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What did you read last month? > What I read ~~ March 2013

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments Here is a Thread for you to list the books you read in March 2013.

Please provide:
~ A GoodRead link
~ A few sentences telling us how you felt about the book.
~ How would you rate the book


message 2: by Carol (last edited Jul 10, 2013 09:03PM) (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 830 comments I'm posting earlier than normal due to other obligations.


MARCH 2013 READS--

The Complete Poems by Emily Brontë 1. The Complete Poems by Emily Brontë - 5 stars
Emily Bronte's poetry is wild and beautiful. Ranging between gentle melancholy to fierce pride, her poems successfully capture human emotion. This book also includes a description and the history of Gondal that both Emily and Anne created. I was amazed at how tiny they wrote in their small books, Example -- http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/...

The Art Of Dora Carrington (Historical Interest) by Jane Hill 2. The Art Of Dora Carrington by Jane Hill - 4 stars
After I watched the DVD of Carrington (featuring Emma Thompson) I borrowed this library book. Carrington had an emotionally tormented life with multiple lovers. It was really Strachey that she loved the most (I believe he was like a father figure to her after losing her dad.) I have to admit that she was an excellent artist. Tragic ending.

How Do I Love Thee The Story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning by Helen Elmira Waite 3. How Do I Love Thee: The Story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning by Waite -- 4 stars
Listed as a biography but really was historical fiction (published in 1963). Truly the perfect love story from beginning to end.

Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen 4. Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen -- 4 stars
I enjoyed Hedda's dark and manipulating character. In some ways it reminded me of Chopin's The Awakening. Edna Pontellier tried to identify her true self (the self that existed apart from the identity as a wife and mother). I believe Hedda was also trying to hang on to her identity. Not as Tesman's wife (she refused to take his name & went by her maiden name) and definitely not as a mother.

Lytton Strachey by Himself A Self-Portrait by Lytton Strachey 5. Lytton Strachey by Himself: A Self-Portrait by Lytton Strachey -- 3 stars
I have discovered that I am not a fan of Strachey. I find his writing elitist and arrogant.This book contains his diaries and other personal writings from childhood until his adult life.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry 6. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry - 5 stars
I loved The Giver and always wanted to read this book. Historical fiction concerning 10 yr. Annemarie Johansen and her family to help a Jewish family escape from Copenhagen during the Occupation of Denmark during World War II. Amazing writing! Awarded the Newbery Medal in 1990.

The Age of Anxiety A Baroque Eclogue by W.H. Auden 7. The Age of Anxiety: A Baroque Eclogue by W.H. Auden - 4 stars
A long poem written in "a modern version of Anglo-Saxon alliterative verse." Man's quest to find substance and identity in a shifting and increasingly industrialized world. Found his writing both beautiful and, at times, challenging. Won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1948.

Writing Down the Bones Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg 8. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg - 3 stars
Easy read, majority of the chapters are two pages long. Lots of sound advice and some non-traditional ways on how to be an inspired writer.

Fish Can Sing by Halldór Laxness 9. The Fish Can Sing by Halldór Laxness - 5 stars
The intimate portrait of a "family", in a small village community at the turn of the last century and also a "coming-of-age" story of a young orphan boy named Alfgrimur who has had an idyllic childhood, sheltered in the simple turf cottage of a generous and eccentric elderly "not married" couple. Alfgrimur dreams of becoming a fisherman like his adoptive grandfather, until he meets Iceland's biggest celebrity -- opera singer Gardar Holm. His international fame is a source of pride to tiny Iceland, although no one there has ever heard him sing. Holm is mysterious and avoids his homeland & repeatedly fails to perform for his adoring countrymen, Holm takes an interest in Alfgrimur’s musical talent and urges him to seek out the world beyond. Alfgrimur discovers that Holm isn't what he seems, & decides to find his own path without turning his back on where he came from. Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955.

10. Rosa Bonheur: A Life and a Legend by Dore Ashton -- 3 stars
Excellent book on the life of Rosa Bonheur. A french painter and sculptor, she was known most for her animals paintings and was very talented at a very young age. She was a successful FEMALE painter and sold her "The Horse Fair" to millionaire Cornelius Vanderbilt for $53,600 in 1853 -- a record price at that time. I like how she dressed as a man (pants) since she was out in the fields painting cattle, etc. She had a long and wonderful life, she lived with a childhood friend. She was a fan of Courbet, Millet and George Sand. Rosa Bonheur’s studio in Thoméry, France --
http://americangirlsartclubinparis.wo...


