Here’s the other side of that stack (plus some!):
- Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Grade: A-. Cute, fun, light, fast read. Not the best ever, but a good book. It was a perfect traveling and out in the sun book.
- Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow
Grade: A-. A little dark, a little strange, but great character development and a really unique story. Fantastic ending, too, for a story you might not be sure how to end.
- Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman (nonfiction)
Grade: B. Writing is good, but not amazing. Still, it’s sweet, touching, honest, and compelling.
- Running with Joy by Ryan Hall (nonfiction)
Grade: B. A fourteen week journal of Ryan Hall’s journey to the Boston marathon. I really liked reading about his workouts and his attitude, and to hear how he beats discouragement, arrogance, and obsession so he can run simply because he loves it.
- Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt (nonfiction)
Grade: B-. I didn’t love this one as much. It’s well-written, but somehow fell flat for me. Not really sure why.
- Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Grade: A. Anne Lamott and I don’t see eye to eye on some political issues or life perspectives, but I love her writing, her character development, and the “realness” that comes from her books. They’re simple, but so believable.
- Bitter in the Mouth by Monique Truong
Grade: C. The dustjacket hinted at a “secret past” of the main character, but the unveiling of that past was somewhat muddled and rather anticlimactic. It almost could have been more dramatic, but somehow got tamped down in the writing.
- Anne of Green Gables by by L.M. Montgomery (audiobook)
Grade: A+. I read this book way back in middle school, a little too early before I could really appreciate it. LOVED “reading” it again. Such a sweet book.
- Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
Grade: DNF. It took a lot for me to quit this book. It was on the New York Times’ Bestseller list and in a bunch of Best of 2010 lists. It’s thick – about 2 inches – and I quit right in the middle, an inch through. So at least I gave it a good try? It was hailed as being “a portrait of American suburban life” but I refuse to accept that as the norm. It was depressing and dysfunctional – unstable marriages, adultery, drug use, emotional withdrawal – all portrayed as normal and okay and “just what happens.” Characters weren’t growing or evolving at all, but cycling in the same dark places. I didn’t feel like there was anything remotely beneficial in reading it, so I stopped.
What books have you been reading? Any recommendations?
Check out February books, part 1.