Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

★★★★

The one has been sitting on my bookshelf for as long as I can remember and I was finally able to get to it.  A very intriguing and raw novel of individuals living in a small town and how the relate to Olive Kitteridge.  Reminded me a lot of the quirky characters in Anne Tyler's books.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin

★★

Not one of my favorites - I thought all of the characters were just plain awful and the storytime dragged on and on.  I've heard good things about that author and am hoping her other books are better.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer

★★★★

I was really excited to read this book (the title pretty much says it all!) - even though I don't normally read too much non-fiction.  Even though the book started off slow, it was really interested and I really enjoyed the last few chapters.  Such a unique and amazing story!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

★★★★

Daniel and I listened to this when he was a few months old before bedtime.  I had never read this as a child and it was a bit different then I remember from the popular Disney movie!!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

★★★

An interesting take on a young slave girl's experience with the Underground Railroad.  I enjoyed some parts, but overall the story seemed a little disjointed and I found myself losing interest.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Two By Two by Nicholas Sparks

★★★★ 1/2

This is the first book by Nicholas Sparks that I have read in years and I really enjoyed it.  Russ's relationship with his six-year-old daughter completely won me over from the very beginning and I loved the realistic humor.  An easy read and great story about love, loss, and family.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Forgotten Room by Karen White, etc.

★★★★ 1/2
"My mother once told me that a lifetime of good enough was a fair price to pay for a single moment of pure happiness.  This is my moment.  Don' take that away from me."

A wonderfully written historical fiction novel telling the story of three generations of women filled with history, family, love, and suspense.  This was a very unique novel in that it was written by three different authors.  The stories flowed well together and kept my interest until the very last page!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

★★★★ 1/2
"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way."

Another page-turner from Jodi Picoult.  I really enjoyed the characterization and writing in this one.  No matter how many books of hers I read, the author still manages to surprise me!

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro

★★★★ 1/2

I really enjoyed this book!  It had an interesting storyline and I was very intrigued by the artistic and historical details of the novel - especially those involving different techniques used in forging paintings.  

Friday, April 28, 2017

Mary, Called Magdalene by Margaret George

★★★★

This book wasn't really what I expected, but it was interesting nonetheless (even though it too me forever to get through it!!)  A very different comparison of modern Christianity to Jesus and his teachings and his relationship with those around him.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Emily of New Moon

★★★★

A different series from the author of "Anne of Green Gables."  Emily is very much like Anne and has a love of writing.  Isabelle and I listened to this when she was 2 years old.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

★★★★
"I would rather die tomorrow in the forest than to live a hundred years of the life appointed to me."

This was such a unique book - and an interested take on the fairly tale.  I got a little lost towards the end, but the writing was wonderful and I really enjoyed all of the description of the time period.  The author really brought that characters and the harsh reality of winters in Russia to life!

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Diplomat's Wife by Pam Jenoff

★★★ 1/2

This is the first novel that I have read by Pam Jenoff.  Looking back, I probably should have read the first book, Kommandant's Girl, beforehand that focused on some additional characters.  The author did a pretty good job of catching readers up, but it would have been nice to have more details.  

The story centered on Marta, a prisoner recently liberated from a Nazi prison camp and her life afterwards.  The book has a lot of plot twists and has an interesting perspective on post-World War II.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The New Year's Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts #11) by Jennifer Chiaverini

★★★

An Elm Creek Quilts novel that focuses on Sylvia's trip with her new husband Andrew to visit Andrew's children and tell them of their marriage.  There a a lot of flashbacks to different New Year's in Sylvia's past at Elm Creek Manor.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Quilter's Homecoming (Elm Creek Quilts #10) by Jennifer Chiaverini

★★★ 1/2

An Elm Creek Quilts novel telling the story of Elizabeth Nelson - Sylvia's cousin - and her journey out West of California with her husband.


Friday, February 3, 2017

The Circle of Quilters (Elm Creek Quilts #9) by Jennifer Chiaverini

★★★

An Elm Creek Quilt novel with 5 different parts - each one telling the story of a different character, their background in quilting and how they applied for an instructor position at Elm Creek Quilt Camp.  The last part focused on the current Elm Creek Quilters.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Christmas Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts #8) by Jennifer Chiaverini

★★★

Another Elm Creek Quilt novel - this one goes back and forth between Sylvia and Sarah in the present preparing for Christmas at Elm Creek Manor and a variety of Christmas's from Sylvia's past.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Save Me by Lisa Scottoline

★★★

Way to unrealistic for me, but it made for a mostly entertaining audiobook to listen to.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Sugar Camp Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts #7) by Jennifer Chiaverini

★★★ 1/2

The seventh book the the "Elm Creek Series" takes place in pre-Civil War Pennsylvania.  It focuses on Dorothea - who later became involved with Sylvia's family - and her role in the Underground Railroad and building a library for what eventually becomes Elm Creek.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson

★★★★

This was a very interesting book on Rosemary, the oldest of John F. Kennedy's sisters and the first non-fiction book that I had managed to finish in a long time.  It tells the tragic story of Rosemary's life as a intellectually disabled child growing into adulthood and the lobotomy that was performed on her and kept quiet for many decades after.  The story was very heartbreaking, but gave a lot of insight into the lives of disabled individuals during the time and was able to shed light on rights gained for the disabled due to the influences of Rosemary's siblings.