Monthly Archives: January 2013

Mini Reviews – Unaccustomed Earth & The Aviator’s Wife

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa LahiriUnaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri doesn’t really require much of a review since I have nothing but praise for this author, and especially this collection of short stories. I have been a huge fan of this author ever since I read The Namesake. Her prose is beautiful, insightful and delves into uncomfortable topics, all the while addressing the cultural shifts between traditional and westernized Indian traditions. The young v. the old, parents v, kids, old ideas v. new ideas. Although I am Armenian, there is much in the strife of the youth that I can connect with, having grown up in the US, but being raised with traditional Armenian values. Sadly, Lahiri hasn’t written anything new for quite a while, and I’ve read her other two titles, The Namesake & Interpreter of Maladies.    

The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin

Melanie Benjamin is another author who requires only a short review. This is her third book, following her trend of historical fiction based on actual historical figures. The Aviator’s Wife takes a look at Anne Lindbergh, one half of the famous Lindbergh pair of the early 20th Century. Although I didn’t like this book as much as The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, The Aviator’s Wife was still a gripping tale of one woman’s struggle to define herself, while stuck in the shadows of greatness that defined her husband and her family. I found Anne to be a genuine person, with flaws and ambition like the rest of us. At times I was frustrated with her for not standing up to her bully of a husband more, but then I realized that she wasn’t raised in a culture that embraced woman’s rights. Her struggles and achievements are an inspiration. The book is well paced, and although Benjamin does focus on the “Trial of the Century” of the kidnapping and murder of her first born, it is not the marrow of the novel. Rather, its a short snippet of the long life lived by the pair. 

Turn Your Blog Into an eBook

This is a neat little gadget I heard about today. Ebook Glue is a web service that lets you turn your blog posts in ebooks. It’s fairly simple to use. All you do is enter your blog’s RSS Feed or the URL if you don’t know the feed and Ebook Glue will turn your posts into an ePub and Mobi files for you to download, read, and distribute.

It’s a cool way to archive the blog and have a digital record of the text. I’ve always contemplated creating a book of my blog posts. More so to reflect on the books that I’ve read during the past 5 years this blog has been in existence. It could also make for a fun gift for your favorite blogger friend.

2013 Book & Blog Resolutions

I’m not making any new year’s resolutions apart from these few regarding my blog. I never follow through on them anyways. Who does, really? Tell me.

1. Read more books off my own bookshelves. I did a fair job at this last year, although I ended up donating more than 100+ titles to various libraries because I knew I would never get around to reading them. Although that didn’t stop me from filling in those gaps with books purchased at the Friend’s of the Library Bookstores. Who can turn down paperbacks that only cost 50 cents?

2. No more fluff posts. If I have nothing to post, then I resolve to not litter this blog with random links or photos, unless someone out there really likes those posts, then let me know, I’ll keep it going. I’d rather post things that people will read than something just to pass the time between book reviews.

3. Read more books by authors I enjoy/not waste time on books I don’t enjoy. This is a two-part resolution. I feel like I spent the majority of 2012 reading books that were major disappointments. My plan is to read more of the authors that I always enjoy (Cecilia Ahern, Melanie Benjamin, Neil Gaiman etc.) and to not waste my time on books that I do not enjoy. If I’m not feeling lazy, I’ll hopefully be writing reviews for both finished and unfinished titles.

4. Post more to my children’s book blog Library-Crossing. With a little one on the way, I’ll be reading a healthy dose of picture & board books that I’ll want to share. Currently, the books I review on that blog are from a librarian’s standpoint regarding their use in storytime. This year’s batch of reviews will be written from a mother’s perspective. More intriguingly, I’ll have a mother’s perspective. So weird, still.

5. Read more about Armenia, books by Armenian authors. Its about time I start focusing on the literary aspect of my culture and heritage. I’ve already determined to learn all of my mother’s Middle Eastern recipes, I might as well supplement with with more knowledge of the history and way of life of my people, in and outside of the US.

6. Craft posts? Eh, I’m still debating if I want to post about my failures adventures in knitting and sewing. I’d rather not start a whole new blog on just that, because it will most likely never be updated.

Those are my resolutions for this blog, for this year.What about you?  Is there anything different you plan on doing bookwise?

2012 In Review

2012 has been an odd year for this blog. 2011 was very much filled with book reviews, challenges and events. This year…its been mostly fluff & filler posts. I did have a steady stream of reviews up until June, when I discovered that I am expecting, and will have a little tyke to read to next year. I still read more than I thought I would, and have a few favorite books I’d like to highlight.

Howards End Howards End by EM Forster 

This book is a reminder of my days as an English major in college. I haven’t read anything this well written and filled with so many social and economic issues. It’s definitely one of my favorite book by far.

Origins : how the nine months before birth shape the rest of our lives Origins by Annie Murphey Paul

This book was a real eye-opener for me regarding this pregnancy. It helped me realize how my actions effect the baby. It went into depth of various studies and as well as the author’s personal experiences with her own pregnancies. I highly recommend this for soon to be new moms.

Paris in Love by Eloisa James Paris in Love by Eloisa James

This is one of my favorite Parisian memoirs. The memories and anecdotes are written as short little notes and are at times poetic, insightful and reveal a great deal about a city  I miss so much and wish I had more of a concrete attachment to.