Bibliophile’s dream

The best part about my week-long cruise?

I got to read all day. I love to read. I know that sounds really dorky, but it’s true.

I knocked out a solid five books on my cruise. I would have finished a fifth, but I let Tyler borrow one and he was still reading it. And then I finished another one that I brought to read on the plane for my visit home.

This post is just a quick recap of the books, which brings my yearly book total so far to 11.

First up is The Crimson Code by Rachel Lee.

It follows the super secret Office 119 and their investigation of a horrible series of bombings that happened on “Black Christmas.” It was your typical thriller novel, with the bad guy basically planning world domination and the agent out for revenge. It was a quick, easy read. However, it was really disappointed by the ending. Yeah, they stopped the death of 100s of people (which probably wouldn’t have happened anyways), but it didn’t really resolve anything else. The bad guy went on one step further to his world domination and only a lowly pawn was captured. I’m assuming that there’s another book that comes after this, but I did want to see a resolution. Overall, not a bad book.

Next, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann.

A non-fiction book, it tells the tale of Percy Fawcett, a famous explorer who disappeared on an expedition in the Amazon. The book covers the life of Fawcett, as well as those who later tried to look for him or for any signs of what happened to him. The author went so far as to travel to the Amazon himself to find more information about the disappearance. Overall, it was a very interesting book. And what keeps the legend alive is the fact that no ones knows for sure what happened. There are a couple different theories, but there is no definite answer.

I read another interesting book about the Amazon called Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle by Daniel Everett.

It’s the story of a missionary turned linguistic scientist and his life (with his family) with a tribe in the Amazon. While there are some interesting stories, the majority of the book is very anthropological (which was my minor, by the way). I personally found it really interesting, and if you’re into that sort of thing, it is. He covers the differences in lifestyles and thoughts between himself and those in the tribe. He talks a lot about how he “deciphered” the language, which had really never been done before. How he came to his conclusions is interesting and involves a lot of anthropological and scholarly work. If you like more educational books, this would be fitting. If not, then I’d really skip it. Not that it’s not a good book, but you may be bored after the first couple chapters.

I read another non-fiction book, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach.

I know what you’re thinking: this is horrible, this is gross, this is disrespectful, etc. But this book is everything but that. The author manages to respectfully tell the story of cadavers. She starts with the history of cadavers in medicine (which makes any modern day use seem super decent and respectful). She looks into cadavers in medicine, academic, research, and safety testing. She goes on to discuss how we, as a culture and society, feel about such things and how we dispose of remains in general. After reading, I have a much higher respect for those who donate their bodies to science and schools. Which would you have: a new doctor practicing for the first time on you during your surgery, or on a cadaver a couple times before performing if on a live person? Before you get grossed out, you should check this book out.

I had a much lighter book for my next read: What Would Audrey Do? By Pamela Keogh.

Want to live your life like Audrey did? Personally, I’d LOVE to be like Audrey and any way, shape or form. The book covers different topics, like family, work, style and relationships, all discussed and compared to Audrey and her life. There are a lot of interviews of those who were close to her, as well as some interviews she did herself. It’s not meant to be a biography or a manual on how to live your life. It’s more of a cute, Audrey filled book with some advice on how to live your life better (some of which is common sense but needs to be said more often). It’s a quick read and is interesting if you’re an Audrey fan (like me!).

Last, but not least is East of the Sun by Julia Gregson.

This was an amazing book. It follows four main characters: Viva, Rose, Victoria and Jack.

The woman head to India, all for their own reasons: Viva for family, Rose for her marriage to Jack, and Victoria (Tor) to get as far away from her mother as possible. The story weaves in and out of each character. I can get really into books and this one sucked me in. I could feel Viva’s fear of falling in love and Tor’s frustration with men and herself. I could feel Rose’s disappointment with Jack and got angry at Jack for doing what he did (I don’t want to give away the book!). At the end, many of the issues are resolved (but not all) and I really wanted it to go on another couple hundred pages (or a sequel). It was a great book and would recommend it (although it’s kind of a chic lit book, so guys may find it too girly).

Those are the books I managed to read during my nice, relaxing time off. I’m not sure how fast I can read now that I have a normal, full-time job. But I do want to read a little each night before bed. But 11 already read and only 5 months into the year isn’t bad. But I’ll have to pick up the pace to reach my goal of 30 by the end of the year!

Have you read any good books lately?

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