"The Last Juror" by John Grisham

I was craving a page-turner so I randomly picked a John Grisham I hadn't read yet and decided on The Last Juror. It wasn't as much of a page-turner as I was hoping for, but I still enjoyed it. However, I would put it at the bottom of my list out of all the Grisham novels I've read.

Based in a small Mississippi town in the early 1970's, the story is about a young journalist who uses his grandmother's money to buy the town newspaper and then becomes entwined in the case of a local murder. Sounds exciting, right? Well . . . the blurb on the back of the book made it seem like it would be, but the majority of the story is about the legal system surrounding the criminal case and its failure to ensure that justice is served. Grisham saved most of the real excitement for the last few chapters and even that was a little more predictable than most of his other novels.

So . . . you can tell that I wasn't highly impressed with this one. However, I will always stand by my high opinion of Grisham's writing. He is a master and even when the story is only so-so, the writing is always above par!

"Night" by Elie Wiesel

My 2015 book list has not gone as planned. I finished all the Harry Potter books and loved them just as much this time as all the times I've read them before. The movies are great, but nothing compares to the books. I didn't keep track of the dates that I finished each book, but I did finish all of them!

I almost finished Stephen Covey and am still working on Jesus the Christ and Sherlock Holmes, but I've read a few extras on the side. Just this week, I read Night by Elie Wiesel. I hadn't even heard of it, but a friend at work recommended it, so I reserved a copy from the library and read the whole thing within 36 hours.

My friend told me she liked Night even better than The Diary of Anne Frank, but I don't think I can say that. The story if of Elie's experience living through the Holocaust his time in several concentration camps and is as heart-wrenching and disturbing as any WWII memoir I've ever read. His honesty about his experience and the emotions he went through as a 16-year-old Jewish boy reminded me of the terror that the world experienced at the hands of Nazi Germany. I think it's valuable to be reminded of it from time to time so we remember how far humanity slipped and how fragile life truly is.

I think the only reason I prefer Anne Frank or The Hiding Place over this book is because Elie openly admits that the Holocaust destroyed his faith. As a person of deep faith myself, it made me sad to read that. I don't think anyone can blame a victim of such horrible events for losing some faith, but I personally believe that our loving Father in Heaven is always there, even when He seems far away. With that being said, this is a book I would still recommend reading. But some of the details are very raw and somewhat graphic, so keep that in mind before you start.


2015 Reading List

2015 Reading List:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
The 5000 Year Leap by Cleon Skousen
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (done!)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (done!)
Jesus the Christ by James L. Talmage
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (done!)
Orson Hyde by Myrtle S. Hyde
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin

My 2014 list feels like an utter failure. I didn't even get through Harry Potter! But I was busy with baby and life. And distracted by my new Nook and iPhone. I thought they would help me read more, but they really just make me play games and mess around more. Oh well.

I have big goals for 2015 and one of them is to finish my lists from 2013 and 2014. I still have a few from '13, so I've decided not to add any other new books for now. Now where is my cheering section . . .?