Some of My Favorite Books

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Unwitting by Ellen Feldman

I finished reading The Unwitting night before last, and though I liked this book, I was glad when I was done with it. The myriad inner thoughts grew a tad tiresome but I found the story engaging and loved watching it unfold.

Set in the 1940s through the 1960s, The Unwitting follows the courtship and marriage of Nell and Charlie and their lives as writers and publishers in New York City and beyond. Part mystery, part love story, part spy novel, The Unwitting was a history lesson for me as well as a peek at lives as foreign to me as can be.

Book Read:  The Unwitting
Author:  Ellen Feldman

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Elsewhere by Richard Russo

I loved, loved, loved this book! I started reading Elsewhere by Richard Russo last week, while, well, in the bathroom. I just read a few pages but was hooked. I wanted to read another book first though (and I did--The Painter by Peter Heller), but I couldn't wait to get back to Elsewhere.

This is a memoir written by the novelist Richard Russo, not so much about himself, but about his life with his mother. And what a mother she was. This guy has to be one of the most patient people on the planet. He catered to this woman her entire life, going way above and beyond the call of duty for any son (or daughter).

I don't like to give away too much in my blog posts but do recommend you read this one. It was fascinating to see how this mother-son relationship kept up the pace for what must have been going on 60 or more years till her death. 

This book makes me want to grab a stack of Russo's novels and read them all.

Book Read:  Elsewhere
Author:  Richard Russo

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Painter by Peter Heller

I stayed up really late last night and finished the novel The Painter by Peter Heller. Wow, I thought The Dog Stars was good, but I think I liked this one even more.

Set in Colorado and New Mexico, this book is lushly descriptive and beautiful. The main character Jim Stegner, a painter and fisherman, is as flawed as can be and so easy to relate to and like. 

I just loved this book, wondering what the heck was going to happen next and if the painter would come out the other side.

Book Read:  The Painter
Author:  Peter Heller

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Every Last One by Anna Quindlen

This book was amazing! I love Anna Quindlen's writing and have read all of her novels now after reading this one. I think this is my favorite. 

This novel starts out innocent enough with a family of five:  Mary Beth and Glen Latham and their three children, Ruby, Alex, and Max. And the dog Ginger. They just go about living their lives in a small New England town.

With a slow build up and some subtle undertones, the book explodes halfway through with a shocker than I sure didn't see coming. I knew something had to happen but hadn't guessed this. More details are revealed in the last half of the book that make it such a great read.

If you like literary fiction with a great story, I betcha you'll love Every Last One.

Book Read:  Every Last One
Author:  Anna Quindlen

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

I finished reading Sue Monk Kidd's latest novel The Invention of Wings last night. I really loved this book, a historical fiction novel based on two real women, Sarah and Angelina Grimke. The Grimke women were sisters born in Charleston in the early part of the 1800s. Their family had slaves but the girls were opposed to slavery and as adults were some of the first vocal opponents of owning slaves.

Much of the book was made up but Kidd used historical records, letters, and documents that she interspersed in the novel to make it come to life. If you love a good story that you can research later and read more about, don't miss The Invention of Wings.

To read more about these women who really were rebels especially in the times in which they lived, visit the National Women's History Museum website.

Book Read:  The Invention of Wings
Author:  Sue Monk Kidd

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

Well, I have mixed feelings about The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell. I really enjoyed this period book set in the mid 1920s. I think the author did a good job of researching the era and brought to life the period. 

The story was good -- Rose, a woman who was an orphan under some weird circumstances -- goes to secretarial school and becomes a typist for the New York police department. Another typist joins the force and Odalie brings with her another world for Rose.

It was the ending that really made me go "huh?" I don't like to give away endings or even too much about a book but this is worth a read. I'd be curious what you think about it. The whole thing. But especially the ending. 

Author:  Suzanne Rindell
Book:  The Other Typist

Monday, July 7, 2014

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue

I started reading another book after I finished Big Brother by Lionel Shriver, but I couldn't finish it. So I started reading Frog Music by Emma Donoghue. Much better!

I liked this book but didn't totally love it. The writing was good, the story was good, but the way it flip flopped back and forth in a month or so time frame made it a tad hard to follow for me for some reason. This novel is based on the true story of a murder that happened near San Francisco in 1876. 

One thing I really found interesting was the use of the term "below job" for you know what. Very interesting. It is below, so it makes sense, I guess!

Author:  Emma Donoghue
Book Read:  Frog Music


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