14: A Shadow Falls – Nick Brandt
This one probably is more like cheating because there wasn’t much to read, but I loved the book so much that I had to write about it. Awhile back, a friend at work sent me a forwarded email with a bunch of Nick Brandt’s photos. I was completely blown away and intrigued. I read about him on his website and then was so sad to find that a bunch of the elephants that were photographed had been slaughtered. In all honesty, I was heartbroken and might have cried a bit (err… a lot). After such an emotional reaction, I bought the book. I’ve always been interested in photography, I love elephants, and it felt like a really good thing to support. When I received the book, I spent the afternoon studying each photo. I was completely lost in the beauty of the images. So for that reason alone, I share this.
15: In Zanesville : a novel - Jo Ann Beard
I wanted to love this book. The concept was great. The setting was similar to my own adolescent hometown (I was first interested in the book because I thought it was set in Zanesville, OH and I’m originally from Ohio). The characters were interesting, well-developed, and likeable. It also made me laugh a lot. However, it lacked plot. It was more of a random gathering of stories, a slice of these teenage girls’ lives. So much time and effort was put into developing these interesting pieces of the plot (the babysitting fiasco, all of the clothes on layaway, the fear of her father’s suicide, the family’s money issues, etc.), but none of these things are ever dealt with. I felt like I invested a lot of time and energy and then the book just fizzled out at the end.
16: How to Talk to Famous People and Make Your Grandma Laugh - Tommy Leonard
This book was pretty odd, but it did make me laugh and entertained me when I couldn’t sleep one morning. I enjoyed the randomness of it and equate it to hanging out with that really weird friend that talks mostly nonsense and then comes out with random gems of insight. It didn’t change my life, but it was definitely entertaining enough. I’m still a little foggy at the general purpose of the book, but sometimes that’s ok.
17: Preludes & Nocturnes - Neil Gaiman
Growing up, I had some serious love for Robert Smith, so, one day at the record store, when I came across a poster/drawing of a guy that reminded me exactly of the awesomeness of Robert Smith, I had to have it. That poster hung in my bedroom all through high school. It was a Sandman poster.
I had never read any of Gaiman’s novels and I wasn’t really into comic books/graphic novels. On a random Kindle shopping spree, I bought The Graveyard Book and loved it. It made me interested in the Sandman series. I bought this without knowing much about the story, what to expect, or if I was going to enjoy that type of reading. I was pleasantly surprised. I found the story really engrossing, was really intrigued by the mythological aspect, and was really inspired by all of the art work.
18: Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher
Friday night, I was flipping through my latest issue of Entertainment Weekly and was sucked in by an article discussing this book and Asher’s personal story. The book is about a suicide victim who leaves behind a collection of tapes that describe what happened to her and how each person fit into her story. While reading this, you feel all of the emotions that the narrator is going through as he listens to the tapes – you want to help her, yell at her, cry, get mad, and still somehow make it better. I’m really not sure how anyone could read it and not find themselves paying a bit more attention to their loved ones and friends.