Second Five Books of 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009 by Audrey
6. The Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt. Finished January 4.
I really liked this YA novel about a boy and the relationship he developed with a teacher. I recommend it to any aspiring or established teacher or to anyone who had a great relationship with a teacher in school. Can't think of much else to say about it, other than that I liked it.
3 hours.

7. The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield. Finished January 5.
It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did it was a great story about the power of...stories. Not life-changing, but enjoyable.
2 weeks.

8. Outliers: The Story of Success, by Malcolm Gladwell. Finished January 9.
Malcolm Gladwell has the knack for putting interesting philosophical or sociological ideas into the simplest of terms. I found this book fascinating--Gladwell discusses the different factors that go into determining the different factors that predict whether or not a person will be successful. According to Gladwell, luck has much to do with it. His first example is hockey players in the Canadian hockey leagues. He found that the vast majority of hockey players from the youngest leagues on were born in the first four months of the year. Why is that? Because the cutoff for birthdays of those entering hockey leagues was December 31. The boys born on January 1 or right after had a size advantage--they were bigger and more physically developed than the boys born later in the year, so they were first picked. These boys may not have had more inherent talent than the younger boys, but they received better training because they were picked for leagues because they were older, and thus became much better. I liked this book as well. Have there been any recently that I haven't loved? Perhaps I need to be more discriminating...
1 day.

9. Just After Sunset, by Stephen King. Finished January 17.
I've loved almost everything I've read by Stephen King. He's one of the few living authors whose books I try to read as soon as they come out (the others are Robin McKinley and...Michael Crichton. Who's no longer living. Darn!). I love King, but I was also happy this was a short story collection because I knew if I started one of his longer books I would be sucked in and wouldn't be able to do anything until I finished it! At least with short stories, I can get sucked in to just one story at a time. A couple of the stories, "N." and "Harvey's Dream," are still freaking me out a little. King excels at painting such a detailed portrait that you can easily put yourself into the story--which can definitely be a problem if you're reading horror! I always have to get ready for bed before I read anything of his at night, because I can't force myself to step outside my bedroom once I start reading him--what if I see something freaky in the hallway? I loved this collection.
3 days.

10. A Single Voice, by Kristen M. Oaks. Finished January 18.
This book was life-changing for me. Kristen Oaks is Dallin H. Oaks's second wife, and she didn't get married until she was 53. This book is written to single adults in the LDS church about ways to make life great regardless of marital status. While I'm not precisely worried about getting married--I'm only 23, after all, I have plenty of time!--I have found that I've been putting off making huge life decisions (or major purchases, or picking a china pattern, or whatever else) because I feel like I want to make them with the person I'm eventually going to marry. She talks about how you can't put off living your life because you haven't found the person you're going to live it with. I've decided that I'm going to live my life in the best way I can now and not worry so much about what may or may not happen in the future.

Elder Ballard says, "I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don't set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life." He's totally right. I love it!

1 week.
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3 comments:

Tammy said...

Audrey! I am so sorry, I didnt know you have a blog, but I am SO glad you do! Thanks for finding mine :) I will put you on my list to check!!!

So I want to read a new book - which one of these should I pick? Could I borrow one?

Audrey said...

I was completely fascinated by Outliers, and A Single Voice changed my life. I'll have to let you borrow that second one once my sister is done with it!

Cynthia said...

Audrey, I love that quote by Elder Ballard- it is inspiring every time I read it. And I love hearing your opinion on books- I'll have to give them a read!