Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December: A Month of Favorites - Five Faves By Theme

The lovely ladies of Estella’s RevengeGirlxoxo, and Traveling with T are hosting December: A Month of Favorites because, as any blogger knows, it can be tough to blog in December what with the reduced amount of time to blog and read. They've kindly provided bloggers with ideas to help make at least the blogging part of December easier. I'm passed on the introduction because I would have had to keep stats for the year and you may have noticed that I suck at keeping stats of my reading. Yesterday GirlXOXO asked us to list five books that are faves for any theme. So, of course, I'm posting yesterday's prompt today. Because that's how I live these days.

Five Books That Surprised Me

These aren't five books that necessarily surprised me because there were surprising moments in them; rather they are books that surprised me because of how much I unexpectedly liked them. 

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion - I knew what it was about, I knew it was an award winner. Still I was surprised by Didion's candor and by how profoundly this book impacted my thinking about grief.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami - Yeah, yeah, I know he's supposed to be a genius and beloved by many but I also knew that his stuff was out there. I was, honestly, peer pressured into reading this. I wanted to be able to say that I'd at least tried Murakami. I'm certain I didn't entirely understand it but that didn't stop me for enjoying it. It made me think...and that's a good thing.

Safe From The Sea by Peter Geye - Unbridled Books offered me this one and I have so much faith in them that I accepted it despite it being something I would not ordinarily have picked up. It's a story about a father and a son and their relationship and how was I going to relate to that? So, so well written and so moving. I cried. Twice. And I do not usually cry when reading.

In The Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White - a memoir of an egotist convicted of a crime and sentenced to federal prison in Carville, Louisiana, a prison that is also home to the last people in the continental U.S. disfigured by leprosy. The story of these people was fascinating and White's own story of growth was well-worth the reading. 

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell - Sci-fi? Space travel? Me? Again, I was peer pressured into reading this one after so many people raved about it. It is far more about humanity, faith, and man's place in the universe. It grabbed me up and never let me go.


  1. When did you read Wind-Up??? I hosted a read along for that one a couple of years back and it was a hoot. So many things to ponder, huh?

  2. Oh, maybe you read Wind-Up FOR the read-along. I can't remember. I thought you meant you read Wind-Up in December.

  3. Peer pressure, huh? :P I've been meaning to read some Didion. I have a couple of hers on my shelf.

  4. The Sparrow was so amazing, wasn't it?! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
    I'm a huge Murakami fan, so I'm happy to hear your thoughts on Wind Up Bird, too. :)

  5. I read Didion back in 2005 and was quite impressed. She nailed it! I find myself referring back to that book every time I'm confronted with another loss. I think it's a must read for anyone who has lost a loved one.

    The Sparrow is on my Top Ten Life List. I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Doria Russell in 1998 at a small book conference. She is an amazing author (with a great sense of humor, in person) and I have read everything she's written with the exception of Doc. My husband loved that one, so I really need to get on the ball and read it in 2015.

  6. I love this list. Looks like ones I need to read.