Monday, March 24, 2014

Have You Read Anything Good Lately?

I love this home library.  Wish it was mine.
Although I've been making regular short trips to our cabin retreat in the mountains throughout this winter, and other trips to visit with family members, I still have found time to read on a regular basis.  One way or another, no matter what is going on in my life or where I am traveling, I can always seem to find time to get lost in a good book.

It used to be that I would start a book, and keep at it until I finished it before moving onto the next book.  Lately, though, I've developed more of a smorgasbord style for my reading adventures.  Now it's not unusual for me to be switching back and forth between two good books.  On rare occasions I may even have three going at the same time.  Why not?  If reading books is so pleasurable to me, why not have even more of that pleasure.  After all, there are worse things to be gluttonous about, aren't there?

Each of the last three books, though very different, was quite engaging, and I would highly recommend all three.

The first book I read was Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns.  The story, set in Afghanistan, spans roughly 45 years - the period from the 1960's to 2003.  It centers on the lives and intersecting relationship of two women, Mariam and Laila, who are ultimately married to the same man.  We see the difficult roles these two women have in Afghan society and their daily struggles to simply survive.

From this book, I learned a bit of a history lesson along with a load of thankfulness.  By its end, I was overwhelmed with gratitude to be able to live in a society where women are valued, and to have a husband who treats me with love and kindness.

 In the second book, The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy details the guaranteed success that will result when his formula for compounding is put into use:
     smart choices + consistency + time = radical difference

He clearly asserts that "you alone are responsible for what you do, don't do, or how you respond to what's done to you."  Furthermore, he emphasizes that real and lasting success requires work, and lots of it.

I found this personal development book to be highly motivating.  I'm more determined than ever since reading the book to carefully examine every one of the little choices I make throughout each day.  As he claims, consistantly making lots of little wise choices over a long time will result in success in many areas of life.

Finally, I read Orange is the New Black, an autobiography by Piper Kerman.

Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered one suitcase of drug money ten years ago.

However, even though she has a solid career, a steady boyfriend, and a loving family, she becomes one of the millions of women who find themselves "doing time."

This book chronicles her year in a women's prison, from her first strip search upon arrival, to her final release.  I've always wondered what it's really like in an all female prison, and within this engaging book, I've gotten a bit of a look on the inside.

Although those three were excellent books, I've already got my nose into two more.  That report will be for another blog post, another day.

What're you reading these days?

1 comment:

  1. The "Divergent" series... by Veronica Roth.. it is a good read... a teen book like the Hunger Games.. but I like things that have a weird premise to it, who thinks of these things, to make a whole new world!!! This one is a lot about self discovery and who we really are.... interesting... very readable...
    Love the book you just finished.. A thousand splendid suns.. that was a good book!! as was the Kite runner!!