Monday, February 6, 2012

January Reads

Near the beginning of each month, I will be posting what I read in the previous month and a brief description of the book and my thoughts. I don't do lengthily summaries, you can find those anywhere and I encourage you to do so if you're interested. I will be brief, and probably a little vague.

1. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
A young girl and her family is arrested by French police in the 1942 Vel d'Hiv roundup, and her brother's survival depends on her. A journalist writing about the 60th anniversary of the Vel d'Hiv uncovers a family secret that connects her to the young girl. This is a wonderful page-turning read full of heartache. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

2. Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen
High school sweethearts move from rags to riches through hard work but find their marriage has suffered. Husband has near-death experience and decides to turn their world upside down. Wife must confront her own feelings and what that means. I had really high hopes for this book, but I ended up disappointed. Call it cliche, but it was hard to sympathize with this wealthy couple, and I didn't really like the wife all that well. I think the real story would be what happens after the book ends, but in the end, the author doesn't explore the deeper issues that were present throughout the rest of the book. The writing is pretty solid, however, and the characters were well fleshed out. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

3. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
A mysterious man and his loyal supporters rescue Frances aristocrats during the French Revolution's Reign of Terror. The beautiful Marguerite is thrust into the action in an effort to save her beloved brother. I picked up this classic in the Target bargain aisle based on this little excerpt on the back of the book: 
"We seek him here, we seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven?--Is he in hell?
That deemed elusive Pimpernel?"
I knew nothing about the book and know no one else personally who has read it. I don't know if it's because I had little expectations or if I was just in the right frame of mind, but I loved it! I couldn't wait to read it each night. It was like a Jane Austen Adventure story. Which sounds bizarre but clearly worked for me. I would absolutely love to see a modern movie version of this book. I've attempted to watch there version available on Netflix, but it's a huge bust.  I can't get past the first five minutes. I give the book 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

4. Bossypants by Tina Fey
A memoir by Saturday Night Live alum and 30-Rock writer/producer/star Tina Fey. I would call this "memoir light." I feel like we get some fun stories, hilarious self-depricating humor, and teases of celebrity dish. I'm pretty sure if I became famous and wrote a memoir it would be like this one. There's probably some juicy stuff that's been left out (as any self-respecting mother and currently employed Hollywood-type would do). But there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, so I give it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

I keep my Bible on the nightstand and try to read from it most nights. I'm amazed over and over again the the depth of teaching, hope, and wisdom and the beauty of the language found in the Bible. It continues to blow my mind. I like that.

Those are my January reads. I've mentioned it before, but I'm a member of Goodreads. It's a free site where you can track what you've read, rate books, review books, read reviews from others (including me!). I find it much easier to find new reading material now. As is evident by the growing pile of books in my to-read pile! If you belong to Goodreads or decide to join, you can find me (and friend me) by clicking the Goodreads link on the right side of this blog.

Have you read anything good lately?

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