Friday, May 29, 2009

Caught Up!

Okay I'm all caught up with the books that I've read so far in 2009. I'll be back once I'm done with the one I'm currently reading....

10. The Nasty Bits

The Nasty Bits Anthony Bourdain
May 2009

Listen, if you don't like No Reservations, something is wrong with you. I'm addicted! I think Bourdain is great, both on the show and in this book. He has several books out, but this is the first I have read and I can't wait to read more... but remember my theory variety!

This is a collection of essays about all aspects of the culinary world. When reading this book, you get to go inside the kitchens, eat at the nicest restaurants in the world and travel all over the globe. My only issue is when he would list menu items I generally had no idea what he was saying. But in retrospect I probably learned a thing or two. Like... apparently foie gras is as delicacy. I didn't even know what it was... duck liver fat?? Sounds gross!

Anyway, if you like the show... read the books!

9. The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees Sue Monk Kidd
May 2009

Loooooveddd it! This was recommended to me by my 80 year-old grandmother. (Who by the way reads at least 2 books a week! I aspire to be like her!) I am originally from South Carolina so this was a ton of fun to read. Like the name of my blog suggests, when I read its like I'm traveling back to places I've been or to places that I hope to some day go. Kidd brought me right back to the heart of the Carolinas.

This was such an easy read and I think any woman would fully enjoy it. Its a love story, suspense novel and lesson on bee keeping all in one.

A great summer/beach read!

8. Tortilla Flat

Tortilla Flat John Steinbeck
May 2009

Besides reading 20 books in 2009, my other goal this year is to incorporate all of my friends favorites into my reading list. One of my best guy friends will instantly tell you that this is his favorite book, so he got to go first. I'm pretty sure that the only other Steinbeck book that I have read is Of Mice and Men, but I remembered really liking it, so I was looking forward to this.

Reading your friends' favorite books tells you a lot about them. At first I thought... "Oh! This makes sense... they are just getting drunk the whole time!" Needless to say, my friends and I enjoy a drink now and then. But as the book came to a close I realized it was about so much more than just that. It was about the importance of friendship, and how no matter what, good friends are there for each other when you need them. It made me smile thinking of how this was one of my boy's favorite books.

Everyone should read this.

7. Peony in Love

Peony in Love Lisa See
April 2009

This is the second book by See that I have read (... the other is Snow Flower and the Secret Fan) and the more of her I read, the more I seem to hear about her. I think she deserves every bit of attention that she is getting. Both books are excellent. Definitely a feminine read though. I've traveled to China, so I like to read both nonfiction and novels about the places I have been. It brings me right back to my trips.

This was a great love story, although not a traditional one. I think virtually anyone would enjoy it. I couldn't put it down!

6. Survivor

Survivor Chuck Palahnuik
April 2009

I love, love, love Palahnuik books. Well... maybe I'm a little to early to say that. But I loved this and Fight Club, which I read last year. I'm having to force myself to read other things in between, because if it were up to me... I would read everything he's ever written, right in a row.

Let me step back, I should specify that Palahnuik is not for everyone. All of his story lines and characters are a little twisted. So if you are easily upset by severe language and actions, his stuff probably isn't for you... just think Fight Club. But if you liked the movie... get reading!

5. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Dee Brown
March 2009

I won't deny that I struggled reading this book. It was dry and full of historical facts. However now, in recollection, I think I truly enjoyed it. Every once and a while I try to thrown a "classic" in to my reading list. Its important to me to stay well rounded and not get caught in a niche of reading the same type of books over and over again. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee definitely did that for me.

If you are feeling adventurous and want to learn about a topic that not many people are comfortable discussing, pick up this book. It will not only challenge you as a read, but will also challenge your previous way of thinking about the late 1800s and the Native Americans.

4. Kite Runner

Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini
February 2009

Not much needs to be said about this book. Virtually everyone has at least heard of it and it did not disappoint. I look foward to reading more by Hosseini.

An absolute recommendation!

3. Men are Better than Women

Men are Better than Women Dick Masterson
January 2009

Well, so much for trying something I thought would be funny. This ended up just being a rant by some stuck up snob of a man. I definitely don't recommend this.

I know, I know. Why, as a woman, would I ever even pick it up? Because I enjoy laughing at the ridiculous reasoning behind how "men" think. I am friends with mostly guys and I pretty much already know how they think, regardless of how disappointing and hysterical it may be. So I figured this wouldn't tell me anything I didn't already know. Well I was right. I've heard about people making tons of money off being complete idiots and making comments that are off the wall, and this book just proves the point further.

Definitely do not waste your time.

2. Musicophilia

Musicophilia Oliver Sacks
January 2009

Some 5 years ago I read two of Sacks's books, A Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars, and enjoyed both greatly. Therefore when Musicophilia caught my eye at the store, I had to pick it up. Sacks is a noted and respected Neurologist/Psychiatrist and gives detailed descriptions and reactions to patients and individuals he meets throughout his practice.

Musicophilia gives the reader several various accounts of people who either have extreme musical abilities or severe deficiencies (such has true tone deafness, etc.)

As you have probably already begun to notice, I am a fan of nonfiction writing. It provides me a way to learn about cultures, practices, careers and places that I might never get to experience otherwise. If you don't need a dominant story line to capture your attention and love to learn about the bizarre circumstances that some people are living in, I would definitely recommend anything by Sacks.

1. Sex, Drugs and Coco Puffs

Sex, Drugs and Coco Puffs Chuck Klosterman
January 2009
I read this a while back, so its hard to remember my instant reactions. Like most of Klosterman's books this is a collection of essays that range in topic from soccer to cover bands to Marylin Monroe. He definitely made me laugh in several instances, however when he reflected on certain 80s bands, needless to say, I was lost.

I would recommend to anyone who already enjoys reading memoirs and comedic rants!

Better Late than Never?

So I saw the 20 books in 2009 challenge ( and thought I would try this one on my own... But more for my own sake, I've decided to document what I have read and post my comments/reviews on a blog.