Just before Christmas, my friend Dana brought over the Kindle that she had purchased for her daughter. I was SO excited to play with it. Yes, I’m a gadget girl. Don’t tell anyone, it will be our secret k? I love new gadgets, I love to explore them and learn about them. So I played with the Kindle, and got it in my head that I would like an e-reader. Am I a big reader? No. But I used to be, before I had a child. And now Kaden is getting older, and I want to read more. The reality is, I just don’t really have time for it. My life is extremely busy, so finding time to read isn’t easy to do. But, I still wanted an e-reader.

So I started researching them and found that the Nook Color is Android based (LOVE) and has a backlit screen. Yes, I know that the backlighting is hard on your eyes and gives some people a headache. But I wanted to be able to read in the dark. Then people told me that you can’t see it in direct sunlight, and my response was, when the heck would I read in direct sunlight? If I’m outside, chances are it’s with Kaden or Frankie, which translates to two little ones tugging at me and demanding my attention, which means NOT reading. So really, not being able to read in direct sunlight? Minor issue, if even an issue at all.

My heart was stuck on a Nook Color. Tom knew it well before Christmas, but said that we just couldn’t get it right now because of money going towards the wedding. I knew he was right, but I kept hinting. I told him that I talked with my Dad about it, and he said that HE wanted to buy it for me, it just couldn’t be right now. Yes yes yes… I know. But still. I wanted one.

Christmas Eve rolls around, and I’m taking pictures, relaxing, and enjoying time with Tom’s family. We opened a few gifts Christmas Eve, and his mom handed me one that was from everyone. I opened it and was THRILLED to find my Nook Color! Not only that… but a red case for it too – YAY!

I was thrilled, and immediately started downloading books. See, Barnes and Noble is smart. Not only do they get you for the cost of the Nook, but now they have you for books too. And now that I have my Nook, it is almost always with me, so I can read whenever I have time. That means 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there – I can actually READ instead of just playing with my phone. It’s awesome! Plus, because it’s a color display, and basically a tablet computer, I can access wifi, and put pictures and videos on it too. LOVE it!

So here are some of the books that I have on my Nook right now. I’m sharing these in hopes that you guys will share your suggestions for reading too! I want to know the books that grab you, the books you love, the small business books that have helped you, the books that made you cry, the books that made you laugh – I want it all. And I want to know if any of you have used your devices with the various libraries that are available, and how it worked out. Tell me what you know! ;)

This is the book that I just finished, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. Excellent book, I really enjoyed it. I loved the characters and the story, but even more, I loved the information about life in this time (before WWI). I was picturing the women in their suits, the men in their waxed mustaches, and the politics at the time. Women weren’t allowed to vote then – that’s a crazy thought to us now! Overall I really liked the book!

The book I’m reading right now is Fast Track Photographer by Dane Sanders. Well, one of the books I’m reading right now. That’s another beautiful thing about my Nook – I can read multiple books at once without having to lug them all around. I can have something with short stories that is fun and lighthearted for when I just want a quick read, or I can keep gems like these bookmarked and go back to them whenever I want.  I’m about 2/3 of the way done with this one, and I LOVE it. It really makes you think about yourself – your strengths, weaknesses, things to work on, and what sets you apart. What makes you, YOU?

This is one that I got recently, and I really like not only the book, but what it’s forcing me to do – Digital Photography Bucket List by David Busch. The cool thing about this book is that it gives you different assignments, but they’re pretty vague. So it forces you to really think about what that statement means to you, and take the corresponding photograph. For example: “The Dignity of Age.” That statement can mean different things to different people. It could be a compelling photograph of someone that has mentored you and aged gracefully, or it could be the weathered skin of an elderly relative. Another is “Growing Up.” Again, different meanings to different people – it could be a college student that has an “AHA” moment of where he wants to be in life – that moment when we realize that we’re no longer children but adults. Or it could be a baby taking his first steps. That’s what’s so cool about this book. The assignments aren’t just “Take a picture of a flower closeup.” They’re generic moments and subjects that force you to think outside the box. I think that it will really enhance my creativity, and allow me to think about what these things mean to me. Once the weather is a little warmer I will start working through the book and post the results here.

The next is Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin. I’m a sucker for dog books, and when I saw Oogy’s face on the cover I had to read it. I admit though, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein is one of my most favorite books, another doggie book – and this one didn’t even come close to comparing. I did like it, it wasn’t horrible, it was just more of a collection of smaller stories from the owner’s life with the dog, rather than a moving story about the dog like I expected. Overall good, just not as good as I had hoped. I think The Art of Racing in the Rain set the bar pretty high – probably not a fair comparison, but one nonetheless.

I have this book because it’s coming up in Book Club, and although I’m not a Book Club regular, this book sounded interesting! The synopsis is too long to post here, but here’s a snippet:

Set in an unnamed South American country, the story begins at a birthday party thrown at the country’s vice presidential home. The party is thrown for Katsumi Hosokawa, the visiting chairman of a large Japanese electronics company called Nansei. Performing is a famous American soprano, Roxane Coss.
Near the end of the party, members of a terrorist organization break into the house looking for the President. When it is discovered that the President did not attend the party, the terrorist group decides to take the entire party hostage.

I’m really curious to see how this one plays out, so I will be participating in Book Club next month. If any of you have read it, don’t tell me the ending. :)

So what are your favorite books? Right now I have Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls on my list, but I have a few others to get through first. I have a specific book on my Nook that I want to ask you guys about, but that will require another post, so that will be one for later. :)

PS – I didn’t link the book titles somewhere because I figure that everyone has their own favorite online bookstore, whether it’s Amazon or BN.com or Borders.com. It also depends on your device if you have one! So I gave you the titles and authors so you can find them wherever you choose to shop. I would love to know your suggestions, I look forward to it.

Happy Thursday!