Thursday, January 26, 2017

What's Next?

We are almost a month into 2017 and I am trying to plow through as many books as possible.

Completed in January 2017:

A SIMPLE FAVOR by Darcey Bell
A GAMBLER'S ANATOMY by Jonathan Lethem
NIGHT OF FIRE by Colin Thubron
NEWS OF THE WORLD by Paulette Jiles

I am also thisclose to finishing PRESENT OVER PERFECT by Shauna Niequist.

Of my completed January reads, I would recommend NIGHT OF FIRE and NEWS OF THE WORLD. I was surprised by NEWS OF THE WORLD. I really didn't like Jiles' COLOR OF LIGHTNING and didn't even finish it. NEWS OF THE WORLD was short but sweet. A lovely character study of an old man and his unlikely connection with a young rescued Native American captive. NIGHT OF FIRE was fantastic. It was almost like a collection of short stories loosely held together by a fire. In the story, a divided Victorian building catches on fire. During the night of fire, the reader visits each of the apartments and learns the stories of the inhabitants. I was completely drawn in by the book. And I ended up with lots of questions! I handed my copy off to my friend Megan and I hope we can have a good discussion when she finishes it.

Although I really enjoy Lethem and think he is a gifted writer, GAMBLER'S ANATOMY was not one of my favorites. A SIMPLE FAVOR tried too hard to be the next GONE GIRL. It would be a good vacation read but is ultimately forgettable. THE ROANOKE GIRLS was a big disappointment. It sounded so intriguing! I am always a sucker for "family secret" books (as my regular readers know.)  This one was over the top. The family secret was too extreme and the whole book just didn't work.

Looking forward to seeing what February brings!

I am really craving books that will inspire me and comfort me this year. Non-fiction and fiction. So, what do YOU recommend I read next?

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Favorite Reads of 2016

(Image Source)

In the chronological order in which I read them:

1. THE FORGETTING TIME by Sharon Guskin

2. A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman

3. EVERYBODY'S FOOL by Richard Russo

4. DOLLHOUSE by Fiona Davis


6. MISCHLING by Affinity Konar

7.  FILL THE SKY by Katherine A. Sherbrooke

8. FIFTH PETAL by Brunonia Berry  (2017 release)

9. MOONGLOW by Michael Chabon (2017 release)


11. THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING by Fannie Flagg

I read a lot of suspense in 2016 but, as the year went on, I found myself drawn to comforting books about small towns, books, and people being good to people. So, my favorites were probably MAN CALLED OVE, READERS OF BROKEN WHEEL RECOMMEND, and THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING.  Consider them the book version of comfort food!

I am excited to begin a new year of reading. As usual, I challenge myself to read 52 books a year. My focus is primarily literary fiction but I am always up for a good suspense/mystery novel. Longtime readers know I have a special weak spot for Gothic/family secret mysteries.