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.

  • 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! 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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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