Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book Report

Speaking of journals...

Several years ago a good friend of mine gave me a book journal. It's a small spiral notebook with a hard cover that looks like a library check-out card (remember those?) I use the journal to record the books I've read, keep favorite passages, and write down titles I hope to get to someday.

In honor of 2011, here are some of my reading highlights:

The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery:  An ugly, widowed concierge at an upscale Parisian apartment building prevents one of the tenants -a bright, precocious girl - from committing suicide. But really, there is so much more to it than that - a wonderful book about looking past the superficial and expected.

Room, by Emma Donoghue: Narrated by five-year old Jack, Room is the story of an abducted young woman and the child she has by her abductor. Jack has never been out the the room they are locked in - okay, I know. It sounds terrible. But I could not put this book down. And it beautifully explores the boundaries between mother and child.

Little Bee, by Chris Cleave: This book alternates between the perspective of 2 women: a Nigerian refugee and a British woman. Their lives collide during a horrific scene on a Nigerian beach. As a result of this meeting, both women are forced to make difficult decisions that change the course of their lives.

Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese: I've already written about this book. It is fantastic! It is the story of two brothers born to a Catholic nun in Ethopia... Really, it is about love, forgiveness, redemption. The writing is fantastic, the character are well-developed. I thought this was a marvelous book.

What are your reading highlights from 2011? What's on your TBR list for 2012?


  1. I've been keeping reading journals for years and love it. I do the same as you, recording a synopsis, favorite passage, and rate the books on a scale of 1-10. It's amazing how often I refer back to a book I'd read in them.

    One of my favorite 2011 reads was The Invisible Circus by Jennifer Egan. Though it's from 1995, it has a timeless feel to it as it explores grief and a sister relationship.

  2. I really want to read Cutting for Stone. I've heard so many good things about it! Thanks for reminding me to add it to my TBR list.

  3. They all sound interesting! I just ordered three books on online that I can't wait to read. They're all Chrisitan historical romances, which is what a I read 90% of the time, but my book club keeps me reading outside my norms. :)

  4. I actually suggested Little Bee for the book group, but eventually told Luanne to take it off the list. I started reading it but couldn't get past the beginning for some reason. Now you are making me rethink my decision!! :)

  5. Paige - I thought Little Bee was amazing, but I know. Some books just don't appeal to you for one reason or another (Twilight :)
    Stacy - What's your favorite historical romance? I'm like you - I get stuck in a genre, and rarely venture outside of it... bookclubs are wonderful for that reason.
    Emily - Read it! You won't regret it.
    Joanne - I've never ranked the books I've read, but I think it's a great idea...

  6. I really enjoyed Room and Little Bee, and am anxious to try your other recommendations, what with Anchorman being such a hit in my life. : )

  7. 'It's a small spiral notebook with a hard cover that looks like a library check-out card (remember those?)'


  8. You read deep books. I read MG. Brandon Mull gave me an ARC of the next Beyonders and I'm currently devouring that.

  9. I'm hoping to read more this year - thanks for your review of those four books. I just wonder - how do you find time to read? I'm usually chasing my two kids everywhere! Or picking up the trail they leave.

  10. Kim!

    Thank you for sharing. I'm trying to add a few new titles to my TBR list and I'm all over some of these! Thanks! Have a great weekend!

  11. I already left a comment, but I wanted to tell you that you have won the versatile Blogger award. Come to and check it out. :)

  12. Wandered over from Sara's blog. Congrats, btw.

    One of my reading highlights for 2011 was Dan Wells' I Am Not a Serial Killer series. I'm not much into horror, but this series was amazing to me because Wells does such a fabulous job of making a 15-year-old sociopath with all the making to become a serial killer into a sympathetic character.

    As for my 2012 reading list: Everneath by Brodi Ashton. Can't wait!

  13. I've heard about Room but haven't dared to read it. It sounds very intense!

  14. I heard about The Room a while ago, and was somewhat fascinated and somewhat afraid. Glad to know that you loved it! It has one of the best book trailers I've ever seen.

    And congrats on your award on Sara's blog!

  15. Oh, I loved Elegance of the Hedgehog! That book completely surprised me. I love when books do that.