ADDING . . .
Dared And Done The Marriage of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning by Julia Markus 11. Dared And Done: The Marriage of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning by Julia Markus - 5 stars
Dual biography of British poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning. He began their correspondence (574 letters) on January 1845 (she was 38; he 32). By March they were in love, even though they didn't meet in person until May. Defying her tyrannical father and despite her poor health, Elizabeth Barrett secretly married Robert Browning in 1846 after an intense courtship. They spent the next 15 years in Italy where she bore one son, Pen, (after struggling with 4 miscarriages and taking no morphine). This book chronicles their union, drawing on their copious correspondence including many of Elizabeth's unpublished letters. Setting out to cast new light on the life and work of the pair, it shows how the political events of the times inspired their poetry. Delving into their Creole background, it examines Elizabeth's belief that she had African blood, as well as Robert's family. It also explores seances, and the friendships with authors Tennyson, Thackeray, and Rossetti. As well as sculptors William Story and Harriet Hosmer. In 1861, Elizabeth died in her husband's arms. Browning never remarried in his remaining 28 years.

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani 12. The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani -- 5 stars
Read this for my monthly book group discussion. First book I have read by Trigiani. This story is based on her grandparent's (Lucia and Carlo) love story and it took 20 years to write. It is a story of immigration, love, perseverance, and finding your life. It covered three decades (1910 - World War 2). The ending is a tearjerker.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving 13. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving -- 4 1/2 stars
This is a story that is very different than any other book I have read! This story, set in Gravesend New Hampshire, is of a man named John Wheelwright, who is struggling to come to terms with his past (1950s/60s) that reflects on his childhood & young adulthood when he lost his mother, befriended a boy (Owen Meany) with an unusual affinity for self-destiny, and discovered a sense of faith he never had before. (very brief summary.)

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard 14. The Writing Life by Annie Dillard -- 3 stars
It was a series of meditations on writings. But I was looking for a little bit more.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning A Biography by Margaret Forster 15. Elizabeth Barrett Browning: A Biography by Margaret Forster -- 5 stars
New information on the Barrett family (1989) in the Philip Kelley collection of Barrett/Browning letters. This biography presents a much fuller picture of Elizabeth Barrett Browning than was ever possible before, as it draws on hundreds of newly discovered letters and a diary written by the poet at age twenty-six. "Ba" was a remarkable women during the Victorian era.


message 3: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments You are an amazing reader, Carol. 10 books in 2 weeks.

You gave us all something to aim for at the end of the month.

Thanks for sharing your reads with us !


message 4: by Carol (last edited Mar 15, 2013 04:20PM) (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 830 comments Thanks. I still have the weekend to finish (hopefully both) The Bronte biography & The Barrett/Browning biography. I have to say that the second part of this book is dense. In Europe the couple meet Sand, Tennyson, Thackeray, and Rossetti. As well as artists/sculptors William Story, Harriet Hosmer and actress Charlotte Cushman. I think it would make a great read for a book discussion.


message 5: by Connie (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 285 comments Very impressive, Carol!


message 6: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 830 comments Thanks Connie.
I was looking at your list and wondered if you liked Astray? I liked it.
I have yet to read The Poisonwood Bible even though I own it, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I really enjoyed Alice Munro's Runaway.


message 7: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments The Poisonwood Bibleis a favorite of mine. I really enjoyed it.


message 8: by Connie (last edited Mar 16, 2013 09:15PM) (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 285 comments Carol wrote: "Thanks Connie.
I was looking at your list and wondered if you liked Astray? I liked it.
I have yet to read The Poisonwood Bible even though I own it, and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. I really ..."


Like Alias, I also loved The Poisonwood Bible. You will probably enjoy I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings since you read a lot of memoirs and biographies.

Astray was an interesting group of short stories, and I felt that some of the stories could be the beginnings to a novel since I wanted to know more about the characters.


message 9: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (nancyk18) I read through most of Astray although I don't enjoy short stories by and large. I thought some were good but others left me scratching my head.

If you enjoy short stories I would suggest either of Nathan Englander's books of stories. They are poignant and incisive.

