Thursday, June 21, 2012


Since graduating and passing though my post-college "I'm too burned out from reading assigned materials to pick up any book so I think I'll pretend I'm illiterate for awhile" phase, I bought a NOOK (such a good purchase, especially for travel) and have discovered some GREAT books. The following is a mostly-complete list of what I've read in the past few months (I don't have a very good memory for every title), combined with what I'm currently reading and planning to read soon. I've offered a short blurb and personal rating along with each title. Enjoy!


Very good. A non-fiction history of Diabetes and the discovery of Insulin. Well-researched and fairly well-written. Found it fascinating from a medical perspective. 

My Antonia
Very good. A classic about one boys friendship with the daughter of an immigrant family in Nebraska. Made me miss my rural background.

  The Last Aloha
Very good. A historical novel of the politics surrounding the annexation of Hawaii to the US. Well written and interesting. Very clean, mostly political, but there is a little bit of a love story that is good. 

Very good. A historical novel about the leper colony on Molokai. Told through the eyes of one leprosy patient, a Hawaiian girl who is sent to Molokai to live in the colony and grows up there. Contains some sensitive scenes, but nothing too over-the-top, at least in this day and age. 

Diamond Ruby
Alright. Novel based on the story of Jackie Mitchell, the first professional female baseball player. I liked this one okay, and especially enjoyed the history of the Spanish plague in NY, which it deals with, as well as the vein of baseball throughout. Overall though it's not that intriguing. 

The Mormon Way of Doing Business
Loved. Made me proud of the high-profile businessmen who represent the members, tenets, and faith of the Church so well by their actions. Also made me want to be better, which is a sure sign of a good book, right? 

The Screwtape Letters
So good. Always, always love reading this book, so I finally bought it. A classic about a devil and his nephew and the wiles they use to ensnare humankind. Definitely changes your perspective and makes you more aware of the temptations you give in to and the sins you succumb to. So good. 

Olive's Ocean
A recent Newberry award winner. Alright. Nothing that special. Basically about a young girl who learns about grief and growing up when an acquaintance of her's from school is killed. 

Good. Also a Newberry winner. About two Japanese-American sisters and the life and times of them and their immigrant parents. I felt I could relate because so many of my friends are immigrants. Made me cry. 

When You Reach Me
Good. An interesting book based on A Wrinkle in Time. The story of one girl and an experience she has with time travel. 

A Wrinkle in Time
Good. Reread this one for the fun of it. Still good, first-experience science fiction literature. 

The Help
Good. Very similar to the movie, so if you've seen it you won't be surprised by anything in the book, but still very well written and a really, really good story. 

The Hunger Games
Entertaining, but that's all. Read this because I had nothing else to do at Thanksgiving. Didn't think it was very well written and definitely not a classic book on my list. But I was entertained. 

Catching Fire
Sequel to the first Hunger Games. Not worth reading because it's just more of the same from the first novel. Bleh. 

LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED. One of the best books I've ever read in my life. Non-fiction--the story of an olympic runner who is drafted into WWII, gets shot down over the Pacific, and becomes a POW to the Japanese. SO, SO, SO good. SO well researched, SO well written, and the author is my new writing/researching hero. Love the subject character of the book and the (non-biased) Christian theme. SO, SO, SO worth reading. 

Born to Run
So good! I LOVED this book. A book about running, racing, and athletes intermingled with the story of the incredible Tarahumara tribe in northern Mexico. A very, very good book. 

Good. Classic story of the cheerful girl whose innocence, faith, optimism, and love for life changed the hearts of all she came into contact with. A great read. 

Also good. Hadn't read this before, but it's the heartwarming story of a young girl from the Alps, her grandfather, and how they influence a young crippled girl. 

Classic story. Not really complete without "I have often walked down this street before" playing in your head, but love it anyway. I prefer the ending of this play as it is written over how they do it in "My Fair Lady."  

My Samoan Chief
Good. Autobiography of one woman who, after earning her PhD, moves to Samoa with her native husband in the 1950's. Her account of island life as seen through her western eyes. There was so much I could relate to in here, and I respect her a lot. Wish the book were longer or had more info. 

The Mansion
Great story by Henry Van Dyke that teaches readers about the folly of laying up for ourselves treasures on earth. 

Daughters in My Kingdom
BEST. BOOK. Teaches so much about the value of women and the place females have in the Lords Church and Kingdom. So, so good. 

Northanger Abbey
Bleh. Dissapointing. Boring, quickly-read Jane Austen story about a spineless female character who likes some guy and goes to his house and thinks there's some mystery surrounding his mother's death, when there isn't. The worst part of the book is that they end up married, I think. Made me want to gag. Yuck-yuck. 

