Good Books Read – May 2014

We are into our 5th month of 2014 already. The good news is I have made great progress on my reading goals for the year. I have spent a lot of time in the vehicle waiting for my son during his activities which allowed for more reading. I also continue to read before bedtime.  I have read several great books this year.  Here are some of them.

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.  Here is my review that I left on Goodreads.  I didn’t realize that this was a British Chick Lit book when I pick it up from the library. All I knew was that my sister gave it a 5 star, so I wanted to read it. Normally I don’t like books set in Great Britain. Normally I don’t like self-centered, non-motivated characters, but Jojo Moyes did a great job writing this book and pulling me into the story. I began to love both Lou and Will by the middle of the book. I wanted to know what happened, so I could put it down. Even though I liked this book from the beginning I continued to like it more and more as I read and decided it was a “great book” when I had tears streaming down my face.
However I liked this book because it made me think of my values and morals. What I believe…and why I believe it. It made me so grateful for my faith and belief in all life is valuable and precious in God’s eyes. So yes, whether I agreed with the ending or not, (I don’t) it deserves 5 stars because of how it made me think and re-evaluate what I believe and know.

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Snapshot by LIs Wiehl.  I have read several of Ms. Wiehl’s book and have enjoyed each one.  This one was great as well.  This is a mystery of a murder in 1965.  It is well written, and it had elements of history woven into the story.  It was fast paced which I really like in a mystery.

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The Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor is my favorite health book that I have read lately.  What he states makes complete sense to me about a calorie is not a calorie and that food quality matters.  I have been trying to cook more according to his recommendations and have noticed small differences.  I really do look at foods and think about how SANE it is.  You will have to read the book to know what that means.

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I am continuing to read the O’Malley series by Dee Henderson.  The Truth Seeker was a great one.  All of the books have been good.

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Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson is a young adult fantasy that my son, Z, recommended to me.  It was a good versus evil story that was fun and light-hearted. I can’t wait for the next book in the Reckoners series.

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I have read many more good books, so you can go to my Goodreads page to find them, but the final book I will mention here is Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease by Robert H. Lustig, M.D. I only gave it a four stars because it wasn’t as organized as I would have liked but the information in the book is well researched and interesting.  Mr. Lustig is well-known for being an expert on sugar in a diet.  He knows his stuff.  This book just reconfirmed my goal of reducing, in hopes to some day eliminating, added sugar as well as processed foods in my diet.  If you are interested in health, I would recommend reading this book, or you may want to listen to his presentation, Sugar, The Bitter Truth on UCTV.

Are you finding time to read?  Any recommendations of an awesome books is always appreciated.

Good Books Read – Dec 2013

It has been 9 months since I blogged about what I was reading.  The last time, I kept losing my posts, and gave up.  However, it is the end of the year, so I thought I would tell you about some of the good reads from 2013.  I will have read around 95 books by the end of the year.  I still check them out from the library. I have read a few books on my tablet, but I prefer the feel and smell of a book in my hands.

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I will start with my current read, Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moos. This book is all about how the food manufacturers hook us on their foods using large amounts of salt, sugar and fat.  It may not be my favorite read of the year, but I am glad I am reading it.  The changes in our food, especially processed foods since the 1970s is scary.  I would recommend reading it.

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My most recent 5 star read is another Karen Kingsbury.  She rarely disappoints.  I don’t watch a lot of tv, but I do enjoy The Voice or The Sing-Off.  This book, Fifteen Minutes is one of her newest books and is set around the reality singing shows that are so popular right now.  Ms. Kingsbury kept me captivated as our star swore his possible fame wouldn’t change him, but the slippery slope happened.  I really enjoyed the ending.

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My friend, Julie, recommended I try Christian mystery author, Dee Henderson.  Thank you, Julie.The prequel to her O’Malley Series was a 5 star. Danger in the Shadows.

