As I’ve mentioned, I participated in Caiti’s reading pledge. In case you don’t recall, I pledged to read 10 books this summer. The last time I wrote about the pledge, I was only just starting to read my 7th, in early August. I wasn’t really worried about not reaching my goal at that point… as I was going on vacation shortly and assumed I’d read the whole time as per my usual. Surprising myself, I ended up spending more time socializing with my family and my sister’s friends, instead of reading. I only read one book in the five days I was there.
So when I got sick upon my return from vacation, and didn’t pick up another book or e-reader, for another two weeks, I was beginning to sweat. As of a week and a half ago, I was only at 8 books. I really didn’t want to slack and miss my goal. An 80% just isn’t my overachiever style. So I hunkered down, and thanks to Jon’s absence and Irene’s presence I managed to surpass my goal. I finished with 11 books read this summer. Just for your information, despite my immense distaste for and fear that real, in-hand physical books might fail to exist in the future, three of the eleven books I read, were read on my mom’s kindle. Mostly because I’m lazy and wanted to read the books but didn’t want to go to the store or wait for Amazon to ship them to me. Eventually I’ll write a full post on e-readers versus actual books, but for now, in the interest of not getting frustrated, I’ll just review the last few books I read.
Mocking Jay: When last I spoke about it, I had just read the Hunger Games and I was in the midst of Catching Fire. Well I finished the series with Mocking Jay, and immediately lent the books to my dear friend Jessi. As I expected she loved them all. I loved them all. They were great and I am so excited they’re being made into movies. Even though movies do tend to fall short of their corresponding books , I can’t imagine that these story lines and characters can be butchered badly enough to make the movies enjoyable. I do have one question about the series for those who read it, were you rooting for Katniss to end up with the guy she ends up with? (I guess that contains a sort of spoiler for those who haven’t read it, but it doesn’t ruin it, promise) I was like 70% disappointed, just a rough estimation.
The Cookbook Collector: This is the book I read while on vacation. I heard about this book over a year ago and I only heard good things about it. I read Emma’s post praising it and I knew I would just love it. And love it, I did. The main characters (who are sisters) are very dynamic and complement each other well. It’s just interesting. I really, truly enjoyed it. It’s one of those books that you can’t just immediately pick up another book and start reading, you have to ruminate it for a while. Perhaps this is the real reason I socialized on vacation?…Anyway, read it! It’s great.
The Help: This is a book I read on my mom’s kindle. I wanted to read it before seeing the movie so I instantly downloaded it and read it in about two days. I thought the book was good but I feel like the fear the main characters should have been experiencing was not portrayed as well as it should’ve been considering the climate in which the story is set. (The movie did a moderately better job of this.) However, the characters are pretty awesome. I loved hating Hilly Holbrooke and rooting for Minnie. Skeeter was relatable and funny. Who didn’t love Aibileen and Mae Mobley? Although, seriously could there be a worse name for a child Mae Mobley? I like the name Mae but they always call her by her full name and the combination is just terrible. Sorry. All in all, if you’re looking for something that explores relationships between women, give this a read.
The Book Thief: I dare to say that this is my favorite book of the summer, possibly the year. Although it’s rather heavy for a summer read. At first, I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it. It takes a little to get into and at first you may think that it’s narrator “Death” is just bizarre, but keep reading, eventually I got over my distaste for his being the narrator and actually thought it made the story a bit more interesting. I ended up enjoying the narrator as another character involved but outside of the story as well. The protagonist is a little girl who lives with her foster parents in Nazi Germany. I loved almost every character. It’s an awesome book. Read it. Read it. Read it. I promise you won’t regret it no matter what your favorite genre is.
One Day: The last book I read was an extra to my pledge and again I read it on my mom’s kindle as a result of seeing the commercial for the movie on tv (although I still haven’t seen the movie so I can’t compare the two.) The book takes place over the course of 20 years on the same day every year (July 15th St. Swithins Day), focusing on the relationship between sometimes-selfish Dexter and selfless Emma. It’s an interesting idea that’s nicely executed. If you like Nicholas Sparks novels ( I have read almost all of these because my sister is a big fan) or other romance novels, you will love this love book. Since generally, I only like happy endings between couples (Thank you- childhood of watching Disney movies), this lacked a bit for me, but regardless I enjoyed it. Sometimes I just need to be forewarned that I’m not going to get to read a happy ending, and I was not expecting this ending at all.
Thanks to Caiti, I challenged myself and read a lot of good books this summer. I’m really proud of the fact that I love to read and making the pledge publicly kept me accountable and motivated, which doesn’t always happen so I’m really glad I did it. Now I get to go over to Caiti’s blog and participate in a giveaway for a $30 gift certificate to Amazon. Even if you didn’t read at all this summer, you can participate in the giveaway too. So go on over and comment on Caiti’s awesome giveaway. Good Luck.
If you’re looking for some more book recommendations, Caiti also reviewed all the books she read and Emma has an entire page with some awesome recommendations. Do you have any recommendations for me? I’d love to hear them so I can always have more reasons to keep reading. If there’s always another book to read, then I don’t have to feel bittersweet about finishing a book.