Monday, November 25, 2013

* Top 10 Most Read Books in the World

 I saw this interesting list of facebook today for the Top 10 Most Read Books in the World in the last 50 years.  Not sure how valid the information is, but it looks like the guy put a lot of research into it.  Gone with the Wind and Harry Potters are two of my favorite books of all time and the bible is still at #1, but I was a little surprised at Twilight.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the books as well - the same way I enjoy reality TV shows when I'm card making - but making it on to the top 10 list?  There are soooo many other great books out there!!!  Plus I'm wondering how they accounted for multiple books in a series like with Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

Anyways, here's the list:

1. The Holy Bible
2. Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (Mao Tse-Tung)
3. Harry Potter (J. K. Rowling)
4. The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkein)
5. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
7. The Twilight Saga (Stephanie Meyer)
8. Gone with the Wind (Margret Mitchell)
9. Think and Grow Rich (Napolean Hill)
10. The Diary of Anne Frank (Anne Frank)

I've also read some of Lord of the Rings and The Diary of Anne Frank, but they were before I started keeping track in 2004, so they are not on my blog.  This list was also another constant reminder that I need to read the Bible one of these days!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Major Pettigew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

"The world is full of small ignorances.  We must all do out best to ignore them and thereby keep them small, don't you think?"

"Life does often get in the way of one's reading."

This novel was really cute!  Essentially a love story between 68-year-old retired Major Pettigrew and a 58-year-old shopkeeper from Pakistan named Mrs. Ali. Brought together by their love of literature and drinking tea, the unlikely individuals become friends in a small villiage in England.  Fighting pressure from their family and neighbors, the friendship begins to blossom into something more as the two struggle to find love at an older age.  It got a bit slow in the middle, but this charming novel is a wonderful tale of life lessons and finding just what you need at a later age in life.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bahjalian (audio)

"He looked up at Christina and with the umbilicus of siblings sensed instantly what she was thinking.  Not the precise details, not the particular images.  But the lines around her eyes were all grief, and he knew that behind them was a memory."

I really enjoyed this book!  I first came across Chris Bohjalian about a month ago when I read The Sandcastle Girls.  I love his writing style - it's the perfect blend of historical-fiction, mystery, and drama.  The Light in Ruins tells about a unique perspective of World War II.

This novel begins in 1943, where a young women named Christina lives with her family in the hills of Florence, Italy.  Born of nobility, Christina has grown up in the ancient villa without a care in the world.  She spends her days roaming the land and looking after her young niece and nephew.  As the Nazis begin continue to invade Italy, the family is thrown into a world of chaos and uncertainly.  In the mist of it all, Christina begins to fall in love with a Nazi soldier.

Fast-forward twelve years and Christina's sister-in-law has just been murdered. Sarafina, a young detective with the Florence police department, begins to investigate the murder.  She learns about Christina's family she learns of the secrets of the war and discovers that her own tragic story may play a part in the mystery.