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January: The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. I don't think another book can top this one this month!
Feb: The Watchmen by Alan Moore. Graphic novel, first one I have read. I read it so I would understand what was going on when I go to see the movie with my boyfriend, but I was very pleasantly surprised with the character development and depth of the story. I highly reccomend this novel.
March: The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian. Excellent story, with a wild twist at the end! Anyone who loves The Great Gatsby should read this book.
April: Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum. Heart wrenching fiction story told from the side of Germans who tried to survive in thier cities during Hiltler's era. The character development in this novel was outstanding, and the author's method of making you think of others who suffered during those horrible times is incredible.
May: My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I did not think I would like this book, but I was quickly drawn into the characters and storyline. I recommend this emotionally compelling story.
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Here we go:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This is still one of my all time favorites. I love Bronte's descriptions. It was just a thrill to reread it!
1. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. WOW is all I can say about this one. I am grateful for being a woman in America! The story of Greg is so awe inspiring that it makes me glad that someone has his faith and belief in getting education in the places where it belongs! This is definetly a keeper. I just have to either pray that the person that I offered it to in Superwishers doesn't want it or go and break down and buy another copy!
2. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. This is another WOW book. Cried the last 10 pages!! Khaled is such an awesome writer.
1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Wonderful, wonderful book! Markus writes beautifully and the topic is just heartbreaking. This is another version of events that took place during a time of great tyranny and shows us that there is always hope to keep you going.
2. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See Beautiful book about women's life in the mid 19th century China. Another heartbreaking book. Takes you through happiness, sadness and back again.
1. Such A Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess. This little gem is about a girl whose father rapes her and instead of serving the 9 years he was sentenced to got out in only 3 but that's just the backstory. The story is about what she is going through emotionally and physically. It was just a great thought provoking book.
2. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. What can I say? Classic. Just a great book and a good read.
May: This month there was a 3 way tie:
1. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. just a very different memoir. You have to read it to believe it. During the discussion at book club, we decided that the author's mother had the mentality of a 4 year old. Half the time you couldn't believe it was real and the other half you remembered it WAS real. Very interesting.
2. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suksind. One of the 1001 Books You Must Read. I must say I did enjoy it. It was not my typical choice in reading but it was different and appealing once I got into. I felt kinda bad about the lead but after awhile not so much.
3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. LOVE THEM!! What can I say? Always going to say that!! Still a fast pick me up and get me back into reading read...
Book of the Year:
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Sounds like fun!
JANUARY- The Historian- Elizabeth Kostova---A book you want to savor, and read a couple of chapters at a time. Next book I picked up after The Historian was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo-Stieg Larsson, and are you kidding me!...It was a really, really great book. I stayed up until 5:30 in the morning last night reading this one. .
FEBUARY--Rena's Promise- Rena Kornreich Gelissen (Memoir)
MARCH- The Given Day- Dennis Lehane The book covers race, terrorism, the Boston police strike, baseball, and plenty more, but it is intwined so well that you are not going in so many directions. Loved It!!
APRIL- Graceling- Kristin Cashore Interesting story, good plot, and a girl who kicks butt.
MAY-- Charity Girl -Michael Lowenthal
JUNE- Tomato Girl- Jayne Pupek
JULY- The Double Bind- Chris Bohjalian
AUGUST- The Girl Who Played With Fire- Stieg Larrson
SEPTEMBER- The Heretic Queen- Michelle Moran
OCTOBER- The Help- Kathryn Stockett
NOVEMBER- 600 Hours of Edward -Craig Lancaster
DECEMBER- Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
Book of the Year--
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
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Sounds like fun! I'm in. And I promise to behave.........
JANUARY: Mistress of the Art of Death :: Ariana Franklin - The book's description is "A chilling, mesmerizing novel that combines the best of modern forensic thrillers with the detail and drama of historical fiction." And for once, the description is accurate. This is a very intriguing tale set in medieval Cambridge about the murder of 4 children. The city's the Jews are blamed of killing them. Three strangers from Italy arrive to solve the mystery. One is a female physician whose specialty is the "art of death".....a pathologist.
MARCH: I was a total slug this month and got through only book this month........so, by default, it is my favorite.....but, I still really enjoyed it and am looking foward to reading the rest of the series........Bubbles Unbound ::
APRIL: I have completed my annual reading of Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal ::
MAY: Without a doubt, the best book of this month is The Book of Lost Things ::
JUNE: June was a month of "fluff" reading. Of the 3 books,
JULY: I read 3 books of completely different genres this month....thriller, chick lit, and cozy. And, the winner is......
AUGUST: I don't even need to wait until the end of the month. I just finished a book that I have to add to my all-time favorite list! Confessions of a Pagan Nun ::
SEPTEMBER: I've got 2 for this month...who-done-it. This time Adelia has to figure out who killed the King's mistress. Was it the estranged queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Reluctantly, Adelia finds herself once again in the company of Rowley Picot, the new Bishop of St. Albans…and her baby's father. The Sugar Queen is very interesting book about finding yourself. Josey was brought up with privilege, but unloved by her mother.....with whom she still lives....and adored by her father....who she didn't know was as philanderer. Through a serious of mysterious and unexplainable events, Josey finds a her first true friend, her first true mentor, and her true love.
