Thursday, April 27, 2017

Books 2017

So, I've realized lately that I kind of miss blogging about books. I really liked going back and thinking hard about what I had read. I'm aware of the fact that this makes me super nerdy, but I also kind of liked having a little catalog of everything I had read in a year.

It's funny, because sometimes I am painfully aware of how little I have read. I have a degree in English and my Master's, too, but there are JUST SO MANY good books that I haven't read. In high school I read some of the "basic" classics, but I feel like in college I kind of skipped ahead and read pieces who lived in the more obscure corners of the literary canon, so in the middle there is this big gaping hole of classic books I just haven't read. It's okay though, you know? My best professors were always the ones who would readily admit that there is always more to read, and they themselves felt like they hadn't read enough.

So this year I'm trying to fill in my holes and read more classics, but that is a less important goal than just reading good things and continuing to learn.

Books so far from 2017 (Two of these are repeat reads. Ahem, I'll let you guess which)

The Music of Dolphins - Karen Hesse. Funny story about this book, my teacher read it to our class in the fifth grade. But I missed parts she read aloud because of ELP and orchestra, so I've always wanted to go back and read it, and I did. Very interesting, sad but sweet.

The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The Inheritance - Charles Finch. Part of a series of guilty pleasure mystery novels.

State of Wonder - Ann Patchett. I was mostly interested in this because one of my favorite books in the world, Journey to the River Sea, is also set in Manaus, Brazil, at the mouth of the Amazon. A scientist goes to the Amazon to get information about a dead colleague and a bunch of interesting weird sciencey stuff happens. But the ending was kind of terrible.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith. LOVED this. Should have read it years ago.

Night - Elie Wiesel

A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens. I finally read this dang blasted book. And I liked it. I didn't love it, but I liked it.

The Wives of Los Alamos -TaraShea Nesbit. Written from a unique perspective. Tells stories from the point of view of women who lived in the top secret facility where the atom bomb was developed during WWII. 

1984 - George Orwell. Blew my mind. I found myself thinking not only about the political scene but also a lot about gospel principles. God does expect us to submit to Him and give Him our free will, but it is all about us gaining happiness. It is about us improving and growing and loving and changing and actually choosing something better. It is not just about God having power. Anyway, this made me think very deeply about how obedience can be freedom (because of the Big Brother saying "Slavery is Freedom") and WHY that is true only if it is done in the right way. It is so easy for this concept to be subtly manipulated into something so heinous. Such a terrifically tragic book, but so good at the same time. 

Anyways, those are my books so far. Any other good suggestions? 


  1. I love these book posts! I love to read but often have no idea what in the world to read... so it's awesome to see book ideas and reviews from someone I trust!

    Sam and I started listening to 1984 on a road trip last year and I had since forgotten about it. This reminds me that I should go back and finish it!

    Right now I'm reading "Sully" (about the guy that landed a plane on the Hudson and saved 155 people) which is interesting. I'm not very far into it yet. I'm also reading "Increase in Learning" by Elder Bednar. It's free on the Deseret Bookshelf app.

    Have you read "Cold Sassy Tree" by Olive Ann Burns? It's nothing spectacular, but it's a cute story about a boy growing up in Georgia in 1906.

  2. The Light We Cannot See isn't a classic, but it's good.
    Book Thief--one of my favorites of all time
    The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova one of my all-time faves as well
    Vanity Fair was highly overrated, in my opinion
    Dumas is wordy but good--he was paid by the word when they were published in serial form, so that makes sense
    Hamilton by Chernow is the book used as the basis for the musical. I haven't seen the show, but I loved the book
    Is that enough? ;)

  3. I just read a really moving book called Hillbilly Elegy by J.D.Vance. Very, very good!! I am from Virginia in the Appalachian mountains. It described my life growing up. I think I cried more with this book than any other.