A few highlights:
Finally discovering Calvin Trillin's tribute to his really amazing wife. Makes you aspire to live a life where at least someone will speak so lovingly and in awe of you and your life, as well as to make sure the people in your life make you this happy. (They do.)
Wishing I still had some high schoolers to share The Magicians by Lev Grossmann with. Sounds cheesey to call it a grown up Harry Potter, but that's the closest you can come. Grossmann does a great job of helping you really inhabit these kids' lives while you're reading. Just finished its sequel, The Magician King, and am even more impressed. This one was much darker, but absorbed me fully on a weekend trip to Las Vegas. Probably a good place to be reading about a fantasy world come to life, dark stuff and all, come to think of it.
Some really really beautiful moments of small town life in The Girls by Lori Lansens, in addition to it being a fascinating peek into what life might be like for conjoined twins. Feel like those girls are in my own heart for good.
Finally, finally hung in with Cutting for Stone long enough to end up adoring it. Not sure why it took me so long.
Still sad over The Dry Grass of August, a book that echoes the themes of The Help, but has its own quiet and wrenching beauty.
Listening to Room by Emma Donohoe. Still haunted by Jack's voice, as well as the plight of an amazingly brave young woman. Also sad and beautiful, for not quite the reasons you expect.
Lots of strong women: Gabrielle Hamilton, who made a life in food on her own terms, Tiny Fey, the ultimate model for how to become super successful without losing your feminity, and Olive Kitteridge, who I'm still not sure I like, but whose strength and honesty I have to admire.
If there are older girls in your life you're looking to share some books with, may I suggest the Penderwicks series? I gave the second two to my niece for Christmas, after she specifically requested books from me this year, and reported that she had enjoyed the first one I gave her last year. (I love that I am the aunt who gives books!!) These books have an old fashioned charm, in every good possible sense of that term.
And the full list...
Reading List 2011