Friday, June 25, 2010

There Is No Frigate Like a Book, So Here's a Fleet for You!

It's book review time again, and I've been reading some good ones.

The Owl and Moon Cafe: A Novel by Jo-Ann Mapson
-A fairly common theme of disparate mom and daughter moving through their broken relationship toward greater understanding, but there was a quirky sweetness that appealed to me.

Every Last One: A Novel by Anna Quindlen
-Pretty intense and very real depiction of loss, grief and healing. I couldn't put it down.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel by Helen Simonsen
-A slow but sweet read about second love and differing cultures in a small town, with a nice sprinkle of English humor throughout.

The Book of Bright Ideas: A Novel by Sandra Kring
-This one got to me, and I think I need a "Book of Bright Ideas" of my own.

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore
-Another quirky but lovely and rather lyrical book about the daughter of a string of preachers who finds the light herself and spreads it around a bit.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
-Great character development and a stimulating read about friendship, cultural biases, and the nature of racism.

Tender Graces by Kathryn Magendle
-Woman returns to mystic mountain home, confronts ghosts of her childhood, and resolves relationship with recently deceased mother. This book was fine, but other people have already written it.

The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
-Gripping saga chronicling the human drama that was WWII from the eyes of a remarkable young man, a Hungarian Jew of good character who is as talented as he is sympathetic. A lengthy journey, well worth the taking.

Thank You for All Things by Sandra Kring
-This author was new to me until I read The Book of Bright Ideas. I like her, and Thank You for All Things is a book with lots of heart and a little bit of vinegar.

So there you are, for what it's worth, with a few of my latest reads. Admittedly, I've been on a bit of a binge just lately. My husband is rarely present due to crazy busy-ness at work AND at church; my son is studying all hours of the day and well into the night for the MCAT, and there's only so much work to do in a house full of adults. Not that I'm complaining. My kindle and I are doing just fine!


PS. My other source of entertainment is still So You Think You Can Dance. I've even got my son hooked on it, and if you knew Todd, you would know that this is nothing short of a miracle. That show is right on the money!

PPS. What IS this "Xxxxx: A Novel" affectation that authors are adopting lately? Maybe I should try it myself...

What d'ya think?

The Man of Galilee: A Poem

(Not so much, right?) So get over it, writers. A label is not needed!


KC Mom said...

OOhhh...thanks for the list!
You've never "steered" me in the wrong direction with your choice of books. In fact, I'm still reading one from an author you recommended before.
I might have to print this list off and bring it with me so I can pick one of these books up when I find them.

Cherie said...

My mom just brought me the book "The Help" - she read it in her book club this last month and thought is was great.
I am looking forward to reading it.

I love your list though - lots of good titles for me to look into as reading has been my main amusement lately:D

Momza said...

I've been wanting to read THE HELP...thanks for the review!

Karen Mortensen said...

That is amazing that you read so much. Wish I could do that. I can't sit still long enough.

Darlene said...

Aren't I lucky to get to read all of these books? At least I hope they are all on your kindle. I am enjoying reading all of Lisa Wingates books. I really do love the way she writes and her chaacters are so real....and interesting. I just finished "The Summer Kitchen." I really liked the book but I do wish she hadn't ended it quite so abruptly. I felt I wanted to know what happened to know more about what happened to some of the main characters at the end. It was a little too vague for me. I wanted to know what really happened to Cass and her brother. Did they still have to live in that crummy apartment and who was going to support them? Did I miss something here?

Laraine Eddington said...

I loved your list. I have read several and like the sound of the rest. Have you read the Irish author William Trevor? He's one of my favorites.

Jill said...

This is exactly what I've been looking for...a list of good books to read. Now that I've just finished The Help, I'm looking for another book I can get lost in.

jen said...

Thanks for the list. I'm sure the reviews are as dependable as the last ones I've recommended to our book club.
The only one I've read is The Help. I was holding out because everyone said how great it was, and I knew I wouldn't like it. Luckily, I was wrong. Good book, huh?

Michelle said...

I love book lists.

I hate not having enough time to read them all.

What would be your top three recommendations from the above?

The Help is our August Book Club read, so I'm already on that one.

And the : A Novel thing is a bit puzzling. I wonder if it's a simple way to have a disclaimer that is like the one that says something like "Any resemblance to real people or situations is purely coincidental."

Without a good reason like that, it seems bizarre for people using words as livelihood to clutter a title in that way.

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

I've noticed that too--"xxx: a Novel". Maybe it makes it sound more official. They all look great. Thanks for the review. I know they were all different, but which was your absolute favorite?

karen said...

Thanks Sue - Kindle, here I come!

Myrna Foster said...

Thanks for the recommendations, Sue! I haven't read any of these.

Melinda Cornish said...

I have been thinking of reading The Help".....I think I will....

Karen Sue said...

I read Thank You for All Things on my vacation last summer...
I'm looking to leave July 17th, so now that graduation is over here, I just have a few left-over projects from that and I'm looking to start a pile for vacation reading. get rid of one pile and start another!! But we did a TON of reading last summer Vacation, and some ran out of books, so we need to plan ahead!

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