Monday, November 15, 2010

Food for the Mind

"I have never known any distress that an hour's reading did not relieve."
- Charles de Montesquieu

With all this free time on my hands over the months since graduation, I've been doing a lot of reading for pleasure.  The two years spent in PA school were so crazy and stressful that I may have only completed one or two books that weren't medicine related.  Since graduation I've enjoyed about 9 books (with one being almost 1,000 pages - yikes!).

Since I enjoy reading so much and always want recommendations on good books, I thought I'd share what books I've been reading and what I thought of each.  I've included links to the books on Amazon - my bookseller of choice (that and Half-Price Books).  So without further ado:

First, I started the James Patterson Women's Murder Club series (you know the numbered ones).  I'm currently working my way through the 4th of the series - 4th of July.  I've always loved mysteries and these are easy to get lost in.  I wouldn't say its a great piece of literature, but he weaves interesting story lines with likable characters making for good easy reading.

While in Europe I toted around a giant book -  Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.  It was perfect reading for our time there because it follows the story of a building of a church in medieval England.  It gave tons of history into how churches were built and how ideas and techniques changed over time.  It also gives a very good look into the interplay of church and state.  Throughout this all you follow an amazing story of a family who goes through trials and tribulations beyond what you think one could survive.  Its a fantastic story, but definitely requires a time commitment given its almost 1,000 pages long.  (I've bought World Without End, the sequel, and am planning to read that next)

Another series I've been working my way through is Steig Larson's Millenium Series.  So far I've read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire.  Great books!!  I had heard a lot about the series and finally got around to buying the first book while waiting for a flight in the airport.  I'm very glad I did!  I cannot recommend these highly enough.  Just waiting for the 3rd to come out on paperback (because I'm neurotic and want all 3 of them to match).

Just a couple weeks ago I finished reading Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.  I wasn't sure what to expect of this book as I bought it from Half-Price Books without hearing anything about it beforehand.  It was such a captivating and moving story I couldn't put it down.  This is only the 2nd book I've ever read that made me cry (the first being My Sister's Keeper).  I found myself with tears running down my cheeks multiple times while reading.  Good thing I read this one solely at home - not while traveling!

Finally, I just finished reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave.  This was another pickup from Half-Price Books without hearing anything.  Before I started reading it, I heard some good reviews so I was excited to read it.  However, it was my least favorite of my recent reads.  It was an interesting story, but I felt like it was missing something.

I hope you'll find this helpful in picking out your next read.  If you have any suggestions of what I might enjoy, please pass them along!

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