Last month’s list was so sad with only two books on it, I felt like I needed to make up for lost time! Plus, with fall weather finally here, it doesn’t take much to convince me to wrap up on the couch and read. And fortunately, it was a great batch of books – in fact, I’ve already loaned out three of these to friends and INSISTED they read them.
Here are the reads for the last month:
(click on the titles to go to Amazon.com)
French is a favorite mystery author of mine, even though sometimes the plot-lines aren’t my favorite and sometimes feel lacking in places. That being said, I like the characters and their rough edges, you know, the tough Irish cops of the Dublin “Murder Squad” solving interesting (creepy) mysteries… all good fun. In this novel, Antoinette Conway is feeling very out of place on the squad, only comfortable with her own partner. Otherwise it’s a lot of pranks and harrasment coming from the others. The struggles Antoinette faces are intertwined with the case she and her partner are trying to solve: A murder of a pretty blonde woman in her perfect home. Rating: One Warm Blanket on the Couch w/ Hot Coffee
I loved this book. And I heard that you really should know nothing about the plot before reading in order to more fully enjoy the story. I agree. Which is why I’m not telling you anything about it. Just read it. So good and such an interesting idea for a story. Kudos to the author, Monica Wood. Rating: One Warm Blanket, Slippers & Hot Cocoa with Marshmallows on top (in honor of the sweet little boy in the book)
J.D. describes his life growing up in a poor town in Applachia. Not only does he look at his immediate family’s struggles- his parents both struggle and he ends up living with his Grandpa and Grandma for a majority of his youth – he also backs up and looks at the white working class culture at large and how they struggle to overcome the poverty and social issues surrounding them. Very interesting look at the history and the social aspects of their culture. Vance becomes a Marine and graduates from Yale Law School, but struggles with memories of his past and upbringing. Highly recommend this book (lots of language in this one – just a warning – but when it’s coming from the mouth of Mamaw …you best listen up!) Rating: No Blankets. No extras. Just read. (Best book of the month)
So I’m into reading about the Stoics lately. Who knows why. This book is a good summary of the philosophy of the Stoics and does a good review of how a Stoic would approach an obstacle. Good review and easy to read – very encouraging book as far as how to look at a problem. Also a really good bibliography and source section in the back to help you further your study of the Stoic philosophy. Which is why I now own Seneca and Aurelius books. This is going to be a Fun Christmas! Ha. That was a joke. Anyway, good book. Oh, and how do you solve a problem like a Stoic? It’s just a problem. Solve it. Life is not unfair. It treats us all equally. Deal with it. Move on. Gain strength from it. Or, in the words of my late father, “Quit yer whining.” Rating: Read this anywhere, anytime. Because you are a champion. And not having time to read is NOT AN OBSTACLE YOU WILL YIELD TO.
This is the story of Kayla’s baby, a micro-preemie who spends five months in the NICU. Very poignant story – but Kayla manages to tell a tough story with a sense of humor. Not only did I find the story interesting, but I feel she did a good job of giving ideas on how to be helpful to someone we may know going through the difficult time of caring for a little one. Rating: Two Warm Blankets & Coffee & Then Call Your Friend & Send Them Love
Read this second in Choldenko’s series out loud to my 12 year old son. We loved the first in the series, and this one kept up the pace and the characters. Moose lives on Alcatraz Island with his family – his dad is a guard at the cell house. Loved the storylines and fun kid perspective. I would recommend as a read-aloud or for a kid to read on their own – I think it’s well-written enough to keep their attention. (Tip: We also watched a documentary on Alcatraz from the History Channel and enjoyed it – it even showed pics of the apartment building mentioned in these books, and pictures of some of the kids who actually did live on the island. It was fun for my son to see the history behind the story.) Rating: One Warm Blanket and the Dog Snuggled Up Between You & the Kiddo – Popcorn as the Snack
Mia has lost her memory and can’t recall anything about her being kidnapped and kept in a cabin in the woods by a stranger. The book flips between present day – when Mia insists on being called Chloe and can’t remember a thing – and the story of her captivity. Not a deep book, but a good, fun mystery. Rating: One Warm Blanket & One Cubs Championship Game You Are Too Scared to Watch So You Have a Book in Front of Your Face