My list of favorites in 2011 includes literary fiction, genre fiction, a children's book and nonfiction...an eclectic bunch of books that is a good representation of what I read in an average year--mostly literary fiction with a few mystery/thrillers and nonfiction books thrown in...and a kid's book now and then. I don't have children or grandchildren, but I read to and tutor young children, so I am exposed to a lot of little kid lit. If you've read any of these books, I'd love to hear your take on how you liked them....or didn't!
(Fiction) My review of this book doesn't come close to representing how great I thought it was. I wrote the review from my Kindle, so I wasn't wanting to do a lot of typing. I keep meaning to come back and flesh out my review, but haven't gotten around to it. I read this book on the Kindle at bedtime and for weeks after I finished it, I would get into bed at night and think "Wish I was still reading that book." It totally transports you to another world and is comedy, drama, science fiction and mystery all rolled up into one.
(Literary fiction) I love Alice Hoffman's writing. She is able to make you see and feel a person, place or thing so clearly as if it was right next to you. That was never more true than in The Red Garden, another book I missed when it was done.
(Literary fiction) I know, this book is OLD news to most readers. I resisted reading this for a long time because I had a preconceived notion of what it was going to be like and I didn't want to read it. Then I finally succumbed to the pressure from several friends and read it. WOW. What could have been a silly, sappy, boring book was definitely not!
(Literary fiction) Years ago, when I was in a book chat on AOL, my fellow booklovers told me I HAD to read Ann Patchett's Bel Canto. There was much swooning and raving about it being the best book ever. I struggled a lot getting into that book (I wanted to put it down many times), but ended up loving it by the end.
I had a similar situation with this book; not so much that I wanted to put it down many times, but that I wasn't sucked into the story from the start. But, in the end, I really enjoyed it.
It is definitely not the usual Ann Patchett story, but it is very well done.
(Genre fiction--mystery/thriller) Jeffery Deaver is my favorite mystery/thriller author. I read pretty much everything he writes eventually, but my favorite is his Lincoln Rhyme series, of which this book is a part. If you are freaked out by identity theft and the amount of information that is available about you out in the ether, then this book would probably scare your pants off. :) I found it a really good story, but frustrating because, well, I'm a Libra and I hate injustice...and there's a lot of it in this story!
(Nonfiction) This new book by Tom Brokaw, subtitled "A conversation about America", is really interesting. In each chapter, he discusses a problem or issue that the American society is experiencing and then, using real-life examples and people, suggests ways that we could solve or at least improve the problem or issue. It is left-skewed, so it may be better enjoyed by those on the liberal end of the political spectrum, but I think most anyone could get something out of it.
I am still in the last half of this book, so I haven't written a full review yet.
(Literary fiction) Like the Brokaw book, I haven't finished this book either, but it makes my list due to its incredibly descriptive and unusual writing. I used to have this habit of tape-tagging any passage I read in a book that really grabbed me. If I'd been reading this book in paper (I'm reading it on Kindle Fire), it would be heavy with tape tags by now, and I'm only about halfway through. The story itself hasn't grabbed me nearly as much, so at this point, I keep reading because of the lush wordplay and a recommendation from a good friend.
It is a story of a group of poor kids (young adults) in the Ozarks who band together to try to make a living any way they can.
Since I haven't finished the book yet, I don't yet have a full review.
(Preschool children's fiction) I have several volunteer jobs, and two of them involve young children (preschool through first grade), so I read a lot of children's books to the kids and see some I really love and some I'm not so crazy about. This one, I love.
I have been a customer reviewer on Amazon.com for well over a decade and an Amazon Vine reviewer since the program began. I enjoy writing product reviews that will help customers make a buying decision. … more