Would you believe after loving all of Kingsolver's books, I can't get into The Poisonwood Bible. Sometimes I set myself up for thinking I won't like a book or author (John Irving) and sure enough I can't read the book or the suthor.


message 10: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Speaking of short stories, I read The Birds by Daphne Du Maurier. Hitchcock's movie was based on it. It gave me the chills! Really creepy.


message 11: by Alias Reader (last edited Mar 30, 2013 07:49AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments Jessica wrote: "Speaking of short stories, I read The Birds by Daphne Du Maurier. Hitchcock's movie was based on it. It gave me the chills! Really creepy."
=================

Jessica, I had no idea the movie was based on a book. And who would have thought of Daphne du Murier. I associate her with Rebecca.

I have to put this short story collection on my list. Thank you !

The Birds & Other Stories~~Daphne du Maurier
A classic of alienation and horror, 'The Birds' was immortalised by Hitchcock in his celebrated film. The five other chilling stories in this collection echo a sense of dislocation and mock man's sense of dominance over the natural world. The mountain paradise of Monte Verità promises immortality, but at a terrible price; a neglected wife haunts her husband in the form of an apple tree; a professional photographer steps out from behind the camera and into his subject's life; a date with a cinema usherette leads to a walk in the cemetery; and a jealous father finds a remedy when three's a crowd...
Paperback, 242 pages


message 12: by Alias Reader (last edited Mar 31, 2013 04:07PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments In March I only read 2 books.

The Disappearing Spoon And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements~Sam Kean
Non fiction
Rate 3/5
This was a Buddy Read for our Group. I haven't thought of the periodic table since junior high school. So I went into this book with a bit of trepidation. No need to worry, the book was written for the person the average person. I enjoyed the many interesting stories about each element. I never would have read this book on my own. Therefore, I once again find the group expanding my reading horizons. Thank you!

Drop Dead Healthy One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by A.J. Jacobs Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection~A.J. Jacobs
Non fiction
Rate 4/5
I really enjoyed this book. It's the second one I've read by this author. The other book was, The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World which I also enjoyed a lot.

The book is part serious and part laugh out loud funny. It's a winning antidote to whatever ails you. We follow the author as he takes his 40 something body on a quest for perfect health. He tries various diets, exercise routines and tries to follow other healthy advice for one year all with varying results.

I plan on reading the authors other books.


message 13: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments Patrice, I have to read Living Biblically. I am moving it up my mile long TBR list.


message 14: by Amy (new)

Amy (amybf) | 514 comments I second Patrice's recommendation of The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible. I think that was my favorite book by A.J. Jacobs so far.


message 15: by NancyInWI (new)

NancyInWI (nanckopf) | 56 comments I read 3 books in March. I can't read more than that or I wouldn't have time to do anything else!

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
I love Jodi Picoult's writing style, so it's always an easy read for me. This wasn't as good as some of her other books, but nonetheless, an interesting read. 3/5

Not a Sparrow Fallsby Linda Nichols Read this for a Reading Group here on Goodreads. Christian Fiction, but not the usual romance or Amish subject matter that so much of Christian Fiction is. Interesting characters, bit of a thriller, with some good values. 4/5

Oath of Officeby Michael Palmer Thriller and sci-fi-ish rolled into one. Sometimes read like a James Bond novel. Good read, different from my usual reading genres. 4/5


message 16: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments Thanks for sharing your March reads with us, Nancy.

I see the new Jodi Picoult book, The Storyteller is getting very good reviews. I have a request in for it at the library.

Have you read it?


message 17: by Sumofparts (new)

Sumofparts | 37 comments Always interesting to read about the books people have read.

March was a super busy month and I was only able to read 2 books. At this rate, I think I will have to adjust my goals for the year.

The Secret History of Moscow by Ekaterina Sedia
3 stars
I was looking forward to reading this for my book club since it was also on my to-read list. Overall, I liked it but I was very taken aback by the ending. The book on the whole was kind of unsettling and depressing - the unhappy lives of the characters, the supernatural entities - but I thought there were certain passages that were lovely. I'm glad I read the book but it was also kind of disappointing.

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean
4 stars
I also read this book which was on my DL and was supposed to be a Buddy Read but I haven't managed to participate in the discussion yet. Thanks anyway to everyone who posted their comments. I'm glad people found the book interesting. I certainly did and even though I studied some chemistry in school, there was a lot of history and context that I didn't know about.


message 18: by Lori (new)

Lori Baldi | 40 comments I read 2 books with a short Harlequin in between the 2.

Old Filth Old Filth by Jane Gardam . 3 1/2 stars out of 5. I had hoped for something more with the book. It was not a bad book by any means. I just felt that the main character was too remote. The reader was jogged along with promises of finding out the details of his past. When I found out the key to his angst, I had ceased to care a whole lot.

