Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Winter Reading List Update (Quick Reviews)

I surprised myself by reading almost every book on my Winter Reading List for 2013, plus a few more! The girls take three dance classes and Natalie goes to an extra reading session every week, so I've had some extra time this winter to indulge in good reads. I thought it would be fun (and hopefully helpful) to have a Book Review Day and share some quick reviews of some of my winter reads.

Sparkly Green Earrings- Melanie Shankle
Many of you know Melanie as "Big Mama." She writes the insanely popular blog, Big Mama (and you must visit it to find out why it's titled that way). I'm not usually a memoir fan, but Melanie may have cured me. I picked up her book at Barnes and Noble the day it came out; that's how excited I was about her writing. She will have you in stitches with her hilarious take on motherhood. And not only is she super-funny, she found a way to make me cry before I even hit the third chapter, and I am not a crier! Poignant, witty, and thought-provoking.
Sparkly Green Earrings, Melanie Shankle

Safe Haven- Nicholas Sparks
I liked this one better than the other NS book I've read. Not as sappy, although there was one section I skipped because I knew it would make me cry. This one had a bit of suspense added in, which made it a more interesting read for me. Can't wait to see the movie next month--it's a pick for my Book Club!
Safe Haven, Nicholas Sparks

Gone Girl-Gillian Flynn
I realize I may be the only person on earth who did not care for this book. It was dark and the characters were utterly despicable, which I realize was Flynn's intent. I found it difficult to relate to two people who are just terrible human beings. I tend to lean towards more light-hearted fare when I have time for books. Escapism. But I will give Flynn kudos for a well-written story...she does draw you into the plot rather than just "he said ___, she said ____," which is my main issue with Mr. Sparks.
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible- Tim Gunn
An absolute delight! If you like history (heck, even if you don't), this is a fantastic read. Gunn, who used to be an educator, gives us a fascinating history of fashion. Everything from the white t-shirt to handbags. And not only does he dish out excellent fashion advice, he backs it up with solid reasoning. Lots of great photos and commentary.
Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible, Tim Gunn

I, Elizabeth- Rosalind Mills
Meh. This one was tedious. I like historical fiction, but I found this one difficult to wade through. And a shame since this period of history is so intriguing.
I, Elizabeth

Lights Out-David Crawford
I mentioned in the other post that I had almost finished the book, and I ended up liking the way Crawford resolved the story. Not the best written work of fiction I've read, but filled with suspense. It truly did make me reevaluate the items we keep on hand for emergencies. What would you do if the electricity went out for an extended period of time? I had never really considered the ramifications of that situation: food and water shortages, lack of medical care, rioting and looting. A sober read, but great food for thought.
Lights Out, David Crawford

Hissy Fit-Mary Kay Andrews
I've reviewed this one before, as it's one of my favorite chick lit books. I picked it for our February Book Club, so I re-read it last month. MKA never disappoints with loveable characters, good humor, and a Southern twist.
Hissy Fit, Mary Kay Andrews

31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality- Edie Wadsworth
I did a review and Giveaway of Edie's new ebook. You can read it here. It's priced at just $5, and I wholeheartedly recommend it! Would make a great pick for a Bible study group or a Book Club. Touched my heart!
31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality, Edie Wadsworth

The City of Ember-Jeanne DuPrau
I picked this one up at the library, not realizing that it's actually meant for young adults. But the first chapter grabbed my attention, so I read it one evening after the girls went to bed. A super-quick read, and a neat twist. I'd recommend it for middle schoolers.
The City of Ember, Jeanne DuPrau

There may have been a few others (I am a really fast reader), but I just wanted to share a few with you guys today.

Do you find yourself reading more during the winter months? Any good reads lately?

I find myself making the time in those spare moments...nothing is cozier than a nice pair of slippers, a warm blanket, and a good book!
Winter Reading List Reviews (2013), from Serenity Now

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  1. I bet the Tim Gunn book is pretty interesting. Have you ever read any Francine Rivers' books? I had never read any Christian fiction before but my MIL gave me Redeeming Love for Christmas and it was wonderful.

  2. All looks interesting Amanda, currently I'm reading THE HOBBIT, both for pleasure and need - need to talk about it to my 12 yr old since he is obsessed with LOTR!

  3. Been hearing great things about the movie, Safe Haven!

    I'm a little too hormonal to see it now-haha!

  4. Gosh, I wish I were a fast reader! I'm slow as molasses.

    Glad you found some books you really enjoyed this winter. I've not read any of those, but have a vacation coming up in a couple of weeks. Need a book to take with me!

  5. Hissy Fit sounds interesting! I've thrown a few of those myself! I recently read Girl in Translation. It was very good.

  6. I felt the same way about "Gone Girl"!! I definitely read more in the winter, too. I just started a new book that seems promising so far---"The Light Between Oceans". It was listed on a best books of 2012 from Barnes and Noble.
    I read another from that list, "Defending Jacob", that was well written, but kind of unsettling like "Gone Girl". I would still recommend it, though. It's just not a breezy, feel good, escape book....Happy Reading!!

  7. We read The Playdate for Book Club and I read Defending Jacob as well. Both were really good! You probably wouldn't like Defending Jacob - there's no princess or rainbows:-P


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