January Book Review

One of my resolutions this year is to read more and keep track of what I read. I actually read a lot last year but wish I had written down my thoughts to look back on. I read EVERYTHING (yes, even US Weekly) with a pen in hand so I have a lot of notes in each book. But what is enjoying something if you don't share it with others. So since the written word is one of life's greatest pleasures, here are this month's reviews:

Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World

Life of the Beloved
by Henri Nouwen

This was my first book of the new year. Several friends have mentioned that I would love his work and I found this book sticking out of a bookshelf at B&N as I was chasing Loulie down the aisle. It caught my eye and about 72 hrs later, I was hooked to Nouwen. Though a short book, it takes a little longer to get through than you would think because of the depth of his writing. This book is written as a letter to one of his secular friends to explain living a spiritual life. I cannot express enough how beautiful this book is. I have whole pages highlighted and have already gone back to reread sections to friends. I particularly loved his connection between suffering and joy--though I have heard that message over and over again, no one has covered it more eloquently than Nouwen.  Christian, non-Christian, man or woman--this is a must read!

Sundays at Tiffany's By James Patterson, Gabrielle Charbonnet

Sundays at Tiffany's
by James Patterson

I listened to this book tape on my way to Knoxville. (Is that cheating?) It's entertaining and quite sweet but not a realistic story that will stir any kind of thought or passion in you. I would recommend it for a beach read--the kind that you can just numb out and enjoy for exactly what it is--a fun story.

The Paris Wife: A Novel

The Paris Wife

by Paula McLain

I felt like it took a while to get through this book because it covers such a difficult story. Embarrassing to admit, I have never read anything by Hemingway but after seeing Midnight in Paris, I was excited to read this novel on his first wife. We all know like many great artists, Hemingway was nuts but this story really gets into the day in and out of their marriage and his work. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres but I always want more details on what actually happened. Did she really say that? Is that exactly the name of the restaurant? etc. So I enjoyed this book but it did not draw me in emotionally like I thought it would. I did enjoy learning more about Paris during that time period and seeing what it was like for the elite. (Crazy how they could just leave their kids at home and travel all over Europe doing these exotic adventures.) Definitely not my favorite book (already resold on ebay) but eye opening so worth the read.

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