Posted by: conradvisionquest | January 4, 2010

Book Reviews: What I Read in ’09

I watched way more movies than I read books this year, but I did try to read many books that I just couldn’t get through.  I get bored easily.  These are the ones that grabbed my attention from the beginning and kept me reading.

Lucky by Alice Sebold– After reading her best seller, The Lovely Bones, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her memoir.  I am in love with her style of writing… it’s so honest and visual and witty.  In this non-fiction book, she tells the story of her own rape and the aftermath.  Pretty brutal subject matter, but the tale is so brilliantly told.  Her inner voice is candid and recognizable.  I think I read this in 3 days.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini–  I picked up this book after watching the movie “The Kite Runner,” which was based on his first novel of the same name.  Splendid Suns focuses on the tumultuous lives of two Afghan women and how their paths cross each other, spanning from the 1960s to 2003.  It’s a rich account of lives that on the surface seem gray and dismal.  It made me look at my own life from a totally different perspective. Powerful in a subtle way.

Little Bee by Chris Cleave- I forget how I came across this book, but lucky for me I did!  It is the story of an African refugee who flees to London to escape her war-torn village, and her relationship to an English couple.  It was the blurb on the jacket that initially captivated me, so I will repeat it here:

“We don’t want to tell you too much about this book.  It is a truly special story, and we don’t want to spoil it.  Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this:  It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific.  The story starts there, but the book doesn’t.  And it’s what happens afterward that is the most important.  Once you have read it, you will want to tell everyone about it.  Please don’t tell them what happens.  The magic is in how it unfolds.”

And they were right…I finished it in three days.

I know I read more books than these, but I can’t remember them and the library told me it was illegal for them to give me a record of the books I have checked out without a court order.  Weird.  I can look up every Netflix movie I ever got since the beginning of time, and that’s not illegal?

So, this is it.  I would love to hear what you guys are reading!



  1. Okay, you’re gonna love this – I read “The Martha Rules.” And I proudly say (with a little embarrassment) that I loved it! It’s basically Martha Stewart’s ideas on how to start and run a small business. I usually hate crap reading like that, but it surprised me and I’ve even referenced it. Pop culture usually drives me mad, and I won’t touch Oprah with a ten-foot-pole, but again, this thing surprised me with it’s sometimes zen-like insights… I also started a 20 thousand-page book on the life of Che Guevara, but I’m barely 20 pages in. It’s great so far! haha Okay, I’ll shut up now… 😦

    • i’ll forgive you (just this once) for that truly embarrassing confession. i don’t even want to know how you came into contact with something like that. HA! but seriously, i guess it’s ok since you were reading a book. now if you watched her show that would be an entirely different story. ~w

  2. That’s the 2nd time someone has recommended “A Thousnad Splendid Suns” in the past month…I really must check that one out.
    And, the library wouldn’t give you a record of the books you’ve checked out…but; you checked them out…theoretically, you could have you own record at home, right?! I don’t get their logic. Sorry, I got fixated on that detail of the post because it was so odd…

    • yeah, i thought that was really strange, too.

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