A Christmas Carol
So good, I'm not even going to say anything. I love this book so much. 

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
Yuck. Not worth reading. I almost didn't put it on this list because I didn't want to admit I read it. It was on the shelf at work so I took it home. A very worldly look at dating and relationships. Had some valuable advice about self-respect, but overall I don't think it's something most people would benefit from. (aka don't read it)

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance
Blech. Could have been good--a memoir by a mormon girl about her young adult experiences. But it's most ruined by her yucky choices and wishy-washy opinions. Related with a lot and did make me laugh out loud at some things, but I wouldn't recommend it, and didn't like it overall. 

Heaven is for Real
Very good. The story of a little boy who was very sick, went unconscious, and then proceeds to tell his parents all about the heaven he experienced while he was out. Really made me think and search the book of Revelation. I recommend this one. 


Heart of Darkness
Love it so far! Incredible deep story about the theme of darkness in humanity--from nighttime darkness to skin color to the darkness of the human heart. 

Lone Survivor
Haven't finished it because he's so cocky I can't stand it!! Interesting section of what it takes to become a Navy SEAL though. They really do earn that distinction of being the best of the best. Pretty amazing actually. 

Die Buecher Dieben (The Book Thief) 
I've heard it's SOOOOO good, but I bought a copy in German in Berlin a couple of years ago and I am determined to finish it in German and not succumb to curiousity and just read it in English (which would be sooo much easier and faster--the Deutshe version is waaaaaay longer). I was about 2/3rds of the way through when I came back from Germany but haven't picked it up in so long I started over. 

The Emperor of All Maladies
So good so far! A history of Cancer. Can't wait to get really into it. 

Barefoot Running Step-by-Step
Also good. A running technique book. Since beginning this book I watch for the foot-fall pattern of every jogger/runner I see. 

Marley and Me
Good and funny, but very similar to the movie so far, so I'm not in a hurry to finish it. 


 Running with the Kenyans
Just got this today. Can't wait to start reading it!

Yes, I like running books. And I also like classics. And non-fiction. What do you like to read? Any recommendations?


  1. Kasia! You are so amazing! I'm really impressed with all the books you have read! Seriously you are an inspiration to me to read more.

    I remember you saying how much you loved the book "A Christmas Carol." So I asked for it for Christmas 2010. We were moving around a lot at that time so I didn't get around to reading it until last Christmas (2011). I LOVE it! Thank you so much for the recommendation!!

    I love this blog post of yours! It was entertaining to read your short but sweet and useful book reviews. I added a lot of titles to my books-to-read list on and I took a few titles off my list that you said you didn't like. I trust your opinion :)

    A few comments:

    1. I love that you got a Nook and that you enjoy reading from it. I had a Nook, but I can't order more books for it here in Germany. So I'm looking into getting a Kindle (from this Christmas. That way I can order/download German AND English books ;)

    2. I love that you are not that into the Hunger Games series. I thought I was in the minority and one of the few people that didn't like them (I thought they were too violent). I've also been told by quite a few family members that the movie was really disturbing and made them physically sick. I don't plan on seeing the movie.

    I can't wait to read The Book Thief! That's cool that you want to read it auf Deutsch (Die B├╝cherdiebin)

    The author of that book came to Provo Library to talk. After you read the book, you can see what he has to say about it in this video:

  2. I'm going to save this list of books. I'm always looking for something good to read.
    It's my turn to choose a book for our bookclub next month so I picked up a few books to review. I started Unbroken and I LOVE IT, I didn't even have to look at any of the others on my pile to make my reading choice for our bookclub.

  3. Yay! Cindy I'm so happy you're reading Unbroken. I seriously love it so much--I'm going on a temple trip to another island next week and I'm planning on rereading it then. I also found out that the guy it's written about--Louis Zamperini--wrote a book of his own about his experiences called "Devil at my heels" or something like that. I've heard it's really good and mostly about his christian beliefs based on what he went through. I want to read that one too.

    And Brittany--I hope you get your German Kindle! I find I read so much more with my nook, and like I said, it is especially awesome for travel. I love that I can have access to a whole bookstore and not have to carry around all the extra weight in my backpack! And yes, I agree about the Hunger Games--I'm definitely not ever seeing the movies, and based on the violence I don't recommend them for young readers. Thank you for the link about Marcus Zusak too! I'm definitely going to take a look at that.

    Thank you for reading my blog ladies! I love you both!