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Monthly "READS" > June 2011 reads

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JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
please post the books that you read in June....a little description and review would be nice too....

message 2: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (last edited Jun 30, 2011 06:58PM) (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
I am re-posting this for Schmerguls

What I Read in June 2011

4828, The Invisible Bridge, by Julie Orringer (read 3 Jun 2011) This novel tells of a Hungarian Jew who in 1937 goes to Paris to study architecture, Just from those words you can guess what the book is about--the awful era of the Holocaust looms over the story. The book tells of the activities of Andras Levi as he spends two years in Paris, falls in love with Klara, an older Jewish woman, and the war comes on. He returns to Budapest where he marries Klara and then Andras is put in the Hungarian labor corps and he undergoes frightful things. It is a very intense book, and one is always fearful of what will happen. The story was unfailingly attention-holding and one never loses interest or thinks it too long, though it is 602 pages. I have no idea how true to actual events it is, but one gets the idea that it is based on the life of the author's grandfather. A stunning and engrossing book indeed!

4829. "Co. Aytch," Maury Grays, First Tennessee Regiment, or, A Side Show of the Big Show, by Sam R. Watkins (read 5 Jun 2011) The author was a Confederate soldier all through the Civil War and in 1881 wrote this book. It is told simply as what he remembered of his Civil War--with no attempt to tell anything except what he experienced. He has a sprightly writing style, does not hesitate to criticize his officers, has touches of humor, and can wax poetic at times as he tells of events and men with whom he served. He had many close escapes, was wounded but not seriously, and only 12 of the men in his Company--all from Maury County, Tenn.--survived without serious wounds. The most disturbing thing about the book is that he was and remained an avid Confederate, had not a clue as to the evil of slavery, and admired Jeff Davis--though he bitterly assailed him for replacing Joe Johnston with Hood. The book is a memorable work and as good a war memoir as I have read from the Civil War.

4830. When I Was A Child Based on a true story of love, death, and survival on the Kansas prairie, by T. L. Needham (read 6 Jun 2011) This is a 2011 apparently self-published book which tells the story of the family of Alex Pfeifer and his children, especially his son Louis and his daughter Jerry. The author is a nephew to Louis and Jerry. It is a non-professional book, and tells stories of high interest--of blizzards, deaths, tornadoes, crime in Kansas, and of Louis on D-Day, when he parachuted into France and was soon a POW, The family had much hardship, and Alex went to prison for assaulting his eldest daughter (who later became a sister with the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood). With all its defects the book does tell some amazing things about the family--some which some of the family no doubt would have preferred not be told.

4831. Then Everything Changed Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics: JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford, Reagan, by Jeff Greenfield (read 11 Jun 2011) This is alternative political history. I have read little alternative history--the book I remember is For Want of a Nail (read 25 May 1974) which changed the outcome of the 1777 battle of Saratoga, and which I did not like at all. I also read Fatherland (on 19 Jan 2002) which had Hitler winning the war and it was better but really thriller fiction. This Greenfield book projects three scenarios: What if JFK had been a assassinated in Nov. 1960 (when an actual attempt on his life failed)? LBJ becomes president and this account was well done, though I was relieved that it never happened. The next scenario: Bobby Kennedy is not killed, and is elected president. This was a pretty satisfactory account, maybe because it was agreeable. The third scenario: Jerry Ford does not flub up in the debate with Jimmy Carter and goes on to win in 1976. It goes on to show a failed Ford term so that Reagan loses in 1980--to Gary Hart. This piece did not entrance, especially since I thought it so improbable--though it ends with a scene reminding us of "Monkey Business" and what Clinton did when he was president. This book had its moments but all in all it was not as much fun reading as I expected.

4832. The Eichmann Trial, By Deborah E. Lipstadt (read 15 Jun 2011) This is a 2010 book by the author whose book, History on Trial, I read Dec 1, 2005, with much appreciation.. On Nov 18, 1989, I read Hannah Arendt's famous book on the Eichmann trial, and this book takes issue with some aspects of that book (and says Arendt only attended parts of the trial!). While Lipstadt is vigorously anti-Eichmann, she shows the trial judges were fair though Jewish and thus bound to be personally hostile to a Nazi. The book might have been better if by a lawyer looking at the trial more objectively, but this is a worth-reading account, and shows well the significance of the trial in regard to Holocaust history.

