Monday, November 25, 2013

My Reading Marathon — Book Reviews

Happy Thanksgiving weekend! I'm imagining you right now, kicked back by the toasty fire with a glass of wine, a bowl of roasted nuts, wishing you had a great book resting in your lap. I know what you're thinking...if only I knew what Chamonix has been reading recently. All my problems would be solved. 

Well, your wish is my command, my dear friend. I've been reading like a mad-woman since moving to Hawaii and I've had a few people ask me to share which books have been sitting on my bedside table lately (and playing in my headphones — audiobooks are my new best friend!) Here you go...

My reading marathon started on the plane ride over the ocean when I picked up 'Eat Pray Love'. So many people told me it was stupid but I loved it. It's about a woman who travels to Italy, India & Indonesia a journey of self-exploration. Miggy said he thought she was just self-indulgent but if you actually give her the benefit of the doubt, it's an inspiring lesson in how to find happiness. 

LOVED THIS BOOK. I've totally changed the way I spend my time — especially the in between waiting-in-line moments — and I feel like I'm enjoying my life more and making the most of each day. 

All about getting your dreams and big ideas out of your head and into reality so you can share your talents with the world and 'die empty', without regrets that you held back or didn't accomplish what you'd hoped to accomplish. I liked that this book wasn't just shallow words of encouragement - he actually gives you little tools and tricks that help you move forward, step-by-step, with your exciting plans. 

Time for some fiction! I was intrigued to see what Elizabeth Gilbert's novel writing was like. Very sexual, quite poetic and full of interesting little tidbits of knowledge that made me feel like I was learning along the way. The hardback version of this book is artwork — canvas-like pages & botanical drawing — I was practically drooling over it in Costco's book section. The story is about an old spinster woman who is an expert in mosses (like the green stuff that grows on rocks) and she falls in love with a weird uber-spiritual man and travels to Tahiti looking for a naked native boy whom her husband had drawn pictures of in his notebook. Okay, so obviously the plot is much more intricate and beautiful than that but that kinda crudely sums it up. haha

Yay, I get to check another book off of my "100 Books to Read Before I Die" list! It was SUPER long but the audiobook made it easier. I love novels about old medieval England, with knights and crusades and corrupt religion and peasants. This is a love story that spans a lifetime with travels across Europe, the building of cathedrals and the classic goodie vs badie. Good stuff.

We all know this story thanks to the BBC & Hollywood. I grew up watching it with my mom and I've always avoided reading it because I figured it would be boring since I already knew the story BUT I was delightfully surprised to find that the book was waaay funnier than the movie! The movies were always kind of dramatic but the books was a proper comedy. I loved it and I was sad when I reached the end. PS: Another "100 Books to Read Before I Die" book! Woohoo!

Zooming my way through 100 Books list, I've decided to tackle all of Jane Austen's novels. I also grew up watching the BBC's movie version of this story. I didn't like the book. It was slow for me and my imagination got so confused with trying to imagine faces and places while my memory kept bringing up scenes from the movie. Not my favorite. 

I'm currently reading... Persuasion by Jane Austen. It's going OK. Not loving it yet but I'm curious to see if it gets better for me because I think it's my mom's favorite.

Next up... Goldfinch by Donna Tartt SO EXCITED for this. I read The Secret History by the same author a couple years ago (because it was on the '100 list') and I LOVED it. Can't wait to see what else she has to offer! Her books are dark and twisted - my favorite!

What good books have you read lately?