Twitterature: March 2014.

Lately I’ve felt like I’m really, truly back to one of my first loves: reading. For the last six months of 2013 it was a struggle to make time to read and often felt more like work than pleasure. It’s good to be back into the groove. Really good.

Today I’m joining Anne Bogel’s Twitterature link-up to share short, Twitter-style reviews of the books I’ve read in the past month:

Twitterature | Shana Norris Blog

The Lake of Dreams, Kim Edwards. My least favorite of the month. If you want to read Edwards, skip this one and start with The Memory Keeper’s Daughter or her short story collection The Secrets of a Fire King.

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott. I’m officially an Anne Lamott fan girl now. This book. I realize how I feel about it is directly related to where I am in my life – the perfect storm, you could say. I want to read – and own, so I can mark them up to my heart’s content – every book she’s written.

This is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper. Hands-down the funniest thing I’ve read in years. A word of warning: this one is definitely rated R.

Twitterature | Shana Norris Blog

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, Jan-Philipp Sendker. I’ve noticed a trend with the audio books I’ve been listening to lately: it’s taking me at least 1/2 the book to get into them. Definitely the case here. It took me that long to start caring about the characters. In the end it was a redeeming read, though.

Divergent, Veronica Roth. Again, I didn’t fall in love until the halfway mark. Which is exactly what happened with another book you might have heard this one compared to: The Hunger Games. I finished this and immediately started reading Insurgent. For the record, I’m liking this series even more than The Hunger Games.

The Sandcastle Girls, Chris Bohjalian. I’m quickly becoming a huge fan of Bohjalian. This novel was a heartbreaking look at the Armenian genocide that took place during and after World War I.

Have you read any great books lately?


  1. I just started Divergent, I am glad you said you didn’t fall in love till half way, that makes me feel better for being underwhelmed. My sister said the same thing about liking it more that The Hunger Games. I have Tropper’s book but have not started yet, I may have to move it up the pile.

  2. I had the the same feeling when reading the Art of Hearing Heartbeats–the characters just weren’t cutting it for me. And I agree with you on the Divergent series–it’s better than the Hunger Games–it felt more spiritual to me. Love your blog, Shana!
    Alison recently posted…What I’ve Been Reading LatelyMy Profile

    • Thanks, Alison. It’s so hard for me to put my finger on why the characters fell short for me in The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. Fortunately, the story/plot made up for it in the end.

  3. I loved Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. But I couldn’t get into Traveling Mercies for some reason. It just didn’t jive, you make me want to give it another go. =)

  4. Dude, I love your reading selections each month! :) I’ve been looking for a funny read, so I’ll be adding This is Where I Leave You to my GoodReads list! I’m not scared of R humor. :) The Sandcastle Girls sounds heartbreaking, but it sounds worth reading after your review!
    Ginger – Just One of the Boys recently posted…Twitterature ~ March 2014 EditionMy Profile

  5. I definitely need to get my hands on more Anne Lamott – anything I’ve read, I’ve loved. I felt the SAME way about Divergent – I loved the first book in the Hunger Games, but I thought Divergent was a little more consistent all the way through. Thanks for sharing!
    Becca recently posted…Twitterature {March 2014}My Profile

    • I really loved both series, but I think the plotting is more intricate in Divergent, which made it a little more fun for me. And that aspect gets even better in Insurgent!

  6. Oooooh goodie! I cant wait to be able to sit down and read this summer once I finish my MBA! Thanks for the suggestions! Have you read the Shatter Me triology by Tahereh Mafi? She is a good friend of mine, and her books are incredible! In the same kind of dystopian world vibe as Divergent, which I loved as well! Check it out :)
    Tina Muir recently posted…Training Update 3/9-3/15My Profile

    • I’ll definitely check that series out, Tina. I remember that feeling of wanting so badly to read for pleasure when I was done with school. Hang in there. Summer isn’t far off now.

  7. Traveling Mercies is one of my favorite books of all time and forever. Like you, I read it at a crucial place in my life and it spoke to me on so many levels. I quote the “drinking gin from a cat dish” line all the time. I love everything of hers, but this one and Bird By Bird are my favorites.
    MJ recently posted…Twitterature – March 2014My Profile

  8. Oh, love Anne Lamott! Have you read Bird by Bird? It’s about writing and I think you would really like it!
    Allie @ Days Like These recently posted…Twitterature March 2014My Profile

  9. My mother-in-law laughed her way through This is Where I Leave You. I am going to have to borrow her copy. I like you description of the Anne Lamott book, and I definitely want to check out Divergent! You were busy!

  10. Wow! You had a great reading month!! This is the second time that I have read about This is Where I Leave You in the past two days- I think I need to add this to my list.

  11. I noticed you said it takes about 1/2 way through the book to get into some audio books. I have a hard time making it past the first disc if I don’t like the voice I hear. Then it goes on my never ending TBR list with hopes for some down time to read!!

  12. Now I can’t wait to read Divergent, if you thought it was better than The Hunger Games! It’s really hard to get at the library right now though :) .
    lisacng @ recently posted…Father & son {photos}My Profile

  13. I haven’t gotten to either Anne Lamott or the Divergent series and I really need to fix that. They both come so highly recommended! Time to move them up my to-read list :)
    Moira @ Hearth and Homefront recently posted…Twitterature (March 2014 edition)My Profile

  14. Stacey McCullough says:

    I have recently finished The Secret Keeper and am almost done with The Goldfinch…LOVE them both for different reasons. I have given up Facebook for Lent and have been devouring books! I had forgotten how much I truly love reading.

  15. So excited to add Anne Lamott to my list of to-reads! I am currently reading something more fun (Recession Proof my Kimberly S. Lin) while also reading The Productive Person by Chandler Bolt & James Roper. Hope you are doing well Shana! xo
    Georgina recently posted…Healthy Initiatives with Vionic & Boston Charitable EventsMy Profile

  16. I’ve been longing to read more books lately!! thank you for this Shana.

  17. I enjoyed Divergent and I believe I own all of Chris Bohjalian’s books….love them and I always am eagerly awaiting a new one! Like Tamara, I am also a huge Jodi Picoult fan and I have all of her books too. Thanks for the new suggestions!
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Let’s Get Real Blog HopMy Profile

    • What did you think of The Double Bind, Michelle? That one had a plot twist that I totally did not see coming. I read it years ago but it still stands out in my mind for that fact alone.

  18. I have been missing reading lately! Just too many other things going on. Like blogging? Gah, maybe I need to cut back AGAIN. Or maybe my plan of one writing day a month to knock out several posts at once will work. We shall see…

    These books sound fantastic. I love Anne Lamott but I haven’t read any of the others. (Nope, not even Divergent.)

  19. I just finished Divergent and came straight here because I remember you mentioning that you read it, or planned on reading it. Anyway, I compared it to The Hunger Games as I was reading through it…with the Hunger Games, I didn’t like the 2nd and 3rd books as much so I’m glad to hear that you’re liking Insurgent better. Now I’m looking forward to continuing on with the series!
    Gracielle recently posted…My Happy Place: Anna Maria IslandMy Profile

    • I liked Insurgent better than Divergent, Gracielle. I’m nervous about Allegiant because I’ve heard many say it was a disappointment. Still, as soon as I can get my hands on a library copy, I’m reading it!

  20. I’m so glad you loved Tropper’s book too. They’re filming the movie now!
    Nina recently posted…To My Husband on His BirthdayMy Profile

    • I can’t wait for the movie. My husband read the book after me and loved it too. We’ve already been discussing the casting. The one that I think is spot on is Rose Byrne as Penny.

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