While I don’t always plan to do my 5 for Friday posts about books, I feel the need to catch up since I’ve been gone for so long. I love to read l others’ short recaps on books to know what I would like to spend my time reading or what I can ultimately skip.
But here is something you may not know about me…
Although I love to read, I usually hate the endings to books.
Generally it’s not because they don’t turn out the way that I’d like. It’s because they often feel rushed, like the author really just wanted to hurry up and finish. Other times, they add too much extra stuff that didn’t need to be just to explain what happened after the book’s climax. And still other times, the ending just fades into the distance, leaving me feeling lost. I think, “why did they even mention XYZ.” There is often no explanation nor did that part have any importance to the structure of the story.
Now, know that I’ve never taken a creative writing class outside of high school nor do I have any training in plot development. I’m only offering up my feelings on how a book makes me, as a reader, feel. This is what adds or subtracts to the enjoyment of a book.
Despite this fact of disliking endings, that doesn’t mean that there are books I don’t love nonetheless. It’s strange, isn’t it? But let’s carry on…
It Ends with Us
by Colleen Hoover (fiction) – worth a read
I’ve never read one of Hoover’s books; but I’m told that fans of hers will find this a very different novel from her others. I really liked the opening line of the book, but as the storyline grew, I got really annoyed. There were times that I almost threw it across room and thought I should just put the damn thing down. I mean, I was on a yoga retreat at the time and shouldn’t have been reading something that wasn’t calming me, right?
But it was like a trainwreck and I ended up staying up one night while on the retreat just to finish it and was glad I did. I liked how this one ended and the message the author was trying to convey. Really.
The Gifts of Imperfection
by Brené Brown (non-fiction) – worth a read?
It’s been a while since I’ve read this book and I can’t remember too much about it. That’s why I’m so glad I took notes! It’s sad when you think of a book you read where you can’t recall any tidbit of new information nor how a story ended. I should take more notes, really.
- A description on the book reads “Your Guide to a Whole Hearted Life”. I wouldn’t agree that it is a guide. There is a lot of theory here, but not a specific guide. Brown is a researcher, and a very good one at that. Still, she does a much better job at describing her findings rather than guiding you into such a life.
- Brown has extensively studied shame and the number one thing I learned: You need to talk about it. Everybody feels it. Acknowledging it can help you feel better and move past it.
- Religion and spriituality = connectiveness. I have not spent much of my life focusing on this area, so the fact that I was at a yoga retreat put this into perspective. To me, it related to mindfulness, too.
- Boundaries – I wrote this one word. I can’t remember why, but I think it was about creating boundaries with other people. I also have “prana-sucking” written next to it, which I note was not in the book, but we explored prana in one of our workshops at the retreat. I think setting boundaries had something to do with the people in my life you suck the prana out of me! Now. how to do that is another story. I’m not so great with that.
- You can never love others more than your self. Brown goes into depth on this and it was pretty eye-opening. But I could never explain it myself to you.
- Create a different kind of list – one that lists your ingredients for joy and meaning in your life, meaning list the specific conditions that are in place when everything feels good in life. Compare this to your to-do list. It’ll put things in perspective.
Boy am I glad I took notes! When thinking about this book, nothing triggered in my brain, but those notes sure did!
The Happiness Dare:
pursuing your heart’s deepest, holiest, and most vulnerable desire
by Jennifer Dukes Lee (non-fiction) – DNF
I’m always interested on reading books about happiness. Who doesn’t want to want the happiest life they can possibly live? Reading about it always gives me new ways to look at what happiness means to me. I can also discover new ways to create it in my life. However, I couldn’t get past the beginning. Maybe I’m reading too many of these books as of late or maybe I was turned off by the incorporation of religion to more of an extent than I’d like.
by Chris Pavone (fiction) – worth a read
This is a thriller that I thought would read more quickly than it did, but it could have been my life circumstances. I liked how many places I got to travel through this book, as well as trying to figure out who was who. I could see it as a thrilling action-packed movie, though not a blockbuster. Though, I would see it for the landscapes! Decent ending for someone who doesn’t like endings. 🙂
Skinnytaste: Fast and Slow
by Gina Holmoka, Heather K. Jones (cookbook) – must read
Did you know that I read cookbooks like novels? I may occasionally skip a passage and I don’t read every line or ingredient, but I do read them from cover to cover. Although I rediscovered the library just this past year, it wasn’t until very recently that I could check out cookbooks! One can often order cookbooks via kindle, but I don’t like reading them on my phone. I’d rather thumb through the pages and mark my favorites.
But borrowing a cookbook from the library is like giving it a test drive! I read this cookbook on the way to Green Bay in November (while my husband drove, of course) and by the time I’d finished I knew I’d be returning the book and purchasing it for myself as well as for Christmas gifts. (Shh…)
Holmoka – who blogs at Skinnytaste, which I’ve been following for years – offers up flavorful recipes made with real food that’s healthy but can be fit into a busy lifestyle. Recipes are either quick and easy (fast) or thrown into the crockpot (slow). Genius.
Do you take notes when you read books? Why/how?
Have you ever discovered a cookbook elsewhere, but after thumbing through it, knew you had to have it?