Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What's on My Nightstand -- February edition

My goal for this year is to be more balanced in my reading choices.  I definitely want to read more books that will encourage me in Christian living (and boy, I might just fill my goal for half the year in this one month alone!!).  I also want to read more personal picks, perhaps as many as one a month.  I have some awesome books just sitting on my shelf!  I've finally gotten the hang of being particular in what I choose to accept for review, so that helps.

In progress:

The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy -- This is a perfect combination of a personal pick and a review copy.  After falling in love with Pat Conroy, memoirist, when I listened to the audiobook The Water is Wide (linked to my 5-Star review), I definitely wanted to revisit this book which I read years ago.  Then I was contacted by Open Road letting me know that they've recently released much of his early work in e-book format.  I'm halfway through this book.  More to come. . . .

Unpacking Forgiveness: Biblical Answers for Complex Questions and Deep Woundss -- I am reading this with a friend, which will insure that I will fully digest it. I don't know that I would say I have complex questions or deep wounds, but this book is hitting the spot.

Both of these books are on my Kindle (Read the post I just wrote about my renewed love of my little e-reader).

Also on my Kindle: In Leah's Wake -- a novel for review

The Lens and the Looker -- a dystopian/utopian futuristc/time-travelling YA novel (we'll be featuring a giveaway in March)

Those That Wake -- Another YA thriller (that has unfortunately been given some bad reviews by other Amazon Viners. I shouldn't even look. . . .

Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food -- I've heard a lot about this book. I don't feel like it's a spiritual issue, but I do know that my junky food habits are out of control! Also, I would love my relationship with God to be something that I crave each day. I'll be reading this for a 5 Minutes for Mom giveaway.

The Life Ready Woman: Thriving in a Do-It-All World -- I think that we are going to do a giveaway of this one, too.  I really felt when I moved that I could sort of do a "reset" on my life -- my commitments, my priorities, my attitudes.   I thought that made this book particularly relevant.

The Three Weissmanns of Westport  -- Only one of two novels on the list (aside from some YA), so depending on how all that goes, I might dig into some other novels that should be on their way.  I gotta go with what I crave.

Zero-Sum Game: The Rise of the World's Largest Derivatives Exchange -- I got friendly with Redblog writer Erika Olson when I interviewed her for our Books on Screen column (here and here), then she interviewed me (and Dawn) on Redblog.  Then I found out that not only is she a Redbox movie afficianado, she's a super-smart Harvard grad finance type and was writing a book about -- well, you can see in the title.  I bought it for my husband (another super smart finance type) for Christmas.  He's finished it, and I'm determined to read it.  Erika claims that it's totally readable and accessible.

As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto  --This is a huge chunk of a book. I was reminded that it was sitting on my shelf when I was talking Julia Child (and specifically my absolute love of the Julie and Julia movie) at my Love Your Veggies Mom Panel kick off meeting last week.  I may not finish it this month -- perhaps it's a book to be savored?? -- but I'd like to make some good progress.

The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie   -- How fun is this?  It's only a maybe for timing purposes.  It doesn't release until mid-April (and yes, another giveaway is in the works!), so I won't start until at least the end of March, unless I clean my plate of the other books (like that would EVER happen).

With Amanda -- I'd like to start Plain Kate
With Kyle -- finishing The The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery, an early chapter book by Doreen Cronin, and perhaps picking up Little House in the Big Woods again (I think we got about 1/2way through it, and I remember the first three books being full of boyish fun like building barns and hunting bears and whatnot).

On Audio: (sharing with Amanda since I lost my ipod)  Agency 1, The: A Spy in the House and I was 1/4 way through The Four Seasons, so if I find/get a new ipod, I'll probably finish that this month.  I also have Sean and Leanne Tuohy's book In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving on the way. I saw them speak at a banquet, and they were both hilarious and inspiring, so we'll see if the audiobook hits both of those targets.

