Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Nightstand -- July

This month my reading habits have been pretty different, so I thought that I'd put more emphasis on the books that I've read this month (with of course a sneak peek of some of the titles at the top of my to-be-read pile on my nightstand).

What's so different about this month? Many (most) of the books I've read have been personal picks, not review titles for 5 Minutes for Books. And I liked it.

Books I read just because I wanted to:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) -- reviewed HERE
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (this was for the Classics bookclub at 5 Minutes for Books -- next week you can still join us -- but I read those books because I want to/think I should).
A Thousand Splendid Suns (yes, finally -- I read it!! I enjoyed it, but still think that The Kite Runner was better)
Julia Child's My Life in France, because I read Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously years ago and am really excited about the movie, which is also based on this book (I was already half-finished with this one)

Semi-personal picks that I finally got to (from the Amazon Vine program):

The Truth about Truman School
When You Reach Me (both of these tween reads were excellent, and I'll be posting reviews soon)
In the Sanctuary of Outcasts: A Memoir

Review titles read:

Blue Like Playdough by Tricia Goyer (linked to my review -- loved this book and you can enter to win!)
Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner (review and giveaway will post Monday 8/3)

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE reviewing books at 5 Minutes for Books. I enjoy the variety of titles I'm offered that I might never pick up on my own, and I get a kick out of reading books before they're released, but it was fun to just read some "want tos" instead of "have tos" as well (if my biggest problem in life is that I "have to" read some books, I don't have much to complain about, do I?).

On the top of the pile:

Because a friend has passed on a couple of books that I can't wait to read (America America by Ethan Canin and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society), and because Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is finally out in paperback, and I bought it, but it might not be able to sit patiently at the bottom of the sack for long (where it's hidden from Amanda so she won't start begging), I'm going to be trying to do some more personal reading this month as well -- although I have to say my review pile is burgeoning. There are many novels that I can't wait to read there either. I'm not sure what order I'll get to them, but these are ones that I've just started this week.

The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy
Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater
The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal -- I didn't know anything about this book except that it was supposed to be quirky and literary. We'll see how it goes. I'm supposed to review it soon, so I'm going to try to read it after those two.

What's on your nightstand? Let me know in the comments or click over to 5 Minutes for Books and join in the fun there.


stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was so good ... I may need to pull it from the library again to revisit it. You will enjoy it!!

Lindsay said...

Glad you got some personal reading in this month!! I think thats what I would find the hardest part about receiving books to review. Is to find a balance in the reading.

I still haven't read the Kite Runner.. I need to put that higher on the list!

Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

I really liked Guernsey. I hope you enjoy it as well. And, it's funny how books elicit different responses. I liked both the Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. I think I liked ATSS better because it was about the life of women.

Barbara H. said...

I keep seeing so many good things about the Potato Peel Society book. It's on my list of books to check out some time.

I only do a very few reviews by request, but I know what you mean -- they're enjoyable and beneficial but there is something fun about reading what you want to when you want to.

Jolanthe said...

The hardest part of reviewing is squeezing in the books I really want to read too! :) Fortunately I've been picky about some of them lately and they are ones that I wanted to read anyway! :)

We saw the most recent Harry Potter movie and now I want to re-read the series again to remember how it all comes together...unfortunately I found another long series I want to read, and we're reading the Narnia series as a family.

Heather J. said...

I totally get the difference between "want to" and "have to" books ... my "have to"s have gotten out of control lately and I'm working to get back to the "want to"s.

Lisa notes... said...

Glad you got to read some books for personal pleasure.

I read tween books, too, for my daughter so I'm glad to see you listing those suggestions!

Kipi said...

I have a copy of Guernsey waiting to be read for a couple of months, but it just never seems to make it to the top. I've heard lots of good things about it. I should move it up.

Glad to see that you worked in some "you" reading time this month!

Carrie said...

I'm feeling demotivated to read. But the top of my stacks are more "have tos" than "want tos" and as you pointed out, sometimes it's fun to just read the WANT tos. ;) (Even though my "have tos" were once "want tos."ha!)

I VERY much want to read The Guernsey Literary book and I'm going to the library today or tomorrow so I suppose I should see about checking that out!

Jenny said...

My "want to" time is just about over, as school starts I will be reading alot more "have to" books to prepare my lectures, so I understand how you feel. I am just glad I got so much want to reading in this summer.

I LOVED the Guernesy Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It is a light hearted book with a lot of substance. Hope you like it.

Fonda said...

I also picked up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when it came out in paperback...and it is at the bottom of my pile, but calling my name! I will try to wait until I have finished Rebecca.

FiddlersBride said...

For all of you who have not read GLP3 yet (that's shorthand for the Guernsey book..).. do yourselves one favor this summer and read that one NEXT!! You will not regret it. I fell in love with that book last fall and just recently listened to it on CD (equally delightful oddly enough!) and now my husband is reading the book as well. I recommend this one to everyone I know! For anyone who loves to read and who loves to discuss books, this is a book not to be missed. Let those others on your nightstand wait. They will be there after you finish this gem.

Book Psmith said...

I am looking forward to the Guernsey book too (what a title, whew...I call it the potato pie book:). Enjoy your August reading.

ibeeeg said...

You've got a great list of what you read and will be reading.

I haved signed up for the Harry Potter Challenge so starting in August...Harry Potter here I come. **smile**

Nise' said...

I've got Guernsey on my pile to read before Thursday!

Jessica said...

Lots of reading! What did you think of Julie & Julia? I couldn't bring myself to finish it.

Sandra said...

I really enjoyed Rebecca too, I'm due for a reread myself. I loved both Kite Runner and Splendid Sons. And I'm with FiddlersBride, read GLP3 first. It's both a fun and an informative read. I reviewed it last summer and have been touting it to people ever since.
And thank you for visiting Fresh Ink Books. I can't imagine how you find the time. Have fun reading what you want to.

Elizabeth said...

I always get ideas from your personal reading lists and have to go and request them from my library. I've already read the Guernsey book and I loved it. Working on Julie and Julia.

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

I may have to check out ATSS...heard good things about it.

Guernsey....*sigh* I absolutely adored that book.

lifewithmyboys said...

I too enjoyed GLP3 very much and everyone should read it as soon as possible! Like someone else I liked A Thousand Splendid Suns better than The Kite Runner but both were fantastic books.

I'm curious to hear your views on Hungry Monkey, I read that this month and liked it, thought it wasn't what I expected.

Oh and thanks for the reminder to add Julie and Julia to my TBR list!

morninglight mama said...

Funny, because I did a bit more 'personal' reading this month, as well-- for my online book club and a title that I wanted to read just because.

And yes, it is a WONDERFUL problem to have-- having to read a book, right?! :)

Janet said...

Glad you had some fun for its own sake reading this month.

I read America, America last year and liked it. I think Ethan Canin's great.

Elizabeth said...

That's so awesome that you get to read books and share your thoughts on them - that's neat. I bet it can get tedious, though, making sure you get things read in time and all. Glad you got some time for some "fun" reading. :)