Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Nerd Alert

Only five more sleeps until our week long ski trip! While my friends are busy fitting in extra leg work outs in preparation for long days on the slopes, I’m busy putting together my reading list. I have a feeling I’ll be doing more reading than skiing next week. 

For someone who describes herself as athletic, I’m just not much into skiing. I like my sports and exercise just fine, as long as they aren’t life threatening. I just don’t have that adrenaline gene that motivates me to speed straight down a mountain. 

Instead, my game plan is to take the ski lift up the mountain, take the easiest path to the cafe, and curl up with a hot cocoa and a good book. Sounds like an ideal ski trip to me. All that’s missing is a good book. Got any in mind? 

You all know that I am very involved in the American Women’s Association here in Aberdeen, and belong to various activity groups within the club from hiking to mahjong; from lunch bunch to book club. 

I’m very grateful for this group of women and how warmly they’ve welcomed us and how easy they’ve made this transition into expat life. Because of this gratitude, I started putting feelers out for ways that I could help out more. At the time, all that was available involved either party planning or super-human organizational skills. Neither skill-set fell on my resume. 

But when our book club leader started studying for her Masters in addition to working full time, she was looking for someone to take over her duties. Since there is hardly anything in this world that I love more than talking about books, it was absolutely the perfect role for me. 
Most of my responsibilities as leader include sending out evites and organizing hostess’ for each month’s meeting. But every 6 months or so something magical happens: We pick a new book list. And all the women personally send book requests straight to my email account. And I’m like a kid in a candy shop. 

To organize their suggestions, I broke the 24 book recommendations down by genre, and asked the ladies to vote for their favorite in each category. 
To aid them in the process, I created a document with a synopsis of each nominated book. 
And that’s where I got into trouble. As I read through the descriptions, I just couldn’t wait for the democratic process to dictate which book I should read next. Nope, I had to read these books NOW. I started with The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman, which happens to be the current frontrunner in our Historical Fiction genre. 
I’ve already told you it’s fantastic. I’ve already told you to stop what you’re doing right now and go read this book IMMEDIATELY. 

After finishing this novel I moved on to The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, which is currently in a neck and neck race for our book club’s contemporary fiction choice. 
I read it in one sitting, which I never ever do. Granted, that one sitting was a 9 hour flight to Amsterdam and the TVs were broken on the plane, but I was so captivated that I think I would have chosen to read it straight through anyway. It was a super great book. 

And now, after months of being at the top of my personal list, I am finally reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, which looks to be a shoe in for our Mystery/Thriller winner. 
I’m halfway through, but so far it is living up to the hype. 

Anyway, my problem is that all I have swirling around in my head now are book club suggestions. While I don’t mind re-reading these books when the time comes, I’d like to delay my gratification and wait to read them in the weeks leading up to our book club discussion. So I’m looking for about 4-5 books to load on my Kindle for my ski trip. 

Any of y’all have any recommendations of something you’ve read lately? What books are at the top of your wish list? I truly appreciate your help. 

And if you’re ever stuck for what to read next, check out my reading log in my blog pages for a glimpse of what I’ve been loving (and not loving) lately.


  1. I just started THE POISONWOOD BIBLE by Barbara Kingsolver. It is about a family who goes to the Congo in the 50's to minister. They spend 3 decades there. It's all about their experiences. It is fascinating!

    There are 2 more books after THESE IS MY WORDS by Nancy Turner. Did you know? SARAH'S QUILT and THE STAR GARDEN. Both excellent! I love how Sarah's story {and family} go on!

    If you are interested in some Young Adult contemporary you should read THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY by Jenny Han and the sequels IT'S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU and WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER. It will make you want to live by the beach! They are quick reads.

    I want to read LITTLE DORRIT by Charles Dickens. It's 1,000 pages though. Who has time for that?! I'm fascinated that it is patterned after the author's real life. His father was in a debtor's prison for most of his life. It is an interesting life. Go to jail because you owe a debt. But because you are in prison you can't work to pay your debt.. Plus there is a love story. I love a good love story.

  2. I'm not too sure what you like but here is a list from my Kindle:

    *****Happily Ever After (Deep Haven Series): "God has answered Mona Reynolds's prayers and given her the opportunity of a lifetime: she is about to open her own bookstore-coffee shop, the Footstep of Heaven. Now Mona has no time for love and no hope that a man can ever be the hero of her dreams. But when she hires mysterious drifter Joe Michaels to be her handyman, she discovers that it isn't only in fairy tales that people live "happily ever after." "

    ******Fallen (Guardian Trilogy Book 1) .. of course I had to read the other 2 books after this one. "Maggie is unaware of the terrifying fate that awaits her. It isn’t until she lands in New Orleans for a full year at a private high school and her unknown enemies find her does she realize that her life is in danger.

    As a mystifying stranger repeatedly intervenes and blocks the attempts on her life, she begins to learn that there is more to him than his need to protect her and that he may be the key to understanding why her enemies have just now arrived"

    Forbidden (Books Of Mortals Series) by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee: "Many years have passed since civilization's brush with apocalypse. The world's greatest threats have all been silenced. There is no anger, no hatred, no war. There is only perfect peace... and fear. But a terrible secret has been closely guarded for centuries: Every single soul walking the earth, though in appearance totally normal, is actually dead, long ago genetically stripped of true humanity.

    Fleeing pursuit, with only moments to live, a young man named Rom stumbles into possession of a vial of blood and a piece of cryptic writing. When consumed, the blood will bring him back to life. When decoded, the message will lead him on a perilous journey that will require him to abandon everything he has ever known and awaken humanity to the transforming power of true life and love.

    But the blood will also resurrect hatred, ambition, and greed.

    Set in a terrifying, medieval future, where grim pageantry masks death, this tale of dark desires and staggering stakes peels back the layers of the heart for all who dare to take the ride."

    Let me know what you think if you read any! I loved them. :o)

  3. Wow, you're such a good book leader:) Send me that list! Right now I'm reading Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster, which was Nary's book from our book swap. It's light and funny, a definite easy weekend read. Have fun on your ski trip! SO jealous.

  4. Bonjour! I am French and I read a lot of blogs and books in English because I would like to improve my practice of this language. There are 3 books that may be interesting for you, from American authors, stories that take place in Europe.
    From Tracy Chevalier (famous author of Girl with the pearl earring): She wrote many others books and my 2 favourites are "The Lady and the Unicorn" and "Remarkable Creatures". These novels take place in France and England and use some facts that really happened. Chevalier has done a very serious historical and background research. She really succeeded in finding the right tone because everything she created (names, places, relationships...) is simply perfect: I can tell that it "sounds" French without any cliché. And I love her female characters: feminist but never provocative, always subtle and smart. (If you download The Lady and the Unicorn with a Kindle, I am not sure that you will get the pictures of the six famous tapestries held in the Musée de Cluny in Paris. You can find them easily on the internet and it is really better to read the book with the pictures).
    From Mary Ann Shaffer: "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society". If you like writing letters (or blogging nowadays), if you like books and dream of writing your own novel, if you like to feel good after reading a story and get rid of what you call your First World problems, if you like "une belle et simple histoire d'amour", then this book is for you!!
    Alors, bonne lecture!