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1) by Jacqueline Winspear Maisie Dobbs. A solid 4 stars. I was thrilled to finally get to this first in a series of books by Winspear. I was happy to get to know the character of Maisie. This book was long on character and shorter on the mystery. But a satisfying story for me.

Dear Villain Dear Villain by Jacqueline Gilbert . A re-read. A favorite from my younger days where I devoured many Harlequin romances before discovering that you can way more bang for your buck with regular romances. This was just about my favorite from those days and I've read it 3 or 4 times. It takes just a few hours to read. 5 stars.


message 19: by NancyInWI (new)

NancyInWI (nanckopf) | 56 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Thanks for sharing your March reads with us, Nancy.

I see the new Jodi Picoult book, The Storyteller is getting very good reviews. I have a request in for it at the library.

Have you read it?"


I haven't read it yet. I get all my books from paperbackswap.com and I think I'm #200something out of over 400 people waiting for it. I just recently got Lone Wolf and it's been out for 2 years. A friend read the new one and said it was excellent.


message 20: by Amy (new)

Amy (amybf) | 514 comments Nancy wrote: "I get all my books from paperbackswap.com . ..."

Me, too!! I love that site. I've saved so much money. I've even managed to get all of the books for my son's AP English class through the swap.


message 21: by Amy (new)

Amy (amybf) | 514 comments My reads for March were:

Half Life by Roopa Farooki: A story about Aruna, a 32-year-old woman from Singapore, who ran away to London, away from her ex-boyfriend and the memory of her father. Aruna has managed to establish a life - home, career, and husband - in London, yet the book begins with her walking away from it all back to Singapore and many still-unanswered questions from her past. 3/5 stars.

Holy Ghost Girl: A Memoir by Donna Johnson: A memoir by a woman who spent her childhood being raised under the biggest gospel tent in the world. Her mother was a follower of David Terrell, one of the most famous evangelical ministers of the 1960s and 70s. I was hoping for a story as good as The Glass Castle. This was not that story. Still, it was a fairly interesting read. 3/5 stars.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon: Read this for my f2f book club. Not sure why it took me so long to get to it. I really enjoyed the writing and the main character. 4/5 stars.

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean: Read for this group's Buddy Read. I liked the author's informal writing style and I thoroughly enjoyed the stories of murder, madness and mystery related to the periodic table. 3.5/5 stars.

The Devil's Rooming House: The True Story of America's Deadliest Female Serial Killer by M. William Phelps: The story of Amy Archer-Gilligan, who owned and operated the "Archer Home for Elderly People and Chronic Invalids" near Hartford, CT, in the early 1900s. She was eventually arrested and convicted of killing a number of her residents with arsenic. (Which led to the play and the movie, "Arsenic and Old Lace," based on Archer's story.) The story itself would be interesting, but this book isn't very well written. It jumps around and doesn't flow very well, and there is way too much superfluous information that just plain didn't have anything to do with the story itself. It almost reads like several different books smashed into one. 2/5 stars.

Unmeasured Strength by Lauren Manning: The author's true account of how she survived the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and how she struggled to make her way back to life after being burned over 80 percent of her body. An inspiring story, but not wonderfully well written. 2.5/5 stars.

The Dinner by Herman Koch: This book is billed as the "European 'Gone Girl.'" It takes place over the course of a dinner at a restaurant, where two couples meet to discuss their teenage sons who have committed a horrible crime. As the dinner conversation progresses, each couple shows just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love. The characters made me squirm with disgust, which is probably what the author intended. I didn't race through it like I did with "Gone Girl"--and I actually saw the ending coming--but I still thought it was a riveting read. 4/5 stars.

The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing: A novel about a couple who discovers that their fifth child seems to be less than human--goblin-like, almost a throwback to an ancient and brutual race of people. An interesting commentary on whether and how a parent can love a child who is not inherently loveable. 3.5/5 stars.

The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley: A novel about the decisions that a family is forced to make when a loved one suffers an accident that leaves her brain dead--and pregnant. Had the potential to be a better read than it actually was. It was just ok. Pretty quick read. Characters stayed mostly surface level. 3/5 stars, but only because I did actually finish it.

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson: I'm a fan of Jackson's works. Her characters are strong females and she writes with a good sense of humor. A story of what family really means and how the past does not have to define the future. 4/5 stars.


message 22: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments Sumofparts wrote: "Always interesting to read about the books people have read.

