Friday, July 5, 2013

Mid-Year Reading Recap

My apologies for a duplicate post to those of you who also read SmallWorld Reads; but for the 350 or so of you who subscribe here but not there and are looking for great novels to read this summer, below is a list of what I've read so far in 2013. Click on the links for my reviews, or, in a few cases, for links to amazon. I'm kinda behind on my reviews still!

Books Read January 1–June 1

  Best Books So Far

  • Unbroken: an absolutely stunning novel about survival and resilience during WWII (nonfiction)
  • The Story of Beautiful Girl: Absolutely mesmerizing story of  Lynnie, a beautiful inmate at the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded; Homan, a deaf man who is also locked away there; and Martha, a widow in her 70s who becomes tangled in their lives.
  • Expecting Adam:  Martha and John, young Harvard graduate students, find out the life-changing news: their unborn baby, a boy, has Down Syndrome. They are shocked beyond words. This is Harvard, the land of geniuses and IQs off the charts. There is no room in Harvard for anything "less" than "perfect." Terminate now, they are told over and over again. This is their family's beautiful story. (memoir)
  • And, well, of course I have to add To Kill a Mockingbird, which I read again while teaching American Lit. It just never loses it's magic for me.

Biggest Surprises
The good: What Alice Forgot. I almost put this one back on the shelf because the jacket description sounded silly, but I absolutely loved this story of what we'd like to keep forgotten.

The bad: Other Voices, Other Rooms. I've been wanting to read this Truman Capote novel for decades—since singer/songwriter Nanci Griffith came out with her album by the same name. She's holding a copy of the novel on the album cover. (Yes, I know there aren't "albums" anymore, but you know what I mean.) I was pretty disappointed in this short novel, which I actually bought with delight at Shakespeare and Co. Bookseller while we were in Paris.

What have you been reading lately? For even more ideas, check out my Best of the Years page on SmallWorld Reads.

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