Ok, folks, I have found that some of the best books I have read have come from recommendations from people I know. So I'd love to hear what YOU are reading! I know more of you read than the two people that commented last time, so if you'd be so kind, leave a comment with a book you have read and enjoyed. Please, pretty please? Help a reader out!
One book I would recommend is The Brothers K by David James Duncan . I read this last winter and I saw it at the library again today and got teary just seeing the cover, that's how much I liked it. From Publishers Weekly: "It is a stunning work: a complex tapestry of family tensions, baseball, politics and religion, by turns hilariously funny and agonizingly sad...The book portrays the extraordinary differences that can exist among siblings...and how family members can redeem one another in the face of adversity." (For the record, this is not the same as The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky, though the allusion is there for a reason.)
(Here's last month's list, if you missed it.)
Unwind by Neal Shusterman: A young adult novel, recommended by a friend. There was a second civil war, Pro-life vs. Pro-choice. To end the war, they came up with a compromise: no life can be taken until the age of 13, when parents can choose to "unwind" their children as long as no part of the child technically "dies," thanks to organ donation. The story is about a kid who tries to escape being unwound. It was a quick read, overly dramatic, and utterly unrealistic - but like I said, it's TEEN fiction.
War Child by Emmanuel Jal : Another memoir of a Lost Boy of Sudan. Of the ones I read, this one was the most graphic and challenging, and left images in my head that I will never forget. This is partly because Jal was a child soldier, and his experiences tended to be quite violent. But to see God's hand on him through it all is a powerful thing. Here is a link to a TED talk he gave. It is worth watching.
Giada's Kitchen, and Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis: I love Giada. Everything I have made from her cookbooks has been wonderful. Chet mocks the Giada obsession, but seriously. I love carbs and chocolate, and Giada is very good at making both. What's not to love! Plus I have learned her secrets for making anything "Italian" - take a basic cupcake recipe, throw in some mascarpone or ree-COTT-a, and you've got yourself some Italian cupcakes.
Kitchen Express by Mark Bittman: And my obsession with cookbooks from the library continues. I also really like Mark Bittman. No nonsense, simple recipes that are still delicious. I used this cookbook all summer long. Each recipe took only 20 minutes to prepare and cook, and I could always find something to make with the ingredients in my kitchen.
The Dayuma Story by Ethel Emily Wallis: This book is about the first Auca Christian, Dayuma, and Rachel Saint's relationship with her in leading her to Christ. (I have been trying to read missionary biographies on Sundays. Because it is a day set apart, I am trying to orient my thoughts towards the Lord, so I am excited about the big pile of missionary bio's I borrowed from my in-laws.)
Don't Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman: A very practical book about getting to the heart of your children through training and discipline. One of the things that has stuck with me the most is to view every act of disobedience as an opportunity to point your kids towards their need for Jesus. This book has been very helpful, particularly because our kids are so close together. (I also really like her Wise Words for Moms.)
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins: The third and final book in The Hunger Games series. Can you say, "Mocking-lame"? Ok, not that bad. It was an expectation thing. I loved the other two books, but this one fell a bit flat for me.
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami: Because I have no idea how to describe this book, here is a summary from Amazon - "15-year-old Kafka Tamura runs away from home, both to escape his father's oedipal prophecy and to find his long-lost mother and sister. As Kafka flees, so too does Nakata, an elderly simpleton whose quiet life has been upset by a gruesome murder...What follows is a kind of double odyssey, as Kafka and Nakata are drawn inexorably along their separate but somehow linked paths, groping to understand the roles fate has in store for them." There were some very beautiful moments right alongside some very disturbing moments.