Weekly Reads {1/21/13}

Weekly Reads

Well, I’m sad to say that this week I only read two books instead of the four I’d read in previous weeks. I knew it was bound to happen, but it would be nice to make time for that much reading each and every week. That said, I’ve decided to stick with my pattern of reading one nonfiction book per week. It’s helping me find a balance between fiction and nonfiction that I haven’t had in year’s past!

Head here to see Katie’s post for this week. We also want to know what you’re reading! Add your blog post to the linky below or leave a comment with your favorite reads from this week.

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin The Maze Runner by James Dashner

(See the full 2013 list here.)

This Week’s Reads

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I’ve been hearing the buzz about this book since it first came out, and I love Gretchen’s blog, but I just never felt like it was the book for me. Then a friend recommended it on Facebook and pointed out that Gretchen herself felt pretty happy before beginning her year-long project and the book is really about being more intentional in our pursuit of happiness. As it turns out, my friend was right, and I love this book and am looking forward to reading Happier at Home as well.

As a blogger, blog-reader and someone who pursues intentional living, Gretchen’s insights aren’t necessarily new to me, but there is something to be said for reading all of her tidbits, quotes and exercises in one volume rather than across a thousand different blog posts over a year. I also identify a lot with her personality and tendencies, and this book makes some of my idiosyncrasies feel normal. As I read, I find myself highlighting quote after quote, reading things  to my husband and thinking about how they apply to my life.

I’m not sure I’ll take on my own happiness project, at least not right now, but this book is helping me be more intentional about evaluating my own happiness, my response to various people and situations and the ways that I can create a happier atmosphere for our family.

The Maze Runner by James DashnerThe Maze Runner by James Dashner

As a fan of dystopian fiction, I am not overly sensitive to dark themes. What I love about books like Hunger Games and Divergent is that in the midst of horrific, unimaginable circumstances, the hero’s character shines through as they work to overcome the evil around them. While The Maze Runner seemed to have all of those elements, I found this one to be over the top. It’s a dark and disturbing book, and I only finished reading it because I was truly disturbed by the story and needed answers about the Maze, but even the answers and triumphs are unsatisfying (trying not to give anything away), which I found depressing. In fact, I left the last few pages unread because I knew they would just open up more questions that would keep me reading the rest of the series, and I really just wanted to be done once I had questions answered about the first part.

{As a side note, I found the use of fake swear words throughout this book distracting and immature. I mean, “shuck it”…really?}

Serendipity by Stephen Cosgrove

Serendipity Series by Stephen Cosgrove

I fell in love with this series after wearing out my own copy of Memily as a child, and I’d love to one day have the whole collection for my children and grandchildren. These books are great because their whimsical stories and illustrations hold even our littlest’s attention, but they’re packed full of vocab words that hold my older girls’ attentions as well. And much like Aesop’s Fables, each of these stories contains a moral or a lesson. It’s been a while since we’ve read these books together, but I’ve started pulling them off the shelf to read to the girls again, and we’re really enjoying them!

On My Reading List for This Week

  • The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
    I came across this audiobook while I was browsing audible, and I have a feeling the girls would love it, so I’m planning to pre-read it this week just to be sure it’s appropriate!

Audiobooks

There are two kinds of audiobooks we get from Audible — the inexpensive classics (which you can also download from sites like Librivox for FREE, but I pay the $1-2 just for the simplicity of having them on all of our devices with Audible) or collections which feature multiple stories for just a single credit. We get 2 credits per month with our plan, and I just can’t bring myself to use one on an $8 audiobook that only lasts an hour, so I hunt for collections that are 4-10 hours long to get the most bang for our buck!

Sarah, Plain and Tall Collection

Sarah, Plain and Tall Collection

From Dylan (6): “Sarah goes to the prairie and marries Anna and Caleb’s dad, and this story tells you about their life in the prairie.”

Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know

Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know

From Peyton (8): “This collection has lots of fairy tales, and I like Aladdin because it’s really, really long and some of the others are short. I also like it because instead of taking place in Arabia like in the movie, it’s in China. It also includes Jack the Giant Slayer, and Jack slays 8 giants.”

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