Sunday, February 1, 2015

January's book pile...

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You all know I love books. I love smelling them, fresh from the library or the Amazon box. I love holding them, the weight of pages filling my hands or sitting on my lap. I love thinking about the work and pride that went into each one. And I love reading... 

So, since I've enjoyed posts for years on what other people are reading. I've been so inspired by lists of books... from Lindsey to Kristen, Virginia and Kara to Danielle and Faith... just to name a few...  I thought I'd go ahead and start a monthly list of what I've read....

January's book pile...

1. The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World.
by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett and Amanda Pressner

My writing buddy Les decided to start a book club, and this was the first book. I'll admit, I had a hard time getting into this book. It's a non fiction account of three friends journeying around the world, told in the three distinct voices of the authors. Once I got into the rhythm of each story teller the story flowed better, and I couldn't put it down! This book is a great one to read in the winter months, though make sure you're ready to deal with some major wander lust.

2. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry: A Novel
by Gabrielle Zevin

I can't say enough good things about this sweet story. It's about a bookseller who has had his life turned upside down, and what happens to have it turned back upright and a bunch of twists along the way. It's a beautiful story, filled with nods to the literary world. It's a quick, feel good read that left me in tears.

3. The Ship of Brides: A Novel
by JoJo Moyes

I've read most of Moyes novels, and this one is in my top three. The Ship of Brides takes place after World War II, on an aircraft carrier. Hundreds of Australian war brides are making their way to England, and the story follows four of them on their journey. As always, expect the unexpected in the story. I find that it takes a few chapters for me to get into any of Moyes books, but once I get there I am in it, and can't put down the book until the ending where everything is tied together masterfully.

4. Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success
by K.M. Weiland

I'd seen this book around Instagram, pictured by other writers, for months. At a point where I needed some guidance on where to go with my novel, I finally picked up this book. Weiland sheds much light on the benefits of outlining, breaking down misconceptions that those of us who haven't used outlines before might make.... like that outlines stifle creativity and are boring {ahem....} She gives straight forward tips and hints to use to create your own outlining process. Because of this book I've been able to think about my novel in new ways, and don't feel nearly as overwhelmed as I did just a few weeks ago.

5. Windfallen
by JoJo Moyes

This Moyes second novel, and I loved seeing how her writing has changed over the years. Her newer books are more succinct, but this story has beautiful scenery and landscape details that her later books haven't included as much {possibly because of the location... this takes place in a seaside villiage} Another story filled with complex characters and interwoven stories.

6. Time of My Life: A Novel
by Allison Winn Scotch

I've had several of the authors books on my list for quite some time, but I finally requested them from the library. Time of My Life is a quick, entertaining read. The story line is something that I think we all think about from time to time - it all hinges on the question of "what if?" The main character gets a glimpse of what life could have been like if she had made a few different choices... and leaves the reader asking their own what if questions! A nice, enjoyable read for a snow day.

7. Free to Learn: Five Ideas for a Joyful Unschooling Life
by Pam Laricchia

After spending some time on Laricchia's blog I decided to take the plunge and buy all three of her books. I started with this one because it was her first book. She dives into the five "paradigm-changing" ideas about learning and living that she has found while on her family's journey of unschooling. Generally I shy away from labels and whatnot, but as of late I've realized that the way my family lives and learns alligns most with the unschooling principals. Unschooling, to me, is homeschooling without the curriculum, it's learning along side children, helping and guiding, not necessarily teaching. Now that my children are both reading I am more confident in the way that we spend our days, not guided by a curriculum, but by interests and curiosity. All that being said, I enjoyed Laricchia's book, and found myself nodding along as I read. Her writing is clear and concise, and she does a beautiful job of explaining unschooling without the severity that some radical unschoolers possess. {We are far from radical unschoolers... and I still hesitate to use a label of unschooling.... or any label at all. We do what works for us, and adjust as necessary... which I believe is the whole point of homeschooling in general!}A great read to add to the bookshelf for any homeschooling/unschooling family.

8. The Last Letter from Your Lover: A Novel
by JoJo Moyes

Yup. Another one by Moyes! At points this felt a bit like An Affair to Remember, but Moyes added her signature twists and turns and this ended up being another one of my favorites. One of the loveliest parts of this book was the idea of love letters... the power in letters and how we don't write them like we used to. Now it's all texts and emails. Remember what it felt like to get hand written notes, to see the penmanship of your loved one? I can still picture the handwritten notes and letters shared in high school, I bet I could pick out and identify friends and old boyfriends handwriting in a heartbeat. As with all of Moyes books, I read this in not quite two days. Her writing is easy to read and is utterly captivating.

9. The Theory of Opposites
by Allison Winn Scotch

As with Time of My Life, this story revolves around the idea of fate and destiny, and how much control we have over what happens in our life. Another enjoyable, quick read, though very similar to her other work. What I did find interesting was this is one of the few books I've read that deals with the impact social  media has on our lives - Facebook and texting in particular. I makes me wonder what dating would have been like if Facebook had been part of the equation {I joined facebook after the kids were born!} and what dating in the digital age is like now. I'm kind of thankful that Lucas and I were together before the days of FB stalking and public relationship status buttons!



There you have it, January's book pile. I'm excited for February, and all of the books on my shelf... the ones pictured above but not listed are the first to be read this month.What are you all reading? I'd love some suggestions!


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9 comments:

  1. Yay! I'm so glad you're sharing the books you read! I've never read a Jojo Moyes book, but I'll have to soon!

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  2. I haven't read AJ Firky and I think I really need to! Love reading what you're reading. xox

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  3. So funny that we both were inspired to make book lists. You've inspired me to read some Jojo Moyes. I've seen her books and heard a lot of buzz but now I'm convinced! I'm particularly interested in yout thoughts on how her writing has changed... no sure where I'll start but I'm headed to the Moyes section soon!

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  4. I love Jojo Moyes! But I've not read all of these, I will have to check them out. And thanks for the recommendations, I ordered Outlining your novel!

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  5. First Frost is on my list. I've read all her novels and liked them all except the last one. Curious how this one will read.

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  6. I thought I was the only one who smelled books....glad to know I have a twin in the world! Love the pile of books :)

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  7. Ooooh I love this list!!! Definitely going to request some of these from the library. I have really needed a good novel to break up the gloomy rainy weekends when all my kids are busy playing with each other.

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  8. Nice collection.. I love this kind of books and outlines. Thanks for sharing this.
    Digital Books/Outlines

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