Honest Scrap - Book Edition

Mel at Perfect Peace tagged me with this cute little award.  How kind of her!  (thanks again!)

The rules are to list 5 facts about yourself, but I've already done something similar not too long ago.  Instead, I saw that Courtney at Vintch and Mel had done a slightly different twist on it:  Courtney had listed her five favorite books and Mel had listed her five favorite memories.  I will be blatantly copying them :)

Well, here is one fact about myself:  when I read, I tend to let things completely consume me.  So for my five facts, here are the most recent five books I have read (listed in reverse chronological order), with what my life was like as I was in the midst of reading!

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
This book is my current read, recommended to me relentlessly by Mary (it's her favorite!).  I read quite a bit of Plath's poetry in college, so I assumed I would love this book as well.  I have about 50 pages left to read, but so far, I am certainly not disappointed.  Within the pages of this book, Esther Greenwood's slow descent into madness is disturbing, at times quite witty, painfully realistic, and, perhaps most frighteningly, seems completely natural.  With the added knowledge we now have of Plath's eventual suicide, each word on the page seems all the more haunting.

As I read it:  found myself hypersensitively monitoring my thoughts, just to be sure I wasn't slipping into madness myself.  Survey says:  I'm not.  :)

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
This book truly shook me to the core.  It is a beautiful read in the strangest way.  Endearingly narrated by a Ukrainian tour guide, alternating chapters with his American client's engaging history of the village in which his grandfather grew up, it never lost my attention.  As the American searches for a link to the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis, the story brings together so absolutely perfectly the present and a multitude of pasts that I was left in shock after reading the last page.  A new favorite book.

As I read it:  simultaneously consumed with grief and joy.  It's hard to explain.  I was bursting into tears a lot, but couldn't quite explain why (thank goodness I read it quickly!).  Read this book, and let it take you over. 

The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons
If you like historically accurate World War II epics and achingly drawn-out semi-scandalous romances featuring large, strapping, dark-haired soldiers named Alexander, you have found your dream book.  It's over 800 pages, but trust me when I say:  the payoff is totally worth it.

As I read it:  constantly wanted to be extra close to Scott and ask him things like "If we were starving in the Soviet Union, would you give me your extra ration of bread?"  Also, wished I owned a white dress with red roses.  Read it and you'll see why.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
To be honest with you, this book is really, really weird.  Also, really, really thought-provoking.  Which means I liked it.  If you want to learn a new (invented) language that will be of no use to you in any of your future travels, as well as seriously contemplate the methods of our society's punishment/reward/rehabilitation system, this is the book you're going to want to pick up.

As I read it:  tried to start using words like "horrorshow" and "appy polly loggy" in day-to-day life.  Turns out that only works if other people around you have also read A Clockwork Orange.

A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
This book features the most gorgeous language I have ever seen put to paper.  Honestly.  Some passages simply took my breath away with the sheer beauty with which Vanauken strings together his words.  Add to it that this is one of the best arguments I have ever read in favor of Christianity, coupled with probably the most incredible love story I have ever heard, and plus the fact that this happens to be a memoir written by the man who actually lived it, and also throw in the fact that there are 18 letters within these pages written by C.S. Lewis himself, and is there anyone out there still not convinced to read this book?

As I read it:  for the large majority of my reading of this book, I was sitting in a wooden chair on the shore of a lake surrounded by trees that had just begun their change into autumn colors.  It was beautiful.  The book was beautiful.  It is truly one of my favorite memories of a reading of a book.


  1. even though i have a boo-coo of books to read (and not near enough room to take them all on the plane) i really really really wanna go snag one or two of these books!

    thank you soooo much for sharing. your descriptions are so informative, yet short, sweet, and to the point. YOU MUST HAVE BEEN A TEACHER. they are perfect.

    seriously though, i really think you should do more of these reviews. maybe even on movies too? if not for the sheer fact of everyone else, i just selfishly like hearing your thoughts and suggestions on books to pick up!

  2. oh!!! also,

  3. You are a reader. You are a writer. And even though I'm neither of those things, I'm finding myself wanting to read those books! Good job.