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 »

The Blondes, Fates and Furies, And Again, The Fifth Season

Some strong reads in the last few weeks. I want to get Fates and Furies out of the way because I basically hate-read it. I just didn’t get what the big Story was. While I liked Mathilde’s backstory and some of her choices in the second half, I just couldn’t get over how fusty and edge-less it felt to me. Not enough rock ‘n’ roll for a story about young people in the West Village in the late 1990s… maybe because that’s where I lived…

Read More »

After Birth, Garnethill Trilogy

Elisa Albert’s After Birth blew me away. So much so that I just wrote the author an email to thank her for getting it right, and immediately after finishing my library copy I preordered the paperback so it can live in my permanent collection. Ari is coming on her son’s one year birthday, but her postpartum depression and inability to heal from her traumatic birth experience has her coming undone. When pregnant Mina, a former rock legend, moves to Ari’s small town up the Hudson,…

Read More »

Elizabeth Smart, Scientology, Big Magic, Tearling

I have 18-20 books in my TBR pile right now and I want to read them all. Please remember me in your prayers, that my children would leave me alone so that I can READ! I have so much respect for Elizabeth Smart after reading My Story, her memoir of captivity and escape. Her faith in the midst of suffering is inspiring to me, and her commentary on the toxicity of purity culture eye-opening and brave. Leah Remini’s memoir Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology wasn’t…

Read More »

Witch of Blackbird Pond, Roald Dahl’s Witches, and Sign of the Beaver

In our homeschool, we just finished Week 12 with Sonlight Core D and we are still really happy with it. I have jettisoned a couple of books because I didn’t like them, but it was easy enough to substitute other books. We really loved the read-alouds Sign of the Beaver and Witch of Blackbird Pond, both by the tremendous Elizabeth George Speare. She brings such a deep humanity to her historical fiction, and is a master at building suspense. Both books brought history to life…

Read More »

Cormoran Strike, Dungeons and Dragons, and Creepy ‘Eileen’

I’m utterly enthralled by Cormoran Strike, the private detective at the center of JK Rowling’s pseudonymous crime series. The third book, Career of Evil, finds Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott the target of a psychopath with a penchant for dismemberment–and Robin seems to be his target. Rowling (as Robert Galbraith) understands that she can’t just deliver an intricately plotted crime story, she also has to take the characters further on their journey. At the end of the book, I was so heavily invested in…

Read More »