Friday, January 25, 2013

My Reading List

I have been doing quit a bit of reading lately.

For many months I was not doing much reading, except for my scripture study. Mainly because I feel a little guilt when I read. When I sit down to do it, there is inevitably a laundry pile staring at me, or a mess in the kitchen that needs my attention.
(Side note: Why is it that when the kitchen is clean, everything other mess in the house feels conquerable, and vise versa?)

And then there is the "What would so and so (insert the name of the busiest, most amazing woman you know) think of me if she saw me sitting here reading?!!

Here is the thing though.
I LOVE to read. Adore it, get excited about it.
 My heart skips a little when I think to myself, "After I get feed Walker lunch, get that cleaned up, and him down for a nap, and the laundry folded, and the bathroom wiped down, and the paper stack sorted, (and on and on,) I am going to READ MY BOOK!! And I am a fast reader. I devour books.

When I was growing up, I spent hour upon hour reading. I can remember where in my parents house I sat as I read certain things that still stick with me, that changed the way I thought as I grew up.
So WHY have I been neglecting that important aspect of my life. Sure there are just simply times in this life when it is downright impossible to put things aside and pull out a good book. This is important to me though.

I have been compiling a list of books from friends for months now, and I finally made the trip to the library to get them.
I thought back to some of the books I read during 2012, and I thought I would share a few. I know I am always looking to add to my list of "Must Reads!" Maybe you are too!

 -"Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell.
I have read several of his other books, and they are always thought provoking. Two of his others that come to mind are "The Tipping Point," and "Blink." I think Outliers may be my favorite of his of those three. He certainly gives a new view point to what may seem ordinary. He goes through the factors that have made successful people who they are. This book has me thinking about my current and future goals. I will share more on this book in another post, because it has crossed over into many areas of my life.

-"Forest Born" by Shannon Hale.
I enjoy reading Shannon Hale books. I think mainly because I hope one day my adolescent daughter will love them. There is a long list of books she has authored. Read them all.

-"Killing Licoln"  by Bill O'Reilly
I mentioned that I had read this book on vacation early in 2012. It was really a good read. I wanted to add that a companion book to read before or after this one would be...
-"Team of Rivals" by Dorris Kearns Goodwin
This book is written by a historian. She goes through the early life of Lincoln and all of his cabinet members. I thought reading about the family dynamics and political motivation of all of these leaders of our Nation was fascinating. The accounts of the Southern states at that time was something that stood out to me.

"Out of My Mind" by Sharon M. Draper
This book is about a girl with cerebral palsy who has a photographic memory. I found the story interesting, but sad. It did however give me a whole new way of looking at those who may be unable to express themselves because of a disability. It broadened my compassion and anything that does that is worth reading.

"The Gift" by Gavin de Becker
A friend recommended this book as a must read. It is all about cultivating, and learning to listen to our instincts. It a fascinating look inside the minds of people who become fixated, may be violent, or otherwise disturbed, and how to protect yourself from being their target. While at times I felt he wandered off into his own accolades, politics, and walked the line on name dropping, with out actually doing it,  it starts out with captivating scenarios. I will never look at potential trouble makers in my life the same again. I need to read his follow up book, " Protecting the Gift," which is geared toward parents, and how they can teach their children to follow their instincts.

-"A Single Shard" by Linda Sue Park
This Newbery Medal winning book was one I started reading to my boys. They were a little lost a few chapters in, but I finished it on my own. It is the story of a homeless boy in 12th century Korea who becomes a potter. It is actually more the story of a very old and famous piece of pottery. I enjoyed the book, but after I was done with it, I read the Newbery Honor acceptance speech given by the author that was included at the front of the book. I found her speech to be so inspiring! It made me sit and think about moments and books that have impacted my life. She lit a fire in me to try new things! I will definitely be reading this book with my boys again in a year or two when they are more capable of following.

-"Okay For Now" by Gary D. Schmidt
My Mom recommended this book. I cried like a baby through the first half of it, and thought I couldn't finish. My hormones must have been going crazy or something at that time! But I did finish and it was a nice story about beating the odds. The main character is a boy who is growing up in a disfunctional home, but has many talents that others help him cultivate. It is a Polyanna story. I ended up liking it a lot, even after my emotional roller coaster.

-"The Walk (Series)" by Richard Paul Evans
Speaking of emotional roller coasters! I started reading this series shortly after our remarkable Stake President's (leader of many congregations in our church) amazing wife was severely injured in a life altering accident this past year. I had them on my mind the entire time I read this story. It is the story of a man who goes on a walking journey after his wife is injured in a accident, and all the characters he meets that pull on your heart strings. I was a mess reading this series, but it is really good. I realized how much my family means to me, and it was a really good reminder to me of what matters, and what to do differently during a year that was requiring a lot of mental energy when it came to being flexible in running our business.

-"The Amateur" by Edward Klein
I don't know if this is even worth recommending anymore now that the Presidential election is over. It scared me to death, and there is nothing to do about it. But it does give an interesting insight into the life of Barack Obama leading up to his Presidential win, and his running of the United States. If you are anything like me, you are just trying to enjoy a moment of ignorance after the barrage of in your face politics we just came off of. ( I am very interested in politics, and get too emotionally invested, hence I need a breather while I feel raw after that election, before I dive back in.) I do not know where this author falls as far as party idealogy, because he has worked for Newsweek, and the New York Times, but just as a warning, an as you may guess from the title, this book is critical of Barak Obama.

There you have it! Some of the books that added to my year! I am determined to get as many new ideas as I can into this head of mine in 2013, and books will only help me on my way!

So, now my friends, if you would not mind sharing some of your reads with me! Thanks so much to those who gave me some of the books on this list!
As you can see, Will thinks you ought to read the "Diary of A Wimpy Kid" series. He has got you covered.

Read to Succeed, right?!


Lynette said...

I highly recommend Uncle Tom's Cabin. I am reading it for the second time. I first read it when I was pregnant with my second child and I cried. And cried. And cried. The ending is soooooooo good! :)

Jessie said...

You know Lynette, I have never even read that one! I will add it to my list. Along with other classics like "The Great Gatsby" that I have somehow never cracked open! Thanks!

Kathryn said...

Thanks for the list of recommendations. I have had the same book sitting on my nightstand for months and I just can't seem to read it because of the guilt I feel every time I think about it. You're right though, reading is important to me too...maybe I should sacrifice some sleep for the sake of my long forgotten hobby. :) By the way I love the pictures from your getaway. :)

Lynette said...

You are welcome! :)

Jessica said...

I need to follow example and start reading again. I have a small library sitting next to my bed just waiting for me.

Maranda said...

Best way to recommend books in my opinion! I loved your input. I love to read too, I just need to make time for it. I will be adding those books to my "to read" list. :)

I liked Heaven Is Here by Stephanie Nielsen. Quick and easy. It's her survival story. I'm as sucker for survival stories, or stories with triumph.