Read in February:

In 2009 and 2010 I tried to keep a reading journal.  I liked it, but I sort of got behind.  Since one of the lovely benefits of a blog is the ability to serve as a record-keeper, I thought I'd chronicle the books I finished each month here.  However, since I am old and apparently now it's my habit to lose things and I didn't write them down, I could be off here.  They are all linked to my reviews on 5 Minutes for Books, and some have giveaways that are still open if noted!

This was a VERY light reading month for me, but I was really working the audiobook (while I was unpacking boxes), and I am halfway through 2 different books (listed above).

The Iron Queen (with a fabulous 3 book giveaway and ipod nano as well!)
American Idol (what a surprisingly delightful read, with giveaway--last day to enter!)
A Cup of Friendship

On audio:
The Devotion of Suspect X and First Grave on the Right (both linked to my reviews, with giveaways!)
Operation Yes MG fiction (review set to post later this week at 5 Minutes for Books)

Thanks for stopping by for some bookchat!! I love it and I love those who love it too.  Find other booklovers at 5 Minutes for Books' What's on Your Nightstand carnival.

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Lisa notes... said...

You do have a balanced list, Jennifer! I love it. I have Made to Crave on my Kindle and I hope to get to it soon—I actually forgot it was there. ha. I think that’s going to be easier to do with books on my kindle versus books on my shelf…
Enjoy your books.

Kara said...

Great list! I'm learning to be selective about what I review too. I have Unpacking Forgiveness sitting on my Kindle. I'll be curious to see what you think of it!

rita said...

Thank you!
I just ordered In Leah's Wake. My daughter's name is Leah and from what I read on the back cover, our family can relate to the content.

Carrie said...

I have Made to Crave in my stack here. I ordered it because I could use it and because everyone who has read it seems to think very highly of it.

The Wilder Years sounds really intriguing. I'll definitely be on the lookout for your thoughts on that one!

Looks like you are doing an awesome job trying to stay balanced in your reading load! Glad you are making time for "as many as one" personal reads. ;D (Why do I know what you mean!?!?!)

mommablogsalot said...

The Iron Queen looks really good! Great list!

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Oh, my curiosity is piqued regarding The Wilder Life! I'll definitely be watching for that one!

I wish I could get into the habit of listening to audiobooks more often. I really need to use my iPod for that.

Yay for doing more personal reading!

Ashley said...

I've never heard of Life Ready Woman, but it looks great! Thanks for sharing!

Cassandra said...

The Wilder Life sounds really interesting. Another addition to my to-read list! 7 and counting from this month's Nightstand posts. ;)

Happy March reading!

Lauren said...

I can't wait to hear about Wilder Life. I wanted to be Laura Ingalls/Melissa Gilbert when I was little!

Amy said...

i followed your format here more or less and gave you a mention in my post!
I also want to read Made to Crave and The Wilder Life does look good.
Hope your reading is fun this month.

Amy @ Missional Mama

Connor said...

I love reading your lists and picking and choosing from them. In Leah's Wake sounds great, I'm going to get that now on my Kindle. I just finished Left Neglected, which I think I may have seen recommended somewhere. It was very good. Happy Reading to you, so sorry that your iPod is gone! I think I'd lose my mind if I lost my planner!

morninglight mama said...

I have a friend who lived in SC for a while and LOVES Pat Conroy books now- she'd be happy to see those on your list. :)

Nancy said...

You read a pretty big variety this month too! I'm looking forward to your review of In Leah's Wake.

Beth said...

I just bought Made to Crave, but now to find the time to get to it!

Lisa writes... said...

What a list! I too have been hearing great things about Made to Crave. Maybe I'll pick it up soon! I'm curious about the Weissmans...based on the reviews I've read I think it would be one I would either really like or really not. I can't decide so I'll be interested in your take. Oh, and I so loved Laura Ingalls Wilder so that's definitely an intriguing choice!

Barbara H. said...

I've been hearing about Made to Crave, too -- I should probably get it but wonder if I should just do what I know to do instead.

The Wilder Life sounds intriguing.

Trish said...

Great list - I enjoyed The Three Weissmans. Unpacking Forgiveness sounds really good and I am salivating over The Wilder Life; this is the first I have heard of it!