4833. The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith, (read 16 Jun 2011) This is a most absorbing work of fiction.. It was first published in 1955. It tells of Tom Ripley, who after a long-winded start suddenly kills Dickie Greenleaf and the book goes into high excitement from then on. It is laid in Italy and oddly one found oneself hoping the murderer would not be caught! I think this was because the book is told totally concentrating on Tom Ripley. As I read I felt I had not been so caught up by a murder story since I read Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment on Nov 22, 1948. This book utterly caught me up and held my highest interest to the surprising conclusion. I decided I would have to read its sequel.

4834. Becoming Queen Victoria The Tragic Death of Princess Charlotte and the Unexpected Rise of Britain's Greatest Monarch, by Kate Williams (read 20 Jun 2011) This is a 2008 book telling in clear and careful prose of the death of Princess Charlotte (George IV's daughter) in 1817, the scramble by George IV's potty brothers to discard their mistresses and sire a legitimate child (George III had 62 grandchildren, almost all of whom were illegitimate), and the life of Victoria till she became queen in 1837 and married on Feb 10, 1840--just 74 years to the day before my parents married--to Albert, and had her first children. The book is very well-done and is really pleasant reading for one such as I who enjoys royal biography. It is an amazing 25 years in English history (from 1815 to 1840) and the earlier part of the book was treading somewhat less familiar territory for me. An enjoyable well-written book.

4835. Ripley Under Ground, by Patricia Highsmith (read 21 Jun 2011) Because I was so impressed by The Talented Mr. Ripley (read June 16, 2011), I read its sequel, this book, published in 1970, It has some of the tense excitement of its predecessor volume, but the plot is so convoluted and so suspicious that it cannot be judged a success. Ripley is some six years older than in the first volume, is living the good life in France, but of course involved with a money-making scheme concerning paintings being attributed to a painter who is actually dead. To protect this scheme Ripley again kills and has a heck of a time with the body. The story meanders on with French and English police questioning Ripley, etc. The denouement reeks suspicion and is not at all convincing nor explained neatly as in the first book. So the book disappoints.

4836. Before I Go to Sleep A Novel by S. J. Watson (read 25 Jun 2011) This is a 2011 novel which I think had a front page review in the New York Times Book Review. It sounded interesting so I read it. It is laid in England, is fiction and tells of Christine Lucas, who cannot remember anything each morning when she wakes up. Her husband is Ben and she finds he lies to her. It is kind of syrupy and in fact a bit tiresome as it goes on and on but the ending saves the novel and one has to admire the concept and how thoroughly the author leads the reader on and then in the final pages shows what the actual situation is. An interesting concept. The story is told with crude words at times which repulse and detract from the book, but I suppose people feel we should expect that in 'modern' fiction..

message 3: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "I am re-posting this for Schmerguls

What I Read in June 2011

4829. "Co. Aytch," Maury Grays, First Tennessee Regiment, or, A Side Show of the Big Show, by Sam R. Watkins (read 5 Jun 2011)"

I am glad to see that you thought Co. Aytch: A Confederate Memoir of the Civil War was worth reading. I remembered liking it very much but wondered if someone who has more extensively read nonfiction than I would enjoy it.

Since I am such a huge fan of crime fiction I really need to read The Talented Mr. Ripley sometime soon.

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Schmerguls, BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP was highly recommended to me yesterday by two friends. They probably did not even notice the language!

message 5: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments Had some ups and downs this month. Here are my June reads:

Top Reads

The Pope of Greenwich Village by Vincent Patrick The Pope of Greenwich Village
Vincent Patrick
A very good read which hit all the elements I like in a crime novel. Great characters who, while not at all admirable, were very realistic. I found myself really caring what would happen to them. Loved the straight-ahead no frills plot and the gritty New York City in the seventies setting.

