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Jun 20, 2013

what i'm reading

here's a quick recap of what i've read in the past month or so...


i was able to power through a lot of books when my computer crashed. it feels good to finally get ahead in my goodreads 2013 reading challenge goal. admittedly, only very-very-very slightly ahead.



lately, i've been gravitating towards suspense and nonfiction...with a few quasi-love-stories thrown in just to mix it up. now that we're in the midst of the long, lazy days of summer, i anticipate switching gears to a few chick lit books soon. any recommendations?
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Inferno by Dan Brown
my rating: ★ ★  ☆  

"In his international blockbusters The Da Vinci CodeAngels & Demons, and The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown masterfully fused history, art, codes, and symbols. In this riveting new thriller, Brown returns to his element and has crafted his highest-stakes novel to date.

In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered."
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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
my rating: ★ ★  ★  

"They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose...

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?"
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For Laci by Sharon Rocha
my rating: ★ ★  ☆  

"Laci Rocha Peterson, 8 months pregnant, was last seen by her sister, Amy, in the late afternoon of December 23, 2002. She spoke to her mother, Sharon Rocha, at 8:30 p.m. that night. This would be the last time anyone from her immediate family ever spoke to her.

A search began which lasted an agonizing four months. Sadly, Laci Peterson and her son Conner were found dead on the shores of San Francisco Bay on April 18, 2003.

Her husband, Scott, was eventually arrested and charged with the murder of Laci and Connor. After a sensational, media-saturated trial, Peterson was found guilty of capital murder and was sentenced to death on March 16, 2005.
This book deals with the story in three separate sections: first, Sharon describes the ordinary, loving life her daughter led, including fond memories of her childhood and adolescence. Second, it covers her marriage, disappearance, the community's moving search for her, and her and Connor's eventual recovery from San Francisco Bay. Third, it tells the story of the trial in detail not before revealed. Sharon will also talk about victim's rights, a subject on which she now campaigns regularly."
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Clients from Hell
my rating: ★ ★  ★  

"A cult phenomenon among those who work in graphic, print and web design - and those lucky enough to have discovered the namesake blog - Clients From Hell has been bringing readers to tears with its unbelievable and always hilarious anecdotes from the twenty and thirty-somethings on the frontlines of design. In print for the first time, this collection brings together the same type of original stories that make the blog a hit and exposes the designer's trade for what it really is: new, misunderstood and often unappreciated. Read the quotes, bizarre requests and elaborate communication failures that are all part of the daily life of working with clients. With anonymous submissions from over a thousand creative freelancers, Clients From Hell sheds an insider's perspective on difficult - and all-too-often irrational and insane - interactions with clients. Anyone who has ever worked with clients may find these tales frighteningly familiar. New designers may think twice about their chosen profession - or at least find relief in the fact that they're not alone in absurd client interactions. And non-designers? Well, they'll just feel grateful - while they laugh and discover the new and uncharted territory of miscommunication."
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Runaway Jury by John Grisham
my rating: ★ ★  ★  

"They are at the center of a multimillion-dollar legal hurricane: twelve men and women who have been investigated, watched, manipulated, and harassed by high-priced lawyers and consultants who will stop at nothing to secure a verdict. Now the jury must make a decision in the most explosive civil trial of the century, a precedent-setting lawsuit against a giant tobacco company. But only a handful of people know the truth: that this jury has a leader, and the verdict belongs to him.

He is known only as Juror #2. But he has a name, a past, and he has planned his every move with the help of a beautiful woman on the outside. Now, while a corporate empire hangs in the balance, while a grieving family waits, and while lawyers are plunged into a battle for their careers, the truth about Juror #2 is about to explode in a cross fire of greed and corruption—and with justice fighting for its life."
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Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
my rating: ★ ★  ☆  

"In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald's, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children—everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers’ communication skills (“they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news”), to the eating habits of four year olds (“there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”). Reminiscent of Bill Cosby’s Fatherhood,Dad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home."
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The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster
my rating: ★ ★  ☆ 

"One would think that with Jen Lancaster’s impressive list of bestselling self-improvement memoirs—Bitter Is the New BlackBright Lights, Big AssSuch a Pretty FatPretty in PlaidMy Fair Lazy; and Jeneration X—that she would have it all together by now.

