Saturday, June 2, 2012

What I'm Reading

I'm a reading machine, I know. But I hadn't posted about "What I'm Reading" in a while and I'm still playing catch-up. (So, this is part 2.)

Voyager (Diana Gabaldon)
The third book in the Outlander series.

When I finished the second installment, Dragonfly in Amber, I was in a mad rush to grab the third. But then The Hunger Games movie was coming out, and my friends were all like, "You HAVE to read these books!" (Umm, you can read my opinion on that here.) So, I was side-tracked for a while.

But, when I was finally able to pick it up, I could not put it down. I was thrilled to be thrown into Jamie and Claire's story once again, travelling through time and venturing along mid-eighteenth century Scotland. And, like in all of these books, I have my moments where I cry with, scream at and dote on the characters. But who doesn't?

Without giving too much away, I'm eager to get the fourth installment because (to be quite honest) I'm interested in seeing a new view point and how that's going to work.

Juicing, Fasting and Detoxing for Life (Cherie Calbom)
"Unleash the Healing Power of Fresh Juices and Cleansing Diets"

I read this book last year and it made a big impression on me, so I ordered it from Amazon right after Christmas. There are great tips on juicing, and how and when to cleanse certain organs. Your liver, gallbladder and kidneys do so much work, and correlate with things you wouldn't imagine, which is why it's crucial to keep them clean and working at their best. This healing book includes secrets for vibrant health, mental and emotional cleansing, nutrient content, and a plethora of recipes. Ugh, I can't recommend this book enough!

Now, I really, really need a great juicer so I can dive even farther into this book! (Mr. B, are you reading this?!)

Lady Susan (Jane Austen)
Mr. B downloaded this for me on his Kindle Fire.

I love you, Jane, but this was not my cup of tea. I really enjoy novels (or in this case, novellas) written entirely through letters (like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society). It's a great way to tell a story. However, Lady Susan is a horrible person! I didn't like her character one bit, and although that seemed to be Austen's point, I still didn't enjoy it. I had happy visions of other characters slugging her.

Olive Kitteridge (Elizabeth Strout)
Our new Book Club read for April/May.

This book is made up of short stories, with the main character, Olive Kitteridge, somewhere in each story....whether she's in the background just passing through, or front and center sharing her story. Many of the book club members suggested maybe reading a non-fiction or a short stories collection, and one member recalled this book.

It won the 2009 Pulitzer, was on Oprah's Book list at one point, and is very easy to find at any library. My main library happened to have it as a Book Club To Go (BCTG), a canvas bag supplying 10 copies of the book along with study guides and discussion questions.

Anyhoo, did I like this book? At first it took me a while to get into it. Then I really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I disliked it in the end. I'm not sure if it was because it was a short-story collection, if I didn't care for the main character, if there were too many unanswered questions, or if it was just too sad and depressing.....I don't know. I do know that I really enjoyed Strout's writing style and many of the other characters.

However, this was the best book club discussion we've had so far. There were many different opinions and interpretations, many agreements and even more disagreements.  What I learned from our meeting: Apparently, I was a very sheltered child, and I come from a very conservative, small town. Yeah, I wouldn't change a thing. I'm proud and wouldn't change my roots.

Have you read and good books lately? Share your good reads in the comments!

With Love and God Bless,

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