Late Summer Reads

I swear, I've been reading - the hothot temperatures of the summer have kept me a prisoner of my air conditioning, so I've been cranking through a few titles...so let's get to reviewing them, shall we? :-)

Gone Missing by Linda Castillo

This is the latest in the Kate Burkholder mystery series, set in Amish country. Kate is the formerly-Amish sheriff who handles her county's crime, but she is particularly shaken when young girls begin turning up dead around the state. This is a smart, fast-paced mystery series that isn't a typical "Amish novel". Highly recommended!

Most Talkative by Andy Cohen

Love Andy, love BravoTV, love a fast and funny memoir with pictures, dishes on celebrities and a surprising amount of heart. Loved it!

Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon

I really, really, really loved this novel. Once I started it, I simply didn't want to put it down. Alice Buckle and her husband William have been married for 20 years, and it's safe to say their current relationship is quite lackluster. When Alice receives and invite to be part of a marriage quiz, she agrees and begins corresponding with Researcher 101. The questions are probing and fascinating, as are Alice's answers, and soon her relationship with Researcher 101 seems to develop into something deeper. Though I guessed how this novel would end about halfway through, I absolutely loved the journey to get there, and I was sorry to see Alice go when I turned the final page. A favorite read of 2012! Alice had definitely become my friend....

Monday Mornings by Sanjay Gupta, MD

This is sort of Grey's Anatomy for the bookish set. :-) Monday mornings at Chelsea Hospital are reserved for discussions between surgeons on the cases they don't want to discuss - the cases that went wrong and the patient died. Of course, we get to know the six main doctors in the story and how they try to fit in their lives around their jobs, but I found myself most caught up in the cases, the resolutions, and the day-to-day life around the hospital. Definitely had some unexpected twists, and this medical novel was fast, interesting and fascinating to me!

Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen

Let's just say this was the wrong book at the wrong time - I started off okay with it, but quickly hit rock bottom and didn't care anymore. Eh.

These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen

I loved Pekkanen's previous novel Skipping a Beat, but I was excited to read her followup, which chronicles the struggles of three different women in New York City trying to find their way through their twenties in jobs, love and life. While there was nothing wrong with this novel and it was interesting enough, I found myself picking up everything but this novel when I wanted to read something. I think it was a reflection of "wrong book, wrong time", perhaps, but I just didn't love this one like her other.

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

After hearing these two speak at ALA, I was able to purchase a copy of this, their first young adult novel. It's an un-Picoult-like premise...what happens to storybook characters when the book closes and the reader goes about their life? Do the characters remain...in character? And what happens when a reader falls in love with a character and they begin to interact? This was such a cute premise for a young adult novel and I thought the writers did a good job of switching perspectives between reader and Prince Charming (of course!). A very cute novel - though not what I expected from Picoult!

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I don't even know what to say about this memoir, except that I truly mourned when it was over, because Cheryl had become my friend and companion. The first forty pages were a mirror image of my life four years ago - the death of her mother and the aftermath of emotions and feelings. Strayed, though, to cope and to "find herself" decided to hit the Pacific Crest Trail, alone, walking from California to Oregon. This was part grief memoir, part adventure novel in the vein of A Walk in the Woods, and part travelogue and character study of the people she met along the way. I couldn't put this memoir down, and when I had to, I was still thinking about it. Well written, engaging, fascinating, and a reflection of my own grief - definitely one of the best books I've read in 2012.

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