I thought I'd share my book list for August (I post it elsewhere, so it's easy to copy here too). No judging me on my light reading!
He's Just Not That Into You - Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo (165 pages)
Years ago, a well-meaning friend suggested this book to me right after a very difficult breakup. It wasn't the right time for such a recommendation, and I don't advise you to tell any of your hurting friends to read this when they're freshly into a breakup from a serious relationship! That's your tip of the day. However, these days I have been in a much better emotional place to consider this topic. This book discusses many signs that a man isn't interested when a woman is tempted to make excuses for him and put up with an unhappy situation. It was funnier and better than I imagined, and also enlightening in ways I didn't expect. The message was much more positive than I had originally thought it would be. Of course this book is secular and discusses many topics that don't directly pertain to me, but it still has insight to offer most any single woman.
Free Fall - Kristen Heitzmann (14 tapes)
A woman named Gentry wakes up, injured and with amnesia, in the mountains of Kauai. She makes her way down to a house where a woman named Nica takes her in and nurses her back to health. Gentry turns out to be famous, but the locals just didn't recognize her at first. Now she has to try and remember what happened to her with the help of Nica's investigator brother. There's a lot more to this book, but I don't want to give it all away. I enjoyed it. I mean, it had its lame moments, but overall I liked the story.
Traveling Mercies - Anne Lamott (275 pages)
Brenda mentioned this book to me. It's the memoir of a woman on her path from being a drug-using alcoholic to finding Christ, and learning what that means through various life experiences. It's interesting because she's definitely rough around the edges and not afraid to show it. The book is candid about all sorts of topics and has plenty of swearing and poor choices (both before and after her conversion, of course). It's very well-written, funny and thoughtful, and has some good nuggets of wisdom about life and God.
The Birth Order Connection - Kevin Leman (Abridged* - 2 tapes)
A reread, and kind of cheaty since it's abridged. I didn't remember that this book talks a lot about romantic relationships--I was thinking it was focused entirely on birth order (I guess that's another book). Most of it is just advice on choosing a mate that hardly relates to birth order! But it had some good reminders. And guess what? Middle children have the lowest infidelity rate. :) Go me. Snatch up those middle children--they're gems!
Bamboo and Lace - Lori Wick (Abridged* - 2 tapes)
Another cheaty book, and another reread (because I had nothing else to listen to at the time). Lily goes to visit her brother in Hawaii and learn about American culture (she's from a small Asian island). She falls in love and has to convince her ultra-strict dad to let her marry the guy. Something about this story is so simplistic and childish, yet I liked listening to it like I enjoy a Disney film. I rolled my eyes a lot, though, and felt the reader made the characters sound like very bad actors. It's probably not only the reader's fault, though.
The Chosen One - Carol Lynch Williams (5 CDs)
A YA (Young Adult, if you didn't know) novel about a 13-year-old girl living in a polygamist compound and being forced to marry her 60-year-old uncle. The story follows her efforts to escape the upcoming marriage. This story is sad, disturbing and angering, but it also gave me a renewed appreciation for the freedom I have that some people don't. I know that this girl's situation is not common in the US, but around the world there are lots of similar "captive" situations where women and children are being forced into bad lives and brainwashed into believing certain things about God and the world. I was slightly disappointed with the end, because it didn't really give a lot of information about the future, but I suppose that was probably a good way to close without delving into another story. The end of the last CD also had a brief interview with the author, which I found very interesting.
So Yesterday - Scott Westerfeld (6 CDs)
Another Brenda recommendation! A "Cool Hunter" (one who looks for "cool" to report back to a major shoe company) gets caught up in a mystery when his coworker goes missing and he finds her cell phone stuck in an old building near a bunch of amazing shoes that have never been shown to the public. This is a fun, light-hearted action/mystery. It was a nice change of pace from what I had been listening to before, even if the whole premise was goofy and hard to relate to.
Book total for August: 7 (sort of)
Book total for 2010: 26
* I really hate reading abridged versions of books but, like I said, it's what I found on my shelf when I was between library visits. Why I had the abridged versions, I know not--I can be really crazy sometimes.