Thursday, May 09, 2013

some books I've read lately and enjoyed + a truth

The Glass Castle. This is the unbelievable account of the author's childhood. It was fascinating and sort of sad, but an easy and quick read. That Jeannette Walls was able to move on from the difficulties of her upbringing is remarkable to me. If you liked Half Broke Horses, then you'll like this one, too. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

The Lost Wife. Oh, this one was good! Heavy, but good. It takes place during World War II, and follows a man as he starts a new life in the United States, and a woman, who is sent to a concentration camp. It is completely engrossing and hopeful, despite some rather dismal and tragic circumstances. 4 out of 5 stars.

The Stone Carvers. This is an interesting story, following two siblings from a small town in Canada during the first World War. Klara, is a wood carver and a tailor. Tilman, a runaway, a hobo, and a soldier. There is love and loss and love again. 3 out of 5 stars.

Call the Midwife. If you like to read birth stories, then you will like this book. It is a work of fiction, but is based on real experiences of midwives in England in the 1950s. It was fascinating, and made me very grateful for the ease and comfort of my own life. I think it's been made into a miniseries? 4 out of 5 stars.

The American Heiress. I wanted to like this one more than I did. It follows American Cora Cash, and her life as the new wife of an English Duke at the turn of the twentieth century. Good but not great. 3 out of 5 stars.

All Other Nights. Jacob is a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War. He is sent to the South on some daring missions, and ends up finding love. It is sweet, funny, romantic, sometimes tragic, full of suspense and intrigue. I enjoyed every page. 4 out of 5 stars.

The Winter Sea. It's difficult to find a really clean romantic novel, but this one fits the bill. It follows Carrie, an author, as she writes her latest novel on the coast of Scotland, which happens to be the story of one of her ancestors. Not surprisingly, both heroines find love. I loved this one. 4 out of 5 stars.

What have you read and loved lately?


  1. I think you would love "The Birth House" by Ami McKay, it's one of my favorites.

    1. I LOVED this book! It's one of a handful that I have read over and over.

  2. I loved The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses. Very good reads!

  3. Favorites I've read lately that come to mind are Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, The Fault in Our Stars, and I just finished Follow The River—which was interesting. And I read The Light Between Oceans which was good, but not the best ever.

    Next on our book group list is Washington: A Life.

    Thanks for sharing! I love finding out what people are reading and enjoying, but I'm useless finding people on Goodreads.

  4. The Art of Racing in the Rain! Such a beautiful love story of a family and their dog! The book is from the dogs perspective. You will need a box of tissues for this one!

  5. The Light Between Oceans and Room were un-put-down-able!!! ;)

  6. The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan. A great look at the Palestine/Israel conflict told in an almost novel-like way.

    For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund. A fun piece of Jane Austen fan-lit and a re-telling of Persuasion. It's enngrossing and hard to put down.

    Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. Fascinating and fantastic non-fiction about running and an Indian tribe in Mexico.

  7. the book club i just joined just finished reading "the glass castle" so i missed the boat on a group read of that one, but i'll put it on my list. "call the midwife" is one that i've seen at target every time i go and nearly put it into the buggy but then don't (probably because i've already reached an obscene total for the items in my cart already which i need more than another book to read. sad.) but again, added to the list. i, too, really wanted to love "the american hieress" but like you didn't. i found the characters flat and sad to say i really didn't care about them. you gotta have well-written characters or else it isn't worth my time. leslie told me about "all other nights" and it sits on my shelves waiting. OH MY GOODNESS how i adored "the winter sea" - it is one that i finished months ago but it has never left me. i marked my favorite passages and re-read them when i need a touch of scotland in my day. it was fantastic. i loved it.
    i'm currently reading "les miserables" but haven't even hit the 100th page yet...i'm hoping that summer reading time will allow me to make some headway.

  8. ooo, love other people's book lists! thanks for sharing. Call the Midwife is a series on PBS, season 1 is online at Netflix and season 2 can be watched online through PBS. It is really good. I'll have to read the book!

    Glass Castle was wow....just so much, and so amazing that Janette is where she is today.

    if you like WW2 fiction, you might like 22 Britannia Road, I read it last year and really enjoyed it, it was eye opening.

  9. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand - so enjoyable!

  10. I am reading The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton and love it so far. So, so good! I also read, The Fault of Our Stars by John Gray -could not put it down! Every Day by David Levithan was so good that I read it all in one sitting-fascinating story line. I love your book recommendations-thanks for sharing!

  11. have you seen 'call the midwife' by BBC on netflix? just finished season one - LOVE! better than downton.

  12. I read this post last month and when I saw "Winter Sea" at my library I knew I had to try it! I just finished it today and I really enjoyed. Nothing like a good, clean, historical romance!! Thanks for sharing!


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