Books Read

At the end of last year, I gave up fiction for a month. I was wasting too much time reading as a form of mindless entertainment escapism.

Christian romances that in spite of being "Christian" were building up unrealistic expectations about romance and I started to take it out on my husband when he didn't match up.  Mystery novels that were a bit racy, lawyer drama books with lots of language I didn't understand and plenty that I should not repeat, Chick Lit with no substance and even more things that didn't match up to Phillipppians 4:8 (whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things). I was not being edified - in fact the opposite. I was avoiding, I kept getting sucked in, staying up late to "just finish this chapter," losing myself in these books again and again instead of doing fun stuff from my "creative/crafty to do" list, taking care of my house or to be honest, doing anything remotely productive .

I'm not saying that fiction is a bad thing, and mindless escapism may even have a place but I want to be more intentional about what I'm reading.

We did a series on the fiction of CS Lewis in our Sunday School class and we started with discussions about wether we should even read fiction and what the benefits of it are (I have a great sunday school class!) they were good discussions and I have no plans of permanently giving up fiction (taking Advent off though may well be a yearly occurrence).

So for 2012 I'll be listing the books I've read, right here. Some I may comment on some I may just list, but the purpose is record keeping and accountability. Please don't take their appearance on this page to be an unconditional endorsement.

  • Paris Wife by Paula McLain - about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife. a sad story. 
  • Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - Loved it. a little dark but magical.
  • Confessions of an Ugly Step Sister by Gregory Maguire  -the same author who wrote Wicked. it makes you say "so THAT's how it really happened"
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett 
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy by Stieg Larssen - this man knew how to tell a story! I'm not sure what I think about these books. they're dark. Very dark. and explicit and graphic (often I think gratuitously) (mostly only in the first book) but the story is very well written.
  • Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah - I loved this book! A mother who was emotionally absent from her children tells them a story after her husband dies. Beautifull and captivating. 
  • The Boy in the Suitcase  By Lene Kaaberbol- Dark but without the sexually explicitness that was in Laarsen. I liked it much better.
  • The Tea-olive Bird Watching society by Augusta Trobaugh - nice little southern ladies named after hymns plot to murder the husband who's abusing thier best friend. Honestly I picked this one for the title....not a bad read.
  • Home Front by Kristen Hannah - I bawled all the way through. A good book.
  • Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich - the kind of book i'm trying to avoid. I just couldn't help picking up the latest one at the library.
  • The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty - the kind of book i'd like to be reading. 
  • Gap Creek by Robert Morgan - About marriage and hard times.  I really enjoyed this one.
  • Until the Right One Comes Along by Elizabeth Berg. - nothing redeeming. I picked it up the same time as Explosive 18 even though i knew better.