Reading Lists

As much for myself – to enable my remembering the books I read – as a guide for others, I have decided to start keeping online lists of the books I read each month.

I no longer review books on this site, although I do occasionally post a review on Book of the Month Club Judge.

June 2016

The Summer Guest by Alison Anderson -I  LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. It is about writing, reading, discovering, enjoying, loving, dying, all told through the story of a woman’s diary from the late 1880s, that is in the process of translation by a woman in the present time, in order to be published by another woman: the three women form a triangle around the figure of Chekhov, who spent two summers in the Ukraine and who is at the center of the diary.  Anderson is the translator of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, another favorite of mine, and in her debut novel she simply shines – beautiful writing, enthralling plot, characters I wanted to bring into my life as friends for life. A book I will reread again and again, with great pleasure.

Seven Days Dead by John Farrow – a good mystery set in Canada but it only reminded me of how much I long for Louise Penny’s next mystery, A Great Reckoning, coming out in August.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

The Risen by Ron Rash – I love Ron Rash and this latest novel (novella, really) is a haunting addition to his collection of beautifully written books.

All Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood – strange, ugly but definitely wonderful, this book is unique, unforgettable, and in the end, lovely.

Leave Me by Gayle Forman – a mother and wife walks away to find out who she really is, and what she is made of.

Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift – a gem of a book, intricate, delicate, and then so powerful.  A great book.


May 2016

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey – another great book from Carey, scifi/fantasy with a wonderful twist.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanthi – a memoir by a brilliant young doctor who goes in one day from healing others to diagnosing his own terminal cancer, a moving meditation on life and death.

The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay by Kelly Hamm, fun and frolicking but with something real to say about friendships, change, and love.

The House at Sea’s End and A Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffiths – I love this mystery series.

The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson – a delightful twist on the true meaning of happiness, and its costs.

The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman by Mamen Sanchez, a joyful ride of a read while also being a masterful story about friendships, romance, commitment, and the importance of staying true to oneself and yet open to change and adventure.

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson, a gorgeous, stirring novel that reads like a poem, telling the story of four girls in 1970s Brooklyn, and the tragedies and triumphs of adolescence, as seen through the lens of one of the girls, now a grown woman.

April 2016

Now and Again by Charlotte Rogan – Five stars, loved it – what is the nature of duty, goodness, truth? Rogan explores it all, along with questions of war (what is it good for? absolutely nothing); self-determination; and finding purpose  – connection, meaning, motivation – in life.

The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North – great thriller, mind-bending and thought-provoking.

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner, thriller set in Cambridge, England, featuring scholarly dons, royal connections, and a fabulous female detective.

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths – great mystery series.

The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths – just had to read the next one!

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin.

The Nest by Cynthia Sweeney.

The Waters of Eternal Youth by Donna Leon, the latest in a favorite series set in Venice.