Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

5 on Friday: First 5 Books of 2013

I’m a big reader and one of the goals of 2012 I didn’t get to was to read 50 books in the year, so  I’m tackling it again this year. Here are my first five of the New Year:

1. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson: I have not followed The Bloggess online very long, but so many folks spoke of how many times they were laughing out loud while reading this book, so I decided to give it a shot. I enjoyed her wit and stories, liked that I could pick up the book and read in short spurts, but there were some things that didn’t sit right with me either, though writing about it now, I can’t quite remember what or why.

2. The Group by Mary McCarthy:  This book has long been on my reading list- I think since taking women’s studies as a minor in college. I don’t know why it took me so long to read it, but this book was a bit of a challenge. There are eight different girls in the group and I found it very difficult at times to keep track of who was doing what and where. This was especially tough when I was reading chapters before bed. Overall, I would recommend this book if you like books that show character development over time and in conjunction with history and world events ( historical fiction is definitely my wheelhouse). There also is a movie of same title that is available on Netflix Instant that features, among other people, a young Candice Bergen. I never like to watch the movie before reading a book because the movie usually gets things wrong, but in this case, I think it might have been easier to keep track in my mind of who was who if I had the mental images from the movie to remind me.

3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: There is not enough I can say about this book and after re-reading it for Twook Club, I started doing some writing about it, some of which I hope to share on here. This book was one of the first chapter books I read as a child and inspired me in so many ways- I read parts of it on days when I’m feeling blue- it’s as comforting to me as a cup of tea on a sunny afternoon. I regularly quote it and have a big interest in the Alcott family. Each time I read it I discover something new ( the byline of my blog was from a reading shortly after I separated from my husband- it was like it floated off the page to me) and this time was no different. While Jo is the character I find so much inspiration in, this reading really had me thinking differently about Meg and how even as traditional she is, she has a fiery spirit in her.

4. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter: I read a few great reviews of the book when it first came out and added it to my ever growing reading list, proceeding then to forget about it until Sara mentioned she was reading it over on her blog. If you are looking for a great, enjoyable and entertaining read with a lovely story and great insights about life, this is the book for you. The book also goes back and forth with the time period which is something I enjoy because it helps keep my focus and builds the intrigue of the story. So many times I found myself smiling while reading and it definitely made me want to visit Italy in the near future.

5. Wild by Cheryl Strayed: I’m a bit late to the party on this book after Oprah picked it a few months back. I wasn’t crazy about the topic and all the fuss about it so while I added it to my list, it wasn’t one I was going to waste queue space in the library hold list for. It wasn’t until a few IRL friends and blog pals wrote reviews of the book and I read some interviews with the author that I decided to bump this to the top of the pack. I’m actually not quite finished yet- about 150 or so more pages to go- but I really, really love this. Memoir has quickly become a favorite genre of mine and hers is definitely going to make the list of all time favorites. I am looking forward to reading Tiny Beautiful Things too.

I like to alternate between fiction and nonfiction as I read so I think my next book is going to The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty before I dive into reading more of the ‘classics’ and various titles I missed or skipped reading in high school.

Have a great weekend and happy reading!

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One thought on “5 on Friday: First 5 Books of 2013

  1. I read Tiny Beautiful Things first and then read Torch. Am looking forward to Wild and had the same feelings about the topic! “A hike? ehhh…” But after reading Torch and Tiny Beautiful Things, I just want to read all her books.

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