I love to read. My husband thinks I read too fast and too often, but I beg to differ. I get hooked on a book and then I just can’t put it down. Easy to do when you are a stay at home housewife, with no kids.
I started keeping track of what I read when I arrived in Korea in March. Prior to that, I was in school for English Literature/ English Education. I was forced to read so many books at once, that I barely had time to read on my own.
During my last semester in Spring of 2011, I was reading four books at once, and writing papers. It was a lot to handle. I had to choose a book to actually read, and then skim the other ones. It was difficult, but somehow I managed to understand main themes and characters.
I am a big sucker for Young Adult Literature. I look back fondly on my young adult years, and I enjoy reading stories based on the “best years of our lives.” Maybe that’s why I am also a sucker for young adult drama shows on TV. I do try to wander away from YA novels, just to mix it up a little. The problem is, I start a YA series and then I want to finish it, which is what happened this year.
I started reading Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard, after Jim bought me the box set for my Birthday in August (I also love the show, which returns January 8!!) The author grew up near West Chester University in Pennsylvania. She mentions places that I have actually been to such as: People’s Light and Theater, where we had our wedding reception, and Victory Brewing Company, one of our favorite restaurants and breweries.
Ms. Shepard was a speaker at Jim’s old high school, this past fall. She graduated from there in 1995. Jim’s former English teacher was able to get a poster signed for me.
This year, I have read the first four books in this series: Pretty Little Liars, Flawless, Perfect, and Unbelievable. If you are a fan of the show, then I would recommend reading the books. There are a lot of similarities to the show within the books, but also a ton of differences. I am waiting to order the next box set because I want to read other books before returning to this page turning series.
Sara Shepard is also the author of The Lying Game series, another ABC family show that returns on January 8th. I will eventually start reading this series, as soon as I’m done Pretty Little Liars.
Another series that sucked me in this year was The A-List by Zoey Dean. Typical Beverly Hills, 90210, type YA series. I bought the first book a few years ago at a book sale, not even knowing it was a series. It’s not the best series I have ever read, but I keep going back for more, so that must mean something good.
This year, I have read the first five books in the series: The A-List, Girls on Film, Blonde Ambition, Tall Cool One, and Back in Black.
I also started one more YA Series, which is only a trilogy, called The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. This trilogy was on a list that recommended books for people who enjoyed reading The Hunger Games, which I happened to read in college in my young adult literature class (notice a trend here?) I read the first two books in this series: The Uglies and The Pretties, but I couldn’t get through The Specials, (I plan on finishing it eventually.)
The last YA novel that I read is a classic: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. by Judy Blume. I have been wanting to read this book for a long time and I read it in less than two hours. You have to read the classics if you want to be a true fan of YA literature.
Okay, enough with the YA lit. Onto the “adult stuff:”
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult. I was able to meet Ms. Picoult this past year at The Free Library of Philadelphia. I was so nervous that I could barely say more than hi and bye, even though I had a question to ask her. I have read many of her other novels, my favorites being Nineteen Minutes and The Pact. Lone Wolf was different from her other novels, but still a great book. If you have any interest in wolves, this is the book to read.
The Marriage Pact by M.J. Pullen. This was a free download, at the time, on the Kindle top 100 free list. I am always downloading free books, and hardly ever reading them. I started this one on my flight over from the states, and finally ended up finishing it a few months later. It is a pretty good read, especially since it was free.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I love dogs and I loved this book. It’s definitely a tear-jerker. I found it at a yard sale on post and although it was a little too overpriced to be at a yard sale, I was too excited to haggle. It was worth the $2!
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. My mother-in-law loaned this book to me while I was visiting the states and it looked worthy enough to bring back with me to Korea, even though it was a big, heavy book. I’m so glad I did! It’s a story about best friends that are lifelong friends, no matter what happens. It reminded me of my best friend growing up, who I had sadly lost touch within the past two years. Fortunately enough, we have started talking again, which makes this book even more special. I think I am going to pay if forward and recommend it to her.
Johnathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach and Russel Munson. My dad recommended this book, so I decided to give it a shot. He always reads what I tell him to read, so I figured I owed him. It’s more of a novella than a novel and I think I read it in less than an hour. It was written in 1970 and it’s supposed to be inspirational. My dad thinks I missed the inspirational point, but maybe I just wasn’t that inspired, sorry, Dad. Although I did enjoy the photography portion of the book, and I do tend to look at seagulls differently now.
What’s up for 2013? I am going to finish the Pretty Little Liars series, at least up to the point that it’s written to. I am also going to finish The A-List series.
Also on the reading list:
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer. This YA novel was co-written by Jodi Pucoult and her daughter Samantha.
Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult.
Home Front by Kristin Hannah. This has tear-jerker written all over it: a mother going off to war while the father stays at home to take care of their two girls.
The Soldiers Wife: A Novel by Joanna Trollope.
Raven Stole the Moon: A Novel by Garth Stein.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (see I do actually read, “the classics.”)
Rurally Screwed: My Life off the Grid with the Cowboy I Love by Jessica Knadler. You can also follow Jessica through her blog.
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen. Sarah Dessen is my all time favorite YA author. I usually buy her books the day they come out and finish them within a week or less. It will be released on June 4 and will make a great pool book. I have also been following Sarah’s blog and found out she will be in Pittsburgh, PA on January 18th. Wish I could meet her! Maybe she can add Korea to her upcoming book tour?
Lucky for me Amazon is the best place to ship books to overseas locations. I have Amazon Prime and usually receive my shipments within a week. I also get books on my Kindle for traveling purposes and to take with me to the pool, which are delivered instantly. I do miss my book sales at the local libraries, though.
I clearly have a book hoarding problem, not a good problem to have when you are a military spouse. Picking and choosing which books to bring with you, especially overseas, is really difficult. I sometimes have to have my mom send me more of my books, because I miss them, not even kidding. I guess it’s better than other hoarding problems.