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I gave the first book in the series, The Negotiator, 4 stars but probably should have given it 5 stars.  I really like Ms. Hendersen’s writing style.  She keeps me wanting to read. Her characters are loveable with their flows.  I would recommend checking out one of Ms. Hendersen’s books. I plan to continue reading this series in 2014.

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Another Christian author I plan to continue reading in 2014 is Irene Hannon.  I recently read her first book in the Private Justice series, Vanished. Wow, this one started exciting and kept me interested. I think this was another author that Julie recommended to me.

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The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a terrific young adult read.  There were unexpected twists in this book that had me giving it 5 stars.

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I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan is another young adult novel that I would highly recommend.  It is an emotional book about loyalty and finding who they really are.

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I have to add Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis.  A true story about a teen who went to Uganda and lost her heart there.  She has created an amazing place that has helped the Ugandians better their lives.

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Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger was a fascinating read. It made me much more aware of marketing  and advertising have an effect on people. If you have any interest in psychology you will enjoy this book.

There are more, but this list is getting a little long.  I think I will set my reading goal at 72 books for 2014. That is only 6 books a month, but as I look at the new year, I don’t know that I will have as much time. As always you can follow me on Goodreads

What is your favorite new read or author?  Please leave a comment: I love finding out about new, good reads.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

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I know I haven’t posted anything lately about books I have been reading.  The last couple of times I have tried, half way through writing a post, I lose it.  It is frustrating kind of on a scale of trying to sweep cooked rice.

However, I just finished reading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.  I had my son read it for school since he is studying about the early 1800s in history right now.  So of course, I read it, so we could discuss it.

I really wasn’t sure.  A book written by a slave couldn’t be written that well.  I was wrong.  He kept me reading.  It is a hard book to read in that Mr. Douglass describes some brutal beatings and torture of some of his fellow slaves.  If you are squeamish it might be hard to read, however, I think everyone should read this book.  It focuses on the dehumanizing of one race of people by the other.  That is so dangerous.  We can never ever let ourselves think of any human being as non-human.  Anything can be done to the other without the least bit of bothering to the conscience if we think that way.  Isn’t that how the Holocaust happened?  Isn’t it how we can justify abortion…it is my body, the fetus (not the baby) isn’t human?

Actually it is happening now less than 100 miles from where I live.  A white supremacist group is trying to take over a small town.  People are trying to stop it.  There was a rally this weekend to show support of all people.  The interesting thing was the newspaper then stated that one of the white supremacists members said none of it bothered him because to him those people weren’t human.  Oh, such dangerous words.  So dangerous of a way to think.

I do not remember who said it, but when you don’t know your history you are doomed to repeat it.  We need to know our history, the good and the bad.  Let’s not repeat the bad things.

A – Z Reading Survey

I came across this survey at Writing Christian Novels and thought it would be fun to try. It originated at The Perpetual Page Turner.  Check them out for fun answers from those ladies.

Author you’ve read the most books from:
Sidney Sheldon.  Loved his mysteries.  He did a fabulous job of bringing several characters together and then tying it all together at the end. He never over did the blood and gore. I think I read all of his books back in the day.  More recently it would have to be Karen Kingsbury followed by Kristin Hannah.

Best Sequel Ever:
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.  I actually enjoyed this book even more than the first one, Hunger Games.  Needless to say I am looking forward to seeing the movie this November.

Currently Reading:
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston  This book was assigned to my 12th grade son for summer reading for his AP English Lit class.  I decided to read it too.  Really struggling with it.  Just not seeing the point in the book.  I am 3/4ths done.  Hope it all comes together at the end.

Drink of Choice While Reading:
Hot tea or Mio flavored water.

E-reader or Physical Book?
Definitely a physical book.  Love the smell and feel of a book. I also find looking for books in our public library relaxing and a form of entertainment. I am glad that e-readers are out there and do read a book on it from time to time.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
No idea. Dated my husband in high school.  Still very much in love with him so can’t imagine dating anyone else.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
The Host by Stephenie Meyer I do not read vampire books, so I have not read any of her Twilight books.  However a friend loves those books.  She encouraged me to try The Host since it doesn’t have vampires.  I really enjoyed this book.  I love to read books with moral dilemmas or books that blur who is good and who is bad.  They make you think.  This one did that for me.

