Book Lists

Everything I Read in April, May, and June

I read 20 more books this quarter than I did last quarter. And all those extra books were the Alice books by Phyllis Reynold Naylor. I blame Jessica.

I’ve stopped buying things with the good intentions of fixing them, thanks to this book. My life is much improved.

    • Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Melina Marchetta, you just never stop wowing me.

    • Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Another stellar contemporary romance recommendation from Kelly. We have quite different taste, but she GETS my taste.

    • Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son by Anne Lamott

I haven’t read much else by Anne Lamott, but this book struck me as so ridiculously whine-y. It’s your grandchild, not your child! The world doesn’t revolve around you!

Blah. And more blah.

    • Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker

Cute little summer YA romance.

    • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

I liked this one quite a bit better than Anna and the French Kiss. I have no idea why.

    • Lucky Fools by Coert Voorhees

Read this on our cruise and immediately forgot about it.

    • Girls Don’t Fly by Kristen Chandler

This was recommended to me by several people that usually I agree with, but this book was only mediocre for me.

    • Caleb + Kate by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma

Romeo and Juliet retelling. Which means, as usual, a disappointment. Has NO one ever retold that story with any aplomb?

    • French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters by Karen Le Billon

Fantastic. Quite a different perspective from Bringing Up Bebe and, I thought, possibly more useful. A review of this coming someday if I can get my act together.

Such a great novel.

    • Heaven is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph and Everyday Joy by Stephanie Nielson

I was worried that this would basically be her blog in book form, but it was much better. Better writing/editing, and much more moving to me.

It’s hard for me to have sympathy for people who deliberately do things they’re told not to do.

I don’t know if I will ever forget this book. Such a sad, real story about early-onset Alzheimers.

    • Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life by Gretchen Rubin

It’s not as good as The Happiness Project, but it’s still really interesting and had some parts that I found extremely thought-provoking. Review to come.

    • The Agony of Alice (and the other 23 Alice books in the series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

You’re welcome for not listing every one of these books separately. I quite enjoyed this series and when I mentioned it on Twitter, I was FLOODED by responses from people who loved them as teens. I didn’t feel that crazy love, but it was a fun month of reading.

    • First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky

This book has Printz written all over it. Which means I thought it was pointless.

    • Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

Fun little middle-grade mystery. Definitely going in my arsenal of books to recommend.

    • In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

Too depressing for me. And I hate stories that hinge on people being too dumb to open their mouths and say something.

    • The First Husband by Laura Dave

This was a BlogHer Bookclub book, but I didn’t participate in this one since they recruited while I was cruising across the Caribbean. Lisa’s review convinced me to pick it up, though, and I read it one day. Quite good.

    • All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin

I know some people love this book, but holy cow, it took me MONTHS to get through the audiobook. I will not be picking up the next ones in this series.

    • Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach

The Cybils winner for YA Fiction, but it didn’t do a lot for me.

    • Starters by Lissa Price

It was such a relief to read a YA book that I didn’t want to put down. Hello, dystopian fiction to the recuse.

    • The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

I’ve meant to read this for over a year, and when I finally did, I loved it. What a great middle-grade dystopian/fantasy novel. Two winners in a row!

    • Gilt by Kathrine Longshore

A King Henry VIII story. Of course I liked it and blazed through it. But after I read it, I felt like it wasn’t as tight as I wish it would have been.

    • That Used to be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back by Thomas L. Friedman

Bookclub book. Fascinating (I read probably half the book aloud to Bart) and a great discussion. If you’re looking for a good bookclub choice, you won’t go wrong with this one.

    • The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Jeremy Holmes

I couldn’t get over how clever and witty this book was. A complete winner. Definitely will be reviewing this come Fall.

Fun to reread this (this time listening) in order to read the series’ finale.

I loved this book the first time and I loved it the second time. Some books just stay good.

    • The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Another one I’ve meant to read for ages and even better than I’d hoped. The middle grade books are knocking it out of the park for me this quarter.

    • Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Listened to this one too, prepping for Bloodrose.

    • 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

So good – I read it in a couple of days and thought about it constantly. Very religious.

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  • Reply ccr in MA July 4, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I'm not defending the Anne Lamott book, because I felt much the same way about it, but I will say that if you feel like giving her another try, Operating Instructions was much better, and I also love Bird by Bird (which is about writing, but can apply to more than that, really). I don't like her fiction, but I usually enjoy her non-fiction more than this one.

    And thanks for the reviews, you often send me off to the library!

  • Reply Gretchen July 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Great recommendations. I kept adding to my reading list as I was reading your post!

  • Reply Lisa July 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    You read The First Husband, and liked it, yay! I love these mini reviews of yours so much.

  • Reply Kelly @ The Startup Wife July 4, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Phyllis Reynolds Naylor was one of my very favorite authors growing up–I LOVED Maudie in the Middle, and I probably The Boys Start The War and its sequels thirty or forty times. For some reason, I don't think I ever checked out the Alice books. Maybe I will one of these days.

    Also, I made a variation of those calzones last night–they were fantastic! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Reply Hillary July 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott is good, but other than that, yes, her tone is very whiny and unlikeable. Most of her fictional characters are the same.

    It's funny: I know you and I don't have very similar book tastes — e.g. I loved The Book of Jonas and have no interest in reading most YA books — and yet I love your book posts.

  • Reply Sammy July 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I LOVE your reading wrap up posts. Call me lazy but I appreciate quick reviews all in one post. It makes my life easier when I'm looking for a new book!

  • Reply Shelly July 5, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Oh thank God there is someone else who doesn't like Anne Lamott. I feel like everyone else in the world LOVES her and I find her whiny and annoying!

  • Reply NGS July 5, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I love it when you do these posts. Between this list and your tell me what to read post just a few days ago, my library list is much, much improved!

  • Reply Mia July 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Woah. Busy woman this quarter. I do need to reread Nightshade to prep!

  • Reply Inside A Book July 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Thanks for great recommends. I finished Because of Mr. Terupt last night…based on your recommend!! It was awesome. I'm spreading the word.

    Thank you!

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