I read some terrific books this month. In fact, I gave out TWO 5 star recommendations at 5 Minutes for Books, something I pretty much never do. (In fact, I think these were my 2nd and 3rd). In addition, I read some others that came pretty close.
Walk With Me: A Pilgrim’s Progress for married couples. At first I thought it sounded just okay, but author Annie Wald did such a terrific job portraying marriage (seriously, you don’t think she could have bugged my house, do you?) that I gave it 5 stars. Excellent stuff. Hurry and you can still enter to win a free copy!
The Round House: Louise Erdrich’s latest. I gave it 5 stars and didn’t do it justice in my review. When an Indian woman is raped, her attacker can only be charged if it happens on federal land, not tribal land. A look at one such story, and the ripple effect the attack has on her husband and son and the community at large. Also very much a coming-of-age story. And super well-written, of course. It is Erdrich.
The Last Dragonslayer (The Chronicles of Kazam): Jasper Fforde’s foray into YA. Magic used to be everywhere but now it’s dwindling and no one knows why. Magic carpets are being used for pizza delivery, and magicians are now fixing plumbing and hoping to get fairly paid. But then come some surges, as well as weird prophecies of the death of the last dragon. A fun, light read that manages to include lots of Fforde’s quirks and puns and general silliness.
Mira’s Diary: Lost in Paris: Also linked to my review. Hurry and enter the giveaway! This is a middle-grade reader (i.e. 9 and up) that I nonetheless thoroughly enjoyed. It has everything–time travel, mystery, history, a wee bit of romance, and more. It also deals with the Dreyfus affair, which shockingly most people no longer know about. I love that a middle reader is addressing that. Really good.
Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody: This one was great! You need this book. This is how is starts: “In a creepy old castle all covered with spines/lived 12 ugly monsters in two crooked lines./In 2 crooked lines they bonked their heads,/pulled out their teeth,/and wet their beds…/The ugliest one was Frankenstein.” Of course this is a Madeline parody, but it’s pitch-perfect and really fun. Even the twins loved it! A plus–you will have the Madeline rhymes stuck in your head for days. All together now…”She was not afraid of mice. She loved winter, snow and ice.” etc.
The Good Braider: Another book that everyone should read. Seriously, do you think I’m bossy? Told in free verse, this book follows Viola from her life in Southern Sudan, where life is precarious and soldiers shoot children in the street, to her new life as a refugee in Portland, Maine and all the pain that such a major adjustment brings. It’s a sad book in many ways, yet it is beautiful too, and really shows the life of a refugee and the terrible adjustments they go through. I LOVED this book. It’s technically YA but good for any age.
The Witch of Babylon: There’s still time to enter this giveaway. This was a good read. It’s a mystery, moving between New York, Baghdad and Ninevah. Enjoyable. I liked that the main character was very much an ordinary man, not a super hero.
The Garden of Evening Mists: Actually I think I read this one in Sept. Sometimes I just can’t manage to write reviews. There’s no reason why. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. Someday I will review it.
Forgotten: I’ve mostly finished this one. It has a fascinating premise. Emma’s mother recently died and left her a trip to Africa, which was a place she dreamed of visiting but never made it to. Emma goes, gets deathly ill, and then a devastating earthquake knocks out all communication and leaves her stranded for 6 months. When she makes it back home, everyone has assumed she is dead and life has moved on. It’s a great premise and an ok book–a quick read, sort of intelligent chick lit.
How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto: Because apparently I don’t? Seriously, I’m not very far into it, but the author says the point of wine is to enjoy it, not to know a ton about it. I agree. Let’s have another glass then, and finish the bottle.
To Read: There are oh so many!
The Stockholm Octavo: Each one of us have 8 individuals who help us find our true path. Set in 18th-century Stockholm, this novel is supposed to be wittily intelligent and fun. Hope so!
Flight Behavior The latest by Barbara Kingsolver. I sometimes like her and sometimes don’t, but she’s always a talented writer.
Iron Hearted Violet: YA book about an ugly princess, a timid dragon and a story with power to change their world.
The Woman Who Died A Lot: A Thursday Next Novel The latest in the Thursday Next series.
So, anything catch your fancy? Don’t I have the best job in the world? And what about you; what are you reading? Do tell!