Hidden Gem Book:
 After by Amy Efaw This was one that I picked up when browsing the library.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:
For me this is a strange question….probably the day I learned to read.

Just Finished:
 Fly Away by Kristin Hannah.  The sequel to Firefly Lane

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
Erotica, Vampire books and True Crime novels with gratuitous blood and gore

Longest Book You’ve Read:
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini  It was 860 pages.  The thing is I read it and the other 3 books in the series out loud to my boys.  That is a lot of words.  I hope to read The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas some day. It has over 1200 pages.

Major book hangover because of:
Shades of Blue by Karen Kingsbury

Number of Bookcases You Own:
I usually borrow my books.  Those I own are in a couple of boxes.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
I don’t read books multiple times because there are too many out there too read.  Why waste my time rereading.

Preferred Place To Read:
Propped in bed

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:
I don’t have one.  I can never remember quotes.

Reading Regret:
I wish I wasn’t forced to analyze classics to death in high school.  Didn’t enjoy them and then didn’t pick up a classic until just a few years ago.  I would have missed out on Frankenstein or Animal Farm if I hadn’t started to read them again.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):
I really can’t think of any that I need to finish right now.

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:
I am picking a classic, a Christian fiction and a non fiction:                                          The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom                                                                          This Side of Heaven By Karen Kingsbury                                                                      Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think  by Brian Wansink

Unapologetic Fan Girl For:
Catherine Anderson.  She writes romances.  I don’t read romances often, but every once in a while I will.  Whenever I have read one of her books I have enjoyed them.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
I don’t usually pay attention to what is coming out. I don’t feel the need to read something as soon as it is out.  So instead, a book I am waiting for from my library is Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa Terkeurst

Worst Bookish Habit:
I check out more books from the library at one time than I can ever read. Always have 5-8 books sitting on my dresser waiting to read.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
Again, I don’t really have a bookcase, so instead I am listing the book that is 27th on my “Read” list on Goodreads….Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  It was one that I kept hearing about and finally read.  At times I really enjoyed the book and at times I really did not like it at all.

Your latest book purchase:
I rarely buy books, but I just bought Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien for my son for $.25 at a garage sale.  I haven’t read The Lord of the Rings books yet, but they are on my list to read.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
When a Secret Kills by Lynette Eason.  It is the third in a series and I just had to see how they all came together.

There you go.  Hopefully you will find a book or two to put on your “to read” list.  I would love any suggestions as to a “must read”.

Good Books Read

It has been three months since I did my last Good Reads post. I have been reading a lot. I have read in the car while travelling (for swim meets), in hotels, at the pool waiting during swim meets, waiting for my son to be done with basketball practice, and at night before bed. Because of the crazy, busy time with a lot of waiting time, I have been able to read 35 books in the first three months of the year. A book goes with me everywhere. I have read some great books and some, not so great books. Here are a few that I really enjoyed.

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This fast paced mystery, 15 Seconds by Andrew Gross that started off quickly and just kept going.  There was action during most of the book.  I loved how the characters were connected yet most of the book I wasn’t sure how.  It tied together nicely at the end. There was little graphic violence that worked with the story.  I think what I loved the most was that I kept thinking how just 15 seconds can change someone’s life.

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The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel was such a sweet love story with Alzheimer’s as the current conflict and the Holocaust as the past basis for the what was going on now.  It just worked.

Unfortunately I had several other books to tell you about, but when I went to save my draft so I wouldn’t lose it while I proof read it, the rest of my post disappeared.  Since I do not have time to rewrite it, you only get two books from my Good Reads “Read” section.  I sure hope you are finding time to read.

