Monday, April 30, 2012

Latest in Literature:

 I still am reading like crazy, and my current book count for 2012 is 19 books so far. Here's what I've been reading lately:

Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson. True life stories of heartbreak and triumph always resonate with me and some of my all time favorite books are memoirs like this one. Maybe because I remember the moment I read about Stephanie & Christian's accident, or because I had been a fan of her blog for some time, or simply because I am a mother and can't imagine experiencing all that she has, but this book touched me more than any book I've ever read. I cried and cried throughout Stephanie's narrative and felt so uplifted and enlightened knowing how far she has come. This book hits home on the strength of the human spirit, unconditional love, and the importance of faith in our lives. Loved every word!

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Phillip Sendker. I am a sucker for beautiful book cover artwork. This cover drew me in and although this book had a very slow start, I am so glad that I stuck with it. Once I made it through the first 70 pages, it got interesting and captivating quickly. I was hooked. A beautiful love story has the power to do that. [The love story was beautiful and compelling without being TOO graphic, though there is some sensuality, but it's portrayed in an innocent/not raunchy way. It was lovely!]

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio. Here's my Goodreads review: "I enjoyed this book, especially because it takes place on beautiful Bainbridge Island, a place I love to visit. This book that flashes between the present and the past and weaves a mysterious story, captured my interest early in the first few pages. A quick, easy, enjoyable read with just enough love story to qualify as a nostalgic romance."

Vaclav & Lena by Haley Tanner. This is what I am currently reading, another book whose cover art grabbed my attention in the bookstore. I'm only a quarter way into it, but so far it's holding my attention and I am especially loving the author's use of a Russian immigrants voice. Here's the plot summary:

"Set in New York's Russian émigré community, Vaclav & Lena is a timeless love story from a stunningly gifted young novelist.

Vaclav and Lena, both the children of Russian émigrés, are at the same time from radically different worlds. While Vaclav's burgeoning love of performing magic is indulged by hard-working parents pursuing the American dream, troubled orphan Lena is caught in a domestic situation no child should suffer through. Taken in as one of her own by Vaclav's big-hearted mother, Lena might finally be able to blossom; in the naive young magician's eyes, she is destined to be his "faithful assistant"...but after a horrific discovery, the two are ripped apart without even a goodbye. Years later, they meet again. But will their past once more conspire to keep them apart?"

**I also wanted to give an update on a couple of previous books I talked about. On my last literature update, I was reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I ended up with very mixed feelings about this book and you can read my review here.

Also, I wanted to update you all about my cousin Alicia's book, Emerald City which I reviewed here. It is now available on Amazon for Kindle [$5.09!]. It's a great story and I am so happy that Alicia has seen her dream come true of publishing this story.

Have you read anything great recently?