One would be wrong.

Jen’s still a little rough around the edges. Suffice it to say, she’s no Martha Stewart. And that is exactly why Jen is going to Martha up and live her life according to the advice of America’s overachieving older sister—the woman who turns lemons into lavender-infused lemonade.

By immersing herself in Martha’s media empire, Jen will embark on a yearlong quest to take herself, her house, her husband (and maybe even her pets) to the next level—from closet organization to craft making, from party planning to kitchen prep.

Maybe Jen can go four days without giving herself food poisoning if she follows Martha’s dictates on proper storage....Maybe she can grow closer to her girlfriends by taking up their boring-ass hobbies like knitting and sewing.…Maybe she can finally rid her workout clothes of meatball stains by using Martha’s laundry tips.… Maybe she can create a more meaningful anniversary celebration than just getting drunk in the pool with her husband....again. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll discover that the key to happiness does, in fact, lie in Martha’s perfectly arranged cupboards and artfully displayed charcuterie platters.

Or maybe not."

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The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan
my rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

"From the New York Times best-selling author of Commencement and Maine comes a gorgeous, sprawling novel about marriage—about those who marry in a white heat of passion, those who marry for partnership and comfort, and those who live together, love each other, and have absolutely no intention of ruining it all with a wedding.

Evelyn has been married to her husband for forty years—forty years since he slipped off her first wedding ring and put his own in its place. Delphine has seen both sides of love—the ecstatic, glorious highs of seduction, and the bitter, spiteful fury that descends when it’s over. James, a paramedic who works the night shift, knows his wife’s family thinks she could have done better; while Kate, partnered with Dan for a decade, has seen every kind of wedding—beach weddings, backyard weddings, castle weddings—and has vowed never, ever, to have one of her own.

As these lives and marriages unfold in surprising ways, we meet Frances Gerety, a young advertising copywriter in 1947. Frances is working on the De Beers campaign and she needs a signature line, so, one night before bed, she scribbles a phrase on a scrap of paper: “A Diamond Is Forever.” And that line changes everything.

A rich, layered, exhilarating novel spanning nearly a hundred years, The Engagements captures four wholly unique marriages, while tracing the story of diamonds in America, and the way—for better or for worse—these glittering stones have come to symbolize our deepest hopes for everlasting love."
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The Heartless Stone by Tom Zoellner
my rating: ★ ★  ☆  

"When he proposed to his girlfriend, Tom Zoellner gave what is expected of every American man--a diamond engagement ring. But when the relationship broke apart, he was left with a used diamond that began to haunt him. His obsession carried him around the globe; from the "blood diamond" rings of Africa; to the sweltering polishing factories of India; to mines above the Arctic Circle; to illegal diggings in Brazil; to the London headquarters of De Beers, the secretive global colossus that has dominated the industry for more than a century and permanently carved the phrase "A diamond is forever" on the psyche. An adventure story in the tradition of Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief, The Heartless Stone is a voyage into the cold heart of the world's most unyielding gem."
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have you read any good books lately?
what's on your must-read list for summer?

let me know in the comments!

* mari

Craftsy

4 comments:

  1. I couldn't even tell you the last time I sat down and read a book. Makes me sad. I did read the Laci Peterson one a few years ago.

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    1. i used to be a bookworm as a child and somehow fell off the reading wagon. i committed to reading more about three years ago and miraculously, the resolution stuck -- a good book is one of the very few things i'll forsake sleep for!

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  2. Replies
    1. he is hilarious! fish and i just watched his mr. universe routine again last night and i'm still giggling. :D

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