Ok so it’s not a new nightstand, but it’s a good title, right? Also, observant readers may have noticed that I totally skipped last month. I did it on purpose. It would have fallen on Christmas, so we moved it to the following Thursday, and I just didn’t feel like it. It was Christmas, I had inlaws, I was very tired, and I figured no one would care. And I was right, wasn’t I?

So this will be two months. Or not. Let’s see where we go with this:

I HAVE READ:

Sweet Tooth: LOVED this one. It’s Ian McEwan’s latest, and I begged to be able to review it and then was surprised when I had a hard time getting into it. It’s very well written, of course, with characters you feel you’d recognize on the street, but somehow I didn’t engage because I thought I knew from the clues where it was going. I was so wrong and the ending turned the whole thing round for me. Lots of fun. Go read it. You’ll like it a LOT.

UnEnchanted: An Unfortunate Fairy Tale: This is a cute YA story. Mina Grimes can’t figure out why things are so strange. Turns out she is a direct descendent of the Brothers Grimm, and the Grimoire–a book–is trying to control her life, forcing her into a story in which she must triumph or be destroyed. A fun, light read. Ilsa’s going to enjoy this one, once she finishes her outline for her AP class.

Death of Bees: another excellent read, about two sisters living in the Glasgow slums. An unusual book. Dealing with people who are living in the depths, somehow it offers hope for redemption, and although much of the subject matter is depressing, the book itself is full of humorous touches. The author manages to avoid sentimentality and cliches. Highly recommended.

Extraordinary Theory of Objects: very unusual memoir written by a woman whose family moved to Paris when she was 12, which coincided with her descent into a crippling depression. It’s half her story, and half the story of various objects, people and events which have fascinated her. The footnotes are detailed and sometimes go for pages. Interesting.

Rennefarre: A fairy tale of sorts, about a young girl who disobeys her parents and gets a rennefarre flower stuck in her shoe, which renders her invisible to humans but allows her to time travel and also speak to animals and birds. Dott has lots of adventures, and the book includes 2000 years of German history.

The Lawgiver: I really enjoyed this book by Herman Wouk. It’s a light, fast read, the story of how Herman Wouk can’t finish a book about Moses called “The Lawgiver” but in the meantime, a group of people get together and produce a movie of the same name. Most of the action follows the screenwriter and her personal life. It’s told in letters, memos, emails, skype conversations, faxes, etc.

The Passing Bells: Loved this one! It reminded me a bit of a better Downton Abbey, one with a real plot.

The Walnut Tree: Holiday story written by Charles Todd as a sort of companion to the Bess Crawford books. (Bess even makes an appearance) Follows a noblewoman who trains as a nurse against her guardian’s wishes, and falls for two men. Which will she choose? Or will WWI make her choice for her?

The Fate of Mercy Alban: just finished this last night. A modern day Gothic, complete with haunted house, hidden passages, family curses and all. It’s not a dark book though, and I enjoyed it. Grace returns to the family mansion after 20 years away on the death of her mother. She finds old love letters and is determined to learn the truth of what happened at a party 50 years earlier, when a famous novelist died and her aunt disappeared. She discovers the truth behind the family curse…but will she be able to exorcise it?

The Hobbit: A reread. I linked to my review of the movie, actually. It was my first time rereading the Hobbit in many years, and I was interested to note that yes, Peter Jackson has destroyed my mental image of Elrond. I hate how he looks in the movies, but that’s the only image my poor mind can now reproduce. Anyway, really enjoyed the reread and was reminded again (not that I’d forgotten) of how much better the books are.

Flight Behaviour: Loved this one. I gave it 5 stars.

READING:

Les Miserables: I’ve been reading this off and on with the Kindle app on my phone. Not surprisingly, it’s taking me a while. What did I think of the movie? Well, the story is so great they couldn’t ruin it, but I can’t help feeling they tried. See also: seriously? they sang every single line? That was weird, wasn’t it?

This Is How I Save My Life: A True Story of Embryonic Stem Cells, Indian Adventures, and Ultimate Self-Healing I need to get going on this one since I’m doing a review on it in 2 days. I’ve started it and it’s okay…sort of a journal/blog.

TO READ:

There Was an Old Woman: A Novel of Suspense

Where the Light Falls:

Proof of Guilt: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

All That I Am: remember how much I loved Stasiland? (I know you don’t, that’s okay. I gave it 5 stars. I have only given 3 books this rank) This is fiction by the same author. I’m really excited to read it!

Double Victory: How African American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II

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