Ever since I gave birth, my favourite hobby of all time—READING—took a back seat. Most of my time is spent taking care of Timmy, my now 7-month-old son, who is by the way very addicting. Now that he’s more manageable and he sleeps longer during the night, my daily schedule is slowly freeing up for reading time. 🙂
I told my hubby recently that my reading log has been decreasing steadily by 50% each year. I started logging the books I read last 2008. By the end of that year, I was at around 120 books. The following year, I was down to around 60 books. By 2010, I was down to 34 books.
Although I was feeling giddy about it, I told myself that this is somewhat permissible because that was the year when I got married, got pregnant, and gave birth (prematurely). As 2011 ensued, all that I’ve read were practically 4 board books that I have been reading to my baby repeatedly. Haha! 🙂
Just last month, I started looking through my book pile again, flipping and wondering where I stopped in those bookmarked eye candies. It has brought me so much joy when I finally finished a book after 7 months of reading abstinence. 🙂 The past three weeks, three books filled my bucket again. I would talk about more on those books in my next blogs. In the meantime, I want to share with you my 2010 BOOK PILE and some of my thoughts about it. 🙂 I didn’t write synopsis or teasers on some of the books here to avoid spoilers. 🙂
(1) “Her Fearful Symmetry” by Audrey Niffeneger – I believe I’m one of the few people who loved it and I’m not ashamed of it. The uniqueness of the story and impeccable writing aced it for me. It’s not as great as “Time Traveller’s Wife” but it is good.
(2) “Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” by Steig Larsson – This is the third book in the trilogy and I loved every single one of it. I just feel bad every time I remember that the author didn’t even ha vethe chance to know how successful the Millennium Series has become all over the world. This trilogy was published posthumously. Lisbeth Salander, you simply rock.
(3) “Miracle on the 17th Green” by James Patterson – I didn’t like it that much because I don’t know much about golf and the story mainly revolved around the protagonist and the game. This is a far cry from his non-detective novels that I loved namely, “Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas” and “Sundays at Tiffany’s”.
(4) “Hypnotizing Maria” by Richard Bach – I wasn’t hypnotized. I was quite disappointed because I was so looking forward to this book. What happened to that great author who wrote “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”?
(5) “Babylon Rising” by Tim Lahaye – Tim Lahaye is one of my favourite authors. This is the first book in the Babylon Rising series. I’ve read “The Secret of Ararat” in 2009 and boy, was it good! This series is mainly about biblical artifacts and stories that have an Indiana Jones feel to it.
(6-8) “Altar of Eden”, “Deep Fathom”, and “Subterranean” by James Rollins – Okay, I’m biased. I love James Rollins. I love his books. I love him more than Dan Brown (I nearly got suffocated with too many symbols with “The Lost Symbol” but it still is a compelling read.) and a little more than Steve Berry (Okay, maybe just as much as Steve Berry). I really feel that I’m at the edge of my seat every time I read his novels. It’s like one of those can’t-go-to-the-restroom movies but in book form. I sneak in one of his books as a breaker of some sort so I can fall back and relax to something familiar yet thrilling.
(9-11) “Hunger Games”, “Catching Fire”, and “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins – One of the most brilliant series I’ve read in my entire life. It’s amazing how the author came up with such a story line and how each book builds up to the finale. The Hunger Games per se is clever in its origin and plot development. I’m looking forward to the movie and hoping desperately that it will give justice to the excellent book that it is.
(10) “The Last Jihad” by Joel Rosenberg – It’s good but dragging. The suspense intensified midway but it made up for the slow pace thereafter.
(11) “Prophecy of the Sisters”by Michelle Zink – There was a lot of hype about this book by its publishers but it didn’t quite live up to it. I liked it though but I was expecting something more. The tension between the two sisters is palpable. I would still read the sequel for curiosity’s sake.
(12-16) “Lightning Thief”, “Sea of Monsters”, “Titan’s Curse”, “Battle of the Labyrinth”, and “Last Olympian” – Percy Jackson and the Olympians gave Greek Mythology its much needed accessibility to every reader. Much as I love pure classic literature, I also appreciate modern twists added to it to make it more appealing to reluctant readers.
(17) “Swan Thieves” by Elizabeth Kostova – I nearly cried reading this book because it’s that bad. I love art and I’m an artist myself but there’s just too much art information than plot movement in this novel. I feel like I’m having a full course in French Art reading this. Kostova’s writing is still excellent but her story line was just all over the place. Her first novel, “The Historian” was critically acclaimed and I relished every page of that novel. “Swan Thieves” didn’t even come close to it.
(18) “Animal Farm” by George Orwell – I’m in my “catching up with the classics” campaign thus this all-time classic literature made my list. It is worthy to be called a classic because it really is exceptional and timeless.
(19) “Romanov Prophecy” by Steve Berry – Being one of my favourite authors, I expect Steve Berry not to fail me and he didn’t. This is his first novel if I’m not mistaken. I started reading his more recent novels before reading his back list.
(21) “Kingdome Come” by Mark Waid and Alex Ross – The first ever graphic novel I finished! YAY! Thanks to my hubby’s collection, I have a lot to ravage on in the coming days. I shall make a separate review on this. 🙂
(22) “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner” by Stephenie Meyer – It’s a spin-off story from the Twilight series about this young vampire Bree Tanner. She has a minimal exposure in “Eclipse” as the girl who was killed in the end. It’s okay for a light read, I guess.
(23) “The Ark” by Boyd Morrison – It’s like reading “Resident Evil” but in vampire form. It’s surprisingly entertaining and I found myself enjoying the story as I read it.
(24) “Have a Little Faith” by Mitch Albom – We all have different beliefs and this story is about faith and how each person’s belief affects his entire life. After being disappointed with “For One More Day”, Mitch Albom redeemed himself in this book. It may not be that appealing to all because he converses with a Rabbi here but it’s the parallels in their lives that made the book note worthy.
(25) “Change of Heart” by Jodi Picoult – Jodi Picoult makes family drama unique and unsettling. It has some similarities with the movie “The Green Mile” but there’s more depth to this novel. She’s one of my favourites and she’s simply the best in this genre.
(26) “Vanishings” by Tim Lahaye – This is the beginning of the “Left Behind” series but for kids. I wanted to read this because I’m interested how these kids face the reality of the world’s end. It’s just as riveting as the adult version of this series.
(27) “Red Pyramid” by Rick Riordan – This is the author’s new series about Egyptian mythology, which I know very little about. I liked it because I discovered a lot of new things but I also found it quite dragging. It’s not as engaging as the Percy Jackson series just yet.
(28) “The Room” by Emma Donaghue – This is the last book I read last year. I guess a month before I gave birth. I must say that it was also the best book I read last year. This novel is about a young boy and his mom, who were imprisoned in a basement for so many years. It’s told from the boy’s point of view and his voice was real and compelling. This is literature at its finest.
(1-2) “God is Closer than you Think” and “If you want to walk on water, you’ve got to get out of the boat” by John Ortberg – A must-read for those who want to know how to trust God and for those struggling to trust God. I highly recommend these books. We all come across faith crossroads and John Ortberg is very good in meeting his readers wherever they are and introducing them to God in a unique way.
(3) “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World” by Joanne Weaver – As women we are so busy filling in different shoes at any given time. This book takes us back to basics—to what God really wants from us—our hearts.
(4) “One Month to Live” by Kerry and Chris Shook – This book is not a last will and testament type of read. It’s about making the most out of your life. I love that it’s very simple and pragmatic.
(5) “Let Me Be A Woman” by Elisabeth Eliot – This book was given to me before I got married. It’s a great book to read if you’re single or engaged. It prepares you for what your next season of life has in store for you.
(6) “A Life God Rewards” by Bruce Wilkinson – This short read is filled with truths about focusing on what counts in one’s life. You may finish this book in an hour or less but it’s worth going over again and again.