Friday, October 5, 2012

Third Quarter Recap

Earlier this week Peaceful Reader inquired whether I had written a monthly recap.  In case of some of you have been reading this blog closely, you may have noticed that I haven't been posting monthly recaps these past few months.  I am hoping Janssen won't be offended if I copy her, but I love reading her quarterly recap of books with just a short snippet about each title along with a link if a review was written. So here goes:

The Book Lover by Mary Ann McFadden- I loved this book when I read it, but unfortunately had to go back and re-read my review in order to jog my memory.  A great book for someone who loves books (obviously) and aspiring writers.

The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santos - a multi-generational story about a family of women who seem to have found the fountain of youth in their family's olive raising business.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick- I pretty much loved everything about this YA romance

You Came Back by Christopher Coake - Mark's son Brendan died in an accidental fall in his home. Now divorced and having moved on with his life, Mark feels as though he's worked through his grief until the woman who bought his house finds him and announces that his son's ghost visits her.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjajmin Alire Saenz - a great YA title with Mexican American characters and sexuality issues thrown in

The Girl Is Murder by Kathryn Miller Harris-this the first in a new mystery series set in World War II - love this time period and this book

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson - YA title dealing with a parent's death and growing up.  More than just a fun beach read

The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns by Margaret Dilloway -  Somehow I've read this title and still have Dilloway's first book waiting to be read. 

Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach - Bought this one on my kindle and my one regret is that I wish I had a paper copy. Loved looking at the pictures and the recipes, can only imagine paging back and forth through the print version.  Also love her website.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn-This is probably the must read book of the year.  So Single White Female-ish
I'm still talking about it two months later.
The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe- just now published, this is such a touching memoir about a man and his mother and her impact on him

Bloom by Kelle Hampton- Another title I read on my Kindle Fire. Complete with beautiful photographs, Kelle allows us to journey with her as she gives birth to and raises a daughter with Downs Syndrome

Tumbleweeds by Leila Meacham - I can hardly believe I didn't review this one. Oh, the drama. The Texas setting and soap opera-esque plotline had me from the beginning. 

The Meryl Streep Movie Club by Mia March - Enjoyable and my list of must see movies has increased immensely.

Gone by Cathi Hanauer - I feel like "gone" is the word to use in recent titles.  A father leaves his family unexpectedly and both he and his wife try and deal with their issues.

Say Nice Things About Detroit by Scott Lassiter - A sparse mystery set in Detroit written in multiple perspectives. Meh.

One Moment by Kristin McBride- Another one that I can remember nothing about even after seeing a cover picture.

In The Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner- One of the best books I've read all year.  A fictional account of the author's own experience during the Khmer Rouge.  Heartbreaking. Hopeful. Amazing.

How I Came to Sparkle Again by Kaya McLaren- a good little more than chick-lit read set in a Colorado ski town. Entertaining.

So Far Away by Meg Mitchell Moore- a solid sophomore novel, not quite as good as the first

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin- love Emily Giffin and her chick lit-ish novels

The Girl Is Trouble by Kathryn Miller Haines- the second in the series. Loved the first book, loved this one, too.  Can't wait for #3

Shunning Sara by Julie Kramer- maybe not my favorite in Kramer's murder mystery series - perhaps because I am in love with Linda Castillo's Amish mystery series, and this was read so close to my reading of Castillo's book....but whatever the cae, I will still be waiting for the next installment.

City of Women by David Gilham-good writing, but I wish I could  have liked the women in this book a bit more.  I almost felt some similarities to The Reader.

The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley - still have not reviewed this title since it won't be published until 2013.  A great moral dillemma- to keep a woman with brain damage alive for the entirety of her pregnancy in order to give her child a chance at life, or to take her off of life support.

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova- a good women's fiction novel; Lisa Genova is now a must read author.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare- a children's classic.  I hadn't read this since my own junior high years. This was the first book for our staff book club - a great discussion and a book I want to share with my daughters

Off the Grid by PJ Tracy- Lucky me that another favorite mystery series had a new book.  I enjoyed the change in setting in this one, as well as getting to catch up with some favorite characters

 Gold Medal Summer by Donna Freitas- realistic fiction for my gymnast girl readers. Perfect for my own daughters

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison- usually I don't like road trip books but I did enjoy this read....more than just fluff, The Revised Fundamentals has some real words of wisdom

The Letter by Marie Tillman- I have been intrigued by Pat Tillman for a while and really liked this inside look at his life

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein- rave reviews for this book are everywhere. Sadly, although I liked it, I felt like I wasn't quite understanding it.  I'm blaming my kids who felt the need to interrupt me constantly while I was trying to read this one

Motherland by Amy Sohn- sequel to Prospect Park West - love this type of urban mommy-lit a la Candace Bushnell's novels. 

Gone Missing by Linda Castillo- this might be my favorite Kate Burkholder mystery.  A change of venue seems to have broken the Cabot Cove syndrome

Dear Blue Sky by Mary Sullivan- I liked this one while I was reading it, but like it even more now as I continue to think about it...covers some great discussion topics from life in Afghanistan to The Giver to losing a family member who leaves to serve in the military. I think it would be a great companion novel to Breadwinner

The Train of Small Mercies by David Rowell- shares the stories of several characters after the death of Bobby Kennedy and his train ride across the country.  A perfect snippet of America in the late 1960s.

A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller- I really really liked this mystery and really really want it to be just the first in a series- loved the setting and the characters

A Smidgen of Sky by Dianna Dorisi Winget- realistic fiction, debut novel. This one will be on my next school order.

Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin - ending the quarter on a good note. A great self-help/memoir. To be reviewed soon.

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