This has been a good year for books for me. I set a goal in January of reading 30 books this year and so far I’m on number 29! What’s more, a lot of the books I’ve read this year (unlike last year’s sorry line up) have been outstanding. So, as it’s Saturday (the day we talk about anything but it) I thought I’d share some of my favorites and why I loved them. [Please note that I’m not a paid book reviewer, just love to share.]
Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd
A coming-of-age story set in the South. Beautifully written and three great childfree characters!
Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout
A cleverly written novel-stories about the inhabitants of a small town. Olive Kitteridge has a walk-on role in every story and it’s fun to see how she will tie in to each person. Over the course of the stories the author paints a detailed picture of the complexity of Olive’s life.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – Helen Simonson
This is a charming and humorous love story about two people “of a certain age.” It also examines themes of age, race, class, and yes, even touches on the issue of being childfree-not-by-choice. I loved it.
Chocolat – Joanne Harris
Forget the movie (although it’s a great movie.) This book is magical. The characters, setting, and stories are gorgeously painted, and the chocolate scenes are enough to make your mouth water.
Sarah’s Key – Tatiana de Rosnay
This is a poignant story about an American journalist in Paris who uncovers details of the Jewish “round-up” in World War II France and follows the story of Sarah, a young girl who escapes from one of the concentration camps. It’s a tough subject, but the author deals with it with an appropriate amount of drama and detail.
State of Wonder – Ann Patchett
I’ll admit, I’m on a bit of an Ann Patchett kick at the moment. I discovered her through The Magician’s Assistant, which almost made this list. State of Wonder is the story of a researcher sent into the Amazon to find out what happened to her colleague and to track down a doctor conducting research with a tribe whose women are able to conceive well into their later years. Don’t be put off by the subject matter; it makes for thought-provoking stuff.
Bel Canto – Ann Patchett
The Ann Patchett kick continues. I won’t say much about this book as it’s our Book Club pick for next month. Suffice to say it’s about the relationships that develop between a group of people (including a renowned opera diva) at a party in South America and the political guerrillas who take them hostage.
If you’ve read something fabulous this year, please share it here, as I’m always looking for something new. Also, if you’re a book lover, we have an online Book Club going on. It’s all very informal. We read a book a month and comment on it the following month. We’re reading Laura Lippmnn’s I’d Know You Anywhere this month, so hop in if you want to play along.
I look forward to hearing your reading suggestions.
I really didn’t need to add any more books to my already tottering pile but a couple of yours caught my fancy. Thank you for sharing!
Rural Rabbit says
The Red Tent was an amazing read. It does obviously deal with birth and m/c, but I didn’t find it particularly upsetting. The Art of Racing in the Rain has been my top book of the year.
If you haven’t yet, I recommend anything by Tim Dorsey. He’s just hilarious.
Kathleen Guthrie says
This will seem like an odd suggestion, but I am half way through Marlo Thomas’ “Growing Up Laughing.” It’s a mix of memoir — growing up with her dad, comedian Danny Thomas, and all his comedian buddies, the icons of the field — as well as interviews with contemporary stars, such as Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Joy Behar. I have embarrassed myself by laughing out loud in public places (the gym, on the metro, in restaurants). It’s such a feel-good book. AND she’s childfree, so I like that I am supporting one of our sisters. 🙂
Okay, so I’m a little late to this post (since I just found your blog, I thought I’d share anyway). This may be an odd suggestion compared to the books you have listed…but I have to recommend The Hunger Games Trilogy. I never ever thought I’d like it when I heard about it, but I gave it a chance, and it got to me. It was one of those books where I thought about the characters for weeks after reading it. I actually had a hard time reading anything else for about a month after finishing the last book, because nothing could compare to the story of Katniss.
I’m definitly going to check out some of the books you listed here, I’m always looking for new suggestions!