For those of you that are readers, I want to share with you some of the books I have read the past few months. I know it is sometimes difficult to find that next read, and perhaps this will help you find something that interests you. I keep track of what I read on Shelfari and it gives the option of rating books on a 5 Star system. I won't bother you with any 1 or 2 Star books. Chances are I didn't finish them anyway. 3 Star would be an average, enjoyable read. 4 Star is an above average book - something I really enjoyed, and 5 Stars indicates an outstanding read. Book images and descriptions from Amazon & Barnes & Noble.
These are several books that rate as 3 Star - enjoyed them all:
Tapestry of Fortunes - Elizabeth Berg
Room - Emma Bonoghue
A Red Herring Without Mustard (Flavia deLuce series) - Alan Bradley
The Silent Wife - A.S.A. Harrison
Dark of the Moon, Heat Lightning, and Rough Country (Virgil Flowers Series) - John Sanford
Eye of the Needle - Ken Follett
City of Thieves by David Benioff -- Grisly though it was, I really enjoyed this book - loved the two main characters. I give it 5 Stars!
During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserter named Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.
By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline -- I enjoy reading historical fiction and this gave insight into the orphan trains that transported more than 200,000 children from eastern cities to the Midwest between 1854 and 1929. 4 Stars
Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.
Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life – answers that will ultimately free them both.
Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.
Defending Jacob by William Landay -- The story twists, turns and dishes up surprises right up to the end. 4 Stars
The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett -- This is a 4 Star book. I enjoyed this trip into a world that is unfamiliar to me. The story held some surprises.
A mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller’s search through time and the works of Shakespeare for his lost love Guaranteed to capture the hearts of everyone who truly loves books, The Bookman’s Tale is a former bookseller’s sparkling novel and a delightful exploration of one of literature’s most tantalizing mysteries with echoes of Shadow of the Wind and A.S. Byatt's Possession . Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn’t sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn’t really her. The watercolor is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture’s origins. As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare’s time, Peter communes with Amanda’s spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.
And this is my favorite book so far this year! Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger -- 5 Stars!
New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of Halderson's Drugstore, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.
Frank begins the season preoccupied with the concerns of any teenage boy, but when tragedy unexpectedly strikes his family—which includes his Methodist minister father; his passionate, artistic mother; Juilliard-bound older sister; and wise-beyond-his-years kid brother—he finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal, suddenly called upon to demonstrate a maturity and gumption beyond his years.
Told from Frank's perspective forty years after that fateful summer, Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God..
So there you have it - what I've been reading lately. I would love to know what some of your favorite books have been - I'm always on the lookout for that next great story. Please share.
Till next time...