I have been reading up a storm, which sort of matches the weather. Today we had sun, hail, sun, deep dark clouds, and so much more. I love these kinds of days, but I do think we’re heading into an early spring. We really didn’t have much of a winter either. Sigh. I love winter.

But you don’t care about my thoughts on the weather. How boring! You want to know, what have I been reading? What am I reading? And what am I going to read? (3 uses of the continuous tense, notice, and yes my ESL classes are going swimmingly)

I HAVE READ:

Proof of Guilt: The latest in Charles Todd’s series on Detective Ian Rutledge. Very enjoyable classic murder mystery, with lots of clues and red herrings and a fine, crisp conclusion.

This is How I Save My Life: A young normally-active woman is stricken with Lyme’s disease and goes to India to receive stem cell treatment. She’s all better now but it’s not because of that–no, she healed herself through positive thinking. My takeaway from this book: if you’re sick Amy believes it’s your own fault. Yeah. Not a big fan of karma personally–I think it’s a very cruel philosophy. Still, I enjoyed her descriptions of India, and would have liked to learn more about her treatment.

All That I Am: Really good, really well-written. Concerns early resistance to Hitler, i.e. in the years leading up to the second World War. Funder has taken real people and real events and given us a fictionalized version that rings true.

Sparkly Green Earrings: written by Melanie from Big Mama. If you read her blog, you know her style, and this book echoes that. Very approachable. A memoir of the segment of her life from when she and her husband decided to try for a baby to now, when their daughter Caroline is about 8.

Where the Light Falls: I enjoyed this book, although it could use some tighter editing. Young American woman goes to Paris in the 1880s. Lots of period details and interesting people.

Untimed: A YA (definitely for older teens though) sci-fi book about time travelers, who run in families. The boys can only go backwards and the girls can only go forwards. Charlie accidentally changes history and has to figure out how to get things back to the normal he knew. Can he succeed? I think the giveaway is still open if you’re interested; click the link.

The Bracelet: I have mixed feelings on this. It’s actually really good and I totally enjoyed it, but there are some definite holes in the plot and I would feel better if I could discuss them with someone. So go read it; you’ll enjoy it. The holes aren’t huge, just that they keep it from being excellent. Nurse Abby Monroe goes to Pakistan (she’s super naive about world events, which is one of the holes) and learns about human trafficking. The best part are the women’s stories; they ring true. They are horrible, and the novel does a good job of shining a light on this. Really a good book in many ways, and the story line keeps moving. The author spent time working as a nurse in Afghanistan and you can tell from her descriptions of people and places.

There Was an Old Woman: A Novel of Suspense: I liked this one. It concerns a plot to take over the homes of elderly single women, playing off the fact that people won’t believe them and think they’re confused.

The Life & Times of “Call the Midwife”:  You may remember (oh come on, you do not) me RAVING about a book called Shadows of the Workhouse, which was hands-down one of the top 3 books I read last year. It’s non-fiction but reads like fiction, written by a woman who worked as a midwife in the London slums in the 1950s. I didn’t even know they’d made a TV series of it. This book follows the first 2 seasons of the TV series and I absolutely loved it. I missed Season 1 in the US, but Season 2 starts this spring and I’m planning to watch.

I AM READING:

Canada: The latest by Richard Ford. So far, really good. Del is 15 and looking forward to starting high school but his father is getting involved in shady business. I already know from the back cover that his father and mother will rob a bank and go to jail and Del will go to Canada.

Not Less Than Everything: Catholic Writers on Heroes of Conscience, from Joan of Arc to Oscar Romero: I’m not Catholic, but some very good writers are, and I love reading about heroes of conscience. This is a collection of essays, various people writing about others who inspire them. Some are great; some are so-so.

TO READ:

The End of the Point: story of a family through the last-half of the 20th century. Looks better than I just made it sound. It actually looks really good.

Operation Oleander: YA novel. A teenaged girl raises money for a girls’ orphanage in Afghanistan, where her father is deployed. But then the Taliban targets it.