Friday, May 14, 2010

'Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?'

The title of this post is a quote from Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), which I found in a Google search as I tried to come up with a title for this post, but it pretty much describes me in bookstores. 

I love to read, but I reached a point in my post-college life where I realized I couldn't afford to keep myself in books. My solution was joining the library, which I've discovered has become pretty high-tech. I am able to basically treat it like a Netflix queue, continually requesting books online and waiting for them to come in. (I am currently waiting for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.)

But things are getting desperate. I'm headed to the beach soon, and my older sister, who normally serves as the beach library, is not coming, so I need to work on my supply. Apologies for the non-food related post, but I'm seeking recommendations. I'll share with you what I've been reading, and then I'd love some ideas for what I should read on vacation. (Note: All of the links will take you to the book's Amazon page where you can read full reviews and summaries.)

The Help
If you have not read this, run to your nearest bookstore or library and get it. This is one of the best books I've read in a while. It's about the South during the Civil Rights era and the relationship between white families and the African-American women they hire to raise their children and keep their houses.

This is more historical fiction (that's a theme for me), and this book is about sharecropping in the South after World War II. This story is more heart-wrenching than The Help but still an excellent read.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
This book is set in the Guernsey Islands, post-World War II and the occupation by the Germans. The book is written in letters, which can be hard to get into, but as a friend said, if you can get through the first 100 pages, you'll be hooked.

The Art of Racing in the Rain
I don't have a good synopsis of this one, but at a basic level it's about a father's fight for his daughter, told from the viewpoint of a golden retriever (but not in a weird way). It's worth reading.

The Time Traveler's Wife
I'm late to this one, but I read it before I saw the movie and I recommend the book. The book is easier to follow in terms of the time changes. The movie tried hard, but it didn't handle all the jumping around in time very well.

Nanny Returns
This is just a fun, quick read. As someone who spent many summers babysitting, I enjoyed the original The Nanny Diaries and also enjoyed this sequel. But don't rely on the movie, read the original. I had to stop confusing the movie with the book when I was reading the sequel, if that makes any sense.

Non-fiction/Christian study
Same Kind of Different as Me
This is about a family that befriends a homeless man, who becomes part of their family and changes the way they look at the world. This is an excellent book, and everyone should read this.

Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate
I haven't gotten all the way through this yet, we're reading it in a small group I'm in. But it looks at the sins that we accept so easily in our lives. It is a convicting and challenging book, and it's been really good for study.

So Long Insecurity: You've Been a Bad Friend to Us
This is Beth Moore's latest book. It is a hard read because it opens your eyes to your insecurities and the sources of those insecurities. It's worth reading, but I also recommend getting the DVD of the recent simulcast because Beth's message is very positive and provides more practical ways to work through insecurity.

So there's my list, all suggestions are welcome!


  1. You could totally come over and borrow some books, and Katherine has a bunch too. Do you know about It will change your life.

  2. In fiction I strongly recommend Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon. I just discovered her, and I am HOOKED! If you liked the Time Traveler's Wife, I really think you'll like this one.

    Also if you haven't already read it, I always recommend Atlas Shrugged.