I leave you with this quote by Zig Ziglar.  “Our ‘formal education’ basically teaches us how to read and from that point on we read to learn.”

Is that true to you?  Even when you are reading for fun and relaxation, are you learning?  I think I am.

The Host – Movie and Book

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Are you planning on seeing the movie, The Host?  It is a movie based on the book, The Host by Stephenie Meyer.

The Host (The Host, #1)

I read the book three years ago at the recommendation of my friend, Cheryl.  I have not read, nor plan to read any of Meyer’s Twilight books.  I am just not into vampires.  However, I kept hearing that Ms. Meyers is an amazing writer. Cheryl told me about The Host, and since there weren’t vampires in it, I decided to try it.

Here is my review from Goodreads.  “This is not a book I would typically read, but it was suggested to me by a friend.  I started the book not expecting to like it because I usually would prefer not to read about aliens.  However Ms. Meyer’s writing style brought me into the book immediately, and she developed an interesting character, Wanda.  The moral dilemmas and the dignity and value of all life throughout this book kept me from putting the book down way past bedtime.”

Aliens or not, I loved the psychological and moral aspects of this book.  I gave a 4 out of 5 star rating; mostly because I just can’t seem to give a 5 to a book about aliens. This book has over 600 pages, and I read it in less than a week during the summer time. (It is when I read the least.  Yeah, I know most people read more during summer…me not so much.)

Anyway, the movie is now coming out next week.  I can’t decide if I want to see it or not.  It is rare that a book is as good, much less better, than the movie.  I rarely see a movie on its opening weekend.  I am sure I will wait and see what people say about this movie.

So have you read the book or are you planning on seeing the movie? Do tell.

Good Books Read – Dec 2012

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It has been 6 months since I have updated you on Good Books I have read lately.I didn’ read too much this fall, but I have started reading more lately.  One of my most favorites lately is After by Amy Efaw. It is a book about a teenager who threw her baby in a trash can.  No one knew she was pregnant.  She had even convinced herself that she wasn’t pregnant.  The theme of “fear can make you do anything” is one of my favorite themes for a book.  This one was a home run.

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I really enjoyed Quinn Cummings book, Notes from the Underwire.  It is a book of short stories about her life.  I enjoy her writing style.  It made me laugh.  My favorite quote from page 74 is “I also forgot about the list because my brain works like an Etch-A-Sketch; even the slightest movement causes it to go completely blank.”  So true.  The reason I read this book was I had read her other book….

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I enjoyed this book as well because of her writing style.  It isn’t a typical Homeschooling book, but about her learning about the different ways to homeschool.

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I enjoyed the book, An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-year old panhandler, a busy sales executive, and an unlikely meeting with destiny by Laura Schroff and Alex Thresniowski.  This book gave me an insight to a world I know exists but never see…the world of the drug addicted and their family.  Made me count my blessings.

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I thoroughly enjoyed Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly, so I decided to read Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot.  Again Mr. O’Reilly did a great job of bringing history to life.  It gave interesting details but in an entertaining way.  I think I enjoyed this one even more since it all happened shortly before I was born.

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I also had read Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project a couple of years ago, so I decided to read her new book, Happier At Home.  This book is very similar to her first book, but I enjoyed it just the same.  Always some food for thought on how to create a happier life.

I read several fiction and non fiction books since the last time I did a Good Books Read post, but these are the most interesting books I have read lately. Only one fiction here.  You can follow me on Good Reads to get more up-to-date info on the books I am reading.

I had a goal of at least 80 books read this year, but it looks like I will come up short.  I don’t have the exact count but it looks like I am just over 70 books.  Not bad, averaging almost 6 books a month.  Did you set a goal and did you meet it?  I will set a goal again for 2013, but still working on my goals.

If you want to read about other books I enjoyed this year check out my Good Books Read 1 and Good Books Read 2.

I would love to hear any recommendations for a good read you may have. Leave the titles in the comments.