March was a super busy month and I was only able to read 2 books. At this rate,
..."


-------------
Thanks for sharing, Sum!

The thread for Disappearing Spoon, as all Buddy and Group reads, remains open if anyone wishes to comment in the future.


message 23: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 02, 2013 03:24PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments Lori wrote: "I read 2 books with a short Harlequin in between the 2.

Old FilthOld Filth by Jane Gardam. 3 1/2 stars out of 5. I had hoped for something more with the book. It was not a bad book by any mean..."


----------------
I recall when Old Filth came out there was a lot of buzz about the book. Sorry it didn't work for you.

I appreciate you sharing your monthly reads with the group.


message 24: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 02, 2013 03:29PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments Amy wrote: "My reads for March were: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon: Read this for my f2f book club. Not sure why it took me so long to get to it. I really enjoyed the writing and the main character. 4/5 stars.

=================
Very nice reading month, Amy !

I really enjoyed Dog in the Night-Time. We did a Group read of it here in June/2011. You can see the groups thoughts on it in that thread.

I thought the character of Christopher was very sweet and endearing.


message 25: by Maicie (new)

Maicie | 25 comments Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: 4 stars
Wow! Flynn does 'sick puppies' like no one else. I love that the reader gets to hear from both the husband and the wife in the first-person. It doesn't take long to figure out that this husband and wife team have some issues. Highly recommend.

Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher: 3 stars
Teen Fiction. I rate three star books as those I am glad I read but I probably wouldn’t read it twice nor did it overly wow me. This is a tale of a transgendered high school student and the boy who falls in love with her.

Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back by Claire Fontaine: 3 stars
I skimmed the pages. Not the best recovery story I have read but at least it had a successful ending.



And the Ass Saw the Angel by Nick Cave: 4 stars
Southern Gothic. Euchrid is mute and is slowly coming unhinged. He lives in a fervently religious small southern town with his drunken mother and his disturbed father. When the rains threaten the livelihood of the entire community, the townspeople blame a prostitute for turning God’s wrath against them.

How to Read Novels Like a Professor: A Jaunty Exploration of the World's Favorite Literary Form by Thomas C. Foster: 4 stars.
I mostly read for pleasure and don’t perform the kind of literary dissections done in college. My 55-year-old synapses don’t fire as often as they did in my twenties. A couple more years and I’ll be reading picture books again. But once in awhile you run across a book that begs for an autopsy. This book helps you identify voice, structure, point of view, etc.

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver: 4 stars
Kingsolver is a favorite author. This story is about the unexpected arrival of migrating monarchs to a rural, Appalachian farm and their influence on the disillusioned Dellarobia. As usual, Kingsolver writes amazing and believable characters. The science behind the migration is fascinating.


message 26: by Lesley (new)

Lesley | 239 comments I see Flight Behavior has just come into my local library; must get to it soon.


message 27: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments Maicie wrote: "Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: 4 stars
Wow! Flynn does 'sick puppies' like no one else. I love that the reader gets to hear from both the husband and the wife in the first-person. It doesn't take long..."


--------------
Very nice reading month, Maicie !

I have a hold on Gone Girl at the library. I just can't seem to fit it. Good to know you enjoyed it.


message 28: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie H (stephy711) | 45 comments March 2013
Civilwarland in Bad Decline -George Saunders (179 pages)
Awesome collection of short stories. I'd been hearing so much about Saunders lately but he is well worth the hype

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet -David Mitchell (496 pages)
The most realistic of any of Mitchell's books. No elements of sci-fi like his other books and though it was well written, I'm not sure if historical fiction is my favorite genre for what he was trying to convey.

Shark's Fin And Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China -Fuchsia Dunlop (320 pages)
Cute, but dragging.

On The Map -Simon Garfield (464 pages)
Really awesome book about the history and future of cartography, from Ptolemy to Google Maps and video games


message 29: by Connie (last edited Apr 02, 2013 09:57PM) (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 285 comments March was a big reading month for me. Some books I had been waiting for became available on the new book shelves of the library and I snatched them up.

Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston 4 stars. This is an autobiography of an African American woman who started life in poverty, but went on to be highly educated. She was part of the Harlem Renaissance, an author, and an anthopologist.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness 4.5 stars. This is a YA book about a boy dealing with his mother dying of cancer. It's beautifully written with wonderful black and white illustrations.