Lying Dead by Aline Templeton Lying Dead
Aline Templeton
Another great entry in this police procedural series. I especially enjoy the rural Scottish setting and how it impacts the working conditions and outlook of the characters.

The Children of Men by P.D. James The Children of Men
P.D. James
While I thought the movie that was based on this work was very good, I found the book even better. Meticulous plotting, fully realized characters, and great descriptions of a society that has no future. I listened to the audio version read by David Case who was perfectly cast.

Good Reads

Secret Prey (Lucas Davenport, #9) by John Sandford Secret Prey
John Sandford
At first I thought this would be a bit of a pedestrian outing in this series but the plot soon picks up and Lucas is as winning as ever. Perhaps a bit more angst than usual but the fascinating characters and the narration by Richard Ferrone made this an enjoyable listen.

Breakup (Kate Shugak, #7) by Dana Stabenow Breakup
Dana Stabenow
Much funnier and frantically paced than I remember the previous books in the series being. From the first page Kate must deal an escalating set of calamities. Very quick, entertaining read.

Black Maestro The Epic Life of an American Legend by Joe Drape Black Maestro: The Epic Life of an American Legend
Joe Drape
I'll admit that I had never heard of Jimmy Winkfield, the last African-American jockey to win the Kentucky Derby, until I came across this book. Intensely researched, this books provides the definitive story of the talented jockey who led an extraordinary life.

The Jugger by Richard Stark The Jugger
Richard Stark
Parker must travel to Nebraska to resolve a sticky situation dealing with a bunch of amateurs. Nice plot and writing all done in just over 200 pages.

Tip-Off How the 1984 NBA Draft Changed Basketball Forever by Filip Bondy Tip-Off: How the 1984 NBA Draft Changed Basketball Forever
Filip Bondy
After watching the 2011 NBA draft, which may go down as one of the worst in history, I enjoyed this look back to 1984 draft which produced numerous Hall of Fame players. A nice overview of the various people involved in the whole process including players, coaches, scouts, and front office types.

Money to Burn by Ricardo Piglia Money to Burn
Ricardo Piglia
Written in a sort of disorientating and hallucinatory style this book, which was based on an actual event, was at first a bit hard to get into. After I got my bearings, I found this a gripping, though graphically violent, look at the underbelly of Argentine life in the sixties.

And Party Every Day The Casablanca Record Story by Larry Harris And Party Every Day: The Casablanca Record Story
Larry Harris
The author, who was one of the founders of Casablanca Records, gives his spin on the company's meteoric rise and almost as quick downfall.

Sleeping Dog by Dick Lochte Sleeping Dog
Dick Lochte
While the plot was a bit convoluted and somewhat darker than I expected the lead characters (a fourteen year old girl and a veteran PI) made this a real page-turner. I especially enjoyed the alternating narration by chapter employed by the author.

Disappointing Reads

The Quiller Memorandum (Otto Penzler Presents...) by Adam Hall The Quiller Memorandum
Adam Hall
I had a really hard time getting through this book which was surprising since I usually enjoy espionage books written during the sixties. This book won the Edgar for Best Novel in 1966 and the series has been compared favorably to John Le Carré's Smiley but I found the plot hard to follow and the characters poorly drawn. Luckily it was short and had a pretty decent ending but I doubt that I will read further books in the series.

On the Line A Bill Smith/Lydia Chin Novel (Bill Smith/Lydia Chin Novels) by S.J. Rozan On the Line: A Bill Smith/Lydia Chin Novel
S.J. Rozan
Quite a letdown after the previous book in the series,The Shanghai Moon, which was so good. Too much action (much of which seemed strained to me), repetitive dialogue that did not seem to really add much except to the word count (I hope to never come across the words Dude or lunatic again anytime soon), and an entirely over the top bad guy made this a bit of a slog for me.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman The Magicians
Lev Grossman
One of those stories where the premise is much better than the execution. Far too long with characters who just seemed to drift along. Listened to the audio read by Mark Bramhall who did an acceptable job.

