Looking for Alaska by John Green
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Minding Ben by Victoria Brown
Delirium by by Lauren Oliver (audio)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevelier
Learning to Swim by Sarah J. Henry
Fall 2010/Winter 2011
Incendiary by Chris Cleave – This was amazing – so different.
Fragile by Lisa Unger This was okay. It took me a long time to read. There was a part near the end that it was a little exciting. Overall, I don’t think it is very realistic. I think it is trying to be, but I find the actions of some of the characters to not be believable.
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King A very awesome piece of young adult fiction!
The Girl who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (Skimmed through the middle bits)
Rescue by Anita Shreve
The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson
The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Adam and Eve by Sena Jeter Naslund
A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
Thirteenth Child by Patricia C Wrede. This was good! Not like Hunger Games good, but good. Reminiscent of Little House on the Prairie but in a magical world.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson: Fail – did not finish
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley : Fail – did not finish
The Lake Shore Limited by Sue Miller. It was okay but certainly not The Senator’s Wife
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel – aaaauuuuugghhhhhh!!!!!!
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – I very much loved both these books (Catching Fire is the sequel to The Hunger Games) and highly recommend them!
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg
The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent
Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier – Loved it!
The Believers by Zoe Heller
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery – excellent, excellent, well deserved its place in the Newsweek article of the 50 books you should read.
The Three Miss Margarets by Louise Shaffer – pretty good – went to the book club at the library that was guided by the author. It was a great experience.
A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve – I liked this book – interesting and educational at the same time. I wasn’t sure at first if I liked Margaret, the main character. I thought that things happened to her and she was just along for the ride, but that really wasn’t true at all. She is strong, brave, and adventurous. She exceeds the role of main character and is quite the heroine of this story.
Firefly Lane by Kristen Hannah – This is a very fast, easy read. There is one central question to the book that remains unanswered to the end (even though it was brought up a number of times) and the ending was out of character with much of the rest of the book. (The foreshadowing led me to believe that the book would end in a completely different way.) Most of the book is about the eternal conflict of career vs. family. There were many parenting moments which seemed very true to life.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Soceity by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows – I really enjoyed this book. Even though the historical fiction part of this book deals with the German occupation of the Guernsey Islands during WWII and there is graphic description of concentration camps, it is an overall uplifting book about how people can pull together during times of adversity.
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquival
The Physick Book of Delieverance Dane by Katherine Howe – This is ok so far. It is not really “pulling me in” as much as I had hoped for a book that was on the Best Seller list. I’ve read that it picks up near the end, I’m looking forward for a bit of a faster pace and more surprises. Now that I’ve finished this – I have to say that it never really did pull me in. Most of the book was lead-in for the last couple of chapters. There were a couple of minor twists, but nothing to rock your socks off or anything. One noteable feature was the mixture of Christianity in the witchcraft. Usually you have Christian vs. Pagan, but in this book the witches were Christains and used prayer in their “incantations.”
Songs of the Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult – This is my first Jodi Picoult book and so far I liked it. The story is told out of sequence and from different character’s perspectives. I was worried about reading her because I thought all her books were terribly sad, but so far, I’m ok with this one though there are sad things in it. The other thing that surprised me about reading her was how Anita Shreve-y she is. I didn’t expect that at all.
The Missing by Shiloh Walker – I was determined to finish it after weeks and weeks of intermittent reading. It was just okay though – nothing special and not really a page turner after all.
My Husband’s Sweethearts by Bridget Asher
Away by Amy Bloom – not so good – not so recommened.
The House on Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper – Really good – recommended!
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson – !!!!!!!!
The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer -Who would have ever thought I would like a book so heavily laden with sports analogies and bar talk, but this was a great book!
The Erye Affair by Jasper Fforde – Excellent book. IHA is now (3/23/09) laughing his way through it.
Little Bee by Chris Cleave I really liked this. It would be an excellent book for a book group.
Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani This book was pretty good – probably a little sadder than I would have liked, but I’m glad I read it. Different than my usual.
Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian For a bookgroup, but only read half of it. I didn’t not like it, I was just ready to move on to other things after the book discussion.
More Than it Hurts You by Darin Strauss Interesting premise, but way too long. This book had just so much extraneous material that I found myself skimming to get through it. Usually, I would have just stopped reading and moved on to my next book, but I did want to find out what happened. The book ended with the scene which should have been in the middle of the book. Overall, very unsatisfactory.
Dr. Franklin’s Island by Ann Halam
What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman Best quote: “Children can be happy when their parents are miserable. But a parent is never happier than her unhappiest child.” (page 371)
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicky Myron
Sea Glass by Anita Shreve – Very appropriate reading for our current economic climate as it takes place just as the stock market was crashing in the 1920’s…
Testimony by Anita Shreve – Quick to read and interesting. I’m not sure how I feel about it. It disturbs me that the girl in the book is the same age as my daughter. The “ifs” are also overwhelming. If one person had just made one different choice in their actions, the whole event may not have even transpired. Everyone is to blame, but I think that the headmaster is the most tragic character in the whole book because as headmaster he has the position of most responsibility and his lack of integrity is just revolting. He also seems to not even be aware of his lack of character and while he has regret, it is very self-centered.