Gold by Chris Cleave 3-3.5 stars. A book about rivals for the Olympic gold in cycling, with a lot of emotional and family complications. Entertaining, but some of their reactions seemed a little out of character.

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean 4 stars. Our group read had a lot of interesting and wacky stories about the elements, and the drama concerning the scientists that discovered them.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 4 stars. Great psychological thriller about a wife who disappears, and the husband who is the focus of a police investigation.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce 4 stars. A man goes on a journey by foot to visit an old friend dying of cancer. The journey gives him the opportunity to work through problems in his life. A lovely book.

Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler. 3.5 stars. A young man feels responsible for the tragedy occuring in his brother's family, and quits college to take care of their three children. He is aided by his parents and a Church of Second Chances. Interesting, quirky characters.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes 5 stars. A woman from a small town gets hired as a caregiver for a young man who was hit by a car, and ended up as a quadriplegic. Lots of thoughts about whether he wanted to keep on living. The man showed the woman that there was more in the world outside her country village. I laughed and cried through this book.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand 5 stars. This is a true story about an Olympic runner who becomes an airman in World War II in the Pacific. He gets captured by the Japanese, and is held under brutal conditions. It was difficult for him and other prisoners to deal with post-traumatic stress after the war ended. The book is well reseached, and reads almost like a novel.

Edible Stories: A Novel in Sixteen Parts by Mark Kurlansky 3 stars. This is a group of short stories that all have food featured in them.

Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella 3 stars. Lexi has lost the memories of the last three years when she wakes up after a traumatic injury to her head. Light and humorous, a good beach read.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 4 stars. A book about the American Dream set on Long Island in the Jazz Age in 1922. The book is still relevant today as we talk about the disperity of wealth. Beautiful writing.

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom 3 stars. A fable about measuring time, wanting more time in one's life, or wanting to end one's life. Some good thoughts, but maybe I'm just not into fables.

Calico Joe by John Grisham 3 stars. Joe Castle was a phenomenal rookie hitter in 1973 when his career was ended by a pitcher who purposely injured him. The story was narrated by the pitcher's son as the health of his father is going downhill. It has themes of baseball, father/son relationships, redemption and forgiveness.


message 30: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 830 comments WOW Connie & Amy -- double digits! That's huge -- Great job!
I'm convinced that you will both out do me this month and in the future (since my reading time will be less in order to write & do research.)

I would love to read Hurston's autobiography and I always wanted to attempt Unbroken (but not sure if I have enough time for 496 pp. right now.) Thanks everyone for your reviews!


message 31: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 03, 2013 08:02AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments Stephanie wrote: "March 2013
Civilwarland in Bad Decline -George Saunders (179 pages)
Awesome collection of short stories. I'd been hearing so much about Saunders lately but he is well worth the hype

-------------
Thanks for sharing, Stephanie !

Saunders is a new to me. I'll have to check him out.
Your book club picks interesting books.


message 32: by Connie (new)

Connie (constants) | 73 comments (I'm the OTHER Connie.)

My list is from February and March. Four novels and four nonfiction titles. A nice balance!

Caught- Harlan Coben. I don't read many mysteries but this one caught my eye. I don't remember much about it (finished it in early February) but it was about a missing teenage girl and a possible sexual predator and a beautiful TV reporter. Then some stuff happened. Like I said, I don't remember much about it except that it reminded me of why I don't read many mysteries.

The Love Song of Jonny Valentine - Teddy Wayne. Jonny is an 11-year old pop star and the narrator of his own story. Even though I'm not interested in 11-year old pop stars in real life, I was fascinated by this story of what it's like to be one. The characters and the quandaries they find themselves in stayed with me long after I finished the book.

I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced- Nujood Ali. A young Yemeni girl is forced to marry a much older man who abuses her and from whom she is eventually divorced. There was a lot missing from this book and even though Nujood was very brave, I would have liked to have had a bit more of the "meat" of her story.

The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant - Dan Savage. The title tells most of the info about the book, but the story is painfully honest and heartfelt and hilariously funny. Savage and his partner (whom he has since married) go through the process of an open adoption, but he also talks a lot about what it's like to be a gay child, a gay man, and eventually a gay father.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan. A very unusual book about a very unusual bookstore. A high tech mystery. I had mixed feelings about this book. Sometimes I couldn't put it down. Other times I couldn't force myself to pick it up.

