Some of My Favorite Books

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Italian Wife by Ann Hood

I'd heard of Ann Hood but had never read her books till now. I enjoyed The Italian Wife, especially at first. As this novel progressed through the generations, I was more ambivalent toward the characters. Some were more interesting than others, just like real people, I guess.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I just finished reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty and I loved it!

This novel jumps around with a scene from the climax as the first chapter. Interspersed throughout the book are quotes from characters being interviewed by a reporter after the big event. This process gives lots of great foreshadowing plus hints at what the heck is going to happen.

The book was so well written and even seemed simple at times, but of course Liane Moriarty knew exactly what she was doing with this tactic. I am definitely going to be reading the rest of her books.

Set in Australia, this book felt as universal to me in dealing with how students and parents worldwide probably act. Read it! I'm pretty sure you'll love it.

Big Little Lies

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

After the War is Over by Jennifer Robson

Well, I finally finished After the War is Over by Jennifer Robson this evening. I have actually been reading a lot but mostly nonfiction books that I don't always add to this blog. I liked this book but because I was reading other stuff, I didn't always read this novel every day and thus I didn't keep with the story like I like to.

I'd recommend it though if you enjoy historical novels. It was well researched and well written. The author also wrote Somewhere in France, which was a prequel to this novel. 

Book Read:  After the War is Over
Author:  Jennifer Robson

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

I have read several of Jennifer Weiner's novels and have loved each one. All Fall Down was no exception.

This book was a little different from her other novels though. The subject:  addiction. The main character, Allison Weiss, is a wife, mother, blogger, and all round busy gal. When she hurt her back, she continued taking pain killers and for two years progressively abused Oxycodone, Vicodan and Percocet until she was putting her daughter in danger. 

I personally don't know much about addiction, but this story rang true in the way Allison was in denial, abused the drugs progressively until she couldn't not take them, and the reluctance she experienced in thinking she needed help. And then accepting it when she was finally forced to go to rehab.

Read and love it!

All Fall Down: A Novel

Book Read:  All Fall Down
Author:  Jennifer Weiner

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

I finished reading The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters today, during the day sitting outside at my son's house. The best way to finish a really good book, in my opinion, is to enjoy it while I'm wide awake in a great setting. I usually read in bed at night so the daytime reading especially to finish up a book is a treat. This was a really good book. A long one but a good one.

Set in 1922 London Mrs. Wray and her unmarried daughter Frances have a lovely large house but little income or servants. To make ends meet they take in boarders, or as they call them paying guests.

The couple who rent two rooms from them are Leonard and Lilian Barber, and the friendships and events that unfold are surprising. I really enjoyed this book all the way to the end, wondering what the outcome would be. It was suspenseful, well written, and yes, long at 564 pages. But so worth it.

Book Read:  The Paying Guests
Author:  Sarah Waters

Monday, February 16, 2015

There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me by Brooke Shields

I listened to Brooke Shields's memoir There Was a Little Girl:  The Real Story of My Mother and Me since I reserved the audio book on CD at the library when I meant to get the book. It was actually a really good book to listen to and I found myself taking little breaks to listen here and there over several days.

Brooke Shields's mother was an alcoholic, which informed this entire book. The woman would have driven me bonkers, but it looks like she came out alright despite Teri Shields. After her mother died, Brooke wrote this memoir laying it all (I guess, it was a lot so I hope that was all or most of it) out there for the world to see.

I mean this woman let her 12-year-old daughter make the movie Pretty Baby, which admittedly was fairly racy for being made in 1978 or any time. Brooke appears nude in it and in some pretty compromising and adult-themed situations. She said she wouldn't let her own daughters make that movie at that age. I guess not!

I did enjoy listening to this audio book read by Shields proving none of us have a  perfect life or perfect parents. We just do the best we can.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mannequin Girl by Ellen Litman

I finished reading Mannequin Girl by Ellen Litman late last night. I have to say I was glad I finished it. I really enjoyed this book at first but it seemed to sort of slog on and on after awhile. 

When the book begins Kat is a Jewish girl who lives in Russia in the 1980s. She is young, just 6, I think and is diagnosed with scoliosis so is sent to a special school for extra care and to get the medical attention she needs. 

The book was interesting and then it sort of got to be repetitive or something. I did enjoy it, but I lost interest as Kat aged, I think. But try it. You might just love Mannequin Girl.

Book Read:  Mannequin Girl
Author:  Ellen Litman


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