Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Reading List 2011

Starting over for 2012.  I was going to say nothing stands out as outstanding in my memory of what I read last year. But then I started looking over the list, and some really fond reading memories were conjured up.  Of course, it wasn't until today that I realized how patently absurd it was that I haven't published this yet, given that it is MARCH.  A draft of my thoughts has been sitting here for the last month, waiting for me to come up with the time to add some meat to my reviews, but I think I'll just go ahead with this before it becomes APRIL.

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

When Parents Text
The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma
The Hour That Matters Most
Pirate King by Laurie R. King
Save Me by Lisa Scottoline
Blood Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
The Magicians by Lev Grossmann
Once Upon a Time There Was You by Elizabeth Berg
Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
The Penderwicks of Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall
The Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffen
The Girls by Lori Lansens
The God of the Hive by Laurie R. King
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
About Alice by Calvin Trillin
The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew
How I Became Famous Novelist by Steve Hely
Shaken, Not Stirred by Tim Gunn
Beautiful Joe by Marshall Saunders (re-read)
Maybe this Time by Jennifer Cruisie
Bossypants by Tina Fey
The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg
Slam by Nick Hornby
Baby Proof by Emily Giffin
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (re-read)
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
The Case of the Missing Marquess (an Enola Holmes mystery) by Nancy Springer
Something Blue by Emily GIffin
Room by Emma Donoghue
I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster
Candy Freak by Steve Almond
My Name is Memory by Anne Brashares
How Did you Get This Number by Sloan Crosley

1 comment:

mep said...

I'll be referring back to this list often. I'm so glad you enjoyed The Girls. You need to read Ready Player One because the whole time I was listening to it, I was thinking of your Honors students.

Hope to talk books with you in person soon!