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I love music, books, movies, blah, blah, blah! I love people, learning new things, and always progressing to be a better person.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Books I am reading / Want to Read Before The New Year

I love to read...but I also am also easily distracted by movies, school, TV, etc. So I have decided to get back to my regular reading regimen and hit the books. It's been fun so far; Erin loves to read as much (I dare say more) than I do, so we have found ourselves cuddled up on her couch warmly reading to our hearts' content.

I have started off pretty spastically in terms of what I am reading. I bought The Year of Living Biblically, by A.J. Jacobs, after Erin heard the author's interview about the book on public radio. And I literally just grabbed The Bourne Supremacy off the shelf. (That book, I must say, was not all that entertaining. The Bourne Identity as a book, however, was INCREDIBLE.) My hopes are to read a healthy dose of fiction, non-fiction, and educational books altogether.

I have also started off slowly with reading about 100 pages a day, and once I got into the swing of reading constantly again I have lifted my page limit and just read until I feel like stopping.

I have also added the occasional graphic novel or two. A lot of people talk down on comics, but I dare you to read V for Vendetta or The Watchmen and not be moved by the heavy political and social undertones of the time which still reflect today as well as the near-Shakespearean dialogue of Allan Moore.

So, here is a list of books that I have read, am currently reading, and want to read before the end of the year. (Short descriptions are included on some; for more in-depth coverage on each book, just click the linked titles.)

Books Read This Month (October 2009)
This was an interesting piece of fiction. It's an account of the unknown years of Jesus based from the point of view of his pal, Biff. There is some fun religious fact and a ton of religious fiction that has nothing to do with Christ but if you can put your tongue in your cheek and take a step back, you will probably enjoy this book.

The Year of Living Biblically - A.J. Jacobs (341 Pg.)
A.J. Jacobs' experiment/memoir is a fun, insightful, humorous, and sometimes touching read. The author, a secular Jew who describes his involvement in his religion as, "I am Jewish like the Olive Garden is Italian," and "The only Jewish thing we did was when we put the Star of David on our Christmas Tree," decides that with the birth of his son, he should explore and seek religion for himself. He does this by deciding to follow all of the rules in the Bible (the big ones and the lesser-known strange ones) for an entire year. This includes the ten commandments, the not wearing of mixed fibers, stoning adulterers, etc. To be fair, he has a panel of religious experts representing Orthodox Judaism, Evangelical Christianity, and Agnosticism to help him with any questions he had. The year-long journey is a fun read. But...the only thing I felt a little cheated on was when he studied the New Testament. He admits to learning a lot and coming to a large respect of Jesus Christ but also says that because of his Jewish ancestry he had a hard time allowing himself to really get into that part of the Bible due to loyalty to his family. I understand his loyalties, but I find that hardly objective in a sense.

The Bourne Supremacy - Robert Ludlum (The Bourne Identity is MUCH better) (646 Pg.)
David Webb is coerced into becoming Jason Bourne again when his wife is kidnapped by the government in order to have Bourne kill a copy-cat assassin who has taken the Jason Bourne name and is using it to kill in China. A slow read that tends to repeat facts over, and over, and over, and over, and...you get the point. But I will admit that no one writes action sequences quite like Robert Ludlum.

Nothing Very Important and Other Stories - Bela Petsco (208 Pg.)
This is an interesting book. The author is a long-time friend of my father and used to teach English at BYU. It is a collection of short stories surrounding an older missionary who is a convert to the LDS church. It's part autobiography and part creative non-fiction, with some fiction mixed in as well. It was eventually banned from Deseret Book due to some "inappropriate themes" But after reading it I can only assume it was for putting a close magnifying glass to the realities that some (and hope to God not all) people face while on a mission. And since the story was told from a convert's point of view, I found it to be quite refreshing, objective, and even spiritually uplifting.

The Halloween Tree - Ray Bradbury (145 Pg.)
A classic story of friendship and the true meaning of Halloween. I loved this movie as a kid and was happy to find out that it was a Ray Bradbury story. A group of friends search for their kidnapped friend through time and make a beautiful sacrifice for him in the end. 

Graphic Novels Read This Month (October 2009)

V for Vendetta - Allan Moore & David Lloyd

Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits - Garth Ennis

Hellblazer: Damnation's Flame - Garth Ennis

Hellblazer: Freezes Over - Brian Azzarello

Hellblazer: Highwater - Brian Azzarello

The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite - Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba

The Umbrella Academy: Dallas - Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba

Currently Reading

The Complete Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1138 Pg.) I found it odd that the first Sherlock Holmes story ever written was a complete anti-Mormon propaganda piece. Arthur Conan Doyle eventually apologized to the Mormon church for "misrepresenting" them in such a way, but not publicly, and several decades after he had success in writing the book. It's in my opinion that he jumped on the anti-Mormon fad of the time (during which a large amount of new missions were being activated and an even larger amount of anti-Mormon literature was published). I enjoy the author's writing style but really can't shake the fact that "Sir" Arthur Conan Doyle is an opportunist in the worst sense of the word.

Books I Want to Read Before The New Year (Before January 2010)

This is a non-fiction book from the author of Fight Club and Lullaby.
"It's the closest thing he may ever write to an autobiography, Chuck Palahniuk provides answers to all these questions and more as he takes you through the streets, sewers, and local haunts of Portland, Oregon." (Summary taken from the author's website) http://chuckpalahniuk.net/books/fugitives-and-refugees

Hopefully I will finish all of these before the New Year! 
Also, if anyone has a good suggestion on a book or Graphic Novel please post them.

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