Some of My Favorite Books

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Torch by Cheryl Strayed

I just reread Torch, Cheryl Strayed's first novel. I had read this book at some point since it was published in 2005 and didn't realize it till I was about one-third of the way into it. I mean, parts sounded familiar but I'm glad I kept reading it. Like her memoir Wild, this novel is well written and draws you into the story of a step family, a mom and her two kids and their stepdad who have to face adversity.

This book is somewhat autobiographical because Cheryl Strayed lost her mother when Strayed was a young adult like the character of Claire in Torch. She says though that that's where the similarities end. She invented the characters and what happens to them.

I'm looking forward to seeing the movie of Wild:  From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail that comes out later this year. Have you read Wild or Torch?

Book Read:  Torch
Author:  Cheryl Strayed

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Sign Painter by Davis Bunn

I read The Sign Painter by Davis Bunn for the story, which was fairly intriguing. This book was a little "churchy" for me, but not over the top. I enjoyed this story of a homeless woman and her child who landed in a suburb of Orlando looking for work and possibly as a place to put down roots.

As the story progressed, it unfolded to be a suspenseful look at choices people make in life and those consequences.

Book Read:  The Sign Painter
Author:  Davis Bunn

Saturday, September 13, 2014

One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern

If you've seen the movie P.S. I Love You starring Hillary Swank and Gerard Butler, you may have heard of Cecelia Ahern. I had seen the movie but didn't know that Cecelia Ahern wrote the book the movie was based on. 

One Hundred Names was a really good, sweet little story by this author. I'm not sure I'll read her other books, but I might.

Here's a short article I wrote about One Hundred Names.

Book Read:  One Hundred Names
Author:  Cecelia Ahern

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

I stayed up late last night to finish reading Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King. This was one satisfying read! If you've read it, I'd love to hear what you thought about it. 

This novel was shorter (though not short at 436 pages) than many of the tomes he's written and it just seemed softer or more gentle. Not sure how to describe it, but in all, it was less gory but just as entertaining to me than many of his previous books.

I liked Bill Hodges right away, even when he was the fat retired detective sitting around watching bad TV all day. I grew to like him even more. And the freaky pair of Brady and his mom made this book a voyeur's delight!

Book Read:  Mr. Mercedes
Author:  Stephen King

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


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