The Obituary Writer- Ann Hood. The stories of two women, one living in San Francisco in 1919 and the other living in suburban Washington DC in 1961 are woven together in an interesting, enjoyable way. I caught some editing errors and there was some overly flowery language, but for the most part, I liked this one.

After Visiting Friends: A Son's Story - Michael Hainey. When Hainey was a child, his father died unexpectedly at age 36, but the vague cause and circumstances of his death were never discussed in the family. As an adult, Hainey decides to track down the facts. This is the book that JR Moehringer recommended that I read, and he did not mislead me. It was nonfiction that read like a novel and I enjoyed it very much.

Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked- James Lasdun. I always like reading about obsession and stalking so I anticipated enjoying this book. For the most part, however, I didn't. Lasdun goes off on many tangents as he tells his story of being stalked by a woman who had been in one of his writing classes. The tangents were very literary and very intelligent, but honestly if I'd wanted to reread the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which he tells in great detail and relates to his own story.....I would have tracked down Sir Gawain myself. This is a very smart book, but I didn't care for it.


message 33: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments Patrice wrote: "I have been reading about 10 books at once but the one I finished is My Mother Was Nuts It's an extended People Magazine article, photos and all, It was a nice diversion. She describes her life ..."
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For some reason I don't picture Penny Marshall in the drug scene.


message 34: by Alias Reader (last edited Apr 03, 2013 08:25AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments Connie wrote: "March was a big reading month for me. Some books I had been waiting for became available on the new book shelves of the library and I snatched them up.
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I am in awe, Connie. Congratulations on a terrific reading month.

Sorry to read Gold is not winner. I gave his book Little Bee a top rating. I also read his other book, Incendiary. I think I gave this a 3/5 rating. It was very different plot wise from other books. For that I liked it.

As I noted upthread, I've had Gone Girlon hold at the library for ever. I just can't seem to get to with with other reading obligations.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry-- I am so glad to see you liked this one a lot. I have it on my list and I posted about it here.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption - I agree. It's a terrific book, though the cruelty is very difficult to read about at times. It's a very inspirational story.

I just saw a commercial last night for the movie version of the Great Gatsby.

Congratulations again on a super month.


message 35: by Amy (new)

Amy (amybf) | 514 comments Connie wrote: "(I'm the OTHER Connie.)

My list is from February and March. Four novels and four nonfiction titles. A nice balance!..."


Thanks for your list, Other Connie! ;) I was interested to see your thoughts on The Love Song of Jonny Valentine. I had my eye on that one after reading a review of it in a magazine. I'm glad to see that you liked it.


message 36: by Connie (last edited Apr 03, 2013 11:55AM) (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 285 comments Connie wrote: "(I'm the OTHER Connie.)

My list is from February and March. Four novels and four nonfiction titles. A nice balance!

Caught- Harlan Coben. I don't read many mysteries but this one caught my eye..."


I had been looking at The Obituary Writer and The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, so it's nice to read your feelings on these books.


message 37: by Connie (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 285 comments Carol wrote: "WOW Connie & Amy -- double digits! That's huge -- Great job!
I'm convinced that you will both out do me this month and in the future (since my reading time will be less in order to write & do resea..."


Carol, good luck on your writing!


message 38: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments Patrice wrote:
I know. She was a wild woman! She was friends with John Belushi, need I say more?

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I never would have guessed that.


message 39: by Amy (last edited Apr 04, 2013 07:09AM) (new)

Amy (amybf) | 514 comments Carol wrote: "WOW Connie & Amy -- double digits! That's huge -- Great job!
I'm convinced that you will both out do me this month and in the future (since my reading time will be less in order to write & do resea..."


March was a bit of an anomaly--my reading total probably won't approach double digits this month! Right now I'm reading two books -- one is 603 pages and the other is 900-plus pages (can't remember exactly). If I finish both of those, that will be an accomplishment! Although that is probably going to be a stretch as well-- I have a final exam on April 29 for a graduate class I'm taking, and there's a lot of required reading for that. I'm looking forward to the summer and the potential for lounging on the beach with a good book! Even if it's just for a day or two. ;)


message 40: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments Good vibes headed your way for your final exam, Amy !


message 41: by Amy (new)

Amy (amybf) | 514 comments Thanks, Alias! I'm ready for this semester to be over.


message 42: by NancyInWI (new)

NancyInWI (nanckopf) | 56 comments Connie wrote: "(I'm the OTHER Connie.)

My list is from February and March. Four novels and four nonfiction titles. A nice balance!

