Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Books of 2012 - August

1. Will Work From Home. Non-fiction by Tory Johnson & Robyn Freedman Spizman. When we did our August budget the picture wasn't pretty. This inspired a lot of brainstorming as to how we could make some extra money. It also, as you can see, inspired some reading. As it turns out, Philip did some extra jobs that God brought his way and our month ended a lot better than it started. Now we're hoping September will work that way too. As for the book: it was designed more for female business women who want to to continue working without the commute or hassle of going into an office. Not really up my alley, considering I am not now, nor have I ever been, the executive type.

2. Heaven is Here. Non-fiction by Stephanie Nielson. This would be just another blogger turned memoir, except the story is harrowing and unforgettable. The author is Mormon and discusses her faith in detail. Obviously, I do not share her beliefs and you may not either, but I do not think that should stop you from reading her story. This one is difficult: definitely not for the faint of heart or for a mindless beach read. I have to say that I doubt I would have read her blog or liked her "voice" had I heard about the author before her accident. Since I didn't, it's hard not to admire her resilience.

3. The Age of Miracles. Fiction by Karen Thompson Walker. This one, about a pre-teen in apocalyptic California (the set up: The Earth is slowing down), didn't work for me. The voice of the main character doesn't work. If the author wanted to write about a fifteen or sixteen year old adolescent, why didn't she? This is like a YA novel that got out of hand and is neither fish (YA novel) nor fowl (adult apocalyptic fiction). Not to mention it's depressing in the extreme.

4. Make the Bread, Buy the Butter. Non-fiction by Jennifer Reese. Yet another book by a blogger. This is one is laugh out loud funny. In the search for simplicity and the recovering of some lost skills (canning, raising chickens, etc.) it's nice to read someone who is completely honest about what is worth it and what is not. I passed this one on to Philip and he really liked it as well. (And yes, it made him laugh, too.)

5. The Father Brown Omnibus. Fiction by G.K. Chesterton. All the mystery stories starring Chesterton's Catholic Priest Sleuth. I hadn't read anything by Chesterton before. His wit is undeniable but I can't say the mysteries, or the amateur detective, were my favorites. I did feel a sense of accomplishment once I finished this as it was a hefty book, almost 1,000 pages long.

6. How to Watch the Olympics. Non-fiction by David Goldblatt & Johnny Acton. Because I hadn't quite got the Olympics out of my system, I guess. This is a helpful guide to the rules of each sport in the Summer Olympics. It is a decidedly British take on the games but that only causes a little confusion.

7. The Drop 10 Diet. Non-fiction by Lucy Danziger. I don't think this should have "diet" in the title. It's not really a diet, per se, just a way to improve your eating habits. Things I loved: talks extensively about "super foods", doesn't make ANY food off limits, doesn't think you should go to bed hungry or exist solely on grapefruit or something ridiculous like that. If I were going to write a diet book, I think it would look a lot like this one. (Funny story: I was talking to Philip about the "superfoods" concept a lot while reading this one. One morning I was eating a kiwi with my breakfast and Sweet Pea asked, "Mom, is kiwi a superhero?" Yes, yes it is. Superhero Kiwi!)

8. Edenbrooke. Fiction by Julianne Donaldson. Recommended to me by a reader who knows I like Jane Austen. A sweet but fun, somewhat predictable but still interesting Regency romance. (The cover could be better. The house looks excellent but no one in Regency times wore a dress like that. Minor quibble, I know.)

9. The Body in the Boudoir. Fiction by Katherine Hall Page. Faith Fairchild murder mystery. I've read every book in the Faith Fairchild series so I can't stop now, even though I don't actually like Faith. I think she's snobby, pretentious, and spoiled. But I like her author and I like reading about food, so I keep picking these up at the library.

10. Everyday Math for Everyday Life. Non-fiction by Mark Ryan.Very useful book. Ought to be required reading just for the sections on statistics, polls & graphs (and how they're manipulated and how knowing some basic math can help you make sense of what you read in the paper or see on the news). I think homeschoolers should have this one in their library and it really ought to be required reading for teenagers.

Totals for August:
Fiction: 4
Non-fiction: 6

What did you read in August? Anything I should add to my September stack?
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