alexander Graham Bell played in his assasination. Didn’t know he played a role? Me either! Bell played a role in the President’s attempted recovery and not in the murder, but the layers to this story are insane. That’s what made this book so good. The way Millard weaves history into a compelling story is art in it and of itself, but her ability to personalize each story within the story is what makes her a genius in my mind. If history is your thing, you won’t be let down with this book.

Happy Monday!

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  1. Leigh-Ellen

    July 2nd, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I have some favourite books that I actually start to cry part way through because of what’s coming. Finished The Shoemaker’s Wife last night and had a good cry.

  2. molly

    July 2nd, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    i’ve heard the Submission is so good! i need to check it out!!

  3. Shannon Von Eschen

    July 2nd, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Haha, or "confetti!" That’s how I felt when I first met you. =)

  4. Gail

    July 2nd, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Still remember the voice message you left me post-Book Thief. I couldn’t even UNDERSTAND YOU, you were cryin’ so hard! Been there, sobbed like that 😉

    Loved this stack, J. And could have talked for a solid 15 minutes with you about Destiny…that book was so darn good!

  5. Laura Kelly

    July 2nd, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Sometimes when you post blogs about books you’ve read, I get really confused how you can be so amazing at what you do, and STILL find time to plow through books. Are you sure you’re 100% human?

  6. Craig Hodge

    July 2nd, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I think my only category five cry might have been at the end of The Amber Spyglass (the last book in the Golden Compass series). I read it because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. From a Christian perspective, not my favorite books, but they are still a great read!

    BTW, SO jealous of those that got to attend your workshop 😀 Hopefully in a few years when I think my work is good enough, you will see me there. OR…if you just happened to teach another CreativeLIVE course sometime soon….

  7. Fran Colonna

    July 2nd, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Years ago, I gave the book ‘Suzanne’s letters to Nicolas’ to a friend. She has never forgiven me…cried for days after!!! She told me that I should have warned her that she would cry..hates crying..LOL!! I gave her Outlander and she will NOT read it because she hasn’t forgiven me….

  8. Jen W

    July 2nd, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I just finished The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker and am telling everyone I know to go out and read it. Its a gorgeous story about love overcoming time and distance. It would definitely be a good antidote to all of that prejudice in the other books!

  9. Andrea P.

    July 2nd, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Added a bunch of books to my reading list today. Thank you for your recommendations and those of the other commenters too.

  10. Miguel Angel Photography

    July 2nd, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    this make me think that i need to read more… mucho mas.. reading its great for our brains

  11. Tim Poole

    July 2nd, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    It you haven’t read the books by the two female reporters, Euna Lee and Lisa Ling, that tell about their 140+ days of captivity in North Korea, I suggest you do, if you want a good cry. "The World is Bigger Now" and "Somewhere Inside." Truely inspiring and heartrending stories.

  12. Amy Paulson

    July 3rd, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Okay…if you haven’t read it yet, you simply must one day read Donald Miller’s "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years." Changed my life. Twice, in fact. It changed how I view the choices in my life and taught me so much about how to LIVE.

  13. Katrina

    July 3rd, 2012 at 7:58 am

    If you’re looking for a good read that will make you cry within the first chapter, I would recommend, "My Best Friend’s Girl" by Dorothy Koomson.

  14. keely aka LKP

    July 3rd, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Give Jason F. Wright’s "The Cross Gardener" a read. Definitely a category 5 for me; beginning to end. 🙂

  15. Matt

    July 3rd, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    The Book Thief was one of the best books I’ve ever read, and the chapter about the ‘Jesse Owens Incident’ was what put it over the top!

  16. Elizabeth Hardwick

    July 3rd, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Jasmine … I also loved The Book Thief so much and can’t wait to look at your list. I lent it to a friend and she gave it back and said … I couldn’t get into it. I was gutted. 🙁 I cried buckets at the end of the Diary of Anne Frank. 🙁 So sad. You must read "The Shadow of the Wind" Ohhhh …. sooo good!! 😀 Off to look at your list!

  17. Misty

    July 6th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I loved the Book Thief too!! You should read Same Kind of Different as Me. Awesome inspirational book!! Some of my other favorites are The Lost Wife, The Kitchen House and Sarah’s Key.