Thursday, July 31, 2008

8 Books I Liked....and Why.

I read. A LOT. One year when I was off work with a very unstable back, I read 56 books. I don't read Mysteries, Thrillers or Romance. I read an equal amount of Fiction and Non-Fiction.
I've read some Bestsellers that I didn't like at all. I have also LOVED some books that no one else liked at all.
All of the books here, have links in the LibraryThing over there on the right.

1) What Remains by Carole Radziwell.
Carole was married to Anthony Radziwell, who was a cousin of JFK Jr. She and her husband were very close to John and Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. I lived on Cape Cod when John's plane crashed and he, Carolyn and her sister were lost.
It was sad couple of days until the wreckage was located. Carole's book outlines their friendship and that sad time, when her husband was also dying of cancer.
Reviews said the book was melodramatic, but it allowed me to see a side of Carolyn Bessette that was not portrayed by the media.

2) Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish
Annie informs a group of women (after her death) that she wishes a "traveling funeral". These women take off on a cross-country trip to places that were important in Annie's life. There are small scenes from the stops along the way.
I loved the book, and have given it to a few women. None of them liked it.
I don't have 5 friends who would have a traveling funeral for me. Do you?

3) Lying Awake by Mark Salzman
A nun has amazing visions, accompanied by severe headaches. There is a cure for the headaches, but it could mean an end to the visions. As a former Catholic school student taught by nuns and had one nun in the family, and have known a couple of really interesting nuns, I'm just a little fascinated by the life.
Reviewers didn't really like the book. I found it to be a quiet book that made me think.

4) Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock
This is an often confusing story about child neglect from the child's point of view. It's terribly sad but one moment at the end of the book made me immediately go back and re-read the entire book in one night.

5) Soul Of A Chef by Michael Ruhlman.
Ruhlman writes books that are inside looks at people and their occupations.
I loved this one. It follows a group of chefs who are testing to be certified as Master Chefs by the Culinary Institute of America. He also introduces us to 3 famous chefs. As much as I love cooking and baking, this is the book that made me see that I didn't want to do it for a living.

6) Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.
When I worked for B&N, I read a lot of Young Adult Fiction. I often worked at the info desk and so many parents and grandparents would ask me for suggestions, and I wanted to be able to give them a good list.
Stargirl is about the girl who didn't conform to the "popular" kids at school, but she changed lives. If you like Stargirl, you might also like Loser.

7) A Trip To The Beach by Bob and Melinda Blanchard.
The Blanchards left their life in Vermont to open a restaurant on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. This book made me write my first fan letter to an author (yes, I'm a dork) and made me put Anguilla on my "bucket list".

8) A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson
He makes me laugh out loud! He walked the Appalachian Trail, maybe a little unprepared for the rigors of the trip. I have walked a few short trails and climbed a few VERY small mountains along the trail. Doing the whole trail is NOT on my "bucket list".

What I'm Reading Now.
Mozart's Sister by Rita Charbonnier. I really love Historical Fiction

What's Next.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver


Monnik said...

I love, love, love reading about what other people are reading. Looks like some great stuff - I'm adding to my list.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh thank you thank you thank you for some new titles to add to my list! Soul of a Chef sounds so good and Stargirl, well, it's by Spinelli, so I'm sure it's great!

Anonymous said...

Bryson is one of my favorite authors of all time and AWITW is one of his best.

I love Animal Vegetable Miracle and have read it twice. Mozart's Sister is also excellent.

apathy lounge said...

I love Kingsolver!

Amy A. said...

I love the YA books. I have put Stargirl on my list to read.

Patience_Crabstick said...

Bill Bryson is hilarious. I like seeing what other people are reading.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You will love Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. I'm a huge Bryson fan also.

Sarah said...

LOVED "Stargirl" but didn't like the sequel "Love, Stargirl" so much. Try "Schooled" by Gordon Korman (?)this is another great book on accepting differences