“I was born with a reading list I will never finish.” – Maude Casey
When I first read the above quote my first thought was, “Amen, sister!” For as long as I can remember I have loved books and reading and jetting off to somewhere else in my mind. I have been known to read instead of doing most anything else – especially if it is something I have to do that I don’t necessarily want to do. I began reading at a very young age – before kindergarten – because I didn’t know how NOT to read. One of my first memories of Jill was being kind of bent that she read better than I did. Prior to her coming to my elementary school I had been the best reader in our grade. Then she had to come and be better at it! While I could have hated her and been a meany, I instead was lucky enough to be her friend. So much of our friendship has revolved around books. There has always been something about a story that brought us together or made us disagree terribly – all the same it got us talking, it got us sharing and it got us thinking.
With that in mind Jill and I decided CCM should have a book club. Some of the best conversations of my life have been about books and I KNOW you ladies could chat it up about an awesome read. I also know how all consuming parenting and, ya know, LIFE can be. Our book club gives you TWO months to read a book and everything is available on Kindle for download. Seriously, if you have a smartphone and don’t have the Kindle app installed DO IT RIGHT NOW! How often are you waiting for your kids or your husband or in line or in the car? No need for that to be wasted time! Open your device and read a book! It will make you a better person. PROMISE! Also, while I LOVE paper books DEEPLY, the best gift I’ve gotten in a long time is my Kindle Paperwhite. My husband got me one as a birthday/anniversary gift this year and it changed my life. I’d been reading on my iPad since the iPad was released, but there is just something about the Kindle! It’s so beautifully designed, can read in the bright sun (like when I’m on my hammock soaking up some vitamin D) or in the dark (like on my crazy PMS insomnia nights) with JUST enough light on the back light to not wake up the hubs. Basically, it’s a miracle, okay. You should get one. :) (And yes, the 3G one is worth it! I bought a book in a grocery store parking lot one night when I just had to get out of the house. So get the good one; you deserve it.) Even if you’re a purist and only read the physical book you can STILL join in on all the CCM book club fun. No judgement here!
I have curated a list of reads that I think should be pretty damn fabulous. I haven’t read any of the books on our list yet, so they are fresh to me too! Many have been recommended to me by readers I trust or I’ve heard of them through various social media or blog reading channels of folks with excellent taste so I am really excited about these books! Without further ado, here’s what your 2014 reading list looks like.
CCM 2014 Book Club
January – February: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
I am REALLY excited to read this book! I’ve been hearing about it for months in a lot of places and it seems to have a great mix of all the things I typically love in contemporary fiction – tradgedy, intrigue, art and fate. I think it’s a great book to start out with and can’t wait to hear the conversation about it!
March- April: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
My good friend Shannon turned me on to Allie Brosh’s website Hyperbole and a Half about a year ago. It is some of the best, my honest writing I’ve ever read. Her posts about depression have been an internet sensation, so I am VERY excited to dive into the book that has 50% new material and expanded and refined pieces previously published on her blog. THIS book I bought the physical version of because well – I kinda had to, right?
May – June: Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
This is another book I can’t seem to stop hearing about. With it currently only costing $3.99 for the Kindle version I thought there was no better time to read it! The story a notorious women who disappears and her daughter’s search for her and the craziness of mother/daughter relationships. Nothing better to read around Mother’s Day, right?
July-August: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
I will say, right now, this might not be for everyone. It’s steamy, it’s light – basically summer reading at its best! These are the books MADE for reading on a Kindle – so only YOU have to know about them! This book came highly recommended not just for the romance, but the humorous and delightful writing. Getting our giggles just got a lot more fun! I’m sure your spouses will thank me for having this on our list.
September-October: My Stroke Of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Boltye Taylor
I watched this lady talk to Oprah and I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since! Her story is SO compelling – and how something so devastating as a stroke changed her life for the better is just the kind of reading I like to do in the fall. I can’t wait to read this one!
November – December: The Blue Castle by LM Montgomery
I love me some LM Montgomery! The mind that created Anne of Green Gables will end out our 2014 reading list with The Blue Castle. The story of a nearly “old maid” who loves books and reading and has a mom and aunt that can’t mind their own business is – well – a theme I can relate to. Highly recommend by our fearless leader JIll this will be just the right note to end the year on.
I will be checking in at the end of the month to see how reading of our first selection is going so far, and then at the end of February we will have some insights from not just me, but from some other CCM writers as well. And, should I feel adventurous I might even try to set up a coffee meetup where all are welcome to come and chat about the book! Because how much fun is it to meet up and talk and drink coffee or tea and be social and stuff!?!?!? SO MUCH FUN! I will keep you posted. In the meantime, get to downloading or buying our first book The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I am REALLY excited to read this book! I read a review a couple months ago about it, and it’s kind of been all over the places I frequent since then.
Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity.
It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
The Goldfinch is a novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.
That just sounds like a damn fine read to me! I hope you’ll join me as we begin the new year with some good reads that will hopefully lead to some great conversation! Let me know who’s planning on joining the conversation by leaving me a comment! What do you think of the selections? Have you read any? I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Don’t forget to join me on GoodReads.com to see what I’ve read, am reading and want to read!