So, I have mentioned before that I love to read. I’ve always been a reader. And I have instilled that love into my children as well. However, sometimes it is tough to find a great book. That’s where I can help you. I’ve read lots of books ~ some good, some not so much ~ and I can give you a few recommendations. So, let’s get this (book) party started.
First up is The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell.
I enjoyed this book, but it seemed a slow read for me. At times it felt like it was dragging. It’s a story of some college boys close to graduation. They are in the midst of finishing up their theses. One of them becomes obsessed with unlocking the secret to the text he is using, just as his father did. This complicated story is hard to explain. Consequently, I better let the overview from Barnes and Noble do the talking below,
Princeton. Good Friday, 1999. On the eve of graduation, two friends are a hairsbreadth from solving the mysteries of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a Renaissance text that has baffled scholars for centuries. Famous for its hypnotic power over those who study it, the five-hundred-year-old Hypnerotomachia may finally reveal its secrets—to Tom Sullivan, whose father was obsessed with the book, and Paul Harris, whose future depends on it.
As the deadline looms, research has stalled—until a vital clue is unearthed: a long-lost diary that may prove to be the key to deciphering the ancient text. But when a longtime student of the book is murdered just hours later, a chilling cycle of deaths and revelations begins—one that will force Tom and Paul into a fiery drama, spun from a book whose power and meaning have long been misunderstood.
Okay, let’s move on to something MUCH lighter and more fun to read. This next book was super fun to read. It’s a lighthearted story about an American attending college in the UK meeting the prince of Great Britain. Romance ensues, of course. I thought this story was fun. However, it’s not a mushy kind of romance, but a really fun story that offers a glimpse behind the scenes of a royal romance. And dare I say, I bet this story is not too far from the way it really works. I recommend this one for sure.
The Royal We by Heather Cocks
American Bex Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister Lacey was always the romantic, the one who daydreamed of being a princess, but it’s adventure-seeking Bex who goes to Oxford and meets dreamy Nick across the hall-and Bex who finds herself accidentally in love with the heir to the British throne. Nick is wonderful, but he comes with unimaginable baggage: a complicated family, hysterical tabloids tracking his every move, and a public that expected its future king to marry a Brit. On the eve of the most talked-about wedding of the century, Bex looks back on how much she’s had to give up for true love… and exactly whose heart she may yet have to break.
How about a little mystery? A little suspense? If that’s your kinda book, then you will like this one. This is a fast paced story with all the political intrigue that happens in D.C. I loved this page turner. The main character, Beecher, is a member of a secret society designed to protect the President at all costs. Needless to say, there are definite costs involved and you’re never certain who to trust. I won’t give too much away here, but trust me, this is a good one.
The President’s Shadow by Brad Meltzer
There are stories no one knows. Hidden stories. I find those stories for a living.
To most, it looks like Beecher White has an ordinary job. A young staffer with the National Archives in Washington, D.C., he’s responsible for safekeeping the government’s most important documents . . . and, sometimes, its most closely held secrets.
But there are a powerful few who know his other role. Beecher is a member of the Culper Ring, a 200-year-old secret society founded by George Washington and charged with protecting the Presidency.
Now the current occupant of the White House needs the Culper Ring’s help. The alarming discovery of the buried arm has the President’s team in a rightful panic. Who buried the arm? How did they get past White House security? And most important: What’s the message hidden in the arm’s closed fist? Indeed, the puzzle inside has a clear intended recipient, and it isn’t the President. It’s Beecher, himself.
Beecher’s investigation will take him back to one of our country’s greatest secrets and point him toward the long, carefully hidden truth about the most shocking history of all: family history.
Last up, I am going to throw in a nonfiction read. I do like to throw those in from time to time. Sometimes, I read books to help me grow my faith. Sometimes I like books that make me think about who I am and who I want to be. Basically, I’m open to lots of books. 🙂 Well, I stumbled across a TED talk by Brene Brown. If you haven’t seen it, you should look her up. I could connect with some much of what she said. Therefore, I immediately searched for her books. Brene claims to be a shame researcher. According to Brown, we all live with some sort of shame. We bury it or we’ve lived with it for so long, it’s just our “normal.” I cannot dream up words to do justice to her work. So, let me suffice it to say that this book was a life changing book for me ~ as were her other books that I’ve read. If you sometimes wonder how to get off the hamster wheel of seeking perfection, this book is for you. Do you want to find peace in who you are and in your life just as it is? This book is for you. Therefore, I beg you, read this one. Here’s what B&N has to say.
I Thought It Was Just Me – Brene Brown
The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting. There is a constant barrage of social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate. Everywhere we turn, messages tell us who, what and how we’re supposed to be. So, we learn to hide our struggles and protect ourselves from shame, judgment, criticism and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection.
Dr. Brown writes, “We need our lives back. It’s time to reclaim the gifts of imperfection—the courage to be real, the compassion we need to love ourselves and others, and the connection that gives true purpose and meaning to life. These are the gifts that bring love, laughter, gratitude, empathy and joy into our lives.”
Well, these should keep you busy for a little while. If you decide to give one of these a try, please let me know how you like it. Also, if you have a book suggestion for me, I’d love to hear it. Finally, do us all a favor. If you’ve read any of these books, please comment below and tell us what you thought of it. Until next time….happy reading friends!