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books & reading nightstand

Nightstand 2013: April

I feel like April kind of just started but it’s actually nearing the end of another month – and it’s time for the monthly What’s On Your Nightstand carnival hosted by 5 Minutes For Books. The premise of this blog carnival is pretty self explanatory – blog about the books you are reading, read recently and / or plan to read soon. What books are on your nightstand either literally or figuratively?

Since we last spoke of Nightstands together, I ended up abandoning The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling which you may have noticed I wasn’t enjoying very much. When it became clear that I wouldn’t finish in time for book club, and I found myself mustering through another chapter, I thought “Why am I doing this?” And I put it down and picked up the book I wanted to be reading. The writing in this book is good, the story… interesting. But there is not one single relate-able character who I could root for and it made it very hard to lose myself in the story and get invested in the ending. Plus, I had other books sitting impatiently waiting for me to read them instead. So I did.

This month I have read and loved both:

  1. Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman – Finished April 10, 2013 – This book really resonated with me. There were aspects of French parenting that I thought made a lot of sense, some were surprising but great ideas and of course there were some that are just not for me – but I loved reading about how differently other cultures raise their kids and the potential pros and cons to different methods. I think there is a lot of positive things to be said for French parenting and I’ve already implemented some of these ideas in my own life or plan to soon. I loved the recipe for yogurt bread included in the book – my son and I made it for his birthday last week and it was delicious. – full review
  2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (April Book Club Pick) – Finished April 16, 2013 – LOVED this one. It was one of those awesome books filled with snark and sassy humor but with a plot that is heart wrenching and keeps you reading later into the night than your internal alarm clock would advise. Green does a good job of balancing the light with the heavy, so it was never more than I could bear but often came close. – full review

Pretty in Plaid by Jen LancasterRight now I’m reading Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster, an author that I quite frankly adore. Her books are witty and hilarious and cause me to stay up late into the night giggling and quoting passages out loud to my husband even though he’s sleeping. This book is all about “how she developed the hubris that perpetually gets her into trouble. Using fashion icons of her youth to tell her hilarious and insightful stories, readers will meet the girl she used to be.”

Since I’m in the thick of the Spring Reading Thing, the books I read next will be titles from my personal challenge. Here are the three I’m planning to read:

  1. Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple (May Book Club Pick) “Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.”
  2. The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen – Book two in a promising middle reader series, I’m very anxious to read this one. “A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive? Find out in the highly anticipated sequel to Jennifer A. Nielsen’s blockbuster THE FALSE PRINCE! Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?
  3. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver – Book two in the delirium series. I have to admit, I’ve been putting this book off because the end of book one is majorly depressing, but I am definitely anxious to see where the series will go from here and I think this reading challenge is a great excuse to force myself to soldier on. Here’s a description of book two but there are spoilers : “After falling in love, Lena and Alex flee their oppressive society where love is outlawed and everyone must receive the “cure” – an operation that makes them immune to the delirium of love – but Lena alone manages to find her way to a community of resistance fighters. Although she is bereft without the boy she loves, her struggles seem to be leading her toward a new love.”

What about you? What are you reading right now?