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan. A very unusual book about a very unusual bookstore. A high tech mystery. I had mixed feelings about this book. Sometimes I couldn't put it down. Other times I couldn't force myself to pick it up.


I felt the same way about this one, Connie. I got it for Christmas and took it on vacation with me in February. It started out very interesting, lagged in the middle, and the end was totally disappointing for me.


message 43: by Madrano (last edited Apr 05, 2013 01:00PM) (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Thank you to everyone who has shared their list of Books Read in March. I've added several to my TBR list and was also pleased to see some i enjoyed were also liked by others here. Happy!

For much of March we were on holiday &/or ill. The result is i completed only one book, a novel.

The Home by Fredrika Bremer. GR only has her name listed & nothing about the novel. Set in Sweden, written in 1839, translated into English in 1850. Elisa Frank is the mother of 7 children, the first being her only son. The story covers her marriage to a judge and the development of the children, following them into young adulthood.

Louisa May Alcott showed Marmie reading from Bremer's work to her daughters in Little Women. I don't think a title is given but i found a few similarities between Alcott & Bremer's novels, including one daughter who wants to write & settles in the garret to do so.

Bremer had one character i found most interesting. She was a woman from a comfortable family who didn't want to marry but did want to have children. She persuaded her family to give her what amounted to her dowry and helped her adopt two orphaned girls, whom she raised into adulthood. I found this a unique situation, particularly for the era. In it, both husband & wife respected the woman & how well her daughters were being raised.


message 44: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 05, 2013 04:30PM) (new)

In March I read:
Paris to Provence: Childhood Memories of Food & France Absolutely loved it - the recollections and recipes of two American women who shared memories of childhood summers spent in France.

The Tiger Warrior My first David Gibbons - too talky really, mostly dialogue instead of action, but I loved his plot about Roman legionaries in Asia and couldn't put it down.

Tara Road Very disappointing. Read like it needed a good editing. Very contrived plot. Tried again to be a Binchy fan, didn't succeed.

Ishtah: The Prostitute's Daughter Loved this novella, so rich in detail I could taste the dust on my tongue. beautifully written.

Seven Houses: A Novel Like Ishtah, this is the kind of book I most like to read, set in places that are exotic to me and delving into different cultures.

My April reading has started with The Hunger Games, which I have actually never read. So far,loving it.


message 45: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments Thanks for sharing your March reads with us, Gail !

I read Tara Road when it was an Oprah selection years ago. I am not a Binchy fan either. It's just not a genre I enjoy.


message 46: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Thanks for sharing, Gail. The David Gibbins book sounds as though it has an interesting plot. I may have to put my husband onto that. :-)

I was late to The Hunger Games, too. While i liked it, i haven't read the rest in the series. We'll see when the next film comes out!

deb


message 47: by NancyInWI (new)

NancyInWI (nanckopf) | 56 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Thanks for sharing your March reads with us, Gail !

I read Tara Road when it was an Oprah selection years ago. I am not a Binchy fan either. It's just not a genre I enjoy."


Tara Road didn't seem depressing enough to be on Oprah's List. :-} I don't remember too much about it, but I do remember that I liked it. And that is a genre that I read quite often. I'm starting to mix it up a bit though. Reading books lately that I wouldn't have read a year or two ago. Goodreads certainly has gotten me to expand my horizons!


message 48: by NancyInWI (new)

NancyInWI (nanckopf) | 56 comments Madrano wrote: "Thanks for sharing, Gail. The David Gibbins book sounds as though it has an interesting plot. I may have to put my husband onto that. :-)

I was late to The Hunger Games, too. While i liked it, i h..."


I read the book and didn't care for it. Was a "young people's book" and I'm not young! This was the rare case where I liked the movie better than the book.


message 49: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 18842 comments Nancy wrote:Goodreads certainly has gotten me to expand my horizons!

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You hit the nail on the head, Nancy. GR will expand your TBR into areas not dreamed of. :)


message 50: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Madrano [Me!] wrote: "The Hunger Games, too. While i liked it, i h..."

Nancy wrote: "I read the book and didn't care for it. Was a "young people's book" and I'm not young! This was the rare case where I liked the movie better than the book. ..."


I know what you mean. I had several problems with it, as an adult. Still, i was disappointed in the movie, mostly because the minor characters were not presented the way i felt they should have been. Fortunately my daughter read the series & filled me in on what happens in the rest of the series, so i won't "have" to read them before the films are released.


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