5.20.2012

May Reads


After my reading funk of a few weeks ago, I've managed to hit on a few winners since then - whew!
Let's see what I've been reading....

Future Perfect by Suzanne Brockmann

I checked out this audiobook since I'm a fan of Brockmann's Seal Team 16 series, even though I knew this was an older one of her books. It, um, wasn't very good - and the narrator was just...not. right. It should have been a woman, not a man trying to do a feminine voice. *full body shudder*

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

I haven't read this nonfiction book in probably 10 years, but seeing something about the Appalachian Trail re-sparked my interest. It's STILL such a great read, as Bill and a not-very-fit friend, Katz, decide to walk the entire trail. Part travelogue, part humor, part history and geography, part nature tale and part cautionary tale, this is a fantastically engrossing read that not only entertains but educates. I love this book!

Stay Close by Harlan Coben

This new audiobook is the latest stand-alone suspense novel from Coben. Three disparate people are brought back into each other's orbits when a body is found near Atlantic City - in the exact same place as a body found there 18 years ago. Throw together a strip club, a lost love, a washed up cop and a great atmosphere, and you have this novel. An interesting listen with the incomparable Scott Brick!
Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green

This was a much better read than I was expecting! Andi has fallen for, and married, Ethan, a wonderful guy with two daughters from his first marriage, giving Andi the family she always wanted. But tensions mount as Andi and Emily, the older daughter, continue to spar and war and argue - until a horrible event threatens to tear the family apart. This felt like shares of Jodi Picoult, with an ending you couldn't wait to get to. A well written, engaging piece of fiction!

 A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

This novel restored my faith in reading after a string of really bad reads. This novel is hard to encapsulate, except to say it combines mystery, magic and romance - and of course, the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters. Grandmother, mother, child...every 15 years, the big bad happens to them - will it happen again this year? A great read I flew through!

Before They're Gone by Michael Lanza

The subtitle of this memoir is "A Family's Year-Long Quest to Explore America's Most Endangered National Parks", which pretty much sums of the entire non-fiction work. Part travelogue, part ecological and environmental study, and part memoir, the Lanza family (husband, wife and two young children) explore such parts as Glacier, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Everglades and Joshua Tree. Good in small doses, but not a memoir I could sit and read for extended amounts of time.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

This is a FANTASTIC young adult novel, period. Auggie is a precocious, smart, funny kid - who happens to have a disfigured face. Homeschooled his entire life, he and his family make the decision to send him to a private school - and of course, things get uncomfortable, complicated and hard for Auggie and those around him. Sad in parts and funny in others, this is ultimately a thoroughly uplifting, imminently readable story that's appropriate for anyone, not just young adults. Great!

A Surrey State of Affairs by Ceri Radford

This was a surprise send from the publisher, and though it took me a bit to get to it, I did manage to unearth and read it in just a scant day! Constance Harding is a fine, upstanding - though utterly clueless - middle aged, middle income lady in middle England who begins blogging about her day to day life, which involves her bell choir, an unwelcome suitor, a suspicious husband, an not-yet-out son and a host of misadventures. The last third of the book wanders into serious suspension of disbelief territory, but overall this was a light, easy read that passed the time...

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