Thursday, August 4, 2011

No friends to hang out with? Books are people too!

Hi everyone!

After yesterday's post, I got lots of sweet and encouraging comments that made me feel better! I appreciate all of them and it really does help to hear from people who can say that they've been there and that it will get better. It's nice that so many of you read and can relate to what we're going through, and everyone's support alleviated all my fears of sounding whiny and annoying. So thanks for that! You guys are the best:]

I've posted before about how much I LOVE reading. I definitely got that from my mom, who is the most avid reader I know. We've always shared a love for books, and we're always talking about what we're reading at any given time. I'm also fortunate that my mother-in-law (abbreviated MIL from here on out) loves to read as well! She's even in a book club, which I think is the coolest thing and I hope to join one some day. Here's a hilarious yet true quote that I found about reading:

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.  Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."  -Attributed to Groucho Marx

In elementary-middle school, I read a book every 1-3 days. While I was in college full time and working part time, it was really hard for me to fit in time for pleasure reading (go figure). Over three years of school, the only real time I found to read was during the summer, and I probably read less than 20 books over that time. Then, for graduation in May, my parents got me the best gift ever--a Kindle--and it changed my reading life!

Over the last couple of months, throughout our honeymoon and now moving, my Kindle has become one of my most prized possessions. I would absolutely recommend the Kindle (as opposed to the Nook--no offense Nookies) if you're in the market for something non-book but don't want to buy an iPad. I know some people aren't ok with the idea of giving up the paper feel of an actual novel, but I have to say that I haven't missed 'real books' for a second. There's no awkward holding heavy books open, no dust jackets slipping off...and it just feels more ergonomic to me. The Kindle isn't backlit, so it looks more like a book than some eReaders.  Since I read mostly at night, I got this awesome little case that is definitely a must. Soon you'll even be able to check out books for your Kindle from your local library, which is super convenient. I've found the eBooks to be fairly cheap. Clearly, I'm down with the Kindle.

Since it's summer, I've put together a Summer Reading List of a few things I've enjoyed reading recently, for those of you who might be looking for a good book. I know that some people might not have my taste--I'm always looking for a good story, some romance, and a bit of suspense. I love mysteries, post-apocalyptic stuff and quite a bit of fantasy/sci-fi. I don't usually read non-fiction, but I do enjoy it on occasion if I'm interested in the topic. For vacation I usually prefer light reads, and I make no claims of having any type of standard for what I read (I very much enjoyed The Twilight Series, I have no shame). If it looks or sounds good, I'll read it. Be warned: I'm no literature snob. So here it is.

1. I'm currently reading the third book in the seven book Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. It's called Voyager, and so far it's just as amazing as the first two. My MIL recommended the series and said they were some of her favorites. I can absolutely see why. Each book is between 800-1000 pages long. This might seem daunting at first, but I love it since it just draws out the awesome (and with the Kindle, I don't have to worry about dropping 5 pounds of book on my face if I fall asleep reading). This series is an absolute must if you like time travel, history, war, suspense, romance, Scotland, and/or attractive (sounding) Scottish guys. Suffice it to say I'm in love with the whoooole thing.

2. After graduation, I started reading The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I noticed it on the Amazon best seller list, and when I started reading I originally didn't realize it was written for young adults. That being said, it has a lot of very intense content and it is an extremely interesting read, regardless of your age. It's a futuristic story about love, sacrifice, and survival. It's reminiscent of The Giver, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451, so if you like that type of book, you would undoubtedly enjoy this series. I convinced my mom to read the books, and she couldn't put them down. Definitely a great read.

3. Before we left for our honeymoon, I researched good honeymoon reads. I was directed by lots of sources to Something Borrowed and Something Blue by Emily Griffin, which are two different perspectives on the same story. They are very easy reading, and I finished each one in two days. They're entertaining, but I thought they were an interesting honeymoon recommendation because the books are written about infidelity and a called-off engagement (no spoilers...that's in the first chapter). While that sounds like an off-putting honeymoon topic, the books are light enough that I never felt bothered. If you like fluff sometimes (I do) go with these.

4. On a completely different, non-fluffy note, a book that I surprisingly loved was The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I borrowed the book from Thomas' dad (aka my FIL) who has very different taste than I do, and I expected to not really like it. I ended up finishing it after 3 days because I loved it so much. It's post-apocalyptic, very dark, and a definite tear jerker at times. I liked it because it makes you think about and appreciate life, which is always a nice refresher. There's a movie now, which I haven't seen, but I would definitely suggest reading the book (everyone knows the book is always better than the movie).

5. Finally, I would suggest everyone read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Again, I know there's a movie. I haven't seen the movie (remember, we're poor), but I hear it's good. The book is surely better. This was another great suggestion from my MIL, and I couldn't put it down. It pays off to know other readers! It's set in the early 20th century and gives lots of interesting perspectives on life in the old school circus. There's romance (a must), lots of adventure, animals!, and it's a very touching story. In my opinion, it's even a little reminiscent of The Notebook (which all the ladies love). Trust me, read it.

By no means is this a comprehensive list. I've read so many books, it's hard for me to remember them all! These are the books I've read most recently, or that I feel the need to recommend to anyone who will listen. Since most of the books listed above are either a) really long or b) part of a series, the entire list (if not just the first series) would get you through the summer including any fun vacations you might be taking. I love book suggestions, so please leave me comments about some of your favorites!

Here's a list of books I'm hoping to read soon:
-The Help by Kathryn Stockett
-In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
-The Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris (who could resist after True Blood?)
-In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
-Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Tell me about any other books you think I'd like, and I'll tell you if I've read them!

 While I wrote this post, the nap committee held their bi-weekly meeting in the new bed.

-T, K, J, & C

Disclaimer: In no way did Amazon ask/pay me to talk about how awesome the Kindle is. I just happen to love it and couldn't help but share.


  1. Another couple I'd recommend: The Help (movie to be released soon)& anything by Jodi Picoult. (I'm a librarian at heart) and summer's always a good time for some Harry Potter!
    I echo your feelings for the Kindle - best invention ever!
    happy reading & hugs,

  2. Never thought I would like a Kindle but you have me convinced! Good books are the best. Love,love that quote! What a bunch of snoozers!!!!

  3. Aaahhhh loved this post. Although I'm a "nookie" :)

    I thought I would miss having actual books too (I mean, what would I fill my bookcases with?), but I don't. I read SO much more now... constantly almost.

    If you like fantasy/romance you may try something by Laurel K. Hamilton (personally recomend the Anita Blake series).. It's vampire/zombie/werewolf stuff, but it's from the early 90's so it not a twilight knock off. And she has TONS of books, which is good if you end up liking her.

    Loved the hunger games series! I want to read Water for elephants because the movie was SO good.