I love when people ask me this question. I’ve always loved to read, but lately I’ve been reading more, which I think is a good thing! I love having a break room at work and when I actually can take a break, I like that I can go in there and read the book I’m currently reading. What I like even more is when a coworker will walk by, see me or someone else in there reading, pop in and ask “What are you reading?” and a conversation evolves.
Thanks to my friends Amber and Jackie, I seem to be reading even more than I had before. They both have very interesting taste in books, but similar interests to the types of books I read, so they have been able to recommend all sorts of great books for me to read. Like many, I make a reading goal each year. It’s gradually gone up and it’s not anything crazy like 100 or something, but I do try to read at least 30 books each year. Last year I got to 26. ALMOST! So here’s hoping I can get closer this year. I have read some really great books this past year, but I thought I would share what I have most recently read (since Thanksgiving-ish). I will try my best to not give away too many spoilers (or say anything about them other than what is stated on the book jacket or description on Amazon or something), because no one likes spoilers!
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I think a lot of people have heard of this book, seen its cover or have already read it, but I came across it because Jackie’s husband had made a comment about it on social media. I was intrigued so I read it. Someone should have prepared me for the water works. It’s a beautiful story about a teenage girl who is battling cancer and what she’s experiencing at the rightful age of 16. One word to describe this book: honest. It is written so honestly as a 16-year-old girl would speak, it just shook me to the core. It’s definitely worth a read and very easy to read. I think I read it in a day or something.
- Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
This book came recommended to me by Amber. I vividly remember being at work and getting two texts from her: “Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.” and “I’m 100 pages in and hooked.” That was all it took for me to go onto the library website and get it on hold. I was so happy that not many people were in queue to have it. This book tops out as one of my favorite books I’ve read. That’s a fairly tall order to say for a book, but it was really good. I got it right when I left for holiday break at work so I spent what time I could over break reading it. It’s about a girl who is born, but then dies at birth, and some where else in the world, she’s reborn again and relives her life in the early 1900s and dies and is reborn and dies, etc. It’s like Groundhog Day, but better (I know, I know. Bill Murray is the man, but trust me). Warning: It’s long, and at times can seem slow. When you put it down and then pick it up again later, it’s sometimes hard to figure out “where you are” in the story (so to speak). I read it in both long jaunts and also short reads here and there, and at times it was confusing, but nothing that I couldn’t figure out quickly! This is another book I would recommend!
- Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
This book I came across when perusing the library website and Amazon. One way that I try to figure out what book to read next is to go to Amazon’s Top 100 list in Fiction. I ignore the lady pr0n (Fifty Shades kind of halted that whole “endeavor” – ha) but look through the rest and read through people’s comments/reviews to see if it’s a book I would read. I do the same thing on the library website and search the “What’s Hot” list in the catalog search to see what people are checking out (literally – ha!). This book was one of those. It’s about an immigrant Chinese girl and her mom moving from Hong Kong to NYC and what she goes through having to adjust to life in the States. I am a sucker for books like this. Being an immigrant myself, I relate very easily to books about people coming to America and having to adjust to life here. Trying to figure out a balance of holding onto your own culture while still adapting to culture here in the states or wanting to be accepted, is a challenge I faced and many still face! You don’t know where you fit in and you feel disenfranchised from both American culture and your foreign culture. It’s hard! The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri is a book like that, which hit close to home for me, so I gave this book a shot. It was pretty good! At times, very hard to read just by the graphic nature of poverty and culture shock and the need to being accepted, but it was beautifully written. If you want a quick read, I recommend it!
So there we have it, what I’ve read so far towards my goal. True, Fault in Our Stars doesn’t make the 2014 list since I didn’t finish it this year, but that’s OK. And I know it seems silly that I’ve only read, like, 3 books, but it’s only mid-January and I started reading these around end-of-November! Not too shabby.
And what am I currently reading? Well, I decided to give thriller a chance and I’m reading The Shining by Stephen King. It is so good and I can’t put it down. I’m actually mad at myself for having seen the movie first since I know what happens, but reading the actual story is pretty neat, because there are things the movie didn’t have that are actually scarier. Stay tuned for a review of that soon! I also have tons of other books Amber and Jackie let me borrow, and books that I’ve picked up from the library. Here’s hoping I can dive into those next.
So the real question now, is: What are you reading?
Let me know what you’re reading and/or if you have any suggestions for me!