Monday, January 23, 2012

A million books in January: Update on January month goal

Okay, maybe not a million, but it is January 19th and I have already read way more this month than I have in probably the past 6 months.

Unbroken: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laural Hillenbrand
Okay, so this was the book that my school was supposed to read for summer reading last summer. But, since I didn't even know about this until the summer was over, and because I didn't have to teach it, I just now got around to it. This was also the first audio book I've listended to in years. I used to think that I couldn't listen to audiobooks because I could either focus on the story or on driving and the book usually won. But, since I spend atleast two hours in the car every day, I decided I didn't really have a choice. After undertaking this 11 disk audiobook I think I am more able to multitask. 

Oh, and the book was okay. A little too much war for my taste. 

Tap dancing in Zen by Geri Larkin
A friend gave me this book to start exploring meditation and the ideas of zen. It is based around the idea of the Buddhist sutras, or poems meant to be memorized and used as inspiration for daily living. I knew this book was for me when in the first chapter Larkin wrote that the poems are something that (paraphrase, my book is at home, I am at work) you can be peaceful about when you are feeling peaceful, or you can be sad about when you are feeling sad. She then said "you can neurotic about them on your neurotic days". That sounds like a great plan to me. 

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foe
I am reading this book as part of the summer reading committee for next summer. I can't say I hate it, but this book is a little too postmodern for me. I am more fond of the Faulkner version of stream of consciousness, and the fact that the little boy probably has  Asperger’s  doesn't help. I will say that the writing is beautiful, but the main character is a little too quirky for me. However, I am going to reccommend this to the summer reading committee because it is a genuinely interesting book 

Turning your mind into an ally by Sakyong Mipham
 It is the book I am reading that goes with my meditation class and I understand when the guy talks but I am not understanding what I am reading. This book is currently confusing the crap out of me; I will get back to you when it starts making sense.

Dispatches from the edge: A memoir of war, disaster, and survival by Anderson Cooper
Absolutely positively one of the best books I've read in a long time. Actually, I listened to the audio book, which is particularly exciting because Cooper read the whole thing. There is just something so powerful about listening to a writer read their own words out loud. I wish book readings were more prevalent. 

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama
Read by Barack himself in 2006 before he had the weight of the presidency on his shoulders while he was just a "lowly" senator. I am very impressed with the amount of history he puts into this book. I am only on disk 2 of 5 but I will get back to you when I finish it. 

What have you been reading?

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