Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September's Book Shelf

Fall is always a crazy quilt time.  I'm either quilting, teaching, or traveling.  While teaching, I am not actively reading, but I read while flying and listen to audiobooks while quilting or driving.  I run through a lot of books each Autumn.  Here is September's book shelf:

The Martian by Andy Weir
I.  Love.  This.  Book!  I am a sucker for any post-apocalyptic book.  I am a sucker for any book that gets mired into teeny, tiny details.  I am a sucker for smart and witty books.  I am a sucker for a good story.  After only 10 minutes of listening, I felt he wrote this book just for me!  I was tickled to find out it was going to be a movie.  I thought that Mark Wahlberg was starring in it, which was good, but later learned it was Matt Damon, which is even better!  The movie opens in October and I will carve some precious time from my schedule to get to the theatre!  The books are always better than the movies, but I'm always hopeful.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas 
I gave a full review here but the short version is "Amazing book!  Why haven't I read this before?"

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
I was raving about my love of The Martian and all things post-apocalyptic to another industry professional and she responded with her love of The Martian and all things post-apocalyptic.  We are now book buddies!  She recommended this Young Adult book which sparked her love of survival tales.  It was short and succinct and I have already requested the next in the series.

Bear is Broken by Lachlan Smith
Since I listen to books while I'm quilting, the book doesn't have to be great; it just has to be interesting.  This was one of those books.  It wasn't great, but it had a lot of twists and turns and kept me guessing until the end.

Stuffology by Brenda Avadian and Eric M. Riddle
This was a Deal of the Day book and I am always interested in finding a better way to deal with the "stuff" I have accumulated.  This book didn't do that.  It was a general overview of what clutter is and a few stories about people dealing with their piles, but I can't recommend this book.

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
Although I have watched James Bond movies my whole life, never have I ever read one of the novels.  I decided to start at the beginning with Casino Royale.  I am very well acquainted with the plot of the movie and was surprised at how closely the movie followed the book.  Since the book was over 50 years old when the movie was made, they had to make some changes to make it seem current.  As soon as I finished the book, I watched the movie because because Daniel Craig.  Sigh.

The River by Gary Paulsen
This is the sequel to Hatchet.  These are outdoor survival novels for tweens.  Fast paced and easy to read, it was a quick listen and short enough that I finished the book while quilting after dinner!

When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning
My husband and I have been watching/listening/discussing a lot about WWII lately so this a timely read for me.  Sparked by Hilter's mass book burnings, the US put books millions of books into the hands of our soldiers during the war.  This was a really interesting account of how the book program started, how it got bogged down in politics, the impact those books had on individual soldiers, and the lasting impact of a well-read military.

Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen
I just keep requesting the next book in the Hatchet series and the library keeps getting them for me quickly!  John Boy narrated this one (the other ones were narrated by Peter Coyote).  The author indulged himself and wrote his own alternate universe:  What would have happened if....?  Basically, if the ending of the first book had been different, this would have been the second book.  Another quick-moving adventure book for young boys.  It's a fun listen even though I am neither young nor a boy.

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
This was a random selection from my library.  Viktor Frankl was imprisoned in concentration camps by the Germans during WWII.  As a psychiatrist, he discusses survival and the search for hope and meaning in life.  I was disappointed that the CDs in this set were damaged and I missed a bit of text
here and there, but it was a fascinating read/listen.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
If I I only knew humans by the characters in this book, I would think that all men are rubbish (they aren't), that infidelity is a bad idea (it is), and that there are no good people on earth (there are).  I disliked every single character and still read the book to completion.  To say that I liked this book would be incorrect, but it was engaging.  It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion (pun intended) and I couldn't look away.  I think I need to read Pollyanna or The Little Princess or some other feel-good book soon else I'll give up hope for humanity.

Descent by Tim Johnston
Imperfect people dealing with difficult subject matter, this was a well-written book that kept me riveted.  Even though I couldn't connect with the mother, I cared about what happened to these people and needed to know how their story ended.  Sadly, this book ended too soon.  I want to know more.  I'm always desperate for the story after the story, y'know?

I get a lot of my audio books on CD from my local library, but I also have and Audible account.  It is worth every penny to me!  Amazon is offering a special promotion if you want to check out Audible and see if you love it, too.


Marsha Hodgkins said...

Nice to read your September Book Shelf. My husband was given "The Martian" for Father's Day. He read it, enjoyed it but told me I probably wouldn't like it because there was a lot of math and science in it. He was wrong. I really enjoyed the book and have recommended it to others. I will go to see the movie also, and I agree that the books are usually far better than the movie.
I read a lot of audiobooks, mostly from the library or Bookbub(rarely). Thanks for some titles I can look for!
Read on!

Barb's Blurbs said...

Brian's Winter was written as a result of kids asking Gary Paulson 'what if Brian hadn't been rescued' sure to get Brian's Return and Brian's' Hunt. Not as powerful as the first 3 but 'completes' the story. I just retired after 35 years as an elementary school children's lit! Will have to try to keep up myself.