The Mighty Asparagus by V. Radunsky – I agree with the queen – the asparagus is beautiful and I want to take it home to admire it all day long.
Spy Goddess: Live and Let Shop by Micheal P. Spraolin – Um… what can I say – I started this on vacation during the summer and was so close to finishing that I just had to. Out of all the YA books I have read recently, this one is the least impressive. It is a fun and quick read, however, I have no idea wy it is called Live and Let Shop because there is absolutely no shopping in it.
Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson – Wow!
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
The Madonnas of Leningrad by Susan Dean – This was for book group. It was good and was liked by the group. The one thing everyone wished was just to know more.
Acceptance by Susan Coll – This is an ok book, though a bit stressful for a mother of a high school freshman.
Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
The Host by Stephanie Meyer – very good but you have to get about two thirds of the way through before it picks up
The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg – This was for book group. Great book and an excellent book group type of book – lots to discuss.
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher – excellent!
The Society of S by Susan Hubbard – excellent!
The Clique by Lisi Harrison – ACK! These girls are mean. Really mean. And I’m not kidding.
Speak by Laure Halse Anderson – excellent!
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri – Loved it!
The Senator’s Wife by Sue Miller – The ending really makes you think…
Unravelling by Elizabeth Graver
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
Diary Queen – by Catherine Murdock — I listened to the book on CD and it was very entertaining and enjoyable. The books starts with a haying scene that was pretty much right on the money. The football parts were well-explained enough for non-football people like me to understand and enjoy.
Garden Spells by Sarah Allen — Basically a romance, it is nice and sweet; not too deep.
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon
Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland
Tithe by Holly Black – I didn’t really like this book. I was looking for something to like as much as Twilight and it just was not it! Too rough and not really fun.
Morning Light by Catherine Anderson
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (read the Eat, the Pray, and part of the Love)
Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich – read this because everyone else does. It was ok.
Body Surfing by Anita Shreve – I liked this book, it was a nice contrast to Motor Mouth.
Tunes for Bears to Dance To by Robert Cormier – I read this because we had it in the house because Agent K was reading it for school. I really liked it though. Something different for me.
River’s Edge by Marie Bostwick Great book, easy read.
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer Excellent book, fun to read, hard to put down.
Dark Tort by Diane Mott Davidson
The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart: Great book – give it a read if you get a chance!
Multiple Choice by Claire Cook: light and entertaining
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale: Excellent Book – I read it to J and B and we all loved it. Miri proves to be an admirable role model.
The Guy Not Taken: Stories by Jennifer Weiner: These were all pretty good stories – almost all could have been novels of their own. I’m not a fan of short stories generally — by the time you get into the story, it is over. The middle is always my favorite part of a book (like the middle of an Oreo) and short stories just don’t have middles.
The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland: Excellent. It is not a page turner or anything, but very interesting and lyrical.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, recommended in my comments by Jayme. This took me 2 whole months to read! It was worth it though! Jamie and Claire equal true love…
The Birth of Venus by Susan Dunant: Outstanding! The best book I’ve read in a while…Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling Thank goodness for a happy conclusion!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. Excellent!
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl I did like this book and I did like Blue. (I so did not like Hannah.) I have so many things that I want to discuss with someone. I have some of my own ideas about what really happened! After I finished, I was reading some reviews on the internet and found out that most of the literary references are fictitious. I wish I had known that from the start because I spent a lot of time being super impressed by the wealth of knowledge of the author and also feeling rather lacking in my own literary background. The way the author sites her sources (fictitious as most of the them are) is very blog-esque. If the book was written on the internet or as a blog, all those sources and parentheticals would have been links and would have cut down on quite a bit of the length of the book. I did not like the “Final Exam.” This is the second book in a row where I have thought that the afterthought chapter was rather poorly written in comparison to the rest of the book. Here is a line that I did like: “A white sky ironed, starched, folded itself primly behind the rolling mountains.” (see Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Pessl, 2006, p. 314.) It doesn’t really mean anything in or out of context, I just wish I could write sentences like that.
The Bad Mother’s Handbook by Kate Long (ok)
Fortunate Lives by Robb Foreman Dew (pretty good)
The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier (loved!),recommended by Knitcole
The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (loved!)
Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier (I didn’t like this book as much as the previous 2, however, it was still entrancing.)
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier (compelling enough to finish even though there were parts that I didn’t like)
Blogging for Dummies by Brad Hill, recommended by Llamafarmgirl (This was pretty good even though it was published this year and the WordPress section is already outdated.)
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, recommended by Knitcole
My Latest Grievance by Elinor Lipman
Click Here: To Find Out How I Survived Seventh Grade by Denise Vega, recommended by Agent K (cute book! Man, is it tough to be in seventh grade!)
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris, recommended by Beth. Surprisingly delicious!
Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston