Sunday, December 23, 2012

Literary Junkies Linkup

Goings on in Texas

1. What are you currently reading? Tell us about it.
The best answer to this would be a response along the lines of, what am I not reading?  
If you've followed my posts in the past, you know that I am a bookaholic and due to my rigorous training schedule, I haven't been able to read as often as I would like to.  Usually by the time I get home, I'm wiped, but my Goodreads, an overflowing bookshelf, and an Amazon wishlist just itching to adjust to my Kindle contain several items, including:


That's not even a dent in my reading wishlist, but I am so excited to dive into each one :)
2. If you could choose any author in the world to write a story based on your life, who would you choose to be the author? Why?
The first author that popped into my head was J.K. Rowling, but I was obsessed with Lemony Snicket's books while growing up.  I think his witticisms and charm would be fun to have in constructing a story written about a young woman in the nuclear weapons field of the Air Force.  That could become really interesting.  Otherwise, I would love to be interviewed by Oprah and she has a a world famous bookclub, so regardless if my story made a book, I'd at least get an Oprah blog post ;)

3. Tell us about your favorite place to read.
As a kid, we had this incredibly comfortable couch and it was the "fancy" couch.  We had a family room in a finished basement, however, the "fancy" couch was my favorite place to read.  Now on my own, I love to read while traveling on a plane.  That's usually when I find the time to actually finish what I started and often times I end up picking a new selection at one of many airport bookstores.  I remember trying to establish an internet connection for my Kindle Fire and it just wasn't working at some airport.  I finally got fed up and bought the paperback at the bookstore.  Although not really a place where I sit down to devour novels, I love bookstores! We have this adorable small bookstore, not too far from where I live and I frequent it often, solely because small bookstores have a certain charm that even places like Barnes and Noble can't capture.  Picking up a book and reading the back cover or the sleeve is a magical experience. 

4. What books would you buy for lovers of a) suspense/mystery, b) chicklit, c) comedy, d) literary fiction, e)nonfiction, f) classics? (You can choose how many of those subcategories you want to talk about.)

Everyone and their mom is talking about Gone Girl and I actually own it.  I have been dying to read it and with winter exodus, aka winter break, I'm hoping to crack open those pages.  Beeteadubs, I got it used for half price $$ <-- love when that happens :D

Goodreads Summary:
One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.


Now I'm not sure if the 50 Shades trilogy technically counts as Chicklit but let's face it, everybody knows about Christian Grey and they're an easy read.  Although it has become a phenom for its more risque elements, though I'd like to preface that by saying that what is usually mentioned in the books is commonplace in any raunchy romance novel, I think it's beneficial for our generation to explore the type of communication Christian Grey uses throughout the books.  Not the whips and sexy jeans type of communication, but he does actively ask for consent for every element of their relationship.  I'm a firm believer that our social construct could really benefit from having communication and consent become major factors on how we teach our children to socialize with each other.  When they grow up, that still carries with them and not to rant too much, but real, in depth communication could probably help alleviate many problems that people have with their relationships today.

Now I can't think of any off of the top of my head, but I do own Bossypants, but I haven't read it yet.  I heard there were great reviews on that.

Literary Fiction
I read this a long time ago and the book was touching that it made me cry. You fall in love with the characters and their struggles and triumphs.  It makes you appreciate that simplicities in life are not so bad.  I highly recommend this and there's even a movie on it, if you also enjoy movie adaptations.

Summary from Goodreads:
Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It's a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie's five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his "meaningless" life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: "Why was I here?"

The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade 

I came across this book when I was really young and kind of put it on the back burner until I got older just because I wasn't sure if I could quite appreciate the content.  I graduated from UW in strat comm and gender & women's studies, so I ended up taking a rhetoric of reproductive rights course and my term project was on reproductive rights, I know surprising.  However, this book was a major component of that discussion and how the climate and conversation around reproductive has evolved in some ways but not all.  This book is very good and I highly recommend it.  It really dives into a look at an earlier generation and a topic that wasn't really discussed around them.  It most definitely is not Leave it to Beaver kind of material.

Summary from Goodreads:
A powerful and groundbreaking revelation of the secret history of the 1.5 million women who surrendered children for adoption in the several decades before Roe v. Wade

In this deeply moving work, Ann Fessler brings to light the lives of hundreds of thousands of young single American women forced to give up their newborn children in the years following World War II and before Roe v. Wade. The Girls Who Went Away tells a story not of wild and carefree sexual liberation, but rather of a devastating double standard that has had punishing long-term effects on these women and on the children they gave up for adoption. Based on Fessler's groundbreaking interviews, it brings to brilliant life these women's voices and the spirit of the time, allowing each to share her own experience in gripping and intimate detail. Today, when the future of the Roe decision and women's reproductive rights stand squarely at the front of a divisive national debate, Fessler brings to the fore a long-overlooked history of single women in the fifties, sixties, and early seventies.

In 2002, Fessler, an adoptee herself, traveled the country interviewing women willing to speak publicly about why they relinquished their children. Researching archival records and the political and social climate of the time, she uncovered a story of three decades of women who, under enormous social and family pressure, were coerced or outright forced to give their babies up for adoption. Fessler deftly describes the impossible position in which these women found themselves: as a sexual revolution heated up in the postwar years, birth control was tightly restricted, and abortion proved prohibitively expensive or life endangering. At the same time, a postwar economic boom brought millions of American families into the middle class, exerting its own pressures to conform to a model of family perfection. Caught in the middle, single pregnant women were shunned by family and friends, evicted from schools, sent away to maternity homes to have their children alone, and often treated with cold contempt by doctors, nurses, and clergy.

The majority of the women Fessler interviewed have never spoken of their experiences, and most have been haunted by grief and shame their entire adult lives. A searing and important look into a long-overlooked social history, The Girls Who Went Away is their story

I love The Great Gatsby in all of its sadness and its emphasis on humanity.  It captures the human spirit and how we can be wonderful and cruel, all depending on circumstances.  Leonardo DiCaprio will be playing Gatsby and I am incredibly excited to see how this turns out.

Summary from Goodreads:
In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning--" Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.



  1. I read The Girl's Who Went Away several years ago. Very touching. I am currently reading Wild - love it! Found your blog through GBE-2. Last week was my first prompt. Good job on the decision post!

    1. Great to hear because I've been so behind on my reading list and people have spoken volumes about Wild. I'm really glad that I can connect with other folks through GBE 2 and I'm excited to be a part of this writing prompt group :)

  2. Loved The Great Gatsby! One of my all time favorites for sure!! And I agree with you on the ambiance of B&N. If I could not lose my tail, I'd open up a used book store (with some new stuff) and coffee shop and wine bar all in the same shop. ;) That would be a dream! :) Thanks for linking up! I'm excited about the book swap!

    1. A bookstore that serves wine? You may be onto something least I would be one of your top customers ;)
      I feel like that would be really popular, especially around state capitals or at least, grad students.
      I'm incredibly excited about the book swap and I hope everyone has a great time with it.