Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer Reading, 2014

Over the course of this summer, I have fallen in love with reading again.  Don't get me wrong, I have always, always, been a huge fan of the written word, and I've always been a book lover.  But there was a rather large period of time (longer than I would have liked, really) where I couldn't find anything that piqued my interested, where I started a few but never finished them and checked out books from the library that I never opened.  It was frustrating, especially for someone who enjoys reading as much as I do.  But luckily, the last few months have dropped some interesting and intriguing reads into my lap.  Here are a few of my favorites:

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros:  A collection of vignettes about a young Latino girl growing up in Chicago.  The writing is so vivid and clear and I really loved the imagery.  It was the first book I read after the accident back in May (after I finished Gone Girl, that is) and I found it really hopeful and uplifting to read such beautiful words at such a low moment.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened by Allie Brosh:  Okay, if you have not yet checked out Allie's blog Hyperbole and a Half, then you definitely need to!  Her stories about childhood, being an adult, her dogs, and learning how to handle and get through depression are hysterical, meaningful, and well worth the read.  (The Party, The God of Cake, and Menace are some of my favorite blog posts.)

The Rosie Project: A Novel by Graeme Simsion:  This is a story about an incredibly smart and incredibly awkward genetics professor named Don and his seemingly implausible relationship with Rosie, a bartender looking for her father.  I will admit that I had a slightly difficult time getting into it in the beginning, but by the end I was really pleased that I had stuck with it!  Everyone does some growing up over the course of the story and there is a well deserved, though uncertain for most of the book, happy ending.

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort:  I found this book at the Savers near our apartment and grabbed it immediately.  I loved the movie version with Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort, the head of Stratton Oakmont and the Wolf himself, so I was so very excited to read Belfort's memoir.  It did not disappoint!  I love Belfort's narrative voice and his recollections of a life that is outrageous and opulent and excessive are entertaining and even informative.  It was a fantastic book, and yes, it was better than the movie (although I really did like the movie, too!)

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer:  Another non-fiction book, Into the Wild seeks to figure out what drove 24-year-old Christopher McCandless to get rid of all of his possessions, donate all of his money, and retreat into the Alaskan wilderness--without any real gear or experience in those conditions.  Somehow, he was able to survive more than 100 days, but his body was eventually found in the bus where he was living.  I am only halfway through this book--and it's a pretty short read--but I am intrigued and find that I cannot put it down.

(The above links are to Amazon, but they are not affiliate links--just wanted to provide them in case anyone has an interest in checking them out!)

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