Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Carrie's Top Five for The Family Addiction

Color me baffled.
I had no idea I read so much non-fiction this year.
I demand a recount.  Except, that, um, these are MY calculations that leave me so baffled.  By my count, of the 30 literary works I reviewed during the first year of The Family Addiction, I can classify almost all of those works as equal parts fantasy (7), romance (7), mystery (7), and non-fiction (7).

Equal parts non-fiction?

How did that happen?

I am a self-proclaimed escapist reader.  Just look at my profile page!  Serious reading = work reading.  Fun reading = steampunk, detectives, and happily ever after.  (Not, of course, all in the same story.)

Perhaps I tried to make myself look like a smarter reader once I realized I'd need to admit, aloud (or online, at least), what I read in my free time.  Except . . . once you remove the two China books I read for work-related reasons, every one of those non-fiction books was something that really appealed to me. That's so weird.

As there will be no recount, how about we just pretend this little fact-finding mission never happened? Then do me a favor and don't count how many non-fiction books made my top five list.  That way I can go back to thinking of reading as escapism instead of work.

As we approached our first blogiversary last Wednesday, it seemed right for Sarah, Amy and me to write recap posts (of sorts).  We settled on this top five list because it mirrored the list of five favorites we post over there. ==>

(We may move those soon to our profile pages, but for now, they're really over there. ==>)

Picking a top five wasn't easy for me.  Some of my favorite authors wrote books that were good, but not as great as their best work.  Some of my favorite authors were reviewed by my sisters.  Some pod people took over my body and had me reading outside my comfort area.  (I might have made up that last one.)  I decided that my top five needed to be books that I would enthusiastically recommend, without reservation, because that, after all, is the whole point of The Family Addiction.

And here they are:

5) China Road by Rob Gifford  Last April I wrote "It should've read like the road trip from hell--two months traveling 2,998 miles from Shaghai to the China-Kazahkstan border. Instead, it read like the end of a really good date the author never wanted to end, the kind where he keeps delaying the inevitable good-bye. Arguably, a two-month trip through China via taxi, truck and bus may be longest and oddest end of a date on record, but it was a lovely good-bye nonetheless."

This book was a labor of love and labor of hard-earned insight.  If you struggle with the endless possibility and the imminent threat that China seems to be, you should read China Road.

4) River Marked by Patricia Briggs In this review, I admitted that I spend insane amounts of time wondering how I might fit into the fictional lives of my favorite fictional people.  What can I say? Patricia Briggs writes such good stuff I can't help myself. As I wrote in my review, River Marked is the sixth book in a series, and I adore the entire series.  I think what makes this book so amazing is that it's so complete.  All the pieces of Mercy's life fit together in the plot.  Plus, what's not to love about a VW mechanic?

3) The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe  This was a new author for me, but I after I posted this review on February 20, I ran straight to the library to get two more books by the same author.  Happily, one of those books follows The Sword-Edged Blonde in a series.  Here's how I characterized Eddie LaCrosse, the protagonist of this series.  "See, Eddie is tough guy, a sword for hire.  Living in a place that feels a little bit Medieval Times and a little bit Tombstone, Eddie makes a living by his wits, by his word, by his weapon.  I don't want to date Eddie, and I really don't want to be Eddie, but I would love to have a guy like Eddie at my back.  When you're in a pinch, and you need someone discreet to straighten out your mess, Eddie is your guy. He's a little bit Sam Spade, little bit Harry Dresden, and whole lot of Easy Rawlins."  Just like in River Marked, what's not to love?

2) Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard So, President Garfield held the Oval Office for all of about six minutes because of delusions of grandeur on the part of the man who shot him and the man who doctored him.  Destiny of the Republic outlines this story in a compelling and revealing manner.  If you think underhanded political behavior is a new twist on democracy, you should read this book.

I always cry along with tears of joy.
1) The Help by Kathryn Stockett  I loved this book even as it made me cry in sympathy and ache in frustration.  You may have seen the movie.  You should know that Octavia Spencer won an Oscar for her portrayal of the best damn cook in Jackson.
I think you should read The Help because, in my own words, it's "a story about the way we are when we think no one (or no one of consequence) is looking. This is a story about the way we are with people we don't understand and don't know. This is the story about the way we are with children; with our friends; with privilege; with adversity. I hope you read it. I hope it speaks to you, too, because it is, simply, a story about the way we are."

So that's my contribution to The Family Addiction for this first year.  What do you think? Have you read these books? You should!  As the second year of this blog rolls along, what do you think I should read?  

Pin It

1 comment:

  1. I have read The Help. I loved it and I loved the movie. Thanks for a great year of reviews. Looking forward to another year of The Family Addiction.