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Remember my Spring reading list? I think I’ve tackled it with a vengeance these last few weeks! Now that you know I’m expecting another baby, that might explain why a little. I’ve been fairly sick, and so laying around reading fits the bill a lot of days. (Or sleeping. Lots of sleeping.) In the last two weeks of March, I finished 4 of the 10 books on that Spring list.
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald – I really enjoyed the first half of this novel, which tells of Sara, a young Swedish woman who travels to Iowa to meet her fellow book-lover and pen pal, Amy. Unfortunately, her plans flop, and she instead spends time getting to know the residents of Broken Wheel and tries to ignite their interest in reading, which when she arrives seems nonexistent. The characters are really interesting and fun to know. The ‘trying to keep Sara in Broken Wheel’ plot, however, feels contrived. And I was a little cranky at some of the book spoilers. I was glad I had just finished Jane Eyre!
Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani – I used to read a lot of books like this little story from Trigiani. I picked this one up at the thrift store a while back, and I am desperately trying to read some of the stuff on my shelves that has been sitting there for awhile. It’s the continuing story of Ave Marie, a woman Trigiani introduced in Big Stone Gap. Here, Ave Marie is well-settled in her marriage and trying to raise their daughter, Etta. The novel spans about 6 years, the years Etta is between 12 and 18, and we watch as the mother-daughter relationship, Ave’s views on life, and her marriage with Jack changes. It’s nothing life-changing, but it’s a sweet novel for a good brain break or escapism reading. (Noted: this is not really what I tend to read anymore, but if you do? Just read what you love. I don’t mean to be insulting at all.)
My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl – As expected I really loved this cookbook/memoir from Reichl. Other than her somewhat pretentious Tweets which infiltrate the book, the writing is genuine and heartfelt. I enjoyed her stories, and have made several of the recipes already. This is one I am putting on my wishlist for the keeper shelf, because I wanted to make at least two-thirds of the recipes!
The Lake House by Kate Morton – If I hadn’t read this right after I read Morton’s book The Secret Keeper, I might have liked it more. It’s a solid mystery with good writing, but the present-day storyline didn’t grab me at all. I wasn’t sucked in like I was to The Secret Keeper. That doesn’t mean it’s not a great book – I just had big expectations. And everyone whose read this thinks the ending is just a little too outrageously neat and tidy.
Ella: Everland Ever After by Caroline Lee – Novellas are not my thing. But I enjoyed this one very much! I am a sucker for fairy-tale retellings. I wasn’t sure there were any new ways to make Cinderella’s stepsisters and – in this case – stepfather evil, but Lee sure finds them; her step-family is devastatingly mean. I would have loved to see this as a full-length novel, but even as it is, the characters are developed and interesting, and I loved it!
Jazz by Toni Morrison – I’ve always loved the books I’ve read by Morrison. But this one is a departure from her normal novels. It’s experimental, trying to capture the rhythm of jazz music in writing. In that, it’s a success. But as a readable novel, it left me hanging. The storyline is there, but it veers off a little toward the end. I’m thinking this is a better book for reading under the instruction of a teacher who’s read it 20 times and has some grasp on it, maybe.
I also read The Redheaded Princess by Ann Rinaldi, mostly as part of surveying future books for my kids. I have heard so many people who love Rinaldi (or maybe loved her books as a teen?), but I found this to be fairly dismal for me. Convince me I’m wrong? Maybe it’s more appealing to juveniles? Usually I am of the camp that if it’s a good book for a kid, it’s a good book for me, too.
Linked to Quick Lit at Modern Mrs. Darcy.