I finally found a New Year’s resolution that I can stick to! Reading more books has been fun, eye-opening, and as easy as turning off the television (except for Downton Abbey and White Collar reruns). But one thing I didn’t count on was the expense – when did books get so pricey?
Luckily, I’ve discovered that I can borrow books from the library on my Kindle – thanks for the tip, Mom! And I am learning where all of the used bookstores are in my area. If my January Reading Log is any indication of how my reading year will go, 2013 looks to be a promising year!
The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien – Rereading Tolkien’s delightful Hobbit adventure was on my resolution list for 2012. Technically, I started this book last year and finished it on January 2nd. I enjoyed it just as much this time as the last time I read it – the sweeping adventure, cast of characters, songs (yes, songs in the book), and Bilbo’s journey of discovery make this one of my favorite books of all time! It will be interesting to see how The Hobbit movie trilogy captures the essence of this fantasy classic.
The Lucky One, Nicholas Sparks – A predictable love story of luck and loss. Logan Thibault finds a photo of Elizabeth Green with the message, “Keep safe x” on the back. He is a Marine serving in Iraq, and he finds that the photo is his lucky charm. Thibault returns to the U.S. and sets out on a journey to find Elizabeth. When he finds her, he keeps the story of the photo a secret, even as the two begin a passionate love affair in a small southern town. But trouble is brewing in the form of Elizabeth’s ex-husband, and Logan must face him (and the truth) before he loses all that he holds dear. Not the type of book I usually pick up, but it was a quick, entertaining and romantic read.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, Laurie R. King – Mary Russell is a precocious teenager who is bored – a bad combination, indeed! Orphaned by a tragic accident and living with her aunt, who controls the purse strings until Mary comes of age, Mary literally stumbles over the great Sherlock Holmes as he gathers data on his new obsession – bees. Middle-aged and no longer sleuthing, Holmes seems a shadow of what he once was, until Miss Russell comes into his life. Soon Russell and Holmes are involved in a series of dangerous mysteries, and as Holmes teaches Miss Russell the subtleties of his craft, Mary shows him that her young mind may be a match for his in every way. The authentic settings, thrilling plot lines, and genuine characters of this book have me completely hooked – can’t wait to read more of the series!
Women Food and God, Geneen Roth – Roth gets to the heart (or stomach) of the matter of women and dieting in this thought-provoking book. The chapters flow from her experiences at workshops across the country where she guides women in the practices of meditation, inquiry, and mindful eating. Roth contends that we should listen to our bodies more and our minds less as we navigate the world of emotions and food. Everything we need to know is in our stomachs, and if we pay attention to what our stomachs are telling us, we can unlock our natural weight and who we really are.
A Monstrous Regiment of Women, Laurie R. King – Mary Russell is a few years older and wiser, an Oxford graduate and young woman about to come into her own fortune. Her college friend Veronica introduces her to Margery Childe, an inspirational speaker who preaches at The New Temple in God. While Margery instructs her followers in the ways of good works and feminism, she longs for a better understanding of the Biblical texts. She convinces Mary to teach her, bringing Mary into her inner circle. It is here that Mary learns of the mysterious deaths of several young, rich women in the church. Soon she is on the case – and not a moment too soon as her own life may be in danger. While Sherlock Holmes takes a backseat in this adventure, his relationship to Mary is of the utmost importance. I could not put this book down!
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs – Jacob thinks his grandfather is crazy. How else can he explain the unusual photographs and strange stories that his grandfather tells him about a children’s home on a remote Welsh island during World War II? But when Jacob’s grandfather is murdered by a strange creature that only Jacob can see, Jacob must travel to Wales to discover the truth. What he discovers there will change him forever. I was immediately drawn into the narrative of this story by the clever use of vintage photographs to support the tale. Riggs has created a world where the unbelievable doesn’t seem so far-fetched after all. The plot is reminiscent of X-men: Origins – surely Riggs is working on a sequel…
The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – After devouring the first two Mary Russell stories, it was only logical that I turn to the sleuthing-genius himself. Regarded by many to be Sherlock Holmes’ most thrilling case, The Hound of the Baskervilles did not disappoint. Told through the eyes of Doctor John Watson, the case of the Baskerville heirs and their dreadful curse takes the reader from the streets of London to the wild moors of the English countryside. The evidence is all there – can you figure out the mystery behind the “terrible hound”?
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What are you reading? Tell me in the comments below.