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Wow, what a big reading month, Sandi

Carolyn (in SC) C234D | 123 comments I agree about the over-the-top bad guys, Sandi (in reference to On the Line). Some of them really detract from books for me.

message 8: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "Wow, what a big reading month, Sandi"

I am back to my regular hours at work (only around 20 a week) so I have much more time to read.

Carolyn(in SC) wrote: "I agree about the over-the-top bad guys, Sandi (in reference to On the Line). Some of them really detract from books for me. "

Yes, I prefer a more subtle bad guy with more of a motive other than they are crazy.

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
I thought I read more than I actually did this past month...

State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy 3 stars

Not bad for a mystery, of which I am not all that fond. It was distracting and that was what I needed. Will try the next book in the series.

The Night the New Jesus Fell to Earth and Other Stories from Cliffside, North Carolina
by Ron Rash 5 stars

Ron Rash is one of my favorite authors and his short stories are so well-written. I am very picky when it comes to this form of writing and would recommend his stories (and novels) wholeheartedly - except for . Serena. Most of his books are real gems!

The Sound of Thunder
by Wilbur Smith 4 stars

This was the second novel in the Courtney series - I would like to read all of them. I must admit that I skimmed over some of the material abut the Boer War in this book but still learned a lot. It was a large part of the book, which kind of disappointed me. But still, these books are better than most.

The Bee Eater: Michelle Rhee Takes on the Nation's Worst School District
5 stars for content, less for writing

It was difficult to rate this book because I initially felt that there were three elements I needed to assess:
1- the information in the book
2- the writing
3- Michelle Rhee

Then I realized that how I feel about Rhee should have nothing to do with my rating of this book. (But I totally approved of what she did and wanted to do. Her methods were sometimes not as polished as they could have been, but she was very sure of herself and what needed to be done just to make these schools marginal.)

Going on to #2 - the information in this book was astounding and shocking and depressing and, I fear, very very true and real. There can be no doubt that if the DC schools had sunk so low, it was the fault of the administrators and teachers - not the kids. If I had the power Rhee was given, I would have been hard-pressed to keep more than a few of those people in their jobs. Disgraceful. And how can a union DEFEND those teachers? How can they not think about the students and put them first? What a screwed-up entity!

#3 The writing.......I found so many grammatical errors in this book, and some terribly constructed sentences. It was VERY distracting, to say the least. I found at least 20 instances where an article (a, an, or the) had been left out and a lot of poor punctuation. So I arbitrarily decided to not use the writing to determine my rating.

But I would call this a very "qualified" 5 stars!

message 10: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) Sandi wrote: "Had some ups and downs this month. Here are my June reads:

Top Reads

The Pope of Greenwich Village by Vincent PatrickThe Pope of Greenwich Village
Vincent Patrick..."


Sandi, The Pope is one of my favorite movies.

message 11: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) Here are my June reads:

Journal of a Solitude~May Sarton
Rate 3
This was a Book Buddy Read at GR's Book Nook Cafe. The book is a quiet reflection on life and aging. I enjoy Sarton's prose. We are starting to read The House by the Sea: A Journal if you would like to join us at Book Nook Cafe.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption~Laura Hillenbrand
Rate 4
This very powerful book takes place during the Vietnam war. Parts of it are not for the faint of heart. It's the story of unbelievable courage. I found the story very inspiring. If you read this book you won't soon be forgetting the name Louie Zamperini.

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure~Alice Kimberly
rate 2 minus
This book is in the "cozy mystery" genre. This is the third book I've read in this genre and they all seem very much alike. The plots are a little too unbelievable for me.

