Year 2, Book 5

5. Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist’s Wife by Irene Spencer
The author writes about her life growing up in a polygamist family ,her mother’s attempts to prevent her from entering into herself, and then her life after becoming the second wife of a polygamist man. It is an interesting look into the life of polygamy and how damaging it is even when abuse is not present and the husband attempts to do the right thing by his wives. I give it a 7 out of 10.

Year 3, Book 4

4. John Adams by David McCullough
I decided to read this book because HBO is broadcasting a miniseries based on it in March. It was insanely popular when I worked at Barnes and Noble being on the bestseller list for over a year. It was an interesting book and full of lots of information that I didn’t know. However, it was a difficult read. It is 650 pages long and extremely dense. I felt like I was never going to get through it. But I’m glad I read it. I now have a totally different view of Adams and Jefferson than I did before I read the book. I give it a 7 out of 10.

Year 3, Book 3

3. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
I read this in anticipation of seeing the movie, which is out now. The book was written by Bauby who was the editor of French Elle. At the age of 43 he had a stroke which left him completely paralyzed and unable to move any part of his body aside from blinking his left eyelid. His brain was still fully functionally, but he was essentially trapped in his body. He wrote the book by blinking out the letters to someone who transcribed it for them. It’s kind of an incredible story. The book itself was not exactly what I was expecting. Instead of an actual narrative story it’s rather more a collection of vignettes detailing his life in the hospital after the stroke, some things from his life pre-stroke and some dreams. I’m really curious how they are going to turn it into a fluid movie. It’s a super fast read. I finished it in about 45 minutes on my lunch break today. I guess you can expect something written out through blinking can’t be too long. I give it an 8 out of 10.

Year 3, Book 2

2. What You Have Left by Will Allison
The story of the relationship between a father, his daughter who he left after the death of her mother at the age of 5, her grandfather, and her husband. The story is told from the viewpoints of the various characters at different times in their lives ranging from the time when the father and mother first got together up until the point when the father and his daughter reunite late in their lives. The story kept me engaged as I finished the book in one day, but I found all of the characters too flawed and not really sympathetic. I give it a 7 out of 10.