Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Autumn Reading

Summer is beginning to wind down. The summer reading program at the library has been done since July, and I made a pretty good dent in my summer reading list for this year. I am waiting on one last book to come in-transit, but all in all I did pretty well. But I got to thinking... why does my list making have to stop? It really helped to have a list to follow. When I have a goal in mind, it keeps me reading. So... I'm making a new list for the fall. And since I read a lot of nonfiction this summer, I will indulge in some YA literature and graphic novels this fall.

Beginning with...

1. (The book I'm currently reading...) A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray (And I will most likely follow that up with the rest of the Gemma Doyle series.)

2. Fables (I've been meaning to read more of these for a long time. I'm currently reading Volume Two. It's a graphic novel series about characters from all kinds of fables and fairy tales who have been exiled to modern day New York City. I really like it so far... it just took me a while to get into it. But watching episode after episode of The Big Bang Theory tends to put you in the mood to read comic books.)

3. Going Bovine, another YA book by Libba Bray. Her books are really quirky, and this book in particular was nominated for an Abe Lincoln YA Book Award, so I thought I'd give it a shot since I'm enjoying the Gemma Doyle books so much.

4. Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood. This is not a YA book, but it's one of her science fiction books, and seems as though it would fit in with the Autumn Reading theme I've got going on so far.

5. One Day, by David Nicholls. This does not go along with the theme, but I saw the movie, and got the feeling the book would fill in a lot of the gaps. The movie was good, but I still felt some pieces had to be missing.

That's all I've got, so far. But there are probably 16 or more volumes of Fables, so that will take a while. (Not to mention, I'll be running book club this year, so that adds an extra book each month on top of my own personal lists.) But I hope you, too, have some good books lined up for this fall. Happy reading, everyone! :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Little Princes

Every adventurer at heart should read this book. Anyone who has felt even an ounce of compassion for "the least of these" (Matt. 25:40) should read this book. It is a wonderfully written account of a young man who begins a whirlwind, round-the-world trip by first volunteering at a children's home in Nepal. He starts out seeking adventure and ends up finding his true calling.

This book came to me as I was processing books at the library one day. (Ocassionally, if a book strikes my eye, I will stop labeling and covering long enough to read the jacket description.) I was drawn to the story because it seemed similiar to the time I spent volunteering with children in Thailand. However, as I began to actually read the book, I realized right away that Conor Grennan's story was going to be radically different from my own experience in a developing nation.

He did much more than just volunteer for three months: He rescued trafficked children, started his own children's home and non-profit organization, and reunited trafficked children with their families after years of seperation. And in the midst of telling his readers about all these incredible things he did in Nepal, he still manages to remain open and honest about his shortcomings. His humility and grace are truly inspiring!

And he never loses his sense of humor! This book will have you laughing out loud, when you are not gripped with suspense over what happens next. There were times when certain scenes got so intense, I felt like I was reading an adventure novel. I had to stop and remind myself that this story actually happened to a real person.

So I encourage everyone to read it! Even if you've never had the itch to travel around the world or volunteer in Southeast Asia, you'll walk away from this book inspired to do something good for others. (Even if that just means showing a little more kindness to the people you interact with on a daily basis. ) Read it... I guarentee you'll love it!