Father Abraham: Lincoln and His Sons~Harold Holzer
non fiction
Rate 4
This is a well done Young Adult bio by a noted Lincoln scholar. The book contained some very interesting photos. The writing is very good. Even though I knew most of the story, I still found it incredibly moving and interesting.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet~~Jamie Ford
This is GR's Book Nook Cafe's July Group read. My F2F book club also read it and they liked it quite a bit.

message 12: by Meredith (new)

Meredith | 54 comments My June reads

I, Alex Cross by James Patterson
Rating 3
Enjoyable read and visit with old friends

Mohawk by Richard Russo
Rating 5
This was Russo's debut novel. Hiis vivid descriptions of characters and theiir environs make it very easy for the reader to visualize the story.
Also, another book completed from my determination list


message 13: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments Meredith wrote: "My June reads

Mohawk by Richard Russo
Rating 5
This was Russo's debut novel."

I always enjoy Richard Russo's books. The movie version of Nobody's Fool was also very good.

message 14: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Sandi, The Pope is one of my favorite movies."

You are the third person to mention how good the movie is. Luckily my library has a copy of the DVD and I have put in a hold request.

message 15: by Connie (new)

Connie (constants) | 49 comments June-July Reads. I didn't read much in June, but made up for lost time in July. I seem to have become more and more opinionated as the summer has gone on!

The Year We Left Home - Jean Thompson. (Fiction) Thirty years in the lives of the members of the Erickson family from small town Iowa. Not much happiness for this unfortunate clan but there are some vivid passages and descriptions and a good feeling of what the last decades of the 20th century were about for a lot of middle Americans. B.

Remarkable Creatures - Tracey Chevalier. (Fiction) Two woman in 19th century England become friends through their common interest in the fossils being discovered at that time on the coast of Lyme Regis. Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpott were real woman but this is a fictionalized story of their lives and discoveries. Anning made many of the most significant fossil finds of that time and place, but the fact that she was a woman was problematic for the men of that era. I really liked this book and it's a much better read than this review is! A-

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair - Nina Sankovitch. (Nonfiction) I intended to, and anticipated that I would love this book. When the author's sister dies at the age of 46, Sankovitch has a terrible time dealing with her grief and loss. So on her own 46th birthday she sets out to read one book a day for a year, hoping it will help assuage her sadness, and that she will find solace in the words and thoughts of others. I have sisters I adore. I love books and reading. So why didn't this book resonate with me? I can't say exactly, except that it didn't. Maybe I wanted more about the books and less about the grief. Maybe it annoyed me that she read 365 books in a year and I'd only heard of a handful of them. Maybe deep down, I didn't really "get" what she was trying to accomplish. Maybe I just don't like purple chairs. Anyway, this book was a disappointment to me. B-

Wild Surge of Guilty Passion - Ron Hansen. (Historical fiction.) In 1927 a woman named Ruth Snyder convinced her boyfriend Judd Gray, to murder her husband. He did, but ineptly, and within a few hours Ruth and Judd were caught, charged and jailed for the crime. In its day, this was the Crime of the Century. Wall-to-wall newspaper coverage in the 12 New York papers - some of which had to print thousands of extra copies every time there was a story about the murder. I was reading this book at the same time as the Casey Anthony trial was going on, and although the discussion in 2011 so often centered around the fact of there being too much media coverage, reading this book showed me that such things didn't begin with the 24-hour news cycle. This was a big, juicy read and I recommend it highly. By the way, the crime they committed took place in March, 1927 and Snyder and Gray were executed in January, 1928. Interesting. A

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter - Mark Seal. (True Crime) Wow! When Christian Gerhartstreiter came to the US from his native Germany he began a life of crime and deception that made the news a few years ago when he abducted his daughter from her custodial mother and after being caught, his phony identity as Clark Rockefeller and his life of lying began to unravel. He lived in many places with many different names during his decades in the US, always ingratiating himself into the upper crust of whatever society he was in, but no one ever thought even for a moment that he might be a fraud. The story was absolutely riveting and the book is a page-turner. I was also reading this book during the Casey Anthony trial (it was a LONG trial) and I couldn't miss the similarities between the two compulsive liars......Gerhartstreiter and Anthony. It seems that some people are better at lying than they are at telling the truth. A

