Opening Belle, Hidden Bodies, Ann Patchett, Norse Myths, and Ellen Raskin!

When I started listing the titles for this post I thought, “wow, I’ve been on a hot streak!” But then I remembered that I’ve had to give up on a bunch of books recently, too. The life of a reader! I grabbed Opening Belle at the library based on the cover and title, and the description sounded too good to pass up. Set (like Everybody Rise) on the eve of the financial crisis, the story follows Belle, a mom of three with a high pressure…

Read More »

Everybody Rise, Burn Baby Burn, Rereading Roald Dahl

Sometimes as a parent you get those moments when you feel like you must be doing something right, and having my 5-year-old ask me to reread her The BFG and The Witches was definitely one of those moments. We enjoyed them just as much the 2nd time through, and now she’s eager to have me read The BFG a third time so that her big sister can get why we think snozzcumbers are so funny. Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina hooked me right away…

Read More »

Red Rising, Golden Son, Morning Star AMAZING by Pierce Brown

I reviewed Red Rising as soon as it came out, and because I loved it so much I was so happy when Golden Son followed so quickly. Then I reread both of them in anticipation of Morning Star, the final book in the trilogy, and then basically stalked my library until my request was fulfilled. I can’t really think of a time when I’ve been this satisfied by the conclusion of a trilogy/series. Robin Hobb’s books have transported me, certainly, but Fitz’s story isn’t over…

Read More »

Viral, Lorrie Moore, Girl Through Glass, New Chris Bohjalian

I’m like my very on book club as my latest reads have all been women-centered and fairly mainstream. But while all of them were easy, diverting reads, only one of them lived up to the jacket copy. Lorrie Moore’s Birds of America was a departure for me as I hardly ever read short stories. This one I did in fact read for a book club, the first one I’ve joined in ages. As much as I love to read, I don’t generally do well in…

Read More »

The Singing Bone by Beth Hahn

Synopsis: When a documentary filmmaker decides to take on the infamous Jack Wyck murders, Alice, a professor of folklore, finds herself forced to confront the summer she and her best friends fell under the sway of the charismatic man who tattooed his name on the insides of their legs, and for whom they would do absolutely anything. Review: This is the one you need to read. So much beauty and horror and terror and humanity and tragedy and sadness and lightness, all perfectly calibrated and…

Read More »

Where I Lost Her by T. Greenwood

My love for T. Greenwood has been well-documented in this blog, and I eagerly await every one of her new novels. Thankfully she’s prolific, and with Where I Lost Her, she adds a level of suspense and mystery to complicated family dynamics she so deftly creates for each book. Tess is in trouble. She drinks too much, and she’s just learned something awful about her husband, Jake. On a visit to her childhood friend, Effie (from Greenwood’s debut Breathing Water), Tess is drunk driving home…

Read More »

Tolliver’s Secret + The Bronze Bow

Two classics in our homeschool that were a big hit. Tolliver’s Secret by Esther Wood Brady was assigned as a read aloud in our Sonlight core, and all of us loved the story of the girl who dresses like a boy to deliver a secret message to George Washington during the Revolutionary War. There was a lot of action and suspense wondering if Ellen was going to make it, and my 8 year old loved the adventure of it all. It wasn’t the tearjerker that…

Read More »

I Am Malala, Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland, Cult Child

I bought the wrong edition of I Am Malala. I wanted to review it as a possible book for our homeschool coop’s middle school book club, but I didn’t get the young readers’ edition. Like everyone else in the world, I was really impressed with Malala’s passion for educational advocacy, and the bravery and strength of character she inherited from her father and mother. Malala Yousafzai was only 15 when she was shot point-blank in the head by the Taliban because she believed girls were…

Read More »

BFG, Flora and Ulysses, Ben & Me, and Ender’s Game

Oh, I am hard-pressed to say which of the characters in these books for kids/young adults I love the most! The Big Friendly Giant, Ulysses the flying squirrel, Amos the mouse who lives in Ben Frankin’s fur hat, or Ender, the 6-year-old military mastermind. Okay, my feelings for Ender aren’t exactly affection or delight like I have for the others, but this is my most recent batch of books read for homeschool. The BFG was yet another Roald Dahl I’d never read before, and I’m…

Read More »

The Winter Girl by Mark Marinovich

Synopsis: When Scott and his wife Elise move into her father’s Hamptons home to await his death in hospice care, he becomes fascinated by the house next door, which is seemingly empty and not-empty at the same time, and the actions he takes to alleviate his curiosity have devastating consequences. Review: The Winter Girl is a dirty piece of business that makes Gone Girl seem like a romance. I was fascinated by the extremity of the story, repelled by the depravity, and sucked in by…

Read More »