Reading Space

I'm constantly reading, whether novel or non-fiction, you can often find a pile of books by my night stand. I'm known to read multiple books at a time.  For 2011, I'll be compiling a running list of books that I complete, mostly for my own archive. Any suggestions for books is welcomed. I would also love to hear what you're reading, and what is currently inspiring you...

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.  (Charles W. Eliot)

On January 1st, 2011, I moved to a new apartment and in the process, purged probably close to 100 books. I realized there's no use in holding onto it all. I released my books to donation so that others may also benefit from the magic of reading. Our new apartment has afforded me the opportunity for more creativity, and I look forward to getting settled, with plans for a comfy chair in the nook of our bedroom that will be my literal reading space. For now, I hope you enjoy my virtual reading space...

To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations - such is a pleasure beyond compare.  (Kenko Yoshida)


I will rank books on a 5 point scale. 5 being "Excellent" and 0 of course, "Terrible." All are my personal opinion based on the writing style, progression of the story, and character development. Sometimes, a book might have been written well, but I simply did not enjoy it. (An asterisk * indicates that it was from the library)

    1. Simply from Scratch. (January 7). 5/5 * First book of the year. I devoured this one in pretty much one day. I just sat on my couch all of the Saturday afternoon into the evening and finished it. I learned about this book from a fellow blogger, Stephthebookworm . She mentioned it in her review of books she read in 2011. It was lovely!!! I loved it <3

    I will rank books on a 5 point scale. 5 being "Excellent" and 0 of course, "Terrible." All are my personal opinion based on the writing style, progression of the story, and character development. Sometimes, a book might have been written well, but I simply did not enjoy it. (An asterisk * indicates that it was from the library)
    1. Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lessons (January 20)  5/5* Perfect timing in my life
    2. Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga (a yearly progress)
    3. American Wife (January 28) 4.8/5* Absolutely loved
    4. The Witch of Portobello (January 30) 1.5/5* blargh
    5. Remember Me?  (February 2) 3/5* Book club read from work. Cute, girly. Can see it being made into a chick flick movie.
    6. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life  (February 4) 4/5* Laugh out loud, genuine.
    7. The Art of Racing in the Rain (February 18)* I've decided that I cannot give this book a rating. I loved the concept of the perspective from the dog, and it was written well with a cool storyline, but honestly, this book completely drained me. I think I may have read it at the wrong time in my life. I think it might be made into a movie?
    8. Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between. (February 19)* 4/5. This story would be good for a non-nurse or student nurse to read in order to get a pretty accurate understanding of what goes on during the day/night for a nurse. However, I think the title is misleading in that the author is not a critical care nurse, but works on a medical-oncology floor. Still worth the read and I could related to a lot of what she wrote.
    9. Still Missing (March 1)* 4/5. Totally screwed up. Awesome thriller.
    10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (?Date that I finished?). Will definitely be reading the next two.
    11. The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. (May 16)* 4/5.LOVELY!
    12. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  (May 26) 5/5. One of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. Actually, it's probably in my top 20 of all time favorites. The only way that I can describe this book is, "I never knew...I never knew!" Worth the read for the knowledge alone.
    13. Catching Fire.(May 29)* This is the second book in the trilogy of The Hunger Games. It's definitely not my usual style of books, but I am enjoying them. In fact, I gobbled this one up in about a day and a half. I am number 13 of 13 for holds at the library, so hopefully I can get my hands on the third one rather quickly.
    14. A Reliable Wife (June 5)*2.5/5. Overall, okay. A bit draining and melodramatic for my taste. The author seems obsessed with sex. It just became too much at times for me. The characters were also so despicable that you didn't really care what happened to them.
    15. The Cookbook Collector (Aug 27). Ok, technically, I suppose, this shouldn't be here. I could not finish this book. I bought it for my plane ride to Boston at the airport. I love the writing style, but the plot is all over the place. I don't even mind the main characters, but the author introduces way too many characters throughout the entire book that it's driving me insane. Where is this story going? Is it about a cookbook collector, as the title suggests? Or is it about an internet start-up company? hmmm. Over 65% in and I've given up.
    16. Fortune's Rocks (Sept 1)* 5/5. I finished this book in just a few days. I really couldn't put it down and looked forward to going to bed extra early to read it. After my last disappointing read, I was on the hunt for a page-turner. After searching Borders because of their going out of business sales, I happened upon Anita Shreve. I've seen her work before, but never read anything. After some investigating, I picked up Fortune's Rocks from my library. I am so happy that I did! I will most definitely be reading more of her work as her prose is simply lovely.
    17. Whistling in the Dark (Sept 4)* 4.5/5. I loved how the book was written from the perspective of a 10 year old girl. It reminded me of myself at that age. And despite that the story took place in the 50's, I could still relate to the young girls and the things that they did. It is kind of a bittersweet book, but I enjoyed it immensely. The cool part is that I just saw there is a sequel to this book that came out this year!
    18. These Things Hidden(Sept 11) 3.9/5. Wow. What an incredibly screwed up story. It definitely took some twists and turns that I was not expecting. Enjoyed it, but it made me sad, too. 
    19. The Violets of March (Sept 24)* 5/5. I LOVED THIS BOOK. I can totally see it being made into a movie, too. It's the kind of novel that I wish I could write...
    20. Cat People (Oct 18) 4/5. This small book has been sitting on my shelf for years. My mom gave it to me. It is a short, quick read that cat lovers will understand.
    21. The Dirty Life (Dec 31)* 4/5. This is the story of a woman from NYC who falls in love with a farmer, and moves her entire city life over to a farm. It's a true story. Did you know that I secretly wish that I lived on a farm? Okay, it's isn't so much secret. Loved this story. Sometimes, though, it was hard for me to follow what was going on when discussing using the horses for work--only because I have never seen it in real life. I technically finished this book 1/1/12, but it was only 20 pages.

    "I've just surfaced from spending several days in a state of rapture: I was reading a book. I loved this book. I loved every second of it. I was transported into its world. I felt alive and engaged and positively brilliant, bursting with ideas, brimming with memories of other books I've loved." (Nora Ephron)