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman. (Fiction) Wacky Southern ladies. A 12 year old girl who is sent to live with one of those wacky Southern ladies when her mother dies in a wacky-but- tragic ice cream truck accident. A wise African-American housekeeper. Lessons learned from flowers and spider webs and hummingbirds. I don't know what I was expecting from this book - except that it had nothing to do with the Casey Anthony trial - but I found it to be trite and predictable. C+

City of Thieves - David Benioff. (Fiction) Another fantastic read. Set during the Siege of Leningrad during World War II, this book made me laugh out loud on one page, and then chilled my blood on the next. Two young Russian men are captured by the Germans - one for looting and one for desertion - but instead of being executed, they're sent out to find a dozen eggs needed to bake a wedding cake for the daughter of one of the German generals. This, of course, in a time and place when starvation was rampant and cannibalism wasn't unusual. I don't want to give away too much about City of Thieves except to say "Read it!" A

Turn of Mind - Alice LaPlante. (Fiction) A 64-year old woman with Alzheimer's Disease is suspected in the murder of her best friend. And not only was the friend murdered, but 4 of her fingers were surgically amputated and (wait for it.......) the 64-year old woman with Alzheimer's Disease is a world-famous hand surgeon!!!!! This is another book I wanted to love, but didn't. For one thing, and this may just be personal to me, I'm sort of annoyed that the two books I've read about women with Alzheimer's - this and "Still Alice" - the main character always happens to be a brilliant woman. Scientist, surgeon, etc. I suppose that makes the mental decline even more dramatic, but it bugs me. Also, these woman are always wealthy. In this book, Dr. Jennifer White is looking at her bank statement and wondering, in her dementia, if $2.65 million is a lot of money. I don't read a lot of murder mysteries, so maybe that was part of my problem with "Turn of Mind" but it didn't do a thing for me. C-

When She Woke - Hillary Jordan. (Fiction) I loved Jordan's first novel, "Mudbound" and was excited to get an advance copy of this, her second book. It started out amazingly - a sort of "Scarlet Letter" set in a not-too-distant dystopian America. A world-wide plague had caused the birth rate to drop dramatically, religious conservatives have taken over the government, and having an abortion can lead to a charge of first-degree murder. See what I mean? Then, regrettably, the story went downhill from there. I seem to be in the minority here - and the only reviews I've read have been on Goodreads - but I thought the last half of the book was awful. It seemed patched together in a way - throw in a sexual dalliance here, give the characters pseudonyms of famous feminists, rip a few bodices along the way- things like that. I don't want to give anything away, except to say that I found the ending of the book to be an utter disappointment. C

The Year We Left Home
Remarkable Creatures
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading
A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion: A NovelThe Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
City of Thieves
Turn of Mind
When She Woke

message 16: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandin954) | 211 comments Connie wrote: "June-July Reads. I didn't read much in June, but made up for lost time in July. I seem to have become more and more opinionated as the summer has gone on!"

Lots of interesting reads Connie. I am in complete agreement with your reviews of City of Thieves (I loved it) and Saving Ceecee Honeycutt (just OK). I will have to check out A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion: A Novel since stories about crime are my favorites.

message 17: by JoAnn/QuAppelle (new)

JoAnn/QuAppelle | 1608 comments Mod
Connie wrote: "June-July Reads. I didn't read much in June, but made up for lost time in July. I seem to have become more and more opinionated as the summer has gone on!

I wondered if Purple Chair could live up to its hype, Connie. The more I think about the premise, the more I wonder.

RE: CeeCee Honeycutt -- I read this at about the same time that I read The Help. I found Cee Cee (even if it was predictable) to be much more accurate and realistic than The Help (which annoyed me no end!).

message 18: by Connie (new)

Connie (constants) | 49 comments I wondered if Purple Chair could live up to its hype, Connie. The more I think about the premise, the more I wonder.

I seem to be in the minority about Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, as well as Turn of Mind and When She Woke. I don't know if I'm just getting crotchety in my old age or maybe I just expect too much. I do know that my taste has changed through the years and books that I read and enjoyed (and finished!!) years ago, I wouldn't go near now.

I read The Help a few years ago and enjoyed it well enough, but not as much as many other people did.

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