OCTOBER: It's October 1 and I have just finished my pick for the month.... The Saffron Kitchen ::
NOVEMBER: OK, this was a slow month.....only 4 books. My favorite was
DECEMBER: The final book of the year is this month's pick - The Expected One ::
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I'll give it a try if I'm not too late =)
January: Azure Bonds by Kate Novak & Jeff Grubb This book is part of a trilogy. All three books were very good and should be read together, since the stories, while each is complete unto itself, are continuations in the lives of the characters. I thought this was a well-written, action-packed Fantasy novel and will be looking for other books by these authors in the future.
February: The Riddle of the Wren by Charles de Lint A refreshing, original story in the Fantasy genre. There is a heroine (who actually wears clothes!) who defeats evil with the help of a giant, some elvish-like beings, and other lesser-known creatures. Perhaps not as much action as some of the others I've read, but full of plenty of good writing and such a fantastic story!!
April: Just After Sunset by Stephen King The King of Horror and Suspense does it again! His short stories, as usual, leave you 1/4 grossed out and 3/4 terrified! A pleasure to read, with quick, mostly short tales.
May: The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White The first book in a series. A classic and wonderful tale of King Arthur. Unfortunately, I didn't like the last book The Book of Merlyn at all. But the rest of the books in this series were very good.
June: Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet by Xinran Xue An incredible, true story of a woman's journey into Tibet to find her lost husband. This is by far the best non-fiction book I've read in ages. Before I started it, I was afraid I wouldn't like it, but I was drawn in and finished it in less than 24 hours. Highly recommended!!!
Runner-Up: The Crystal Singer series by Anne McCaffrey (Crystal Singer, Killashandra & Crystal Line) Another great sci-fi/fantasy series by Ms. McCaffrey. This is the second time I've read these books and I loved them the second time around as much as the first!
Honorable Mention: Cane River by Lalita Tademy Another unusual book for me to read, but I really enjoyed it and found myself completely enthralled by the lives of an entire family (and especially the women). It was an eye-opening story and I really am glad I read it.
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I'd like to join this. (I would like to list 2 a month if that is okay. I read and also listen to a lot of audios, so I'd like to do one of each. I do realize that it could get out of hand...one audio, one paper mystery, one romance, one memoir...so I'll stick to one if I must.)
January: Tall Pine Polka by Lorna Landvik, a Lake Woebegonish book by one of my favorite authors. BUT hardly a fabulous book, just the best one I read this month.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, read by Kate Burton. If possible, even better than the print book. Burton is a superb reader.
February: The Green Mile by Stephen King, a serialized novel. Amazing in the emotions it stirs.
To Kill a Mockingbird read by Sissy Spacek. Again, if possible, even better than the print book. Spacek is a superb reader.
March: Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock. Great writing, author has a knack for through-the-eyes-of-a-child, and quite a good twisted ending.
April: Empire Falls by Richard Russo. One of those big Pulitzer Prize winners that was actually good, quite good, yet you wonder why it was given the prize.
Peony in Love by Lisa See and read by Jodi Long. Another great read and listen by two talented women. (Need to mention I just couldn't get into the print book at all. Surprised and glad I gave the audio a shot.)
May: The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood. Could have been a real maudlin book; instead it was rich with emotion and a great tale.
And in audio, I could not break the tie between:
The Green Mile by Stephen King. Lord, I can't get enough of this story, in print, film, audio! Outstanding.
The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel. One of those audio's that makes you keep walking to hear another chapter.
June: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Wonderful story, plot line, voice and style. A page-turner.
The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck, read outstandingly by Anthony Heald.
July: The Girls by Lori Lansens, a breath-taking reading by Stephanie Zimbalist and Lolita Davidovitch of a beautiful book. This just might be my book of the year.
August: For audio my favorite book this month was The Giver by Lois Lowry, read by Ron Rifkin who did a great job with it. Wish I could find the sequels. This is a YA novel, but I've yet to find a YA whose read it. All the readers I know are adults. An interesting read, intriguing concept. I've tried to describe the world they live in, give it a name, but I am stumped.
September: Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady by Florence King. A rip-roaring memoir, sweet, funny, sad, without a bit of blame put on any of the 3 odd folks who raised her for anything that was unusual or heartbreaking about her life.
A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel, read by the author herself which lends a really funny book an even funnier voice. While it is her book, many authors cannot read their own work. Kimmel is a riot, and the sound of her voice adds a great touch to the tales of her life.
October: I Knew a Woman ... The Experience of the Female Body by Cortney Davis. (To interject: the title is from a poem by Theordore Roethke that goes: I knew a woman lovely in her bones... Kind of gave me chills when I thought of the book Lovely in Her Bones, and likened it to this book.)
