Book Chat

Reading Log: June 2012

It’s time for another monthly update on my Reading Log!  This month has flown by, and I’ve had quite the appetite for reading lately.  I love being engrossed in books, and this has been a good month for good books.  I love hitting a streak of enjoyable books, all in a row!

So here’s my Reading Log for June 2012, with my thoughts about each book to help me remember what I read.  I’ve included all the books that I’ve read or finished during the month of June (even if I started some of them outside of the month).  Plus I like to rate the books I read on the grading system and keep track of the binding.  Don’t ask why… I just like m statistics at the end of the year 🙂

I’m trying out a slightly different format this month, and writing my Thoughts in paragraph form so they’re not so confined by the table.  And now I can share the cover art too! (I totally judge a book by its cover, don’t you?)

June 2012

HB = Hardback, PB = Paperback, AB = Audio book, K = Kindle.

Title Start Finish Grade/
Format
The Story of Charlotte’s Web: E.B. White’s Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic,
by Michael Sims
5/27/12 6/7/12 B
K
The Great Gatsby,
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
6/7/12 6/9/12 A
K
Old Souls,
by Tom Schroder
6/10/12 6/17/12 A+
K
Matched,
by Ally Condie
6/17/12 6/22/12 B+
K
Fifty Shades of Grey,
by E.L. James
6/22/12 6/27/12 C+
K
The Art of Fielding,
by Chad Harbach
6/28/12 Still Reading TBD
K

Thoughts:

The Story of Charlotte’s Web: E.B. White’s Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic, by Michael Sims

 

I liked this book.  The process of writing Charlotte’s Web was interesting.  But I didn’t love this book.  There were a lot of anecdotes and quotes, which I enjoyed, but the connetion was never quite made to who White really was. He never seemed like a real person to me.   I think I will be forever spoiled by Claire Tomalin’s bio of Jane Austen; if someone can take such limited information about a secluded woman living in the 1700’s and make her seem alive, there’s no reason any biography of a famous 20th century writer cannot also seem as lively.  But I’m always slightly disappointed, the narrator never quite gets it right.

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fiztgerald

Book club for June.  Haven’t read this since high school–it does make you wonder how certain books get picked for the currculum and labelled a “classic.”  I enjoyed the writing style, the characters, although it seemed much shorter this time around.  I remember being very sympathetic to Gatsby, and terribly betrayed by Daisy, but this time I wasn’t so surprised.  I’d forgotten almost all of the major plot points, so the ending was like a fresh and wounding surprise all over again.  There’s a movie coming out soon starring Leo DiCaprio… glad I’ve re-read the book before I see it.

 …

Old Souls, by Tom Schroder

Non-fiction.  A skeptical journalist follows a scientist on his explorations of reincarnation– specifically children from India, Lebanon, and the U.S. who remember past lives.  Fascinating cases of children who have met their “previous family” because the details they remember are so specific.  The writing was superb, and I found Schroder to be very thorough in his probing questions about reincarnation.  I believe everything he wrote, and agreed with him at the end too–the truth is inexplicable, and there’s no easy answer to the questions that are raised by these scenarios.  Very intriguing read, recommended by Cindy and Shelley Clair!

Matched, by Ally Condi

Another YA dystopian romance.  In this Society, everything is controlled to produce the healthiest citizens.  It’s hard not to compare it to The Hunger Games, and it’s nowhere near as action-packed.  At first I wasn’t too thrilled, the writing seemed pretty juvenile and the apocalyptic world was practically copied right off The Giver.  But I warmed up to the story and the characters, another love triangle.  I liked that the main character was happy with her life at first, and not rebellious at all, until she starts to realize the scope of what she is denied.  It’s a quick fun read, and I am definitely interested enough to read the next book in the trilogy.

Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James

Yep, I jumped into the “mommy porn” hoopla after all the media sensation the past few months.  In my defense, I try not to be the kind of book snob who refuses to try a book just because it’s popular.  Plus, my BFF wanted to read it as the next book in our long-distance 2-person book club.  I have mixed feelings, because I expected bad writing and clichés and lurid sex scenes on every page—and I got it, in spades.  But I was also racing to the next page, wondering if our girl-next-door protagonist will really go through with the BDSM lifestyle her multi-millionaire love interest wants to make happen.  That’s basically the entire plot—there’s literally nothing else—but I have to admit it was still compelling.  The ending made me mad, because it’s such a cliffhanger—I didn’t want to read the rest of the trilogy but I might have to… I want to know how it ends!  Then I made the mistake of reading about the books on Wikipedia, & found out the book was written as Twilight fan fiction and then self-published by the British author.  That actually makes a lot of sense—the lack of editing, repetitive writing, weird contractions that we don’t use in the US.  And it’s also the same kind of addictive as Twilight—you know it’s not good literature, but you really just don’t care.  This book was certainly great fodder for a giggly book club conversation, and isn’t that all we want out of a book sometimes, anyway?

The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach

Book club pick for July.  I’m not a baseball fan, but so far I am getting sucked right in despite myself.  Kate from book club is moving this month, and this was her favorite book she read last year, so we chose it in her honor.

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of June.  Anyone else reading a good book?

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