Wednesday, August 5, 2009

For the Record: July 2009:

I was hoping to get a ton of school books pre-read this month, and it just hasn't happened. My list isn't as long as I'd like it to be, and I feel like I'm running out of time before school starts and the year ends. I haven't been nearly as productive in supplemental school stuff this summer as I'd hoped to be...but I did read these great books this month:

War and Peace (Everyman's Library classics)War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy. This was fabulous. Really wonderful. I wrote out my favorite quotes here. I'll be re-reading this someday.

Tender Graces, Kathryn Magendie. This was a Library Thing Early Reviewer book, and a very good one at that. I made the mistake of judging this book by it's cover, which happened to be 8.5"x11" and comb-bound with a sentimental pastel photo on the front. It was a well written coming of age tale set in the '60s in the South. At times very poetic, it was a mixture of heartwarming and heartbreaking. It was quick to read (although most anything seems quick after reading W&P) but not unintelligent.

Charlotte's Web, E.B. White. E.B. White has a way of writing that makes you laugh. He's great to read aloud; my girls and I enjoyed this very much.

Fair and Tender Ladies (Ballantine Reader's Circle)Fair and Tender Ladies, Lee Smith. This story affected me more than I thought it would. It is a seemingly simple story of an Appalachian lady told through the letters she writes throughout her life. In skipping over the mundane details, I felt them all the more. The fact that the author encompassed the majority of the main character's life really brought to attention the realization that life rarely turns out exactly as you've imagined it at 12 years old, but that doesn't make it all bad.

The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman. Hard to believe, but I hadn't read this book yet! It was easy to read (could've been summed up in a much shorter space, though). I like the disctinction made between feeling in love, and feeling loved. The information was organized in a clear, simple way, and is a good basis for relationship building.

The Middle Place, Kelly Corrigan. This is a memoir of a journey through breast cancer. It is funny and touching, and made me burst out in tears quite often.

They Came Like SwallowsThey Came Like Swallows, William Maxwell is a story set in the middle of the Spanish Influenza of WWI. The storyline is fairly simple, the length rather short, and the characters weren't extremely easy to identify with. But in spite of those things, this is an amazing book. William Maxwell somehow manages to expose the very inner part of his characters...the parts that we often don't ourselves acknowledge. We are familiar with the parts of ourselves that we show others, and we are very familiar with the voice in which we think, but beneath those things is our core--those fears and needs that dictate how we act and react without our even knowing it. Great writing.

The Golden Goblet, Eloise Jarvis McGraw. Yay! I pre-read a school book! I had a hard time with the first few pages of this book, but it soon picks up and stays exciting until the end. I liked how the thoughts and feelings of the main character were depicted, and the historical portrayal was done well.