You can read last years list here.
1. We Thought You Would Be Prettier: True Tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive – Laurie Notaro
2. The Persian Pickle Club -Sandra Dallas
3. Alice’s Tulips – Sandra Dallas
4. The Shoemaker’s Wife: A Novel– Adriana Trigiani
Trigiani cast a spell over the reader with detailed descriptions of Italy, New York City, the Met, the costumes….so descriptive. This is a beautiful story of Ciro and Enza, their lives, loves and losses. The story begins in 1904 and spans the end of WWII. A captivating and emotion filled story of love, family, hard work and grit!
5. Calico Joe – Grisham
A very quick read, probably due in part to the fact that I skimmed all the baseball stat pages. Despite my ignorance to all things baseball, I still found the story entertaining. The book was light with a few deeper themes of forgiveness and accepting responsibility. Two themes that could lead to a great discussion if this was read in a book club.
6. Tending Roses (Tending Roses Series, Book 1) – Lisa Wingate
7. Chasing Paris – Jen Carter
The story was compelling which kept me reading despite the weak dialogue and poor writing. The plot was interesting and I wanted to know what happened to Lizzie, but most of the characters were so flat which was a real detriment to the book.
8. License to Pawn: Deals, Steals, and My Life at the Gold & Silver – Rick Harrison
9. Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood – Laurie Notaro
Laurie has a great self deprecating sense humor and ability to see the absurdities of life. I laughed out loud as Laurie described her husbands “man hands”!
10. Home Front Girl: A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up in Wartime America -Morrison
11.Summer at Tiffany Marjorie Hart
What a fun quick read! This is a non-fiction account of Marjorie’s 1945 summer job at Tiffany. She and her girl friend were the first women employees to be “on the floor”, they worked as pages. In addition to fantastic encounters with celebrities, is a detailed description of daily life during the war years. Anyone who loves nostalgia and historical account will enjoy this book. Well written and easy to read.
12.The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards (author of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter) At first I didn’t like the book, as the story began I really did not like the main character Lucy. I kept reading and gradually began to not like her a little less. Once the mystery began to unfold I found the story to be very interesting. The discovery of a long lost relative that was hidden from family history. A relative who had ties to the Women’s Suffrage Movement and showed great strength and grit through hard times.
13.The Fire Chronicle (Books of Beginning) here is the review I wrote for Book One (The Emerald Atlas). I finished Book Two just as fast and enjoyed it just as much! I realize this book is meant for a far younger crowd than the middle aged mother of 3 that I am, but I really enjoyed this book. It was a birthday gift for my 9yo son and I wanted to read it along with him…well, I ended up reading WAY ahead (finished the 400+ page book in 3 days). He is a fine reader but doesn’t enjoy reading for pleasure. Some of the language and sentence structure was a bit difficult for him to grasp (for example: “…Kate couldn’t hear, and it was as if a heavy curtain was drawn around her mind, obliterating the man in the doorway, the light, her mother, everything.” he had trouble understanding that this was describing the girl falling asleep). However I think any child who is really well read and understands the cadence of the written word will surely be able to understand this book.
The story is very captivating and the point of view goes back and forth between people and time making the story that much more rich and exciting to read. It is set in modern times and the traits of each child make them very believable.
The only downside is that this book JUST came out…which means I am totally hooked now and have to wait who knows how long for the next installment!
14.The American Heiress: A Novel Daisy Goodwin. Enjoyed this story- although it starts out slowly. The reader can see a lot of things about the Duke that the wife simply doesn’t see and for that reason it is easy to get an idea of how the book will progress, however I found the ending to be quite a surprise! A refreshing surprise!
15. The Chaperone Laura Moriarty
16. The House at Tyneford: A Novel Natasha Solomons
17. Rebecca’s Tale Sally Beauman
Having never actually read the original Rebbecca story I still found this book interesting. It did take me a good 50 pages to really get into it though.
18. Little Bee: A Novel Chris Cleave
Wow. A story about human kindness and how far you would really go to help your fellow man.
19. Buster Midnight’s Cafe Sandra Dallas
20. Home to Big Stone Gap: A Novel (Big Stone Gap Novels) Adriana Trigiani
This book was just so-so, I learned after I read it that it is part of a series. Maybe I would have appreciated the story and caught more of the provenance had I read the other books.
21. Lucia, Lucia: A Novel (Ballantine Reader’s Circle) Adriana Trigiani
Oh I loved this story, it reads like a memoir and reminded me a lot of Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart. I finished it in a day or so, a quick easy read, perfect for summer.
22.I Wish I Were Engulfed in Flames: My Insane Life Raising Two Boys with Autism by Jeni Decker
Meh, I wanted to like this book, I really did. It was funny, but also crass. I’m guessing Jeni is a blogger and in small doses (a post a day or so) her stories can be a great read, but in a book it was just too much. Enough crass that the funny parts fell flat. Just wasn’t for me.
23. Anonymous Sources Mary Louise Kelly
What a fabulous story! Alex James is an absolutely believable character-her whit, her looks, her weaknesses (alcohol and ridiculous shoes).
All through the story I found myself wanting more and more, I just could not put it down. It is a well written (well researched) thriller. The main character really lends herself to future story lines, and I hope that Kelly will write more of the adventures and scoops of Ms. James.
The only reason I didn’t give 5 stars was for some odd sentence structures through out the book. Maybe one every other chapter or so. The structure would lend it self better to being spoken, but when read, comes across a little odd and causes a stop in the reading flow. Just a minor thing that bugged me, do not let that stop you from reading this book.
24. The Paris Wife: A Novel Paula McLain
Great read. I’ve never been a fan of Hemingway but really enjoyed this book. Colorful descriptions of Paris in the late 20’s, all the “important” people to know. A wonderful story of love and loss and the depth of human relationships.
25.Prayers for Sale (Reading Group Gold) Sandra Dallas
Another sweet tale by Dallas, set in the late 1800’s early 1900’s in a mining town in Colorado. The friendship of two unlikely woman and the struggles of mountain/mining life.
26. The Time Between by Karen White
27. Next to Love: A Novel by Feldman
28.Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times By Worth
29. The Bookman’s Tale: A Novel of Obsession When I read the book jacket I was worried it was going to be some weird time traveling type book but it wasn’t. I really enjoyed the story. The author does flit back and forth between time, each chapter is from a different time frame…it wasn’t too bothersome (especially if you can read Kate Morton’s works) however I felt that he jumped to a new time frame right as you were almost at the climax of the last chapter. Almost made me want to skip ahead a few times, but I persevered! The love story between Amanda and Peter is really quite beautiful and ties you to the characters.
30. Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse Just like the PBS series, if you’ve watched all the seasons there is very little “new” information in the books.
31. The Ashford Affair it was meh. The characters were captivating and the story interesting with enough twists to keep you reading.
33. Bridge Of Scarlet Leaves such a well written and researched book. A sweet love story tangled in with the fantastic details of WWII America and the Japanese interment camps.
34. The Shadow of the Wind Loved this book. It isn’t a book that should be ready slowly over time, but read in a short span. There are many stories woven together and it is easier to keep track of it read frequently. It is a classic tail of forbidden love and dire consequences, but is told so eloquently and with such respect for each character. Such a good read.
35. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel Hmmm. I didn’t love it as much as I had hoped. It was a really quick read (read it in a day). The target audience for this book the tech savvy late 20’s set. It read like a 21st century sci-fi book.