Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Let's Talk About Books

I've read (or tried to read) quite a few books over the last few months.  I need to start by telling you that I have certain rules about books.  The first and most important one is as follows:

Thou shalt always finish what thou starteth.

For many years, I made myself always finish a book once I started it.  It didn't matter how much I hated it or how much I wanted to quit reading.  I made myself finish it.  Maybe I thought it would get better if I could just stick with it (sometimes that happens).  Or maybe it's just that I couldn't allow myself to feel like a quitter.  That's the more likely option.  I can be pretty hard on myself even about silly things.

I had a breakthrough.  

It happened with this:

Don't get me wrong! Tina Fey is hilarious.  Her book was recommended by so many people.  I really wanted to love it.  The truth is that I just didn't.  About half-way through, I did it.  I even shocked myself when I put it down and decided I was done.  There was quite a bit of bad language, and I honestly just didn't think it was that funny.  

Then with my fancy, new-found freedom I started and gave myself permission to quit a few other books after that.  They were so forgettable that I can't even remember the names of them as I type this.  So I just threw caution to the wind and stopped reading them.  And guess what? The world didn't end! However, we did have that close call on December 21.  Anyway...

I have found a few winners along the way too.  When I read Kisses from Katie, I cried and tried unsuccessfully to convince Brian every night that we needed to sell everything we own and move to Africa. It's an amazing story about a young woman who gave up a very comfortable life to create an even more amazing life in Uganda as the mother of 13 children.  

I also read Jen Hatmaker's challenging book:
At which point, I cried and tried unsuccessfully to convince Brian that we needed to sell everything we own and move to downtown Austin to live on the streets and minister to homeless people.  

Oh, I kid.  Kind of.

It was a VERY challenging book though.  Jen made it clear that the book was not intended as a guilt trip of any kind.  She is so funny and entertaining while also being so honest and real in her writing.  I quickly decided that she should be my friend.  Assuming of course, she knew I existed.  
(Jen ~ In case you are reading this, call me.)

Most recently, (other than a few Christmas books that got the ax), I read Gone Girl.  

I need to tell you that I am usually not drawn to mysteries.  At all.  

But here's what happened:
I kept seeing it show up on recommended book lists everywhere.  Literally everywhere.  My interest was piqued.  

Then I somehow caught word that they are making it into a movie.  That Reese Witherspoon is producing.  Interest double piqued.  

So I decided to give it a try, knowing full well that it might be out the door quickly considering my new, relentless habit.  If it didn't tow the line, it would indeed be a Gone Girl.  GONE!

The author's writing style had me at hello.  I was the one who was a goner.  It was one of those that I couldn't put down.  

At the end, I couldn't even decide whether I liked it or not.  I know that sounds crazy! It's just that it really made me think, kept me interested, etc. BUT I was still frustrated.  Oh, just go read it! So we can talk about it! 

(Warning: Some language and themes are not the best.  I SO wish authors could write good books and leave out all of the trash.)

If you read it, I really need to know! Maybe we can go see the movie together.  Rumor has it that Reese may even be in the leading role.  Which, if you've read the book, you would know is very intriguing.  Oh, go read it already!

P.S. If you have any book suggestions, please let me know!

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