During 2010 I read 23 books. That isn’t really very many, less than two a month. But I also wrote a book, so give me a break. Following is a two sentence review on each book. All these reviews are favorable because if I don’t like a book I don’t finish it.
The Quilter’s Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini A couple moves to a small Pennsylvania town where the young wife becomes involved in the local quilting group. A pleasant story that explains a lot about the art of quilting.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett Set in the Sixties, this tells of the changes that come to a group of young socialites and their black servants. Even though the writer went over the top at one point with the bathroom humor, the book deserves the accolades it received.
Wishin’ and Hopin’ by Wally Lamb A Christmas story about young Felix Funicello who deals with life as cousin of the famous Annette and look alike of the adorable cartoon boy, Dondi. A wise and witty story.
The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve An acclaimed poet and his wife spend time in New Hampshire while she researches a century old murder mystery. Dark prequel to The Last Time They Met. I like Anita Shreve’s literary style but her technique of telling two stories back and forth (the protagonist’s story and one being uncovered/written – used also in her novel A Wedding in December) doesn’t work well for me. I find myself skimming through the side story to get back to the main characters. Still I will read her again.
The Copper Beech by Maeve Binchy The beautiful beech tree in a small schoolyard is the backdrop for stories about various members of the village. Binchy has a delightful way of showing the landscape and feel of Ireland.
The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks Volunteer fireman rescues special needs child and becomes closer than friends with his mother. I found this to be a satisfactory story and I enjoyed the read – though I did notice his misuse of the prologue but that’s what writers do to each other.
My Lucky Stars by Shirley MacLaine Autobiography by famous film star. Not exactly a page turner, in fact a rather wordy account of a portion of her varied career and her open marriage.
A Positive Plan for Creating More Calm, Less Stress by Karol Ladd Self-help book with scriptural references. Through geared for moms with stress, I found several helpful chapters to use in a Bible study for working women.
Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult This writer does her usually excellent job in the telling of a child (named Faith) who seems to have healing powers and the media circus that surrounds this discovery. Gripping from the first sentence.
Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom The chronicle of Albom’s relationship with an elderly rabbi. Very similar to Tuesdays with Morrie, but still a worthwhile read about a young man’s relationship with a mentor.
Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts A man adopted as a toddler returns to his birthplace to learn about his birth parents. By the author of Where the Heart Is.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd Runaway girl follows a clue from her dead mother and meets a family of bee keepers. A charming story of how people can care for each other regardless of race or other differences.
Hear Our Cry: Boys in Crisis by Paul D. Slocumb Study of social tendencies in boys of different cultures. A little scary to read predictions that we seem to have no power to change.
Staggerford by John Hassler Happenings in a small town from the perspective of an English teacher. Hassler breaks a cardinal ‘rule’ of writing by killing off the protagonist, but until then, I found it humorous and well written.
Follow Me by Arkansas writer, Elizabeth Carroll Foster Story of military family and their travels and adventures. This was an enjoyable read, though I would have liked for Elizabeth to dig deeper and tell us how it felt for military families during the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK’s assassination or other times of stress for our country.
That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo Couple going through the motions of family vacation travel back to Cape Cod. A serious and humorous story of two people taking a look at their relationship.
In His Steps by Charles Sheldon Congregation takes on the challenge of ‘What Would Jesus Do?” Written in 1897 and dated in many ways, this is still relevant in the most important issue of choosing to follow Christ. I reviewed this book on November 8.
When the Mississippi Ran Backwards by Jay Feldman Historical telling of stories around the occurrence of the New Madrid earthquakes. Interesting and well-written.
Ordinary People by Judith Guest Gripping story of a young man dealing with depression. I reviewed the movie on February 28. The screen adaptation is as close to the book as I have ever seen, often using the exact dialog.
25 Days, 26 Ways by Ace Collins Thoughts and inspirations about celebrating Advent and Christmas.
White Roses by Arkansas Writer Shannon Taylor Vannatter Christian romance set in Romance, Arkansas and surrounding White County. This is Shannon’s first book under a contract with Heartsongs Publishers.
Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado Daily devotional readings. I appreciate Lucado’s insights that often lead to deeper thought/study.
A Journey of Choice by Benton, AR writer Pat Laster The story of a young girl’s coming of age journey, choices she consciously makes and those forced on her by circumstances. Though I had read many of these chapters in our critique group, I enjoyed reading the finished book front to back. Pat is able to bring characters to life in such a way as to leave the reader wanting to know more about them. I know this is more than two sentences, but after all, the author is my BFF.
My goal for 2011 is to read more. To turn off the television if I’ve already seen everything offered or if it simply isn’t worthy of my time, and READ.