The lovely ladies of Estella’s Revenge, Girlxoxo, and Traveling with T are hosting December: A Month of Favorites because, as any blogger knows, it can be tough to blog in December what with the reduced amount of time to blog and read. They've kindly provided bloggers with ideas to help make at least the blogging part of December easier. I'm passed on the introduction because I would have had to keep stats for the year and you may have noticed that I suck at keeping stats of my reading. Yesterday GirlXOXO asked us to list five books that are faves for any theme. So, of course, I'm posting yesterday's prompt today. Because that's how I live these days.
Five Books That Surprised Me
These aren't five books that necessarily surprised me because there were surprising moments in them; rather they are books that surprised me because of how much I unexpectedly liked them.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion - I knew what it was about, I knew it was an award winner. Still I was surprised by Didion's candor and by how profoundly this book impacted my thinking about grief.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami - Yeah, yeah, I know he's supposed to be a genius and beloved by many but I also knew that his stuff was out there. I was, honestly, peer pressured into reading this. I wanted to be able to say that I'd at least tried Murakami. I'm certain I didn't entirely understand it but that didn't stop me for enjoying it. It made me think...and that's a good thing.
Safe From The Sea by Peter Geye - Unbridled Books offered me this one and I have so much faith in them that I accepted it despite it being something I would not ordinarily have picked up. It's a story about a father and a son and their relationship and how was I going to relate to that? So, so well written and so moving. I cried. Twice. And I do not usually cry when reading.
In The Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White - a memoir of an egotist convicted of a crime and sentenced to federal prison in Carville, Louisiana, a prison that is also home to the last people in the continental U.S. disfigured by leprosy. The story of these people was fascinating and White's own story of growth was well-worth the reading.
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell - Sci-fi? Space travel? Me? Again, I was peer pressured into reading this one after so many people raved about it. It is far more about humanity, faith, and man's place in the universe. It grabbed me up and never let me go.