Life By Kristen

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

Archive for the tag “Laura Hillenbrand”

Ten Books

As usual, I’m late to the game of the ‘meme’ of ten books that stayed with you, making some impact on your life. Here are my ten!

( in random order)

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: probably obvious considering the header on the blog)

2. Diary of Anne Frank

3. Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh: if you haven’t read this author, you’re missing out. I think she is one of the best. This book gripped me for a million reasons that I read it in almost one sitting ( plane ride back from London, plus one 4 hour night)

4. Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos: I picked this book up probably at the library book sale and grabbed it for a plane ride to California ( seeing a theme of great books on planes), not knowing anything about the author or the book. The story, the characters, the historical tie-ins– definitely highly recommend. I loaned this out to someone years ago and it makes me sad I didn’t get it back nor can remember who I gave it to!

5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: One of the only books I read in school that I really enjoyed.

6. Charlotte’s Web b E.B. White: The first chapter book I read on my own. I had a wonderful hardcover copy that was part of a boxed set of E.B. White books.

7. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand: I ‘read’ this on audiobook over my commute and I think part of the reason it stayed with me was not just the amazing true story ( movie out at the end of this year), but Edward Hermann ( the dad on Gilmore Girls) was the narrator and I really loved how he read it.

8. Anne of the Wild Rose Inn by Jennifer Armstrong: A slightly cheesy, sappy teen romance-like historical fiction that I read in junior high school. There are a whole series of different girls of the Wild Rose Inn that cover different historical eras or events, but this one was about the American Revolution. It was probably my first ever historical fiction. It also remind me of a dear friend who passed away recently and anytime I see the book on the shelf, it makes me think of her.

9. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett: Recommended by my mom, another read in almost one setting. Totally captivating- couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see what was happening.

10. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou: Read for a college literature ( or writing?) class, this book made me fall in love with memoirs.


Gosh, just noticing that with the exception of one, all of these books are by women! I’m sure there are books by men that have stayed with me, but these 10 were the first to come to mind!

5 on Friday (#6)

1. I was home sick on Wednesday with the stomach bug that has been going around for months. I don’t know how I evaded it for so long, but it was gross and I whined and cried like a 3 year old.  So of course I called my mom and cried to her on the phone. That helped, as did her (always) smart advice to drink some tea and go back to sleep. Mom’s are the best ( as was Q who clearly did not know what to do with a crying girlfriend throwing a sick induced tantrum). Also, there is a good chance it actually *wasn’t* the stomach flu, but bad wine.

2. I’m in the middle of listening to Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken on my commute and it’s one of the best nonfiction books I’ve “read” in years. Highly recommend– it’s fast paced, well-researched, and overall, a great read. I’m very interested in World War II ( my undergrad thesis was on women nurses during the war) and the book has long been on my reading list. I’m glad I got to it before the Angelina Jolie movie comes out and ruined everything for me ( though I did see a news report on the film production a few months back, so I sort of knew what to expect).

3. Today Q and my brother are embarking on a small construction project at my parent’s house to finally finish a project my Dad started in the summer/fall and never finished. While I’m very happy they’re doing this together for my Mom and having some bonding time, I’m also sort of nervous for the process, though I have no doubt they’ll get it done — just wishing I could be a fly on the wall to watch what I am sure will be comedic construction antics!

4. Here in New England, spring is playing mind games with us weather wise, which is fine ( well minus the fact it’s still been chilly at night and the heat keeps going on), but in the manner of #firstworldproblems, I’m struggling with transitional dressing. Added to the fact that my place of work is directly on the ocean, meaning sometimes a 10-15 degree difference of temps from everyone else. I feel like I’m wearing the same 5 outfits over and over. Today I dared to go out in a dress without tights, leggings, or socks. I only got as far as my front porch before running back in to put leggings on. I’m antsy for my summer clothes!

5. Last night my mother gifted my Dad’s motorcycle to my cousin. As my parent’s only nephew and someone who is in to cars/mechanics, it was definitely the right home for the bike, which my Dad loved but was very cautious on ( he only rode in town and never on the highway). Seeing the smile on my cousin’s face was just so awesome and it makes my heart so happy for a million reasons, but mostly because I know my Dad would love that something he liked so much is going to someone he cared so much about. It’s times like this that the sadness is there, but it takes on a new sense of closure and peace to know that my Dad’s legacy lives on in many ways and with different people.

5.5 This weekend is for cleaning– we went last weekend to the DeCordova Scuplture Park and Ikea since the weather was nice and it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.

Hope everyone has a great last weekend of April!!

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