November: She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel. The sequel to Zippy, but with the focus on her mother who was always seen sitting in her couch corner reading throughcout Zippy. Not as light as Zippy, but in many ways more heartfelt and uplifting. Revealing more deeply of the mother and father and all of the relationships in that family.
December: Nothing! Not a dangblamething! In print or in audio!
My book of the year is going to be tough as I've read (listened to) classics expertly read such as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Good Earth, etc. But while those were just exquisite listens, I'd have to say my audio of the year was Lori Lansen's The Girls.
Print favorite is more difficult. Hard to believe that something touched me more than that wonderful Guernsey Potato Peel Pie Society, but there was the chilling Me & Emma, the heartwarming She Got Up Off the Couch. Yet, my print book of the year is that heartbreaking little series of books by Stephen King. The Green Mile.
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Oh, goodie! On same page with some Bratty friends!
January: The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson (I loved Jackson's Between, Georgia last year, and this one was just as good!) and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (if you like dogs and/or auto racing and/or a good story--this is for you!). If I continue to find great books like these, 2009 will be an awesome reading year!
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Bonnie, you can post whatever you want.....we love suggestions from everyone!
Last year, I had some months w/two favorites and until the last month of the year, I had three contenders for book of the year!
January: The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. This may be the book of 2009!!
Feb: "The Women" by T.C. Boyle. This is about Frank Lloyd Wright's personal life (fictionalized facts). The subject is facinating and T.C. Boyle is one of my new favorite writers.
March: "City of Refuge: A Novel" by Tom Piazza is a fictional accout of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath in some residents life.
April: "The Snowball: Warren Buffett & the Business of Life" by Alice Schroeder. Well written Bio of a VERY interesting guy.
May: "Survival in Auschwitz" by Primo Levi. The best holocaust memior I have read. Primo was an Italian Jew who spent the last 10 months of WW II in Auschwitz.
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Ok, I'm in.
January: Breakfast with Scot, very quirky and touching book. At first, I assumed it was a memoir, but it is a novel and very worth the read. It is short. If you love kids, or if you don't have any kids or if you are thinking about kids in the future, this book would be worth the time. It makes you think really hard about how you would handle having a kid who is not the suburban American norm. How kids change your life and force you to grow up. BTW, The Hour I First Believed is hot on the heels of this one as a favorite for Jan for me too.
February: I guess I would have to report that for Feb the best books I read were the Aurora Teagarden series by Charlaine Harris. I read each one of the first six in a day. the titles are Real Murders, A Bone to Pick, Three Bedrooms, One Corpse, The Julius House, Dead Over Heels and A Fool and His Honey. As anyone who has read them knows they leave you really hanging for the next book after A Fool and HIs Honey.
March: I just can't pick a best read for March. I read a couple not-at-all memorable romances and a couple books I skinned and then posted when I realized that I wasn't going to ever read them.
April: The best book of April was Sunshine by Robin McKinney. See my review.
May: So far it is Plague Year.
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Oh, I see folks have updated lists for January, so of course, I have to say something....LOL!
Jan, I read "Living Biblically" last year and found the concept interesting, but he kind of went on and on and on IMHO! I think the general premise was good, though.
Matt, you always have interesting picks! I'm so glad you are in the group as I learn about books I never knew about!
All right, everyone add to the lists so we can 'talk'!
I just finished Beach House by Jane Green. What a fantastic book!!! The story revolves around an eccentric widow who owns a lovely home in Nantucket. She is so full of life. She opens her home to others as a bed and breakfast. This novel is about the people who come to stay in her home. Great book. Highly recommend.......
Ok. Now I am so guilty!! I ordered a large print copy of Hour I First Believed and wasn't thinking of listing it, but when my neighbor and local book swapping friend finishes with it, I will contact people here to send it to.
review of The Hour I First Believed cross-posted to *~*~*~* 2009 Reading Challenge *~*~*~*
Ok, I finished reading The Hour I First Believed and I hate to say that I was disappointed, especially because I think Wally Lamb is such a gifted writer and storyteller. As with his previous two books, he does a great job at depicting human emotion. He did this in She's Come Undone which I did not like because it was so depressing, and he did this in I know This Much is True which I LOVED and thought was an amazing book. But in this one the story almost had no point for me and was about nothing but everything at the same time. There were many different subplots which I had trouble understanding how they related. I struggled to make it to the end and the historical biography that he interspersed in the story bored me to tears. For me this was a frustrating read and I couldn't help but think the editor should have really advised him to cut down on parts of the book. But that's just my opinion and there were good parts of the book that made others give it 5 stars on amazon. I'll be interested as others read it to see what everyone else thought!
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I've only read She's Come Undone and I did like that book. I have I Know This Much is True in my tbr, and I'm on the waiting list for The Hour I First Believed. I'm excited to read more of his stuff since everybody loves it. I think I'll give I Know This Much is True a go.
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