31 Book Reviews for 31 Years

April 23, 2012

I recently celebrated birthday number thirty-one. How to honor that in a book-geekery appropriate way? Thirty-one reviews for thirty-one years, of course. Because…why not?

Here we go, in no particular order. Enjoy!

Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way, by Richard Branson
Beyond fascinating. Damn does he work hard. How do I raise my kids to have his mindset?

The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
Lost sleep, had to keep reading. Quick, addictive reads.

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time, by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin
Interesting at first. Too long, lost my attention and my belief.

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
Didn’t think I liked it while reading. Upon reflection, very moved by the personal message. Need to read it again.

Vegabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, by Rolf Potts
Very much a “guide,” was just generally interesting for someone not planning to literally vegabond.

Dark World: Into the Shadows with the Lead Investigator of The Ghost Adventures Crew, by Zak Bagans
Corny. Didn’t include anything the author doesn’t tweet about or share during his show.

Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born, by Tina Cassidy
Disgusted me. Wish I hadn’t read it.

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back, by Todd Burpo
Easy, enjoyable, believable, smile-inducing, moving read.

Night, by Elie Wiesel
Couldn’t wait to be done with it, but considering it’s historical significance, glad I read it.

One Day, by David Nicholls
OMG the ending. Wish it was fluffier, didn’t anticipate it being as deep and serious as it was.

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, by Gretchen Rubin
Realistic transformation, a bit too detailed of an account of it, but a good read.

The Book of Awesome, by Neil Pasricha
Laughed out loud repeatedly. Upped my appreciation and gratitude for the daily wonders around me. Recommend it all.the.time.

Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Good character development, creative plot, couldn’t put it down.

The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman
Thought it would be an interesting, light, geeky read. Instead, it was a textbook with overbearing science. Didn’t like it.

Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity, by Hugh MacLeod
Ignited my creativity literally while reading it. Had to keep stopping to write ideas down. Huge thumbs up.

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
A bestseller for a reason.

It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life, by Lance Armstrong
No question why he had the success he did; hard work. Decent writing, enjoyable, inspiring read.

Poke the Box, by Seth Godin
Inspiring. Fabulous three-hour read. Recommend it regularly. Think about its message regularly.

Paradise General: Riding the Surge at a Combat Hospital in Iraq, by Dr. Dave Hnida
Well written, fascinating account. Thought it would gross me out. Didn’t. Surprised to like it as much as I did.

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not, by Robert Kiyosaki
Changed my outlook on money working for me, versus me working for money. Changed my life.

Beach Money: Creating Your Dream Life Through Network Marketing, by Jordan Adler
Ugh. Horrendously written. Generic advice. Very stereotypical network marketing. Upsetting.

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland, by Jim DeFede
Moving, a bit repetitive, but a fascinating account. Made me wonder what other butterfly effects went on that day in different parts of the world.

Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life, by Neil Strauss
Hilarious. Shocking. Eye-opening. You’ll finish it one notch more liberal than you were when you started and thinking Strauss is a badass.

Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling
Huge lesson: You never know what genre of books you’ll enjoy until you pick one up and try it out. Nothing will ever compare.

American Wife, by Curtis Sittenfeld
Beautifully written, moving novel. Relationship-filled. Fascinating supposed connections to real-life icons.

Little Bee, by Chris Cleave
How come I rarely like books that win big awards? Thought it was weird and disturbing.

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, by Steven D Levitt & Stephen J Dubner
Fascinating, as intended. But not surprising.

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, by Christopher McDougall
Astonishing! Changed my outlook completely on the sport and my inclusion in it. Two years later and I still think about this book regularly.

The Shack, by William P Young
Interesting point of view. Keep an open mind and let it sink in. It can’t hurt. Also, moving.

Escape From Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur, by Pamela Slim
Very detailed, should have read it before I escaped from my cubicle nation. Wasn’t too useful after the fact.

1 Dead in Attic: After Katrina, by Chris Rose
Emotional series of columns from a NOLA journalist. A shocking read, in a I’m-so-glad-I-now-know-this type of way. Couldn’t put it down.

Phew! That was fun.

What’ve you been reading lately? Any one-liner reviews you’d like to share?

Dreaming about books in one-line summaries,

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