08 December 2010

Book Recommendations and Gift Ideas or, A Bookworm Speaks Her Mind

Alright, so I read. A lot.

Between October and now I've read 5,000 words or so. Granted, much of that was re-reading Harry Potter before the release of The Deathly Hallows, Part One.

I love books that surprise me. Books where I know the ending or where I want to think I know the ending but get surprised are the best. I've read five (almost six) books like that this year and will take this festive holiday season to recommend them to you.

For Adults:
1. The Mountain Between Us: This book is adult crack. It's like Gary Paulsen's Hatchet for armchair travelers. Author Charles Martin spins a tale like no other in this survival romance. Imagine a manly Nicholas Sparks, put him in a cold place to write, and you've got Charles Martin. You will not be disappointed, and five bucks goes to anyone who actually guesses the ending.

2. Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools: Greg Mortenson is my hero. If you want a positive outlook, a tear jerker of a book about the Middle East and the GOOD people who live there, pick up these two books. They will give you a face for what is going on, what the war is doing, and a better way to solve the problem than with guns. I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Mortenson in April and he is definitely on my list of top ten people.

3. The Kite Runner: I'll admit I'm about seven years behind the curve on this one. Sometimes I jump on book bandwagons and other times I put them off. This is one of those books that I put off and finally picked up after reading Harry Potters 1-7 in seven weeks. I felt it was time for a "real" book. I am about fifty pages from the end and I've actually set it aside because I know there is no way it will end the way I want it to end and I really don't want it to surprise me. In this book, a surprise would mean a sad ending, and I don't want that for the main character. Khaled Hosseini gives the Afghan people a voice, a life, and I have cried on nearly every page at the devastation these people go through every day of their lives. His next book is near the top of my To Be Read pile.

For Young Adults
1.-3. The Hunger Games Trilogy: In this YA trilogy, Suzanne Collins has weaved a world of such possibility that I was lost in it until the gripping ending of the third book. In post-apocalyptic America, what is the price of freedom? This is the ultimate quest the heroine of the book is on and boy is it a bumpy ride. Full of torture, murder, love, snow, and crazy ideas of what we'll look like in the future, this trilogy which includes The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay does not fail to deliver. In fact, I believe (until the surprise ending which made me, literally, throw the book across the room--not because it was bad, but I didn't want it to end that way) that the trilogy consistently got better.

So, here's hoping you get a book in your stocking that you can curl up with on the cold winter nights to come.

Peace and pages to read, my friends.

See you next week!

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