50/50 Me: Update 38 books

 

Well…it’s been a while since I have updated this project of mine. I think it was somewhere around May 20th. I think it was Never let me Go. I have read 16 books since then and you can find out what they were by checking out THIS page.  I ave read some outstanding books this year and I have read crap. I do know what I think is crap, others think is fantastic. That is what I love about reading. Different books appeal to people in different ways. Isn’t that fantastic?

English: Open book icon
English: Open book icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a certain group of goodread friends who read with the same taste as me. I check out what they like, they check out my list and then we discover for every 1 book we finish we need to add 5 more to the list. It is frustrating. I just can’t seem to read fast enough. I am currently reading (almost finished) 419 – the 2012 Giller Prize winner. Know what? It is justified. This book is compelling and interesting and there are times I am GOBSMACKED at the stupidity. 419 is code for the Nigerian bank account scam. I actually know a person who gave their bank information and had their account wiped out. AND they were not seniors with limited faculties, they are a perfectly sane human who thought it was a good idea. It ruined him financially. It crippled his life and I doubt he will ever be the same. Just like the book is unfolding. Scary really…

I figured it was time to update my top favorite 5 books of the year so far. I hope to make it to 50 books by New Years Eve. I am not sure if I will make it, but I am trying. 50 books is a ton of reading. I went through the Wee Book Inn the other day. That is my favorite used book store on Whyte Avenue in Old Strathcona. I was looking at the books they were displaying and in my head all I could hear was ” read that, read that, read that, read that read that.” But do you think I could find the next book my book club is going to read? NO! I may have to pay full price because I am not good with the library book thing. I never return them on time and it creates bad karma. There are so many books I want to read I am having a hard time fitting them all in. But those of you who read the same types of books I do (good ones) then maybe this list might be helpful in choosing YOUR next book.

The Edmonton Tourist’s Top 5 favorite books in 2012 so far…

  1. 11/22/63 by Stephen King. It is a book about “what if”,altering the time line and saving Kennedy. Great read, weak ending.
  2. Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Probably not for everyone but the journey she took shook me and I could relate. Loved every moment of this book.
  3. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. So unexpectedly great and moving.
  4. The Book of Negroes by Lawernce Hill. Every human should read this.
  5. The Decendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings. Maybe I loved it because of where I am in my life, but it was way better than the movie and I liked the movie too.

Choosing 5 is hard, I need to give honorable mention to The art of Racing in the Rain and A Dog’s Purpose. Both of those surprised me and charmed me…yes I cried too but the endings were perfect.

50/50 me is also about movies but I have reached that target long ago and stopped keeping track. I am well over 80 by now, perhaps more.

So that is what I am reading. Follow me on goodreads if you want to read my reviews of all the books I have read or challenge me on books you think I should read. Click on the goodreads button to the right, it will lead you to me. Or just tell me what you are reading! Should I read it too?

 

“We read to know that we are not alone.” ― William Nicholson

 

“We read to know that we are not alone.”
William Nicholson

 

I just came off a weekend reading frenzy. I love those kind of weekends. You know the type, lay around in comfy clothes, snacking instead of eating meals and reading 3 books that had me a Page 1.

The first book was J.K. Rowling’s A Causal Vacancy. This was my least favorite of the 3 books this weekend. The story line was just fine, there were a couple of characters I really enjoyed. I loved reading about Krystal’s family and I really liked Andrew. The rest of the town was just overloading me on not caring very much. There was something about this book that made me wade through the crappy bits to get to the climax. Rowling is a master of creating excitement and building to a big finish. That was obvious from reading all her previous works. A Casual Vacancy also had a big build up. I LOVE that in a book. It was unfortunate that this story line was less than interesting. Even with the big build up to the end, I was left with disappointment in her plot line. It was just a regular little town with regular weird residents that resemble people I know. I have to admit of being sucked in by the author’s name. I will likely read her next book but am still holding out hope she will create a Marauders series. Her small town book was dull….except for the end. I rated this book 3 out of 5 on Goodreads.

After I read that book, I immediately picked up A Dog’s Purpose. My friend and bookclub mate The Reader suggested it to me. Our taste in books is very similar, so I figured I would likely enjoy this one too. Did I ever love this book! You don’t need to be a dog lover to enjoy it. The story is from the perspective of the dog, who reincarnates 4 times and has memory of his previous lives. The interesting part for me was how this pup would learn from lessons taught in each life and bring it forward to the next one knowing he has a purpose and must fulfill it. I read this book in a couple of hours and was enchanted right from the time he was Toby until the end of the book as Buddy. I rated this book 5 out of 5 on Goodreads. Love, love, loved it!

The last book I read was the Book of Negroes by Canadian Author Lawrence Hill. It won the Canada Reads award and is a book that everyone should read. I rated it 5 out of 5 on goodreads. For some reason, it is called Someone Knows My Name in the USA.  Which is a shame because of the historical importance of the book entitled The Book Of Negroes (a log kept by the British military to keep track of the slaves, endentured slaves and people freed from slavery who were transplanted to the British colonies in Nova scotia and New Brunswick). It was the story of an 11 year old girl who was captured by the slave traders in Africa. It talked about her 3 month journey to the coast where she was branded and sent on a slave ship to Sullivan Island where she was sold. The story moves throughout her amazing, yet tragic life and the 7 different places she lived. She was more fortunate than most but her life was tragic none the less. I was shocked and shamed to learn about Nova Scotia’s part in the slave trade. The underlying message from this book was timely. It stressed the importance of educating women,especially after Malala Yousafzai was shot for being an activist for girls right to education. Shining Hope for Communities is an organization that combats gender inequality and extreme poverty in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya, by linking tuition free schools for girls to accessible social services for all. Studies show that by educating women, poverty can be reduced and violence is lessened. Women who are educated and well read tend to are less fearful. People shouldn’t have to live in fear.

The Dali Lama said this today on his facebook page:

Comparing the 20th century to now there are many hopeful signs. Look at the way people view war. These days many people challenge the need for it, they question why we have to resort to it. In the early twentieth century there was no talk about protecting the environment, yet now everyone is aware of it. Our perceptions are coming closer to reality; humanity is becoming more mature and I am optimistic about the future.

I think we are making gains. Keep Reading people!