Sunday, July 5, 2009

Books I've Read this Year - Part 4

This is a continuation from last month's lists of the books I've read. If you're interested here are parts one, two and three.

Continuing where I left off puts me at book number 45.

45) The Rosary: Keeping Company with Jesus and Mary by Karen Edmisten. I've been reading Karen's blog (with the shockingly clever title) for a while now, so I was delighted to find her book in my local Catholic bookstore. It's a wonderful, clear, easy to understand book sharing the mysteries of the rosary.

46) The Wednesday Sisters: A Novel by Meg Waite Clayton. This book about friends who bond over playground time with the children who all seem to harbor a secret desire to write a book was a pleasant read, but felt predictable, from the friend whose marriage falls apart to the one with cancer.

47) The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt (and it wasn't that I was in a Wednesday mood or anything). This YA book had a delightful hero and a great supporting cast of characters. The Shakespeare thrown in through out was a lot of fun and the history of the time (the 60s) was interspersed in such a way that it never felt like the author was making a point of "this is what life was like then". I recommended it to my 12 year old, who and loved it (and now wants to read The Tempest so she can find the good Caliban curses.)

48) A Lion Among Men (The Wicked Years, Part 3) by Gregory Maguire. I found I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first two in the series (Wicked and Son of a Witch). The lion is not a very sympathetic character and there is a lot of back story and not so much new story.

49) Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy. There is something so soothing and pleasant about Maeve Binchy's books. She has such a way of creating characters who want to know more about. I was eager to read this newest book and I wasn't disappointed.

50) The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas. Fifteen-year-old Antonia wants to be a saint. She thinks she can do this without being dead. While its a cute story, it was a bit lacking in the authentic Catholic teaching department. Her obsession with saints reminded me of Millions; I thought the obsession was handled better in that book.

51) Prairie Tale: A Memoir by Melissa Gilbert. I'll admit I watched Little House on the Prairie obsessively while I was growing up, so naturally I was interested in what Melissa's real life was like. It was nothing like the life she had on the TV show. The book is honest and entertaining. She doesn't hold back as she tells of some of the difficult things she's dealt with in the past.

52) Any Which Wall by Laurel Snyder. This book was a pure delight to read. The comfy style and magical adventures made this a book I immediately recommended to my twelve year old. She read it and adored it. Now we've got to convince the nine-year-old to read it (but he's busy with Goosebumps books right now.)

53) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. This was a book I saw recommended by Melissa Wiley, so when I saw it in the library I grabbed it. I am so glad I did. The book was a delight to read. I was a little leery when I saw it was written in letter format - but it worked very well. Set in 1946 with a wonderfully diverse cast of characters and a lot of history about the Channel Islands during WWII thrown in.

54) The Secret (Seasons of Grace book 1) by Beverly Lewis. While I often enjoy Beverly Lewis's writing style and her stories of a simpler life among the Amish, I found that this book didn't deliver. It is the first in a series and simply is not a stand alone book. Of the many plot lines started in the story only one is resolved and although the eponymous secret is revealed to the reader, most of the characters in the book are still in the dark. I enjoy series books but I think that each should tell a complete story on its own, not leave so many loose ends that I feel like I'm still in the middle of the book not the end.

55) Up and Down Scratchy Mountain by Laurel Snyder. After reading Any Which Wall I decided I had to read Laurel Snyder's first book. This is a delightful fairy-tale style adventure with a plucky milk maid and a prince (though it's not his fault.) A very fun read.

I guess I've made the 52 book challenge, and that brings me up to date on what I've read so far this year.


  1. Your numbers put me to shame!! I think I'm up to about 17 or 18 now... getting to 50 is going to be a real challenge for me!

    But I really want to read The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society as well. Glad to know you liked it.

  2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was a fantastic book - I heartily recommend it!

  3. Congrats!! That's awesome! I just crossed 52 last week, so I'm expanding my 50 book challenge into a 100 book challenge. Not sure if I can make it, but it never hurts to try. :)

    Congrats again! Reading so many books in six months is no easy feat. :)

  4. Tabitha, I'm surprised at how many I've read - I wasn't trying to beat any records or anything.

  5. Congrats on the 52 book challenge. I'll pass on Lion Among Men since I wasn't too keen on Wicked (the book). The Chicago production of Wicked was great though.